Linssen Grand Sturdy 52.9 review

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.

Linssen Grand Sturdy 52.9 AC Wheelhouse saloon

Linssen Grand Sturdy 52.9 AC Wheelhouse saloon

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.

Performance

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.

Linssen Grand Sturdy 52.9 AC Wheelhouse master cabin

Linssen Grand Sturdy 52.9 AC Wheelhouse master cabin

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.

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.

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Pros

  • Wheelhouse & Variotop versions
  • Sociable & practical open-plan galley
  • Generous headroom & berth lengths
  • Double glazing, underfloor heating etc

Cons

  • Dinette feels a little claustrophobic

Price as reviewed:

£1,270,000 inc UK VAT

Verdict

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.

Details

Length: 53ft 6in (16.30m)
Beam: 16ft 10in (5.13m)
Fuel capacity: 506 imp gal (2,300 litres)
Water capacity: 220 imp gal (1,000 litres)
Draught: 4ft 5in (1.35m)
Air draught: 12ft 6in (3.80m)
RCD Category: A (for 12 people)
Displacement: 32 tonnes
Test engines: Twin Volvo Penta D4 180hp
Top speed: 10 knots
Cruising speed: 8 knots
Range: 736 miles (at 8 knots)

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