Fjord was one of the early adopters of the wedge-shaped open designs with vertical bows that have become all the rage. The company was founded in the 1950s by Norwegian Alf Richard Bjerke and made its name as a builder of fast, lightweight motor yachts, thanks to the naval architecture by British designer Patrick Banfield. HanseYachts acquired the brand in 2005, but its angular lines, square stern and vertical bow remained Fjord’s signature styling details.
Other production and semi-custom builders have also found a following with the barebones, utilitarian look. While larger custom superyacht makers haven’t gone wholeheartedly with the triangular shape, many have adopted features like the vertical bow.
Fjord’s new 53XL flagship will be making its world debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival next month. The 53XL will be competing with models like the Pardo 50, Solaris 48 Power, Wallytender 48 and Vanquish V52. But the new Fjord has one thing the others don’t: An open-plan owner’s suite and twin stateroom and—drumroll, please—a crew cabin accessed directly from the cockpit. Owners can also opt for other interior layouts as well as colors and trims.
The German builder has also become a master at incorporating T-tops into their boats for functional use in inclement weather or extreme sun, but still leaving the boat open to the elements.
Other noteworthy features include an aft sun pad mounted on hydraulic rams. That section lifts to reveal a tender garage. The T-top extends back over the cockpit and the outside galley, while the three-person helm is a cool feature that suits this fast, open boat. A sun awning extends the shade to cover the rear sun pad. There’s also a dinette for nine guests to enjoy alfresco meals. A large swim platform provides convenient access to the water for those looking to enjoy water sports at anchor.
Twin Volvo IPS800s give the Fjord 53XL a top speed of 34 knots.