Cruisers Yachts designed the 54 Cantius to fill in a gap between the 48’ (14.6 m) and 60’ (18.3 m) models in the manufacturer’s popular Cantius express cruiser line. The design team followed the current trend of having the cockpit, salon, galley, and helm all on the same deck level. Below decks she has three staterooms separated by a lower level lounge area that makes the boat more accommodating (and private) for two couples or more during a weekend getaway. In all practical respects, the new 54 Cantius is a smaller version of the 60 Cantius which was introduced just last summer. Because she is smaller, she is also less money, therefore, affordable to a wider audience. Nevertheless, she keeps most of the functionality of the 60. In keeping with the modern approach, the 54 Cantius is powered by twin 725-Volvo Penta IPS950 pod drives that should give the boat solid performance and make her feel user-friendly for captains with a range of skill levels.
The Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius’ surface-level swim platform has plenty of space for watersports and at 4’10” (1.47 m) x 14’6” (4.42 m), may be large enough to support a small tender or personal watercraft. Steps on each side lead to the aft deck where there is a U-shaped lounge wrapping around a hi/lo pedestal table with beverage holders to both sides. Just ahead are two bar stools with access to the galley, which we’ll get into in a moment. To port is an outdoor electric grill that is not only convenient, but keeps cooking fumes in the open air where they belong. A standard SureShade extendable awning provides much needed shade on those bright sunny days. Altogether, this makes the aft deck a comfortable gathering area, and, in fact, the first of many that we’ll see on the 54 Cantius.
Forward on the aft deck are two steps up to the side passageways that lead to the bow. Up front there are padded lounges where guests can stretch out. In the forepeak is an anchor locker with a windlass below deck level. The anchor goes through the stem which further keeps the bow area clutter-free. Stainless steel rails at provide a handhold as guests make their way forward and there are smaller ones outboard of the foredeck cushions on each side.
Moving indoors, entry into the salon is through a sliding glass door offset to starboard. This door is hinged with a power-actuated window. To make it easier to serve meals outdoors, the U-shaped galley is aft and to port. There are lots of windows, so the cook has good views of the surroundings. The 54 Cantius is well-equipped with a convection microwave oven, dishwasher icemaker and storage. The double-basin stainless steel sink and two-burner stove are both covered when not in use so as to increase the usable counter space. When in use, the covers all have dedicated storage. Opening the large aft window blends the galley with the aft deck and makes serving and conversation that much easier. The double wide doors open fully to create a seamless transition between the inside and the outside, all on a single level.
To starboard and across from the forward end of the galley, is a two- to three-person sofa with a portable cocktail table available. On the port side just ahead of the galley, the four-seat dinette is raised and has a wraparound lounge that should accommodate four or, if desired, six with the addition of two inboard deck chairs. All decking is low-maintenance Amtico. These provide two separate and distinct gathering areas that only add to the 54 Cantius’ appeal as an entertainment platform. Having both of these areas flanking the galley adds to that allure, as they are always within ear- and eye-shot of the host/hostess.
A double wide bench seat at the helm gives the captain and a companion comfortable perches during a cruise. There’s a single flip-up bolster and a single armrest as well. The glass dash is now a staple of the modern design theme, and on the 54 Cantius, Cruisers Yachts does not disappoint. Here, we have a pair of 15” (38 cm) flat panel multi-function displays adorning the upper panel. The helm is located to the starboard side of the console, and an opening side window adds to the ventilation. The digital throttles are on top of the starboard subpanel. The joystick is mounted to port. While this location may make it inconvenient for a starboard-to docking, it is certainly more convenient for stern-to as we can now stand next to the console, put the left hand on the joystick, and face aft while maneuvering into the slip. We’d like to see the joystick to the starboard side, aft of the digital engine controls, so that we can better utilize the starboard windows for visibility. A second control station is already installed in the aft deck for the stern-to scenario. That control may be better suited to the port side. With the seats moved back there is full standing headroom for the captain at the helm. Mullions are a bit wide but not overly obstructing. An opening sunroof brings the outdoors in.
Centrally positioned stairs adjacent to the helm lead to, if opted for, a wide open atrium, which gives those aboard the new 54 Cantius a feeling of being on a far larger motoryacht. At the base of the stairs, there’s an option to put a sofa to starboard. To our eye, this makes an ideal place to unwind at the end of the day, and certainly a place for two people to gather while their spouses are simultaneously preparing to turn in in their respective private heads. Opposite, is storage with an open countertop to port. A chilled wine cabinet is below, and a flat-screen TV can be located above.
Cruisers Yachts calls this area “The Atrium” and offers it as an option. It is designed for elegant cruising. However, the 54 Cantius comes standard with three staterooms.
Standard Third Stateroom
Cruisers Yachts is all about customer feedback, and the jury seems split on either having this lower salon, a third stateroom, or an office. So the builder chose to do the right thing and offer all three available at the owner’s discretion. With the cabin, there are over/under berths. In all cases, the hull side windows completely remove any feeling of claustrophobia, at least for the upper berth.
Just aft of the foot of the cabin-deck stairs to starboard, the owner enters the master stateroom. Immediately to port is the head with a separate toilet and shower areas. Just across from the head door is the walk-in closet. Cruisers Yachts did a good job in ensuring that the modern look of the yacht is maintained here with contemporary fixtures that can’t help but draw in the eye. A single portlight allows air and natural light into the compartment.
This full-beam design approach gives the sleeping/living area in the master stateroom plenty of real estate, which, again creates an extra-large feel on a boat of this size. The massive hull side windows that blend the inside with the outside, and provide excellent vantage points to the water, accompany this in no small way. Automatic blinds can be opened or closed at the touch of a button. Headroom throughout is 6’5” (1.96 m). The queen-sized island berth measures 6’7” (2.01 m) x 5’ (1.52 m) and is on the boat’s centerline so that vessel movements will have a minimum effect on sleep. Outboard to starboard is a booth-style seating area with a small table between the seats. With hinged tops, the table serves double-duty as a vanity, but we mostly appreciate the floating mount design that leaves occupants legs free from support to smack the knees against. Just ahead, the 36” (91 cm) TV is mounted to the bulkhead and transforms the master stateroom into a private theater. The combination washer/dryer is also located in the master, making it convenient to put clothes away, as least for the couple that will always be aboard when there’s laundry to be done.
In the 54 Cantius’ bow, the VIP stateroom has a 6’7” (2.01 m) x 5’ (1.5 m) queen island berth also on the centerline and headroom of 6’9” (2.06 m). As expected, there are lengthy hull side windows, trapezoidal in this case, to port and starboard that are further supplemented with the natural light from the overhead hatch and skylights running the full length of the overhead.
Small and convenient storage spaces are below the side windows. There’s a full height hanging locker to port with additional storage to starboard. The en suite head has a private entry from the VIP stateroom and also an entry door from the atrium area for day use.
The VIP stateroom has a feature that we frequently see on other boats and one that we’ve come to appreciate. We’re talking, of course, of the split head. The shower is to starboard, while the sink and toilet are located to port. This feature not only saves on much needed space, but also allows for two people to prepare for a night on the town at the same time.
The Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius is powered by twin 725-hp (504 kW) Volvo Penta IPS950 diesels with pod drives. During our tests, we reached a top speed of 37.1 knots at 2500 rpm. Dialed back to best economic cruise speed, we were running at 25.3 knots and 2000 rpm. That reduced setting produced a fuel burn of 41.5 gph, which translated into a range of 285.4 nm, all while holding back a 10% reserve of the boats full 520 gallon (1,968 L) fuel capacity.
Performance and Handling
As for her handling, she has the typical characteristic of the wide turning radius of an IPS powered boat, due to the limited arc of turn that the pods have at speed. This keeps the Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius rather docile, even at the control of a heavy-handed test captain. Underway she has good seakeeping qualities. She has auto trim tabs installed and they did a good job of keeping the workload off the operator, but there were still times at the mid-range where we still found ourselves adding some bow down trim to further improve the ride.
A Proven Recipe.
Cruisers Yachts builds the 54 Cantius with alternating layers of hand-applied fiberglass. The laminate consists of 0 to 90-degree woven fiberglass, uni-directional knitted and bi-directional cloth and chopped strand matt wetted out with isopthalic, dicyclopentadiene resin from Cook Composites. After the gelcoat is sprayed, a vinylester barrier coat is applied beneath the waterline to improve resistance to blistering. A variety of cores including Coremat, balsa, plywood and aluminum is used, depending on the location.
Like all Cruisers Yachts models, the 54 Cantius is constructed with a fiberglass liner on the inside of the hull. It permanently attaches to the stringers and sheer shelf with methacrylate adhesive mechanical fasteners approximately every 12” (30.5 cm) and fiberglass tabbing. This gives the hull added strength and provides a finished surface inside.
With the 54 Cantius, it could be said that less is more. Because she has three staterooms with a more open feel, the boat could be attractive for two couples or more to take extended cruises or possibly for a couple to live aboard during the winter.The appeal of the new Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius is that she is one of the most modern-looking express cruisers on the water and she can go most anywhere her fuel capacity can take her. For those who think that the 60 Cantius might be too much boat, the 54 Cantius should be the answer.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius (2016-) is 42.7 mph (68.7 kph), burning 73.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 276.3 liters per hour (lph).
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
(It's quick and FREE!)