Yacht Class n°29 (june-july-august 2022)
CANTIERE DEL PARDO
With its Long Cruise line, the Italian shipyard Grand Soleil offers units designed for blue water sailing and the 52, the largest model before the arrival of the upcoming 72, confirms this intent by searching safety on deck and comfortable amenities.
Written by Christophe Varène – Photos: All rights reserved
Founded in 1973, the Italian Grand Soleil has initiated, some years ago, a major overhaul and modernization of its range, divided between two lines: Performance (40 – 80 feet) and Long Cruise (42 – 72 feet). Primarily intended for blue water sailing, the Grand Soleil 52 LC, with her straight bow and large hull designed by Marco Lostuzzi, that which allows many technical equipment (engine, tanks…) to be installed in the center of the boat to lower the center of gravity and increase stability, immediately stands out with a clear deck plan from stern to bow for easy movement when sailing. This determination answers an aesthetic approach to design a refined line, but also the search of safety for the crew. This quest is comforted by the rigging with a furling in-mast mainsail, with a self-tacking jib, the solid carbon arch and its protective canopy and the lines led to the two helm stations. Also noteworthy is the mainsail hoist attached to the arch to free up space in the cockpit. For speed enthusiasts, there are options to increase performance: taller mast, mainsail fix point in cockpit, rod rigging and integrated hydraulic backstay. But cruising, beyond the pleasure of sailing, is also to enjoy relaxing stopovers thanks to a spacious solarium located forward of the mast and a vast cockpit with a central table with flaps for al fresco dinners for eight. At anchor, the hydraulic stern platform opens onto a tender garage.
Warm and comfortable interiors
The interior design was entrusted to the renowned studio Nauta Design that was mandated to create a comfortable, warm yacht suitable for long journeys. The saloon receives a generous amount of natural light thanks to the numerous windows and portholes located on the deck, the deckhouse and in the hull. Both the direct electrical lighting, with its spotlights embedded in the lining, and the indirect one, with the light strips on the furniture legs, are also well thought out. They offer a warm atmosphere with a contemporary design and light oak furniture. The companionway, whose steps could have had a curved profile for the heel, leads to the starboard galley. Its U-shaped layout seems well-suited for use at sea, offering long worktops with fiddles and a complete equipment, including ample cold storage. Forward, two seats surround the chart table, which is an unusual but appreciated layout allowing to comfortably discuss the navigation program. On the port side of this space is a large table that can be lowered if necessary and surrounded by three settees for maximum conviviality. Note that the settee at the foot of the companionway boasts an easily retractable backrest.
One master, two configurations
The master cabin is located forward of the Grand Soleil 52 LC with, as standard, a central bed and, on either side, a settee and a small desk as well as a bathroom, along the saloon bulkhead. As an option, the bed can be located to port, which frees up space for a sofa on starboard and a slightly larger bathroom towards the bow. The latter, designed as a hold, can also be equipped with a crew bunk. The guest cabins are located aft, on each side of the companionway. One has a double bed and a toilet, the other one boasts two single beds and a slightly larger shower room thanks to some extra room gained from the saloon. The Grand Soleil 52 LC clearly displays her ocean-going program by putting first the pleasure of life on board, both on deck and inside. At sea, everything is designed to facilitate maneuvers with a reduced crew and to ensure maximum safety for all by limiting forward movement. A great incentive to cast off.