JP 54: One Radical Crusier

The JP 54 has an anchor roller, long bowsprit, clean, uncluttered decks, and dual helm stations, but it’s hardly your typical cruising boat. Maybe that’s because it’s the creation of Jean-Pierre Dick, veteran long-distance solo-sailor who wanted to go cruising after hanging up his distance-racing sea boots. When considering the project he says, “I imagined a fast, light yacht” which would still provide the joys of surfing in the Southern Ocean or elsewhere, but be more comfortable than his Vendée Globe yacht was. He wasn’t kidding.

The JP 54 that’s been launched and is sailing off New Zealand now is capable of ultra-fast passages because it’s not only ultra-light, it has a canting keel, and get this-a 360- degree rotating salon. No that’s not a typo. The galley, nav station, and settee (along with the boat’s batteries and hydraulics) are mounted on rotating “carousel” that allows the weight of these systems to be effortlessly moved to windward. More weight on the rail translates into more stability and less heeling while also providing for more power and speed. As you see on the interior plan, the orange circle in the middle of the boat outlines the area where the rotating interior, rotates.

This boat may not for everyone, but it’s sure worth a look. And the days when more mainstream cruising boats are equipped with canting keels and interiors that shift more weight to windward with a push of a button may not be that far off.

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