Galeon 500 Fly test drive review: Is this the best cockpit in the class?

The Galeon 500 Fly is dripping with party tricks but is there more to this 50ft flybridge than its Transformer-like theatrics? MBY deputy editor Jack Haines puts it to the test in the Solent to find out...

You might think the novelty of Galeon’s beach club would wear off a touch at the third time of testing but descend from the flybridge of the 500 Fly to the aft platforms deployed and cockpit seating rotated out to sea, and it’s hard not to be bowled over once again.

The effect is further enhanced on our incredibly high-spec test boat because it has the optional carousel transom seating with integrated tender garage (large enough for a Williams Minijet).

At nearly £30,000 it’s an expensive option but it means the cockpit seating wheels on its base and can be locked in position every 45 degrees, so instead of sitting and looking into the boat like on most 50ft flybridge boats, here you can gaze out to sea while having lunch, which when you think about it is exactly where you want to be looking.

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It’s also great if kids are swimming off the back of the boat because adults can sit in comfort and observe. The combination of the carousel, balconies and hydraulic platform with built-in steps makes for the most hospitable cockpit of any boat in this sector.

Even on a chilly but bright December day with the cockpit fully transformed into beach mode it was almost tempting enough to go for a dip… almost.

The functionality is brilliant and it extends further than all the folding, swinging and sliding that goes on at the transom. Both aft windows in the saloon slide forward, which on the starboard side creates a lovely couples’ bench with a two-way backrest so you can sit and face out to sea.

On the port side, with the help of a flip-up counter section there is a large indoor/outdoor bar with a couple of slot-in bar stools that will no doubt become the hub of the boat when everything is deployed.

With the platforms down, the beam of the cockpit jumps from 14ft 8in (4.5m) to 19ft 8in (6m) and that, on a boat of just over 50ft, is an increase that you really notice. Boats are floating islands and on the Galeon 500 Fly, island life is particularly good.

Read Jack’s full review of the Galeon 500 Fly in the April 2022 issue of MBY, out Mar 3.

Galeon 500 Fly specifications

LOA: 53ft 2in (16.2m)
Beam: 14ft 8in (4.5m)
Draught: 3ft 3in (1m)
Displacement: 22.3 tonnes (light)
Fuel capacity: 1,800 litres
Water capacity: 650 litres
Test engines: Twin 725hp Volvo Penta D11
Top speed on test: 32 knots
Cruising speed: 20 knots
Cruising range: 190nm
Fuel consumption: 163lph
Noise: 74 dB(A)
RCD category: B for 12 people
Designer: Tony Castro & Galeon
Starting price: £1.14m (inc. VAT)
Price as tested: £1.61m (inc. VAT)


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