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.
- 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|
Currently no test results
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
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.
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--
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most 55' boats do not have a separate crew cabin.
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.