Designed by acclaimed naval architect Philippe Briand, the sailing yacht YYZ will astound you with her performance and craftsmanship.



Designed by Philippe Briand, built by Jeanneau, and commissioned in the Spring of 2014, this elegant offshore cruiser offers an exceptional interior and deck plan designed with ease of handling in mind.

As is characteristic for Philippe Briand designs, she is not too beamy, and has a long waterline and careful weight distribution, ensuring speed and seaworthiness unmatched in her class. This was an important consideration for us as we researched the market for eligible hull designs to serve as the "platform" for our next vessel.  

Fundamentally, we wanted a vessel that struck just the right balance between something swift and something sure, able to take on rough seas according to well known stability measures, yet capable of truly exhilarating performance. We analyzed the stability profiles and the polars of the Jeanneau 53 in all her rig, keel and sail configurations and concluded we had found a vessel with an AVS above 125 degrees and a hull speed (using Dave Gerr's formula) that might very well exceed eleven knots.  

The living areas and cabins are spacious and comfortable. She has a contemporary interior and and has been finished to a high standard. Rich materials are found throughout including leather, wood flooring, Corian, and stainless steel. Sleek windows and skylights create a light and airy atmosphere.  

While traditionalists may find the open saloon interior a "dance floor" just waiting to be turned into a "skating rink" in a heavy sea, we concluded that the addition of just a few handholds, some fiddles, and lee cloths would keep crew secure on their feet or in their berths when down below.  While being snug in a pipe berth can be great experience when you're off watch and the boat is still screaming along on a heel, we were determined to avoid confined, poorly ventilated sleeping spaces, not to mention worrying about hitting our heads!   

Topside, the deck is reasonably flush, with few hard angles or obstructions that could be damaged or torn off by green water.  The cockpit is very large, which might again furrow the brows of some purists who would prefer the smallest footwell. But if you think about how boats are actually used, the cockpit is not just a miserable hovel for a lone on-watch crew member or helmsman, it is the locus of activity, meals, socializing, and celebrating, in the same manner that the kitchen has become the focal point in contemporary residential architecture.


And this doesn't mean that the cockpit can't be safe. In the case of the Jeanneau 53, the cockpit is cleverly tiered from the deck to the scuppers to the transom, so that intruding water will fall away and drain rapidly, while the integrated companionway washboard has a preset half-way position to avoid down-flooding.

While it has been the traditional practice to carry a life raft on deck, data have shown that they have been torn off the deck and washed away by large volumes of water. The Jeanneau 53 provides a dedicated storage space in the transom for the life raft. It's out of the way, protected, yet accessible if ever needed.       

We did not want to have a lot of "boat junk" intermixed with our living area down below. The JY53 solves this for us with a capacious forward sail locker located between the master stateroom bulkhead and the large anchor locker in the forepeak. This space is large enough to store gear, tools, sails, and can even sleep a crew member or two if desired. 

Turning to the rig, there were several choices of rig and keel configurations: the standard-height rig (furling mast or traditional fully battened main sail), a taller rig, the standard fin keel, and a shoal keel with a bulb.  Based on our analysis of the stability profiles and the polars, we concluded that keel choice would have no impact on stability while a deeper keel would produce only the slightest performance difference at close wind angles. If this vessel were meant to be a dedicated racing machine, it might matter. But the deeper keel would exact a penalty preventing access to certain anchorages, and the taller rig might be a real bear in a fresh breeze.  So, we opted for the standard rig and the shoal keel, knowing that we could probably close the performance gap with our choice of sails. Jeanneau kindly agreed to our request to install a Navtec adjustable backstay on the standard rig, something they normally reserve for the taller rig (post script: see Navtec and Serendipity)

With the rig and keel configuration determined, we found we had to firmly resist the trend towards furling main sails. Yes, they are convenient (when they work), but we just could not bring ourselves to accept the almost blasphemous flat shape and triangle cut of a furling main sail. After all, this is a sailing vessel, not a camper van. Hence, we insisted on a fully-battened, triple reef main sail with a proper roach and draft. During a test sail on a sister ship in the Chesapeake, we felt vindicated (and perhaps a touch of schadenfreude)  when the furling mainsail jammed! And we had problems with a cranky furling main on a winter charter in the BVI. 



Philippe Briand

Jeanneau Yachts


LOA 53'
LWL 45'8"
Beam  16'
Disp 32,926 lbs


I = 62.3'
J = 20.4'
P = 57.3'
E = 19.7'

Sail area
1200 sq. ft.

SAD = 19

Disp/Length = 153

AVS > 125 deg.

Hull speed
9.07 knots

Gerr's hull speed
11.7 knots


Scuba Diving


Fusion Entertainment
10ft Zodiac with 5HP
Towing Tube
Transom Shower