Absolute Yachts’ most recent model is the 52 Fly, which rolled out at the 2023 Miami International Boat Show. From the first step aboard, it was clear the Italian builder had sweated not only the details, but also pushed the genre ahead of its competition.
The first: The boat had a glass transom and open gunwales to both port and starboard that made the cockpit feel larger than its actual physical dimensions. The gunwale design also supplemented the modern aesthetic etched into the 52’s profile.
The hull’s glazing, resembling a short, tanto-bladed knife and a vertical bow up front, also added to the contemporary design. Undulating LED lighting inlays in the cockpit overhang imparted a cool, sophisticated look to the space. At the same time, a starboard-side docking station spoke to this boat’s bona fides as a serious cruising machine.
The salon also had design touches that one might not expect to find on a 52-ft. semi-custom build. The aft galley had a four-burner Bosch cooktop and a six-foot-tall, stacked refrigerator and freezer that is useful for longer trips. The drawers all had chic leather tabs as handles, extending a beach-like, elegant vibe to the space.
The starboard-side helm was another place onboard that feels just a little bit different than the standard offerings in this size and class.
Twin Garmin screens were angled off in a small arc, as opposed to facing straight back, which gave them a slightly futuristic feel. Tightly stitched helix patterns in the seat-backs of the helm chairs pointed towards a high level of fit and finish.
A sturdy door next to the helm led to the side deck. Perhaps most important for the helmsperson, the Volvo Penta joystick control was maneuverable while standing on that side deck. The joystick and cockpit control station should make docking this boat easier than a conventional setup.
Down below, Absolute pulled off an interesting trick. The 52 was a legitimate two-master-stateroom boat, with one in the forepeak and one at amidships. Neither stood out as the “real” master—making this model an excellent pick as a family boat—to avoid squabbles over who gets to sleep where. For the kids, or a captain (if necessary), was a third stateroom with twins.
One of the other significant layouts was the flybridge. Absolute managed to make it look stylish and large, without appearing top heavy. The design included a large forward lounge surrounding the helm station, with back-to-front seats to port, and an L-shaped lounge extending back to the transom, with a center dining table. The side island with fridge can also double as a serving station. The overhead hardtop had an opening center window, and stereo speakers were embedded into the bridge.
Our final impression after a tour aboard: The Absolute 52 Fly was more than the sum of its parts. The boat was full-featured without looking crowded, but also highly functional. This 52-footer was clearly ready for a weekend cruise or extended voyage. The Italian builder proved that a well-conceived design makes for a well-rounded boat.