Reporting from the 2022 Cannes Yachting Festival, Motor Boat & Yachting editor Hugo Andreae takes us on a full tour of the Fjord 53 XL, which was making its global debut.
Fjord’s latest flagship is all about summer day boating. Most of the new Fjord 53 XL’s owners already have seaside villas so they just want a floating party platform to hang out on during the day.
With an extra 2ft of hull length and a much bigger hard top than the Fjord 52 Open on which it is based, it not only provides a bigger, more sheltered cockpit but also a more comfortable, confident ride, according to the yard.
In fact this model has the largest T-top and deck area that Fjord has ever designed, while the engines are set further back to create more volume below.
Moving the hard top support from the middle of the cockpit to the side coamings frees up space for a big central walkway flanked by a pair of outdoor galley units, packing everything from an icemaker to a fridge, grill and sink, as well as plenty of worktop and locker space.
There is also room under the aft seats for an optional pair of drawer fridges. The alternative cockpit layout features a more conventional U-shaped dinette arrangement. Other options include an electric bimini extension from the after edge of the hardtop to cover the sunpad, and a hydraulic aft platform.
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Massive sunpads fore and aft, linked by deep walkaround decks, give yet more clues to this boat’s focus so it comes as a nice surprise to discover just how big and luxurious the forward owner’s cabin feels.
The amount of customisation on offer is mind boggling for a production boat. Naturally, hull, deck mouldings and fabric colours are up for grabs but there is also an enormous amount of play in the physical layout of the main deck as well as the arrangement of accommodation on the lower deck.
There are also various permutations available down below, where the standard two-cabin, one-heads layout can instead be specified with a fully-furnished second head for guests and even an additional cabin, for crew or for kids.
This takes the place of the stowage area on the port side, which can be fitted with extra fridge or freezer space, a dishwasher or trash compactor, and a washer-dryer.
With its three forward facing front seats, each with a 19-inch screen, the Fjord 53 XL promises to be an involving and exhilarating drive, and every bit as much fun as a Fjord is expected to be.
Twin 550hp IPS700s or 600hp IPS800s provide easy manoeuvring and a decent turn of speed, so you can bag the best spot in the bay for your day afloat.
There are few boats this size that cater for lazy days swinging off the hook as well as this. For areas of the world where a draught is not always welcome, you can have a taller windscreen that meets the front of the hardtop.
The tender lives under the sunpad, which is mounted on hydraulic rams, meaning the hydraulic platform and its built-in steps are left clear of obstructions.
Few brands have embraced the T-top sportscruiser genre as warmly as Fjord, and with this new Fjord 53 XL flagship, it is aiming to throw down a gauntlet for its impressive gaggle of competitors such as the Pardo 50, Solaris 48 Power and Wallytender 48.
Fjord definitely means business with this model…
Fjord 53 XL specification
LOA: 54ft 9in (16.70m)
Beam: 15ft 9in (4.79m)
Engines: Twin 550hp Volvo IPS 700, or 600hp IPS 800
Top speed: 34 knots
Starting price: €1,329,000 (ex. VAT)