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Old 10-09-2019, 08:52   #1
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Jeanneau 54 DS debate

We are live aboard sailors in between boats at the moment, a ton of miles behind us and experience.
The debate is between a typical heavy displacement (Oyster, Bristol, Amel) type boat, and ( believe it or not) a Jeanneau 54 DS with tall rig and deep draft.
Has anyone got any live aboard experience on this vessel and can offer some thoughts to stability and comfort on ocean crossings, not just living at anchor. We actually DO sail, and are looking at long term, not just for a few years.
The DS is a comfortable vessel inside, we just wonder about its weight and stability on long rough passages.
Any thoughts and experience on this vessel ( not armchair) would be appreciated.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:37   #2
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

Nothing wrong with a 54 DS for ocean crossings - perfectly capable and many, many make longs passages every year. It's a fast passage maker - nice large cockpit for sitting out at anchor which is what you will be doing 95% of the time. Only 5% is spent on passages. My advice is always to get that boat that does the 5% good enough and the 95% great.


Only thing I can think of is the fuel tank size - 410 l / 108 US gal. Might be ok but maybe carry extra or add a larger tank.


Perfect boat for what you want.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:36   #3
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

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The DS is a comfortable vessel inside, we just wonder about its weight and stability on long rough passages.
rough passages

which lattitude do you plan?
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:59   #4
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

The 54 ds does not carry a huge amount of white sail, so needs a bit of wind to get going so you will be flying a chute fairly often or motoring, it does not have a huge amount of opening ports , ie can be stuffy and those big windows let lots of sun in, which in many places makes the interior a bit warm... IE Aircon desired for hot places.



Great sized cockpit, stick built no liners in the hull, poor storage for its size, lots of pros n cons, some great bargain ex charter boats in croatia, seen one for 120k with genset aircon electric winches etc, bit of a bargain.


A bargain boat vs oyster/amel etc I certainly would take the 54 ds over a similar sized/aged oyster given the price difference.


Dont be put off by ex charter, some real bargains vs private and huge amounts of money left over for upgrading, you could seriously buy new rigging/sails and a new engine and still be much cheaper than a private boat.
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Old 13-09-2019, 04:59   #5
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

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Dont be put off by ex charter, some real bargains vs private and huge amounts of money left over for upgrading, you could seriously buy new rigging/sails and a new engine and still be much cheaper than a private boat.
The problem with charter boats is not with the equipment you can exchange but with keel, flood or similar serious problems. I can agree it can be a great deal but buyer must be very careful as these you can not repair cheap or even at all.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:13   #6
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

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Nothing wrong with a 54 DS for ocean crossings - perfectly capable and many, many make longs passages every year. It's a fast passage maker - nice large cockpit for sitting out at anchor which is what you will be doing 95% of the time. Only 5% is spent on passages. My advice is always to get that boat that does the 5% good enough and the 95% great.


Only thing I can think of is the fuel tank size - 410 l / 108 US gal. Might be ok but maybe carry extra or add a larger tank.


Perfect boat for what you want.
Nothing wrong with a 54 DS Specially because the price tag was around a 1 million euro back in 2004 and now 15 yrs later you can find a decent boat for 150k-200k
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:42   #7
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

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Nothing wrong with a 54 DS Specially because the price tag was around a 1 million euro back in 2004 and now 15 yrs later you can find a decent boat for 150k-200k
That's the difference between mass production boats and higher quality builds.... the amel 54 was about a million bucks when new 15 years ago too. Now the minimum price is about half a million euro used. My almost 30 year old Amel 53 is still worth well north of 200k euro. If resale value is something important, the OP should keep that in mind.

Also re charter boats, mass production are much more likely to have been charter boats at some point in their lives (not necessarily their last owners). The layout of charter boats is not always (or in our case, at ALL) suitable for longterm livaboards as is. 4 cabin, 4 head boats are ludicrous for cruising couples (or even throuples ) Charter boats are like rental cars...you can get good bargains on them but they've been thrashed like a moroccan mule. Hidden structural damage is something I'd be very wary of.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:52   #8
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

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That's the difference between mass production boats and higher quality builds.... the amel 54 was about a million bucks when new 15 years ago too. Now the minimum price is about half a million euro used. My almost 30 year old Amel 53 is still worth well north of 200k euro. If resale value is something important, the OP should keep that in mind.

Also re charter boats, mass production are much more likely to have been charter boats at some point in their lives (not necessarily their last owners). The layout of charter boats is not always (or in our case, at ALL) suitable for longterm livaboards as is. 4 cabin, 4 head boats are ludicrous for cruising couples (or even throuples ) Charter boats are like rental cars...you can get good bargains on them but they've been thrashed like a moroccan mule. Hidden structural damage is something I'd be very wary of.
yes I talk about owner versions for me a boat what 30+ yrs old are a bit out of interest of many reasons .
but don't misunderstand me... I like the Amel cult
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:01   #9
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

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I like the Amel cult
As you should! May I interest you in some literature? A pamphlet perhaps?

But for reals.... maybe this is something you already know, but vis a vis excluding old GRP boats from your process: The hull of my 30 year old boat will last for another 30 thousand years, as long as there has been no structural damage. Everything else will wear out about every decade. If you bought my boat today, you'd get a 30 year old boat with 2 year old (or less) sails, rigging, electronics, wind gen, house battery bank, dinghy and 20hp outboard, and a rebuilt main engine. If you buy the 'cheaper' 10 year old charter boat, you can be sure they did not upgrade all their systems before putting her out to pasture. That's partly why it's on the market. All that stuff will likely be ready for you to replace in the very near future. This was partially why we were quickly put off by charter boats, and why we opened our minds to older ones.

Now, if it is a design issue, ie wide stern etc, then by all means, have at it. Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:28   #10
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

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As you should! May I interest you in some literature? A pamphlet perhaps?

But for reals.... maybe this is something you already know, but vis a vis excluding old GRP boats from your process: The hull of my 30 year old boat will last for another 30 thousand years, as long as there has been no structural damage. Everything else will wear out about every decade. If you bought my boat today, you'd get a 30 year old boat with 2 year old (or less) sails, rigging, electronics, wind gen, house battery bank, dinghy and 20hp outboard, and a rebuilt main engine. If you buy the 'cheaper' 10 year old charter boat, you can be sure they did not upgrade all their systems before putting her out to pasture. That's partly why it's on the market. All that stuff will likely be ready for you to replace in the very near future. This was partially why we were quickly put off by charter boats, and why we opened our minds to older ones.

Now, if it is a design issue, ie wide stern etc, then by all means, have at it. Good luck!
what i am interested of btw GRP quality was way better 15 yrs ago then now...
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:19   #11
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

I do like both boats for different reasons. Ocean crossings can be very different. Normally we try to choose the right season to do our ocean crossings to avoid long rough passages. I would say 90 % of my ocean crossings have been smooth. In those conditions most boats have no or very little problems. But if the crossing turn ugly I would definitely prefer a high quality built boat. That does not mean it has to be heavy displacement even if that is the normal. A 54DS is a lovely boat in many ways. But Jeanneau do not build high quality boats.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:47   #12
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

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btw GRP quality was way better 15 yrs ago then now...
Source? Are you talking about Jeanneau? I highly doubt that is true for the market in general.

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Old 08-12-2019, 00:47   #13
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

A 54 DS was no way near a million euro price tag 15 years ago when new, think around 300k for charter company deals
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Old 11-12-2019, 14:04   #14
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Re: Jeanneau 54 DS debate

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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
That's the difference between mass production boats and higher quality builds.... the amel 54 was about a million bucks when new 15 years ago too. Now the minimum price is about half a million euro used. My almost 30 year old Amel 53 is still worth well north of 200k euro. If resale value is something important, the OP should keep that in mind.

Also re charter boats, mass production are much more likely to have been charter boats at some point in their lives (not necessarily their last owners). The layout of charter boats is not always (or in our case, at ALL) suitable for longterm livaboards as is. 4 cabin, 4 head boats are ludicrous for cruising couples (or even throuples ) Charter boats are like rental cars...you can get good bargains on them but they've been thrashed like a moroccan mule. Hidden structural damage is something I'd be very wary of.
And what a great difference it is, picking up a 1 million euro boat for a 5th of the price, how is that a bad thing?

They haven't all been knocked around, there's good ones to be had if you look.

I'm a Anel 54 fan but I can assure you they have just as many problems ( if not more as they are heavily systemized) as big Jeanneaus or other brands. I sailed in company with one for a year , several of us took it in turns helping the technically handicapped skipper with his boat problems.
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