Life in the slow lane, but with more space and more ingenuity than ever on the Linssen Grand Sturdy 52.9
In many ways, the new Linssen Grand Sturdy 52.9 flagship is just like every other Linssen you are likely to have seen during the last decade.
Sturdy steel construction, substantial headroom and berth lengths, exceptionally safe decks to move around on, and a top speed that only eclipses ten knots when the wind is in the right direction.
However, this particular Linssen also comes with a far-reaching reworking of the Dutch company’s usual aft cabin formula.
Although this boat is only 1.3 metres longer than its Grand Sturdy 500 sibling, the extra length has allowed Linssen to reserve the roomy mid-height saloon exclusively for lounging duties, and then site the galley and the adjacent dinette further aft, between the owner’s en-suite cabin and the saloon, rather than in its usual position forward.
The designers have left both areas open to the saloon above, and it’s notable that in scale this spacious galley is in a different league to its predecessors. The only significant loss to ponder is the view out from the dinette.
There are a couple of portholes alongside, but they’re only small, so they can’t even begin to provide the view that you would get from a dinette sited upstairs in the saloon – for that panorama you need to head out into the 52.9’s dinette in the cockpit.
The fit out itself – joinery, head-linings, panelling and so on – is comparatively unsophisticated for a boat costing north of a million pounds, the real joy comes with the practical goodies such as double glazed windows and under-floor heating.
For those inclined to swap the sunroof and hardtop of the wheelhouse version that we tested, there’s the crowning glory of Linssen’s optional electric folding roof – the Variotop – which turns the pilothouse into a completely open air affair.
Flat out, we achieved a whisker under 10 knots with the standard issue 180hp Volvo D4 shaft drive engines. However, it’s far better to lose a couple of knots and cruise at around 8 knots, at which point the noise from the engines becomes a whisper and the fuel consumption plummets to give the lucky driver a range exceeding 700 miles.
Every now and then, when a boat builder jumps a single rung up with a new model, nothing much happens. The cabins and all the other compartments receive a little boost in size, but sometimes there just isn’t quite the space inside to achieve anything of note, let alone something impressive.
In this case, though, although Linssen’s new 52.9 is only 9% longer than its outgoing flagship (the Grand Sturdy 500) the result has been a spectacular reworking and expansion of the interior spaces.
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Only you can judge whether the new rear-sited-galley arrangement works for you. However, unless you are dead set on having a cruiser with the galley up in the saloon, there seems to be no downside, only plus points.
Nothing revolutionary on the Linssen Grand Sturdy 52.9 but the extra length over the 500 makes a huge difference to the feeling of space inside. Solid, dependable and built to last.