Reviewing The Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius Fly: Breath of Fresh Air

The Cantius 54 Fly Boat

Cruisers Yachts adds versatility with a new flybridge version in the Cantius series, for 2017. Fast on the heels of last spring’s introduction of the Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius comes the 2017 54 Fly, a model that puts the emphasis on outdoor living. We hopped aboard for the vessel’s world debut at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

Cruisers Yachts of Oconto, Wisconsin, a company with a 100-year history of boatbuilding, really understands how we use boats today and that’s evident in the size and layout of the newly added flybridge. Two seating areas accommodate eight, even if everyone spreads out. Add the bench for two at the helm and squeeze the party a bit, and you can host a cocktail party for a dozen. The galley module to port has a Kenyon electric grill, a sink, and a refrigerator, so you can cook as well as serve up the best views of the anchorage.

The helm is to starboard and affords good visibility down to the bow for easy communication between the driver and anyone who may be assisting with anchoring or docking. From here you can also see to the sunpad, which is one of three aboard. The 54 Cantius Fly is powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS 950 725 HP engines with pod drives and the joystick makes maneuvering easy even in a cross-wind or in tight spots. There is no engine upgrade offered, but it’s hardly needed.

The flybridge is protected by a dark grey hardtop that adds a nice contrast to the white hull and topsides. With its angled support, the top is modeled after that of the flybridge version of the 60 Cantius and seems to float above the vessel without making it look top-heavy.

On the 54 Cantius, line blurs between what’s indoors and what’s outdoors. Like other models in the Cantius line, the secret to the 54 Fly’s appeal is the transition between the interior saloon and the aft cockpit. Not only is this a fine example of single-level living, but also, the entire aft end of the boat opens up to integrate the two spaces. The glass door hinges out to starboard and opens up a wide walkway, while the half-height electrically-actuated window to port lowers to transform the galley counter into a cockpit bar. Sit at the two barstools and enjoy seamlessly interacting with the chef in the galley as well as anyone seated at the transom dinette aft.

Water access is via the the enormous swim platform (approximately 5’ by 16’). The hydraulic lift is a must, whether to load a tender easily or just have a fun teak beach to play on. It extends the available deck space and makes it easy to board from the dock, dinghy, or water. A railing along the aft end of the platform provides a place to tie up a tender or water toys when at anchor.

In the cabin, a U-shaped galley to port has a sink, microwave/convection oven, a ceramic cooktop, and a refrigerator. Turning out great meals won’t be difficult for an able chef. Across from the galley is a sofa lounge, behind which is a pop-up flatscreen TV. Additional seating is forward at the U-shaped dinette with a hi/lo table. Combined with the flybridge and cockpit, this is the third dining table aboard.

The dash at the starboard-side helm has room for twin multi-function displays, a VHF, Volvo’s engine display, an autopilot interface, toggle switches, engine throttles and the joystick on the outboard console. Visibility is excellent all around via the large arched windows. The side windows even open for air and communication with anyone on deck or at the dock.

Inside, the 54 Cantius Fly is much like the 54 express-style version except that it’s missing the large sunroof, which was eliminated when the flybridge was added.

Below, the accommodations are stately. The full-beam master has 6’ 5” headroom and hull windows that bring in lots of natural light. To starboard is a floating desk with a built-in vanity and a seat on either end. To port is a chest of drawers and lounge. On the forward bulkhead, you find a 36” TV and a washer/dryer combination. The master head has an oversized sink (which is practical as well as pretty), a large shower stall, and a VacuFlush head.

The bow cabin is truly VIP-worthy. With a large centerline bed and a split head there’s plenty of room, but what’s really noteworthy here is the amount of light and air. Not only are there large hull windows but there’s also a full skylight above with multiple hatches that open to bring in the breeze as well as the sun. Owners who don’t want to run air conditioning away from the dock could migrate to this cabin and not be missing a thing.

Between the two main cabins is the atrium, as Cruisers calls it. This central foyer comes in two flavors: an optional sofa lounge to starboard and cabinetry, a TV and a wine cooler to port, or the standard layout with a third cabin offering over/under bunks. Throughout the entire interior are designer touches such as crushed velvet wall coverings, brushed aluminum light strips, and durable engineered wood cabin soles.

The Cantius 54 Fly is a nicely-sized option when the 48 Cantius is too small but the 60 is too big. Also, the new flybridge expands on the idea of outdoor living and shows that Cruisers Yachts really understands how we like to spend time aboard boats.