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Absolute 55 Fly (2013-)

Currently no test results

Brief Summary

The Absolute 55 Fly may at first glance look like just another mid-size express cruiser with a "sunbathing" flying bridge stuck on top of the coach roof, but when we drilled down into the bones of this vessel we found a lot to like. She can truly be a cruising vessel that couple could live on for the summer, both to cruise most anywhere, but also to entertain aboard in lavish style. She is not a megayacht, but she can fulfill most of the functions of one with grace and at a fraction of the cost.

Key Features

  • Full beam master stateroom
  • Volvo IPS with Joystick control
  • Stainless steel salon doors
  • Unique galley-up configuration
  • Large hull and salon windows
  • Stainless steel bridge venturi
  • Opening side door at lower helm
  • Bridge wet bar with fridge and sink


Length Overall 54' 3'' / 16.55 m
Beam 15' 3''
4.65 m
Dry Weight 47,600 lbs.
23.8 t
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 4' 7''
1.39 m
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom N/A
Bridge Clearance N/A
Fuel Capacity 500 gal.
1,900 L
Water Capacity 148 gal.
560 L
Total Weight N/A

Engine Options

Tested Engine Currently no test results
Std. Power N/A
Opt. Power 2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600
3 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS900
2 x 600-hp Volvo Penta IPS800
2 x 700-hp Volvo Penta IPS900

Captain's Report

Snapshot Review--

Absolute 55 Fly

The Absolute 55 Fly is 54'7" (16.65 m) LOA with a 15'2" (4.65 m) beam and comes with twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 diesels as standard power. She has 3 staterooms and 2 heads. Note the hardtop.

Mission of the Absolute 55 Fly

By creating a motoryacht that has a LOA of almost 55' (16.65 m) and a beam of 15'2" (4.65 m), Absolute has built a boat that is about as small as possible and still has virtually all of the functions of a megayacht. Because she is large inside with at least five venues for living, she can be lived aboard for two or three months at a time without giving most boaters we know cabin fever.
She has four outdoor venues for sunning and entertaining and for that reason, she'll fit in well along the Riviera in season. Her huge aft deck and flying bridge are designed for serious entertaining for two dozen people or more. With her modified-V hull she will be comfortable offshore at speed, and a large range of optional engines will permit owners to go as fast as they could reasonably want.

Absolute 55 Fly

Bird's eye view of the flying bridge of the Absolute 55 Fly.

Absolute 55 Fly

Main deck layout plan. Note the size of the U-shaped sofa forward and the ample seating on the aft deck.

Absolute 55 Fly

Accommodations deck and engine room. Note the size of the beds.

Major Features

We like this boat because she incorporates most of the functions of a far larger vessel in a size that is affordable for successful entrepreneurs and business executives. Her size and joystick pod drives make her easy to handle and no captain is needed on this boat for any owner/operator with a modicum of experience in virtually a smaller boat. Attributes of the Absolute 55 Fly which catch our eye are--

Large Deckhouse.

This space measures approximately 19.75' x 11.0' wide (5.20 x 3.35 m) and is about 217 square feet (20.18 square meter). Her saloon is forward and features a large U-shaped settee that is as big as one will find on a 70-footer.

Aft Country Kitchen.

Here Absolute has combined two trends we have seen lately in motoryachts: the galley is aft, has an island and is open. The large U-shaped settee that forms the dinette can seat 6 people with the leaf open and the addition of two folding chairs.

Stand-up Refrigerator.

Most motoryachts built in the last 5-10 years have featured below-the-counter refrigerators. We prefer the stand-up style and the 55 Fly has one in her galley. By placing it in the aft quadrant of the galley it is unobtrusive.

Absolute 55 Fly

This is what a saloon on a large motoryacht should look like. We wouldn't change a thing. By having it forward it is flooded with light and guests can talk to the owner/operator while underway, keeping him company.

One Level Main Deck.

From the aft deck to the lower helm station forward the deck is on one level, something that works better when entertaining as well as when in a sloppy seaway offshore.

Three Sun Pads.

In addition to the sun pad on the bow and flying bridge, the Absolute 55 Fly also has a large pad that cantilevers out over the transom.

Good Visibility from Upper Helm.

From the upper helm station, the skipper can see the bow and, by looking through the access hatch, see the stern.

Impressive Flying Bridge Seating.

When a party is aboard and the weather is fine, everyone wants to be on the flying bridge. The flying bridge on the 55 Fly can seat 12 adults.

Absolute 55 Fly

The upper helm has virtually all of the instruments as found below. There are two bucket seats so that the skipper and a companion can both enjoy the tasks of piloting.

Distinguishing Features

To our mind the most distinguishing features about the Absolute 55 Fly cannot easily be put in bullet points -- it is the overall gestalt of the boat that we like. Its spaces are all large and fully functional, yet it they all fit into a boat of 55' (16.65 m) with a 15'2" (4.65 m) beam which is on the narrow side. Absolute has accomplished a neat trick because less beam means less weight, less water resistance and faster speeds with the same power. Here are some other distinguishing features--

Huge Master Stateroom.

The 55 Fly has about 180 square feet (16.72 square meters) of deck space, including the head, in the master stateroom. This is remarkably large for a 55' boat, particularly one with a 15'2" (4.65 m) beam.

Large Beds.

Both the master and the VIP beds are larger than queen size making them unusual on any size boat.

Good Headroom in the Mid-Cabin Master.

By cleverly dropping the center of the master cabin between the boat's stringers, the builder has been able to provide ample headroom where it is sometimes limited this far back in the boat.

Fully Covered Aft Deck.

By bringing the flying bridge all the way back to the transom, the aft deck is completely protected from overhead sun and rain. It also means that the aft deck can be surrounded in polycarbonate material to create an enclosed aft deck for three season boating.

2 Engines or 3?

Absolute offers a range of Volvo Penta IPS diesels systems from twin 435-hp IPS600s to twin 700-hp IPS900s. It also offers three IPS600s. We have not tested the boat so cannot comment on her performance. Absolute says that with twin IPS900 700-hp D11 Volvo Penta engines she has a best cruising speed of 25 knots burning 39.63 gph.

Side Door for the Skipper.

Rarely on this size and type boat do we see a side door adjacent to the helm. This exit is a real plus for short-handing boating.

Crew Cabin.

Most 55' boats do not have a separate crew cabin.

Absolute 55 Fly

The Absolute 55 Fly has a lot of motoryacht functionality in a size of boat that is easy to handle by an owner/operator.



Every boat is a compromise and this one is no exception. It is obvious from the drawings on this page that the engine room is tight. Beyond that, until we get aboard the boat and test her we cannot offer much informed guidance. However, we should note that minimizing the size of the engine compartment is a growing trend amongst most boat builders in class and it is no doubt due to buyer preferences.
Likewise, she does not have a lazerette for storing all of the "stuff" that every boat seems to accumulate, much of it actually needed. The obvious solution is to eliminate the crew quarters and use that as storage space.

Crew on a 55-footer?

This is, after all, only a 55' boat which is easy to handle by any owner/operator with a little bit of experience -- particularly because it has an IPS joystick. While it's nice to have a crew along on a cruise to wash down the boat at night, handle fenders and run errands ashore, that may be a luxury that will have to wait for a larger boat.
There is another possible solution: take out one of the single berths in the guest stateroom and install a toilet under a seat and put a fold-down sink on the fore-and-aft bulkhead. By installing a Pullman berth the cabin can still be used by two people.

The Flying Bridge Exposure.

Regular readers know that that we like higher bulwarks on a flying bridge than what the 55 Fly has. But her heights of railings and seat backs meet ABYC and CE standards for having a rail or seat back at least 24" (60 cm) above a weather deck.
There are essentially two basic reasons that the European builders design flying bridges as they do: First, making the top hamper higher would destroy the sleek look of the boat's lines. Clearly the shorter the boat, the more important this proportion. Secondly, a lower air draft allows the boat to get under some bridges on Europe's major rivers.

Kudos for the Hardtop.

We like to have a hardtop or Bimini on any flying bridge because of the UV protection it provides. The hardtop seen on this boat has been tastefully executed, with the only possible enhancement being painting the whole thing black. For some reason, on boats, black seems not to disturb a boat's lines as much as other colors or white.

Snapshots of the Absolute 55 Fly --

Absolute 55 Fly

The upper helm has two seats at the helm which is good design. The large sun pad is forward so that anyone lying there will be protected from the 25-knot plus breeze and also be out from under the optional hardtop which is not seen here. Note the wet bar to port in the taste, wood-covered cabinet.

Absolute 55 Fly

This venue is hard to beat. Too bad this lass is all alone.

Absolute 55 Fly

The sliding door outboard of the helm -- which is open in this photo -- is unusual on this size and style of boat. It makes it handy for the skipper to hop out and throw a line or help with the anchor. Note the unusual rectangular hull window treatments accented by black with round opening portlights.

Absolute 55 Fly

Another view of the bow shows the recessed seating facing forward and the large, pantograph windshield wipers.

Absolute 55 Fly

A large sun pad at the stern cantilevers out over the transom. Note the raised rail.

Absolute 55 Fly

Another view of the stern which shows the large hydraulic teak beach and the windows into the crew quarters in the transom. Note the easy two steps up to the aft deck and the attractive, unobtrusive stairs to the flying bridge.

Absolute 55 Fly

Everyone loves the fun of lowering the teak beach platform into the cool briny. This is where the yacht's tender is stowed. The dinghy's cradle supports are light and easily detached when not in use.

Absolute 55 Fly

This is the primary venue of entertaining aboard the Absolute 55 Fly. We have never seen so much seating on the aft deck of a 55' motoryacht. Note how far the overhead extends aft.

Absolute 55 Fly

An alternative layout on the aft deck expands the tables and eliminates some seating.

Absolute 55 Fly

Looking forward from the aft deck the galley is left and the dinette at right. Note that two folding chairs can fit in the walkway in order to seat six.

Absolute 55 Fly

Just inside the two sliding doors from the aft deck is the galley. More and more builders are placing the galley aft in motoryachts of all sizes. Note the stand-up refridgerator/freezer with the microwave on top.

Absolute 55 Fly

Opposite the galley is the dinette that turns this space into a "country kitchen". With the extra leaf folded out and two folding chairs, six guests can easily sit here for dinner. If there are eight in the party, serve them on the aft deck.

Absolute 55 Fly

The granite cocktail table at left is optional, but it reminds us that buyers have a wide range of woods and materials that can be selected and happily installed by the builder. Just ask.

Absolute 55 Fly

Even though this photo was taken with a wide-angle lens the stateroom is still quite large. Natural light floods into the cabin from both sides making this cabin bright and cheery. Note the step-down in the center of the space to maximize headroom. The décor speaks for itself.

Absolute 55 Fly

Looking forward from the head of the master bed which is larger than a queen and slightly smaller than a standard North American king. In the background, are the steps to the companionway.

Absolute 55 Fly

A romantic element is the booth to port for two, ideal for morning coffee or evening drinks. Absolute has thoughtfully inset a vanity and mirror for the queen of the boat. With the leaf down this table also makes an inviting work station and every boat of this size should be fitted with Wi-Fi.

Absolute 55 Fly

The forward VIP stateroom is remarkably large for this size boat. Note that there is quite a bit of space to the side of the larger-than-queen bed. The six rectangular windows in the hull side make this VIP the brightest one in the marina.

Absolute 55 Fly

The guest stateroom is as tastefully executed as any other cabin on the boat. It shares a head with the VIP cabin across the passageway.

Absolute 55 Fly

A wide-angle picture of the crew cabin aft. The head is under the bench, below the books and towel. Alternatively, this space can be used as a lazerette. Large families without crew can consider this a forth stateroom, as kids will love it.