Mission of the Absolute 55 STY
By creating an express motoryacht that has a LOA of almost 55' (16.65 m) and a beam of 15'3" (4.65 m), Absolute has built a boat that can be a large entertaining platform for cocktail and dinner parties, as well as day trips to the local beach for sunning and swimming. With three staterooms below and two heads she also can cruise two couples or a family in luxury and comfort. Perhaps most importantly, her lines are sleek and stylish and she has strong dock appeal. With four engine options available she can be built for comfortable relatively economical cruising at moderate planing speeds, or crammed with horsepower for impressive wide-open-throttle travel.
Three Dinner Party Venues
With three U-shaped banquettes on the main deck the Absolute 55 STY is made-to-order for owners who like to entertain with either cocktail parties or large dinner parties. While 18 guests can't be seated at one table, they can be seated around three of them. All are easy to get to because they are on the main deck -- because in the 55 STY there is no flying bridge with stairs to climb. All that is needed to make this party scenario happen is the addition of six folding chairs to put along the exposed side of each of the three tables. In cocktail party mode they will not be needed as there is loads of seating on the boat.
The table across from the galley folds out when wanted for dining, otherwise, it is folded back out of the way, ideal as a counter during cocktail parties. The forward table extends to serve six. The table on the aft deck has two leaves that fold out for six. (In the lowered position it becomes a foundation for a large sun pad.)
Where the Guests Roam.
Because the side decks are relatively wide, there are also other places where guests can roam around on this vessel while at anchor or tied up at the dock during a cocktail party. The bow is always a popular place to hang out and there are cushions upon which to sit on in front of the sun pad. Aft, the swim platform is fairly large, making it easy to welcome guests arriving in their own tenders.
Absolute embraces the concept of putting the galley aft in boats such as this which is by its very nature more informal than a far larger motoryacht might be. The galley is strategically placed to be only a couple of steps from the three dinning tables. Perhaps more important, it places the host and hostess in the center of the action so they are involved with the conversation while serving drinks and food.
Counter Space Counts.
For those who will have parties catered or otherwise have staff to help out, the galley which is surrounded by counters, has been well-designed. There is a ceramic glass cooktop and an inset cover fits over the sink. When not in use these two areas add about 25% to the usable counter space in the galley. The boat comes standard with dove-colored Corian counters.
We like the stand-up refrigerator/freezer combo better than under-counter fridge and freezers for several reasons -- less bending over, better utilization of "air space" that will go to waste otherwise, it takes up less deck space, and otherwise opens up the galley. It also leaves room for the optional below-counter dishwasher which we think all boats in this class should have. The refrigerator has a 68 gal. (258 L) capacity and the freezer is 11 gal. (42 L).
Absolute's designers have thoughtfully made sure that there is space for all flatware, stemware and china for six place settings.The counter across in the inboard side of the galley also doubles as a "bar" for serving cocktails during a party. In cocktail party mode the fold up table opposite can become a sideboard for hors d'oeuvres or a ice bucket for a bottle of wine.
For those owners who do not like a galley up and aft in the middle of the action, then we recommend that they talk to Absolute about eliminating the guest cabin below and installing the galley there. We don't know what they might say, but that is where they put the galley on both the 53 STY and 64 STY.
Standing at the Helm.
Unlike many European-designed express cruisers in this class, the skipper can stand up at this helm without having to open the sun roof to poke his head out. Further, skippers will be able see out forward when standing. This is an important feature to us simply because on long hauls we get tired of sitting. Also, in very rough seas at speed we like to be able to bend our knees to absorb any pounding and sway our whole body with the movement of the boat.
Absolute has accomplished this important feature by eliminating a raised platform that many builders insist on putting at the helm of these types of boats. Absolute has kept the entire main deck from transom to the helm on one level. That means no tripping or stumbles in a seaway, in the dark, or during a crowded cocktail party due to a missed step. How important is that?
The controlling factor in boats of this type is usually the headroom in the master which is under the salon and helm. In order to keep the boat looking low and sleek, some designers make the hardtop as low as they can forward, meaning the windshield has to be lower and in order to see out the skipper must sit.
Absolute has created both standing headroom in the master so there is the ability to stand at the helm by sinking the deck of the master between the longitudinal stringers and making the freeboard of the boat a little higher. They then raked the windshield about 23-degrees and the house's aft superstructure to about 34-degrees which, along with some other devices, gives the illusion that the roof is actually lower than it is. We think this all works together marvelously well to both create a sleek look and also to have the headroom inside.
By putting the wheel in the middle of the helm console rather than all of the way to the right, the designers have moved the skipper a few inches more away from the windshield mullion to starboard, which is by necessity thick in order to support the hardtop. By doing so they have reduced the degrees of the blind spot to starboard.
Few express cruisers this size have a side door but the 55 STY has one. It has been made possible because of the height of the freeboard and it serves a very useful purpose of making it easier to single-hand the boat. With the door, when coming into the dock, the captain can quickly slide out the door to toss a line or tie up the boat alone. When anchoring, the skipper can quickly move to the bow. On a hot day, it -- along with the sliding sun roof -- bring fresh air into the boat.
Joystick and Electronics.
The 55 STY comes standard with a joystick no matter which of the four engine options are selected. All of the engine options are Volvo Penta IPS and come standard with 7" (17.6 cm) EVC display diagnostic screens. A Raymarine E 125 Chartplotter/GPS and VHF radio also come standard.
In our mind two things stand out in the accommodation spaces below in the 55 STY. First is the size of the master stateroom. Second is the deck space and light in the VIP stateroom forward. First the master--
The master bed is on the centerline in the most comfortable part of the ship. To starboard is a full length dresser with enough drawers to handle clothes for a long cruise. Also to starboard is a double deep locker allowing two hanging rods to be used. To port is a romantic booth with vanity. This can be a work station by day and a place to relax with cocktails at night with a special friend. There are large windows on both sides of this full-beam master. The head has a separate shower stall.
There is a bit more room between the bulkhead and the bed than we sometimes see in class. The door clears the bed which is always a good sign. There are port and starboard hanging lockers, two long drawers under the bed, and a fair amount of wood paneling to make the cabin as cozy as possible.
The outstanding feature of this space are the three large, square portlights to port and starboard which really brighten up the cabin and allow its occupants to see outside. A small portlight opens for air and there is an overhead hatch as well.
All four engine options are Volvo Penta IPS systems with joystick, pods and counter-rotating DuoProps. The lowest horsepower option are twin 435-hp D6 workhorse that is installed in as many boats as any other diesel. A second variation on this theme is to install three of the them for a total horsepower of 1305. This may seem like an odd option, but actually it is quite reasonable. Three of these engines weigh a total of 4,623 lbs. (2,101 kgs.) compared to a total of 4,982 for a pair of 600-hp D11 diesels. That means the triples weigh 359 lbs. (163 kgs.) less and provide 1,005 horsepower more. The fourth option is a pair of D11 IPS engines with a rated horsepower of 700 each for a total of 1400-hp. They weigh the same as the lower horsepower D11s.
We have not tested the Absolute 55 STY so can give no guidance on performance or handling.The fuel capacity is 505 U.S. gallons (1,919 L). The boat's rating is CE B, with 14 people aboard.
Every boat is a compromise and this one is no exception. It is obvious from the drawings on this page that the engine room is tight. Beyond that, until we get aboard the boat and test her we cannot offer much informed guidance. However, we should note that minimizing the size of the engine compartment is a growing trend amongst most boat builders in class and it is no doubt due to buyer preferences. Likewise, she does not have a lazarette for storing all of the "stuff" that every boat seems to accumulate, much of it actually needed. The obvious solution is to eliminate the crew quarters and use that as storage space.
Crew on a 55-footer?
This is, after all, only a 55' boat which is easy to handle by any owner/operator with a little bit of experience -- particularly because it has an IPS joystick. While it's nice to have a crew along on a cruise to wash down the boat at night, handle fenders and run errands ashore, that may be a luxury that will have to wait for a larger boat. For owners who would like to put this boat in the charter trade, with three staterooms and a reasonable price the vessel should easily be booked in season. In this case the crew cabin will come in handy in order to have a mate or captain aboard.Overall, we think the boat is ready not only to party but also to do some pleasant cruising by two couples or a family. She should be easy to drive and fun to own.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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