51'-60' Motoryachts: We Compare 6 Flybridge Cruisers - 04/05/2018
Sea Ray 510 Fly running
Sea Ray 510 Fly
Maritimo M51 running
Maritimo M51
Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge running
Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge
Maritimo M54 running
Maritimo M54
Beneteau Monte Carlo 6 running
Beneteau Monte Carlo 6
Sea Ray L590 Fly running
Sea Ray L590 Fly

This comparison includes motoryachts from 51' to 60' (15.5 m to 18.3 m). Each one is arranged for cruising with family and friends. The standard layouts all comprise three staterooms, two doubles (master and VIP), and a twin-berth guest cabin. Boats in this size range have the volume belowdecks for ample accommodations. These six boats differ in design, styling, power, and myriad details, so take some time to study them. There's more information on each one in our Captain's Reports. As always, we encourage you to contact us here at BoatTEST.com if you have any questions, and we'll do our best to answer them.


All these yachts are designed for cruising with friends, with three double staterooms and two, sometimes three, heads. While similar in layouts, these six boats are all different -- one of them carries triple diesels, for example, an interesting power choice for a boat in this class. Each boat does an excellent job of carrying out her designer's intentions.

The Sea Ray 510 Fly is a Euro-styled yacht from this most American of builders. Her open flying bridge is for sun-worshippers; a hardtop with sunroof is optional, but any enclosure will be canvas and vinyl. There's al fresco seating up here, a dinette, and a wet bar, so on nice days the flying bridge should be the crew's gathering place. Most skippers will maneuver from the upper helm, too; both it and the lower station have full instrumentation and room for a pair of 12" multifunction displays. A large transom lazarette, convenient stowage for water toys, can be swapped for a crew cabin, an option we think will be popular in the Mediterranean, where most yachts this size carry a paid hand.

The Maritimo M51 has an enclosed, air-conditioned flying bridge, with a fold-out sofa so two people can sleep up there. The ladder to the flying bridge is inside, in the main salon, rather than the cockpit; it's more convenient and safer in bad weather. The master cabin is full-beam, amidships, and has its berth mounted on the diagonal. An optional arrangement replaces the smallest stateroom with a utility room, fitted with a washer/dryer. There's no lower helm station, leaving room on the main deck for a large, well-equipped galley. If serious cruising is on your agenda, the M51 could be your best choice. (The Maritimo M51 is a rebadging of the company's M48, to reflect the boat's LOA more accurately.)

Riviera's 52 Enclosed Flybridge reflects her Australian builder's dedication to building tough, seagoing boats. She has a watertight collision bulkhead, and watertight compartments throughout the hull. Her engine room air intakes are mounted on the cabin sides, rather than in the hull, to minimize salt spray getting into the engine space. The sportfisherman-style cockpit is low to the water, good for fishing, diving and other water sports. There's a fishbox in the cockpit sole (will double as an ice chest), a freezer box on the mezzanine and a cockpit wet bar with two electric grills. There are no sun pads on the foredeck, so it's a perfect place to carry the tender; a davit is included on the options list. In short, folks who use their boats for offshore cruising and/or enjoy a variety of waterborne activities should check out this Riviera yacht.

The Maritimo M54 is the company's former M50, but, like the M51, has been renamed to coincide more accurately with the boat's LOA. She shares the abovementioned features and layout of her slightly smaller sister, but here are a few more: bow and stern thrusters are standard, the straight shafts and rudders are protected by a keel (hard groundings are not recommended!); the enclosed flying bridge (our test captain calls it a "salon in the sky") is air-conditioned, and has a sunroof; bi-fold doors turn the salon and cockpit into one integrated space. A hydraulic swim platform is optional, and recommended for handling the tender if it's not carried on the foredeck. The single helm station has room for flush-mounting three 15" multifunction displays, and has twin helm seats.

The Beneteau Monte Carlo 6 comes in galley up (standard) or galley down (optional) layouts. The galley down arrangement has a full-beam master stateroom, a convertible U-shaped dinette and two heads belowdecks. Moving the galley down makes room for a salon table that seats 12 on the main deck. This is a good layout if you like to entertain, especially if you hire a cook for the occasion; he/she can prepare food away from the owner's party in the salon. We think this arrangement will be popular in Europe, where dayboating is the norm; folks sleep ashore. The galley-up layout is more conventional, at least in the U.S., with the same full-beam master, but a VIP guest cabin forward and twin-berth cabin amidships, and three heads. This set-up trades salon space for more cabins, and will likely be the preferred arrangement for folks who entertain and do their own food prep. Who wants to be stuck below making dinner, away from the fun? (Both layouts have an aft crew cabin.) Whichever layout you choose, the Monte Carlo 6's profile and styling will stand out both in the Med and yachting centers in the U.S.

Sea Ray's L590 Fly is similar to the other boats in this roundup in many ways -- accommodations, features, a long list of standard equipment -- but differs in having an extra diesel in the engine room. Boats this size and weight demand lots of horsepower to achieve the performance buyers expect, and most builders meet this need with big, heavy, expensive twin diesels. Sea Ray opted to install triple engines: three 593-hp Cummins spinning Zeus pod drives. Three smaller engines weigh less than two big ones, cost about the same, offer extra redundancy, and fit neatly abreast in the engine room; bigger diesels are longer and demand more room fore-and-aft, which robs from the accommodations. The three diesels are controlled with two levers, just like a twin-screw boat, with computer assistance. When throttling up, the wing engines rev first, then the center engine comes on-line as necessary. Throttling down, the center engine cuts out first. And if one of the wing engines fails, the center engine takes its place. Redundancy like this is good for long-range cruising, something the L590 Fly does well. Throttle down to 9 knots and you'll get almost 800 NM range, great for leisurely Down Islands trips, or a summer passage to Bermuda. Crank up and she'll cruise at almost 30 knots -- but not nearly so far between fuel stops!

Read our Captain's Reports for full details on all of these boats. There's a lot to consider, but in our opinion, you won't go wrong with any one of them.

As always, don’t hesitate to drop BoatTEST.com a note if you have a question about any of the boats in this comparison.

Ask a Question About Any of These Boats

Sea Ray 510 Fly

Sea Ray 510 Fly Interior Sea Ray 510 Fly Interior
  • LOA: 50'10" (15.50 m)
  • Beam: 15'4'' (4.67 m)
  • Draft: 4'4" (1.32 m)
  • Displacement: 44,623 lbs. (20,240 kg)
  • Standard Power: 2 x 600-hp Cummins V-drive diesels
  • Number of Staterooms: 3 + optional crew
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Maritimo M51

Formula 290 Sun Sport Interior Formula 290 Sun Sport Interior
  • LOA: 53'1" (16.19 m)
  • Beam: 16'7" (5.06 m)
  • Draft: 4'3" (1.30 m)
  • Displacement: 46,300 lbs. (21,000 kg)
  • Standard Power: 2 x 600-hp Cummins QSC
  • Number of Staterooms: 2/3
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Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge

Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge Interior Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge Interior
  • LOA: 56'8" (17.26 m)
  • Beam: 16'5" (5.01 m)
  • Draft: 4'7" (1.40 m)
  • Displacement: 55,000 lbs. (24,960 kg)
  • Standard Power: 2 x 725-hp Volvo Penta IPS950
  • Number of Staterooms: 3
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Maritimo M54

Maritimo M54 Interior Maritimo M54 Interior
  • LOA: 53'0" (16.2 m)
  • Beam: 17'1" (5.20 m)
  • Draft: 4'0" (1.30 m)
  • Displacement: 40,256 lbs. (18,259 kg)
  • Standard Power: 2 x 670-hp Volvo Penta diesels
  • Number of Staterooms: 3
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Beneteau Monte Carlo 6

Beneteau Monte Carlo 6 Interior Beneteau Monte Carlo 6 Interior
  • LOA: 60'2" (18.35 m)
  • Beam: 16'2" (4.93 m)
  • Draft: 3'10" (1.17 m)
  • Displacement: 43,727 lbs. (19,840 kg)
  • Standard Power: 2x 600-hp Cummins Zeus diesels
  • Number of Staterooms: 3+ crew; 1+ crew opt.
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Sea Ray L590 Fly

Formula 290 Sun Sport Interior Formula 290 Sun Sport Interior
  • LOA: 58'10" (17.93 m)
  • Beam: 16'0" (4.87 m)
  • Draft: 4'9" (1.45 m)
  • Displacement: 64,000 lbs. (29,030 kg)
  • Standard Power: 3x 593-hp Cummins Zeus diesels
  • Number of Staterooms: 3
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