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Sum of Its Parts: Fleming 55

  • By George Sass Sr.
  • Updated: September 9, 2011

fleming yachts 55 review

In my lifetime, a small handful of production boats have become true classics, if not legends. The Bertram 31, Grand Banks 42, Hinckley Bermuda 40 and Hatteras 53 come to mind and are examples of designs that enjoyed lengthy, successful production runs. Long after they were discontinued, they have remained popular on the brokerage market, sometimes commanding premium prices.

Among these recent classics, one model remains in production today. Hull No. 212 of the Fleming 55 was delivered in April 2011, and a number of new 55s are in production at Fleming ‘s yard in Taiwan ( see the gallery with detail photos here ). First launched in 1985, the Fleming 55 owes its longevity not only to its successful design, but also to the company’s commitment to making improvements to each hull it builds.

Duncan Cowie and Adi Shard, the talented Brits who have taken over the management of the company from its founder, Tony Fleming, say each new Fleming 55 incorporates eight to 10 improvements over the previous hull. Based on building an average of 10 55s per year, the math equates to 400 to 500 changes over just a five-year period.

fleming yachts 55 review

Keeping this classic up to date is largely the result of the relationship among the factory, Fleming’s dealers and its owners. Chuck Hovey Yachts on the West Coast and Burr Yacht Sales on the East Coast have been Fleming’s only dealers in the United States since the brand’s earliest days. Along with Fleming’s select dealers in Canada and Europe, they have a valuable, historical understanding of the product. “I can’t remember how many times a customer has asked ‘What if we did this?’” comments Ray Currey of Burr Yacht Sales. “Some of these suggestions make very good sense, and we pass them along to the factory to be considered for future production.”

While Fleming embraces new ideas and technology, the company is quick to point out that it makes changes only after thorough research and sea trials, as opposed to catering to whims and fancies. For example, the 55’s centerline hallway leading to three staterooms and two heads all on one level is a hallmark of Fleming’s design. This arrangement eliminates steep, hard-to-negotiate stairways needed to accommodate a midships master stateroom — a feature that may seem attractive but which creates unintended design consequences. Also sacred to Fleming’s design is its dedicated pilothouse, which is three steps up from the ship’s living area. Because one does not pass through the pilothouse to the staterooms or heads below, the ship’s operation is undisturbed while guests freely enjoy the yacht’s living and sleeping areas.

Likewise, the Fleming’s semidisplacement hull design, with its sharp entry, rounded bilge sections forward, hard chines aft and moderate deadrise, has proven itself to be comfortable, seaworthy and efficient throughout its cruising-speed range of 8 to 18 knots. With so many Fleming 55s safely cruising throughout the world, the company knows it has a winner and has not changed its basic hull design Likewise, most of Fleming’s owners use their yachts the way Tony Fleming originally intended — for coastal and offshore cruising. The company keeps an open line of communication with its owners, who are only too happy to share their personal tips and tricks, the best of which have been incorporated into production. And last but not least, Tony Fleming continues to cruise the world’s oceans on his personal Fleming, vigorously testing new ideas and equipment. ( See more of these adventures here .)

fleming yachts 55 review

The complexity of today’s Fleming 55 is a far cry from when Tony Fleming launched his first hull. To ensure that its boats comply with all current safety and construction standards, as well as federal regulations, Fleming has taken a major step forward in having its new boats certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

The NMMA certification process was no casual undertaking; it required rigorous inspections of the company’s facility in Taiwan as well as finished boats located in Maryland and Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition, all Fleming models will now be inspected on an annual basis. NMMA-certified boats must also meet the stringent standards of ABYC (American Boat & Yacht Council), as well as comply with Environmental Protection Agency requirements for emissions and wastewater systems.

While all boats sold in the United States must meet U.S. Coast Guard minimum regulations, NMMA-certified boats, like the Fleming 55, benefit from this vigorous, third-party inspection program. Tony Fleming must have known from the beginning that he had a winner in his Fleming 55. But only through a consistent program of upgrading, improving and refining the original has it reached its current status of a thoroughly modern living legend.

Fleming Yachts, 949-645-1024; www.flemingyachts.com

_ Read more about Fleming’s yachts._

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How Fleming’s 55-Foot Cruiser Became One of the Boating World’s Most Successful Designs

The fleming 55 is in a category of one among offshore cruisers, sporting the same exterior and hull as its 1986 debut., howard walker, howard walker's most recent stories.

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The Fleming 55 motoryacht is still going strong after 36 years.

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Of course, there have been some modifications. While the hull, superstructure and structural layout of the interior have changed little since the original design, the interior design has constantly evolved to reflect the wish lists of the 55’s intrepid band of owners to stay in sync with contemporary fashion trends.

The Fleming 55 motoryacht is still going strong after 36 years.

“It’s a lot like Porsche’s 911. The silhouette is the same but pretty much everything else has changed,” says Kevin Althoff, brand specialist with Fleming East Coast dealer Burr Yacht Sales, the world’s top Fleming seller.

Except for the interior-exterior comparison, the Fleming 55 is nothing like the Porsche 911. It was designed as a no-nonsense, long-distance cruiser that two people, typically a couple, could handle alone, without crew, with an offshore hull that could take on big seas, while also voyaging for thousands of miles on a single tank of diesel. It fueled the dreams of hundreds of intrepid cruisers who wanted to see the world on their terms.

Adding to the appeal, the 55’s semi-displacement hull from American naval architect Larry Drake has also passed the test of time. That distinctive, flared bow keeps the decks dry even in gnarly seas, while the long, deep keel not only protects the props in skinny water and helps the yacht track straight, especially in following seas.

fleming yachts 55 review

And harking back to the Porsche 911 analogy, it’s the mechanical improvements that have helped the 55 stay modern and relevant in today’s crowded cruiser market. The latest 55s come with Cummins QSC 500-hp common-rail turbo diesels that can punch the 68,000-pound Fleming to a very un-trawler-like 21 mph.

Throttle back to a typical 11-mph cruising speed, and the efficiency of the Cummins delivers a miserly fuel burn of just 10 gallons per hour, or a gallon per mile. Ease down to 9 mph and the 55 will run for over 2,000 miles on a tank.

“It’s this duality our owners love. The ability to cruise near silently and economically at low speeds, yet if the weather takes a turn for the worst, there’s the speed to get you home fast,” says Althoff.

Inside, it’s all old-world elegance and craftsmanship, with lovely satin-varnished cabinetry and teak-and-holly floors mixed with contemporary fabrics and upholstery.

The rather narrow main salon opens out onto the roughly 250-square-foot rear deck, which is big enough for a party. At the forward end is the well-equipped U-shaped galley in the favored “galley-up” location.

The salon also comes with one of our favorite features, a dumb waiter that shuttles food and beverages to the flybridge, avoiding the need to carry everything up steps. That’s probably a one-of-a-kind feature for a 55-footer.

Below-decks, the layout is essentially unchanged from the original design. That means a long, central corridor with twin-berth cabins on either side. The rather cramped master cabin pushed up into the bow is one of the yacht’s few drawbacks.

Fleming responded to criticisms of that tight master by introducing the Fleming 58 in 2012, which could be specified with a spacious master cabin amidships across the full beam. Despite that, the 55 continues to be the brand’s best-seller.

Which proves that bigger isn’t always better. Even after 36 years of production, and a price that starts at just over $3 million, there’s still a three-year waiting list for the iconic 55.

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Fleming 55 Pilothouse Motoryacht

Fleming 55 Pilothouse: Boat Review

The Fleming 55 Pilothouse is a ‘passagemaker’. Don’t you just love that term? It conjures up images of luxury yachts cruising the Caribbean, extended sojourns through the icy waters of Alaska, losing yourself amongst an array of tropical islands and atolls, or intercontinental voyages across vast untamed oceans.

Passagemakers define a nautical mindset achieved by many sea-dogs once they mature past the glitz and glamor of gizmos, gadgets and plastic fantastics. This is the real world of ocean cruising where eight to 10kts is a practical speed and the ‘journey’ is the pleasure. It’s about confidence in your boat to challenge long passages, the seamanship to make the trip alluring to all, and the comfort and facility for the final destination.

FLEMING 55 PILOTHOUSE

Richard Rains is an unlikely boat owner, and yet his beloved Fleming 55 Pilothouse is the fulfillment of one of his life’s dreams. He’s a country boy from Dunedoo, a small town east of Dubbo, and refers to it as “the town they left the ‘R’ off …” He’s been in the international food trade for the greater part of his life with a particular emphasis on exporting meat products; hence he’s more than familiar with dealing on an international level.

Fleming’s foundations are multinational. Tony Fleming is an Englishman who lives in America and worked for over 20 years with American Marine and Grand Banks. In 1985 Tony left with his business partner Anton Emmerton and commissioned Californian naval architect Larry Drake to design a premium pilothouse passagemaker which evolved into the Fleming 55. They chose the Tung Hwa boat yard in southern Taiwan as their manufacturing facility, a relationship which exists until this very day.

The boat’s name, post office, should be pronounced with a definite gap between the words ‘post’ and ‘office’, thus meaning ‘after retirement.’ Richard has retired to Sydney’s North Shore and keeps his pride and joy at the pretty little inner suburban marina at Kirrabilli.

From the deep, fully enclosed keel to the peak of the hard top the construction is spectacular. The Fleming 55 Pilothouse has a full fibreglass laminate with twin 500hp Cummins QSC 8.3-litre, six-cylinder common-rail, turbocharged and after-cooled four-stroke diesel engines. It has Twin Disc MG5075A, 2.53:1 transmissions powering the shaftdrives. All up the Fleming 55 Pilothouse weighs in at a considerable 36-tonnes wet with a huge 3785lt of fuel in four tanks, 1135lt of freshwater and 378lt of blackwater capacity.

The drive system is as smooth as her classy mouldings with oversized Silent Block engine mounts and Seatorque BOSS totally enclosed, oil-filled, shaft and thrust bearing assembly that greatly reduces engine vibration. They also offer perfect engine alignment and variable angle adjustment for vibration-free power transmission.

The whole propulsion system is so well balanced that I could easily turn the Aqualloy 2.25in prop shafts and ZF-Faster four-blade nickel aluminum bronze propellers with one hand from the engine bay.

There has been a tremendous attention to acoustics with very high quality acoustic lining and well-considered airflows adding to the overall construction quality, resulting in one of the quietest and most pleasant on-water experiences imaginable without going electric.

ELECTRONICS

Richard chose predominantly Raymarine electronics throughout the Fleming 55 Pilothouse, including a pair of gS series touchscreen multi-function displays both in the wheelhouse and on the flybridge. They clearly display the latest in sonar and navigation information as well as autopilot, radar, extra keypads, the FLIR night vision and CCTV from four cameras keeping the skipper informed of all movements around the boat.

Fleming has defied many trends by choosing Boning 8.8in color touchscreen glass displays at both upper and lower stations for real-time engine information, and Fleming Central monitoring system for the whole boat as standard equipment.

The array of electronics and accessories is endless but a noteworthy option is the five-function Yacht Controller wireless remote that operates the engines fore and aft, Side-Power thrusters and windlass for very easy docking and mooring control.

When it’s time to relax there is interactive Bose and Fusion sound which is also linked to the custom pop-up television that is located in the rear saloon cabinet, not far from the slide-out bar, full-size upright fridge/freezer and the four separate icemakers, individually specified by Richard. Powering the craft is a pair of Onan generators; a 13.5kW, 60Hz Onan eQD with a 9.5kW, 50Hz in reserve.

Besides the generators there’s two windlasses, a backup unit for the Hypromarine hydraulic power steering, engine and gearbox control backups, multiple sets of safety equipment including four EPIRBs, multiple icemakers, fuel tanks, engine controls and more. There’s dual heat detectors, two engineroom extraction blowers, two Gianneschi freshwater pumps, four fire-retardant FRP fuel tanks with sight gauges and so on.

Noteworthy inclusions in the fitout are the extra control station from the rear of the flybridge deck, a Reverso 24v fuel transfer/ polishing system, Sea Vision LED underwater lights, efficient LED lighting throughout and a fire suppression system with automatic engines/genset/blowers shutdown. There are also VHF radios with AIS vessel tracking and identification, and even a Swift 3.6 Mirage tender with 40hp Yamaha four-stroke engine (Fleming Australia is also the Swift agent).

From the moment you step aboard from either of the two side companionways on upper or lower decks you will immediately be delighted with the endearing flow throughout all of the individual components of the boat. To me, the flow was a highlight. I don’t recall a boat that has so many different living and working areas that are so easily and so naturally traversed.

The teak trim will leave you speechless; the joinery is faultless. The stateroom size and layout is eminently comfortable and inviting, the two bathrooms, fittings, lighting and storage simply exceptional.

I particularly loved the pilothouse with its vision and dash layout reminiscent of a much larger vessel. The small pilothouse dinette gives interested passengers a comfy and secure spot to join the skipper. The Portuguese bridge out front really sets the scene for forward passage, and the immense foredeck could hold a large party in its own right, all confined by the security of strong and tall stainless steel rails that will even keep parents reassured over their children’s safety.

The side decks/companionways are very wide and secure and the beautiful galley and downstairs saloon is worthy of entertaining royalty.

I could spend many an enjoyable hour or 10 with a group of friends on the huge rear deck under the shade of the extended hard top; or perhaps move the party upstairs for a better view and a bit more open air.

The only limited space is inside the engine compartment where headroom is a bit limited, but for very good reason. Fleming has designed in a low centre of gravity to increase the safety and stability, the tradeoff for which is low head clearance in the engineroom. Whilst you may have to duck your head a bit, once inside, you will quickly forget the inconvenience as you notice the quality of installation of all of the componentry including the engines, generators, fuel systems, and all of the colour-coded electrical circuits and general plumbing.

It’s little wonder that this same Fleming 55 has been in production for nearly 30 years and it is still popular, elegant, attractive and perhaps even more relevant than ever. Its design reflects an elegant legacy where you could easily image Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Temple or John F Kennedy entertaining the world’s rich and famous, yet at the same time has timeless appeal for our latest Gen Y upstarts.

One of the changes since previous testing of a Fleming a couple of years ago, is the upgrading of the hydraulically operated stabilisers to ABT-TRAC 7.5sqft models with fins, winglets and colour touchscreen control panel. The ride is also aided by a set of Bennett trim tabs.

Sydney Harbour is full of all manner of fast moving, larger vessels including the ever-present ferry systems and hence there always seems to be a considerable wake to contend with. The Fleming remained extremely sure-footed throughout all situations and leaving the Harbour to contend with the open ocean under North Head certainly didn’t change things.

The surefootedness is aided considerably by these big stabilisers, commonly used on much larger vessels up to 80ft (24.3m). Stabilisers normally don’t have much influence at very low speeds yet these noticeably aid the stability right down to 5kts. This is a true passagemaker, with a very confident ride.

I asked Richard of his future seagoing ambitions and he told me that he would love to take post office around the top of the country and over to Broome. The vessel won’t take him long to master and certainly has the capacity, with the quoted cruising range of 2000nm at 8kts. Factory testing presents very efficient fuel consumption figures of only 43lt/h at 10kts, and we experienced 30lt/h at 9kts on the Harbour.

This Fleming 55 Pilothouse has achieved the international CE Category A Ocean certification for 15 passengers offshore and 22 in enclosed waters.

THE VERDICT

This Fleming 55 Pilothouse is a statement. When I recently asked a friend how he was keeping active and occupied in his retirement, he said: “You know what, mate, there’s not a rule in the book that says you have to go to the bank, and the post office all on the same day.” If post office were mine I wouldn’t be visiting a bank too often either – they’d be much too far away.

• Superb overall quality

• Smooth, quiet ride

• No vibration or engine discomfort

• Easy ‘flow’ throughout

• Pilothouse

• Portuguese bridge

• Teak internal trim

• Low fuel consumption

• Selection of fittings and accessories

• Pleasant owner and dealer!

• Head height in engineroom

FLEMING 55 PILOTHOUSE MOTOR YACHT SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

Fleming 55 Pilothouse price: $2,650,000 (landed in Sydney, GST and duty paid)

OPTIONS FITTED

Side-Power SP155 TCi sternthruster, Reverso fuel transfer/polishing system, second generator, five-function Yacht Controller Wireless remote control, Hypro Electro hydraulic power steering, LED underwater lights, 12in Longer swimstep, hardtop with opening skylights and LED lighting, Raymarine electronics package, BOSE and Fusion entertainment systems, Swift 3.6 Mirage tender and more.

PRICED FROM

$2,375,000 (exchange rate-dependent)

MATERIAL Fibreglass (FRP)

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 16.99m

DRAFT 1.52m

DISPLACEMENT 30,000kg

PEOPLE 15 (CE Category A Ocean), 22 (NSW Closed waters)

FUEL 3880lt

WATER 1135lt (fresh) 378lt (black)

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Cummins QSC8.3

TYPE Six-cylinder inline four-stroke turbocharged diesel

RATED HP 500 (each)

DISPLACEMENT 8300cc (each)

GEAR RATIO 2.53:1

PROPELLERS ZF-Faster four-blade

SUPPLIED BY

FLEMING YACHTS AUSTRALIA

Unit 6, 1 Bradly Avenue

Kirribilli, NSW, 2061

PHONE +61 2 8920 1444

EMAIL [email protected]

WEB flemingyachts.com.

fleming yachts 55 review

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The Fleming 55 is a well-proven raised pilothouse motoryacht designed for serious cruising. Her semi-displacement hull gives her great flexibility in performance. The Fleming 55 has a range of 2,000 nautical miles at 8 knots yet, with her standard Twin Cummins QSC 500 hp common rail engines, she can attain a top speed of approximately 18 knots. Maximum sustained cruising speed is around 17 knots where her moderate deadrise provides a very comfortable ride. On longer passages, Fleming owners typically cruise at a very economical speed of 10 knots, where the typical fuel burn is slightly more than 10 gph.

The Fleming's deep keel provides protection for the running gear and stability in following seas. Because noise and vibration contribute to fatigue, Fleming has paid special attention to producing a yacht which has become the standard in the industry for its whisper quiet, ultra smooth ride. Fundamental to this achievement is the use of Aquadrive anti-vibration drive systems. 

The Fleming 55 was first introduced in 1986, and since that time it has benefited from a rigorous program of evolution. There have been literally hundreds of improvements made, both big and small. While its legendary hull design remains essentially the same, today's Fleming 55 is a thoroughly modern yacht utilizing advanced technology, materials and construction methods. In 2019 construction of hull number 250 is well underway, making it one of the most successful production yachts in history.

Standard Specifications

60' 9' (18.50 m)

50' 10' (15.5 m)

16' (4.88 m)

5' (1.52 m)

Displacement Light:

67,801 lbs (30,754 kg)

Displacement Full:

80,178 lbs (36,368 kg)

1,000 US gal (3,785 l)

300 US gal (1,135 l)

View Full Specs

Fleming 55 Specifications

View Brochure

Hull 55-213

Hull 55-217

Hull 55-232

Hull 55-247

55-260 (Two-Cabin)

fleming yachts 55 review

Performance Curves

fleming yachts 55 review

Overview Continued...

Foredeck and Forepeak

Special attention has been paid to the ability to set and retrieve heavy ground tackle on the Fleming 55. The fiberglass anchor platform is equipped with twin Maxwell RC12 vertical windlasses with capstans for both rope and 3/8" (10mm) Grade-60 stainless steel chain. The windlass has a plug-in remote control as well as controls in the pilothouse and on the flybridge. Double sets of grooved rollers make it possible to self-launch and stow two 77 lb (35 Kg) Ultra anchors. Hose bibs for salt and fresh water are located next to the anchor platform, and there are deck lockers to port and stbd.

A lock-down hatch on the foredeck provides convenient access to the forepeak, which is separated from the rest of the yacht by a collision bulkhead. It has an area for storage of chain and a separate ventilated rope locker. Each features a bitter end fitting. The forepeak drains directly overboard and can be hosed down without concerns that water will contaminate the bilges.

The flared bow turns aside green water and provides a forward deck of unusually generous proportions. The oval stainless steel handrail has been brought inboard of the sloping bulwarks for convenience and security. To prevent streaking of the hull, the deck scuppers are piped down to the boot stripe, rather than being allowed to drain directly overboard.

Further protection against heavy weather is provided by the design of the Portuguese bridge. There is comfortable seating on its forward side, which is also the location for the forward shorepower inlet. There is ample storage for fenders and lines inside ventilated lockers accessed from the aft side of the Portuguese Bridge, and double doors close off the forward deck areas from the side and bridge decks creating a safe area for small children. There are sturdy, stainless steel handrails around the forward face of the pilothouse and down both side decks.

Easy stairs with handrails designed for both adults and children lead down to the wide and well-protected side-decks, which run down both sides of the boat. Here you will find cleats and chocks for forward and aft spring lines. The inward-opening bulwark doors make for easy and safe boarding.

Aft Deck and Swim Platform

With an area of approximately 250 sq ft. the Fleming 55 aft deck is unusually large. Being all at one level, it becomes an extension of the salon and provides ample space for chairs, donning scuba gear, or fishing. The fiberglass skirt around the edge of the wide teak cap rail conceals mood lighting and hides the engine-room air intakes which are well-protected from salt-laden spray.

Shower fittings for hot and cold water, located next to the inward-opening transom door, are conveniently placed for use while standing on the swim platform. Stainless steel handrails on the transom and a swim ladder, which can be deployed by a person in the water, provide safety and convenience.

Access to the upper boat deck is via a stainless steel ladder and a sliding hatch in the overhead. Access into the lazarette is through lockable hatches, with safe and stylish curved corners. Available as options are a console for cockpit engine controls and a locker, which can be equipped with a basin and faucet, insulated chest or icemaker.

Flying Bridge

The Fleming 55 low-profile flying bridge is spacious and packed with practical amenities. Its double helmseat, with folding stainless steel footrest, folds forward to access storage beneath it. The control console has full engine instrumentation and ample room for electronics. Access to and from the pilothouse is by a protected internal companionway directly from the pilothouse, avoiding the need to navigate perilous steps or ladders where a slip could result in a fall over the side. A wrap-around venturi windshield with stainless steel handrail provides protection from wind and weather.

There is seating for eight guests close to, but out of the way of, the helm station. A fiberglass table is standard and an ingenious pass-thru "dumbwaiter" eliminates the need to carry refreshments up from the galley. Aft of the seating area is the separate boat deck for the tender and a fully hydraulic davit, with remote control. From here, a ladder provides direct access to the lower aft deck.

A popular option is the aft facing boat deck control station that provides the captain with excellent visibility aft. Complete with bow thruster, and engine controls, backing into a tight slip is easier than ever.

The radar arch provides ample room for the full range of antennae required by modern electronic equipment, and an optional fibreglass hardtop is a popular choice.

Main Salon and Galley

The salon in the Fleming 55 features a comfortable L-settee with cushions upholstered over wood frames instead of the usual foam cushions on plywood. The sole is hand-laid teak and holly strips, and all built-in furniture is of superior quality joinerwork with rounded corners. There is a hi-lo table of unique design making it suitable for dining and as a coffee table. To starboard is a cabinet with powered TV lift and space for entertainment system components. To port is a bar with icemaker. The salon opens directly onto the aft deck through double sliding doors. 

The galley is conveniently located on the same level as the salon and is properly designed to be used while underway. Either Corian or granite counter tops can be ordered. There are ample storage lockers and drawers, and appliances include a 21 cu. ft. side-by-side fridge/freezer with teak-panel doors and chilled water & ice dispenser; Miele induction cooktop with practical custom stainless steel pot-holders; convection microwave; and an undermount double stainless steel sink with waste disposer. Space has been provided for an optional dishwasher. A 20-gallon water heater is conveniently located close to the sinks for instant hot water. A pass-through dumbwaiter makes it safe and easy to serve food and drinks to guests on the flying bridge.

Fleming's signature low-profile design is evident even in the interior, as just a few steps lead up to pilothouse and down to the accommodations. 

Accommodations

The perfect close to a day of cruising is to retire to a comfortable cabin. The Fleming 55 offers easy access to all the accommodations via a central passageway. A separate washer and drier are conveniently located behind a sliding door in this passage.

The master cabin is forward for maximum light and ventilation. It features a tapered queen berth with headboard. The bed lifts at the press of a button to access storage for bulky items. The bed also slides aft to make it easier to make the bed. There are two hanging lockers with shelves, teak louvered doors and space for a TV.

The master cabin has an en suite head with Corian, marble or granite countertops and a molded fiberglass shower stall. Hans-Grohe faucets are used throughout and feature a thermostatically controlled shower. 

The port guest cabin is offered with either two single or one double bed with headboards. An additional slide-out upper berth with either layout is optional. The aft bulkhead has generous bookshelves. The starboard guest cabin has one lower and one upper, slide-out, upper berth. This cabin can also be offered as an optional office with desk, lockers, bookshelves and space for a computer & printer.

The guest head features a one-piece fiberglass molding and shower stall with bi-fold stainless steel doors. The attractive ceramic basin is set in a Corian, marble or granite countertop. Faucets are Hans-Grohe with a thermostatically controlled shower.

Throughout the yacht all lighting is LED type with polished stainless steel fittings. Teak and holly soles are standard in all interior areas.

Engine Room

The Fleming 55 engine room is meticulously well thought out and provides easy accessibility to every piece of equipment.

A signature feature of the Fleming 55 is its quietness and freedom from vibration. Much of the credit for this lies with the Aquadrive system, which isolates the engine and transmission from the propeller thrust, permitting the use of much softer engine mounts. Aquadrive is fitted as standard on every Fleming 55 and their rotating couplings are concealed beneath fiberglass covers for safety.

Another reason for the quietness of the Fleming is the careful attention paid to sound insulation. Lead/foam insulation is used extensively throughout and all hatches are dogged down on rubber gaskets. There are even double hatches separated by an air space over each engine.

Fuel tanks are made of fiberglass with integrally molded sumps to allow maximum useage of fuel. Vinylester resin is used in their construction on the interior and fire-retardant resin in the outer layers. The fuel system has been designed to make the transfer of fuel foolproof. It is impossible to inadvertently overfill one tank by incorrectly switching a fuel return valve.

Access to the engine room is via two hatches in the salon sole and from the lazarette through a uniquely shaped oval door designed for easy access. Engine room intake air enters from the lazarette to ensure it is free of salt before reaching the engines and generators.

For safety and convenience each Cummins QSC 500HP engine has a start and a stop button located in the engine room, and a PTO (power take-off) on the gearbox provides hydraulic power for the stabilizers which are standard equipment on all Flemings.

Inside the large lazarette are four polyethylene water tanks totaling 300 gallons (1,135 liters), battery master switches, and a 3,500 watt inverter. Four air conditioning compressors provide heating and cooling for the entire yacht. Against the transom is the steering system with its connection point for the autopilot. The tops for the rudder stocks terminate above the waterline. Despite all this equipment there remains 95 cu. ft. of storage for fenders and other cruising gear. Access to the engine room is through the oval-shaped door.

In many modern designs it has become fashionable to eliminate the inside steering station, but the Fleming 55 features a pilothouse which closely resembles the bridge of a much larger vessel. We created a dedicated place from which the boat is piloted and controlled without any distractions from other on-board activities but which is still only three steps from the salon and galley. Four interior steps safely lead to the upper flying bridge station.

Specially designed removable consoles provide ample room for a full range of modern electronic equipment without intruding on the engine instrumentation. Overhead consoles provide additional space. There is also a proper chart area with drawers and a chart light. Electrical panels swing out to provide easy access to wiring connections and the inside of the flying bridge console is accessed through a swing-out bookcase. The watch-keeper has their own Stidd helm seat and an adjacent, raised L-shaped settee and table provide a comfortable social area with excellent visibility through the side and forward windows.

This is truly the nerve center of the boat where all the systems and crew come together in complete harmony.

CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS

All Fleming Yachts are built to comply with the appropriate marine and environmental regulations for the area in which the yacht is delivered

    USA - NMMA Certified Manufacturer fully complying with: ABYC, USCG and EPA regulations.

    European - Built to CE-RCD Category "A" Ocean Standard using the relevant ISO standards.

    Australia - Australian Standard 1799.1-2009

    Canada - Transport Canada TP1332E 04/2010

MANAGEMENT & ENVIRONMENT

Fleming Yachts Construction (HK) Ltd management and environmental systems have met and been approved by ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems and ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management Standards.

The question most manufacturers ask themselves when considering a new feature is whether it is necessary to include it in order to sell the boat. In the case of the Fleming, we ask only whether its inclusion will make the boat safer, better or more convenient. That is why we have introduced literally hundreds of refinements since we started construction in 1985 and why we continue the process today.

For that reason, Fleming Yachts reserves the right to make changes to specifications and equipment without notice. 

Specifications

  • LOA (hull): 55' 9" (16.99m)
  • LOA (including swim step and anchor platform): 60' 9" (18.50m)
  • LWL: 50' 10" (15.5m)
  • Beam: 16' (4.88m)
  • Draft: 5' (1.52m)
  • Air draft (to top of radar arch): 16' (4.88m)
  • Minimum Operating Condition: 67,801 Lbs. (30,754kg)
  • Loaded Condition: 80,178 Lbs. (36,368kg)
  • Main Engines: Twin Cummins QSC 8.3 500 hp with common rail fuel system
  • Transmission: Twin Disc MG5075A
  • Reduction Ratio: 2.53:1
  • Engine Controls: Glendinning EEC3 (with back-up system)
  • Generator: 17Kw, 60Hz Onan eQD (European model 13.5Kw, 50Hz)
  • Stabilizers: ABT TRAC 7.5 Sq. Ft fins with winglets, 220RMB model actuators
  • Fuel Tanks: 1,000 USG (3,785 Liters) in four tanks
  • Bowthruster: Sidepower SE250 15.5 hp (11.4Kw)
  • Water Tanks: 300 USG (1,135 Liters) in four tanks
  • Black Water Tank: 100 USG (378 Liters)
  • Monitoring System:  Fleming First Mate (FFM) - Boning

Fleming Yachts

The Fleming 55 is a well-proven raised pilothouse motoryacht designed for serious cruising. Her semi-displacement hull gives her great flexibility in performance. The Fleming 55 has a range of 2,000 nautical miles at 8 knots yet, with her standard Twin Cummins QSC 500 hp common rail engines, she can attain a top speed of approximately 18 knots. Maximum sustained cruising speed is around 17 knots where her moderate deadrise provides a comfortable ride unlike those boats for which speed is the main design criteria. These high speed, planing hulls require flatter sections making for a hard ride and the need to slow down in a seaway. On long passages, Fleming owners prefer a more leisurely and economical speed of 10 knots, where the typical fuel burn is slightly more than 10 gph.

The Fleming's deep keel provides protection for the running gear and stability in following seas. Because noise and vibration contribute to fatigue, Fleming has paid special attention to producing a yacht which has become the standard in the industry for its whisper quiet, smooth ride. Fundamental to this achievement is the use of Seatorque anti-vibration drive systems. Other builders either charge a heavy premium for this or do not offer it at all.

The Fleming 55 was first introduced in 1986, and since that time it has benefited from a rigorous program of evolution. There have been literally hundreds of improvements made, both big and small. While its legendary hull design remains essentially the same, today's Fleming 55 is a thoroughly modern yacht utilizing advanced technology, materials and construction methods. In 2014 hull number 235 was launched, making it one of the most successful production yachts in history.

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fleming yachts 55 review

bclb New Member

Going to get a 55-65 footer. Like the open layout of the OR, but don't have a feel for the reliability, maintainability, durability, or seaworthiness of the OR. Fleming seems to be rock solid on those, but would like to hear comparisons. Marlow not really being considered.

BFOD

BFOD New Member

My 2 cents - Fleming 55, no place in the engine room, i was in the market for a used Fleming 55 i was very impressed until I saw the engine compartment - GB outdated design unless to buy a new, in the EU used GB has no value anymore. if you need seaworthiness, go see a Nordhavn or Selene. The new Selene 60 explorer will be a game changer. I have seen a Selene 62 year 2009, this is a ship not a boat and you can´t compare with GB or Fleming

olderboater

olderboater Senior Member

Outer Reef is a great seaworthy and well built boat. I would agree on Selene being good but that wasn't what you asked. Fleming, I'd prefer the 58' or 65' to the 55'. Fleming is unbeatable in terms of quality, although not typically a boat one uses trans-oceanic. I do like that you have a bit extra speed with Fleming. Grand Banks is a completely different type boat as a coastal cruiser. Unfortunately, things came mostly to a halt with them and now the line is being totally revamped and the new Grand Banks 60 is a fantastic boat but it's still a coastal boat, just now one with speed and performance.

PacBlue

PacBlue Senior Member

BFOD said: ↑ My 2 cents - Fleming 55, no place in the engine room, i was in the market for a used Fleming 55 i was very impressed until I saw the engine compartment - GB outdated design unless to buy a new, in the EU used GB has no value anymore. if you need seaworthiness, go see a Nordhavn or Selene. The new Selene 60 explorer will be a game changer. I have seen a Selene 62 year 2009, this is a ship not a boat and you can´t compare with GB or Fleming Click to expand...

mapism

mapism Senior Member

bclb said: ↑ would like to hear comparisons Click to expand...
seaworthiness depends on the cruising plans, and this is the first question one has to ask himself. Hours or days offshore. And for maintainability the Fleming 55 is the worst i have ever seen, simply not workable to enter the engine room at sea. This was the only reason i didn´t buy one. Fleming 55 will cruise happily at 10 knots, but yes maximum continuous is 15 knots ... for less than 20 hours. In short, to answer the question, first define your cruising plans.
BFOD said: ↑ In short, to answer the question, first define your cruising plans. Click to expand...
BFOD said: ↑ seaworthiness depends on the cruising plans, and this is the first question one has to ask himself. Hours or days offshore. And for maintainability the Fleming 55 is the worst i have ever seen, simply not workable to enter the engine room at sea. This was the only reason i didn´t buy one. Fleming 55 will cruise happily at 10 knots, but yes maximum continuous is 15 knots ... for less than 20 hours. In short, to answer the question, first define your cruising plans. Click to expand...

leeky

leeky Senior Member

The complaint about Fleming engine rooms is their height, or lack of it.
Engine Room Height can come with a trade off in form stability and windage in boats under 60 feet. I like the trade off as the Fleming has an appealing low profile, easy to board and get around and is easy to maneuver in a blow in close quarters.

Slimshady

Slimshady Senior Member

Owned a outereef 73, c 18 , boat is well built and jeff stood behind his boats. When I'm in the market for that style of boat I would buy another. She had lots of room in engine room and systems were well laid out and accessible. The Taiwanese yard builds a solid boat, with good fit and finish. Put 1100 hrs on her in 4 years with no mishaps. Hope this helps.
The complaint about Fleming engine rooms is their height, or lack of it. Click to expand...
PacBlue said: ↑ Engine Room Height can come with a trade off in form stability and windage in boats under 60 feet. I like the trade off as the Fleming has an appealing low profile, easy to board and get around and is easy to maneuver in a blow in close quarters. Click to expand...

Capt Ralph

Capt Ralph Senior Member

olderboater said: ↑ but also talk to existing and former owners. Click to expand...

bayoubud

bayoubud Senior Member

You might want to add the 54/62 Offshore to consider. Many like them better than the Fleming. Similar design and quality, with less exterior maintenance.
olderboater said: ↑ Fleming does work to keep the air draft on the 55' at 16'. Still, the ER height, while not tall enough for many of us to stand, is very good for a 55' boat and the walkway between the engines quite accommodating. Stabilizers were mentioned and they're fully accessible with nothing in the way. They are intentionally left open. The Outer Reef 58' is not standing height if you're over 6' tall either, with a very similar ER design. One just needs to check for themselves, but also talk to existing and former owners. Click to expand...

maldwin

maldwin Senior Member

I have never met a Fleming owner who didn’t like his boat. Best, Maldwin
maldwin said: ↑ I have never met a Fleming owner who didn’t like his boat. Best, Maldwin Click to expand...

Kapn

Kapn Member

BFOD said: ↑ Thx, My remark was about the maintainability and its engine room. Go inside with hot engines, …. you will burn yourself. Try to access – repair the stabilizers or genset, good luck Most Fleming owners have deep pockets, and in general maintainability it is not there problem. Click to expand...
Kapn said: ↑ Stabilizers were uncovered, unlike some motoryachts where they get hidden with cabinetry. Click to expand...
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Designed for Serious Cruising

With elegant exterior lines that give it a timeless appeal paired with exceptional functionality, the Fleming 55 quickly established itself as one of the finest cruising yachts in its class when it was launched in 1986. The features on the Fleming 55, the first model introduced by Tony Fleming, have become staples in the Fleming lineup; a dedicated pilothouse, low profile design, fine forward entry, and semi-displacement hull and twin engine power which allow for efficient cruising at displacement speeds or the ability to plane and run in the high teens when needed.

It is the low profile of the Fleming 55 which gives it such an attractive overall appearance as well as a low center gravity which provides unparalleled stability in even the roughest seas. With a spacious cockpit, and wide walk-around side decks sitting just a foot and a half above the waterline, the Fleming 55 provides easy boarding and docking in nearly any scenario.

The 55’s interior features a centerline hallway, a hallmark of the Fleming design, which provides the opportunity to properly appreciate the full length of the vessel from transom to forepeak, and allows the minimal use of steps which are strategically situated. The steps leading to below deck are adjacent to those which access the raised pilothouse. The main salon features an L-shaped settee and a high-low table which can be used for both dining and cocktails, a wet bar, and a cabinet with a retractable TV and space for additional entertainment components. A fully-equipped galley, designed to allow use when underway, is located on the same level. Below deck are a master stateroom with an en-suite bath, and two additional staterooms and a second full bath.

While the overall layout of the Fleming 55 has proven so functional that it has remained relatively consistent since its inception – with subtle changes and improvements made with each new hull – the materials, electronics and technology are ever-evolving ensuring that it is outfitted with only the most up-to-date systems.

Purchasing a Fleming 55 allows you to reap the benefits of decades of refinement on a vessel which will confidently stand the test of time.

fleming yachts 55 review

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Exceptional Yachting

The Fleming 55 has a range of 2,000 nautical miles at 8 knots yet, with her standard Twin Cummins QSC 500 hp common rail engines, she can attain a top speed of approximately 18 knots. Maximum sustained cruising speed is around 17 knots where her moderate deadrise provides a very comfortable ride. On longer passages, Fleming owners typically cruise at a very economical speed of 10 knots, where the typical fuel burn is slightly more than 10 gph.

The Fleming’s deep keel provides protection for the running gear and stability in following seas. Because noise and vibration contribute to fatigue, Fleming has paid special attention to producing a yacht which has become the standard in the industry for its whisper quiet, ultra smooth ride. Fundamental to this achievement is the use of Aquadrive anti-vibration drive systems.

The Fleming 55 was first introduced in 1986, and since that time it has benefited from a rigorous program of evolution. There have been literally hundreds of improvements made, both big and small. While its legendary hull design remains essentially the same, today’s Fleming 55 is a thoroughly modern yacht utilizing advanced technology, materials and construction methods. In 2019 construction of hull number 250 is well underway, making it one of the most successful production yachts in history.

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fleming yachts 55 review

  • LOA 55' 9 (16.99m)
  • LOA (w/swim and anchor platforms) 60' 9 (18.50m)
  • LWL 50' 10 (15.5m)
  • Beam 16' (4.88m)
  • Draft 5' (1.52m)
  • Air Draft (to top of arch) 16' (4.88m)
  • Displacement 67,801 Lbs. (30,754kg)
  • Fuel 1,000 US gal (3,785 litres)
  • Water 300 US gal (1,135 litres)

fleming yachts 55 review

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fleming yachts 55 review

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The Fleming 55 is a well-proven raised pilothouse motoryacht designed for serious cruising. Her semi-displacement hull gives her great flexibility in performance. The Fleming 55 has a range of 2,000 nautical miles at 8 knots yet, with her standard Twin Cummins QSC 500 hp common rail engines, she can attain a top speed of approximately 18 knots. Maximum sustained cruising speed is around 17 knots where her moderate deadrise provides a very comfortable ride. On longer passages, Fleming owners typically cruise at a very economical speed of 10 knots, where the typical fuel burn is slightly more than 10 gph.

The Fleming's deep keel provides protection for the running gear and stability in following seas. Because noise and vibration contribute to fatigue, Fleming has paid special attention to producing a yacht which has become the standard in the industry for its whisper quiet, ultra smooth ride. Fundamental to this achievement is the use of Aquadrive anti-vibration drive systems. 

The Fleming 55 was first introduced in 1986, and since that time it has benefited from a rigorous program of evolution. There have been literally hundreds of improvements made, both big and small. While its legendary hull design remains essentially the same, today's Fleming 55 is a thoroughly modern yacht utilizing advanced technology, materials and construction methods. In 2019 construction of hull number 250 is well underway, making it one of the most successful production yachts in history.

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COMMENTS

  1. Fleming 55: A Yacht That's Aging Like Fine Wine

    The Bernsteins generally cruise at 8 to 10 knots. At 10 knots, the Fleming 55's twin Cummins QSC 500 diesels burn 10 gph, or a gallon per mile, a really efficient fuel burn for a 55-foot boat. Top speed is listed as 19 knots. David says the 55 does about 17.5 knots in pretty favorable seas.

  2. The Fleming 55

    The Fleming 55 is a three-stateroom boat, with wide side decks and a large covered aft cockpit. Typical of Taiwan yacht building of the era, there was lots of exterior teak, including a teak-slotted swim platform. With hull no. 39, the platform was replaced with a fiberglass structure, a step that signified a shift away from maintenance ...

  3. Boat Review: Fleming 55

    Tony Fleming must have known from the beginning that he had a winner in his Fleming 55. But only through a consistent program of upgrading, improving and refining the original has it reached its current status of a thoroughly modern living legend. Advertisement. Fleming Yachts, 949-645-1024; www.flemingyachts.com.

  4. Fleming Yachts 55 (2018-)

    The Fleming 55 is designed for a cruising couple, or two couples, or even a family to make long offshore and coastal passages in comfort and safety. And that means to be able to travel to the Caribbean, or to the Pacific at trawler speeds. At 7.4 knots, we found that she has a range of 2,788 nautical miles.

  5. Fleming 55: Time-Tested Motoryacht

    In production for almost 30 years, the Fleming 55 is still being built today. "They just delivered Hull 231, and there have been eight to 10 changes with every new hull," says John Bullock with Burr Yacht Sales, which is Fleming's East Coast dealer in the United States. "If you look at a late '80s or early '90s boat, fundamentally ...

  6. The Iconic Fleming 55 Cruiser is Still Going Strong After 36 Years

    Even after 36 years of production, and a price that starts at just over $3 million, there's still a three-year waiting list for the iconic 55. The Fleming 55 was introduced in 1986. It's still ...

  7. Fleming Yachts 55 (2018-) Test Video

    For the full written captain's report, test and performance data, and more about the Fleming Yachts 55, go to: http://www.boattest.com/review/fleming-yachts...

  8. The Ultimate Fleming

    Jun 2, 2014. This review is the web extra to our 'BIG BOATS' round-up in PassageMaker's July/August 2014 Issue, on newsstands 6/24/14. During the past 25 years, Fleming motoryachts have evolved into what many experts consider "the ultimate cruising yacht.". Beautiful to look at, robustly constructed and meticulously engineered, Flemings ...

  9. Fleming 55 Pilothouse: Boat Review

    The Fleming 55 Pilothouse has a full fibreglass laminate with twin 500hp Cummins QSC 8.3-litre, six-cylinder common-rail, turbocharged and after-cooled four-stroke diesel engines. It has Twin Disc MG5075A, 2.53:1 transmissions powering the shaftdrives. All up the Fleming 55 Pilothouse weighs in at a considerable 36-tonnes wet with a huge 3785lt ...

  10. Fleming Yachts 55 (2014-)

    The Fleming 55 is now 27 years old and shows no sign of aging - that's longer than the venerable Bertram 31 was in production! Why does this vessel have so much longevity and show no signs of getting tired? The big reason is that most boaters consider her as drop-dead gorgeous today as when she was when first launched in 1986. Then, she can do most anything from sailing across the Atlantic ...

  11. 2.2 Million Dollar Yacht Tour : Fleming 55

    The original and a class act - the Fleming 55.Sponsored by: https://www.boatsandyachtswarranty.com In association with:https://www.mdlmarinas.co.ukhttps://ww...

  12. Fleming Yachts 55 Cruising

    The Fleming 55 is a well-proven raised pilothouse motoryacht designed for serious cruising. Her semi-displacement hull gives her great flexibility in perform...

  13. Fleming 55 Yacht For Sale

    The Fleming 55 has a range of over 2,000 nautical miles with an incredibly comfortable ride. The Fleming 55 was first introduced in 1985 and may be the perfect 55-foot boat for cruising. ... Fleming Yachts Construction (HK) Ltd management and environmental systems have met and been approved by ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems and ISO ...

  14. Fleming Yachts Fleming 55

    Fleming 55. The Fleming 55 is a well-proven raised pilothouse motoryacht designed for serious cruising. Her semi-displacement hull gives her great flexibility in performance. The Fleming 55 has a range of 2,000 nautical miles at 8 knots yet, with her standard Twin Cummins QSC 500 hp common rail engines, she can attain a top speed of ...

  15. Outer Reef vs Fleming vs Grand Banks

    The Outer Reef 58' is not standing height if you're over 6' tall either, with a very similar ER design. One just needs to check for themselves, but also talk to existing and former owners. The Fleming 55's engine room height is 5 feet or less depending on where you are in the engine room. maldwin , Dec 15, 2019.

  16. Fleming 55 Luxury Motoryacht For Sale

    Designed for Serious Cruising. With elegant exterior lines that give it a timeless appeal paired with exceptional functionality, the Fleming 55 quickly established itself as one of the finest cruising yachts in its class when it was launched in 1986. The features on the Fleming 55, the first model introduced by Tony Fleming, have become staples ...

  17. Fleming 55

    The Fleming 55 was first introduced in 1986, and since that time it has benefited from a rigorous program of evolution. There have been literally hundreds of improvements made, both big and small. While its legendary hull design remains essentially the same, today's Fleming 55 is a thoroughly modern yacht utilizing advanced technology ...

  18. $2.2M Fleming 55 Trawler YACHT TOUR! (Perfect Liveaboard)

    I recently had the opportunity to jump aboard this brand new Fleming 55 trawler yacht, so join me as we take a look around this stunning vessel! Become a mem...

  19. Fleming 55

    The Fleming 55 is a well-proven raised pilothouse motoryacht designed for serious cruising. Her semi-displacement hull gives her great flexibility in performance. The Fleming 55 has a range of 2,000 nautical miles at 8 knots yet, with her standard Twin Cummins QSC 500 hp common rail engines, she can attain a top speed of approximately 18 knots.

  20. Fleming 55 boats for sale

    Find Fleming 55 boats for sale in your area & across the world on YachtWorld. Offering the best selection of Fleming boats to choose from.

  21. 2024 Fleming 55 Motor Yachts for sale

    While its legendary hull design remains essentially the same, today's Fleming 55 is a thoroughly modern yacht utilizing advanced technology, materials and construction methods., over 230 55s' launched to date making it one of the most successful production yachts in history. ... Reviews. 4.9. Based on 374 reviews. Vann, South Carolina.

  22. Fleming Yachts 58 (2018-)

    The Fleming 58 is a classic pilothouse trawler design carrying 1,450 gallons (5,489 L) of fuel in two tanks, promising extensive range at displacement speeds. We tested her with optional 800-hp MAN engines and found her to be more fuel-efficient at displacement speeds than a lighter trawler with a low-hp single engine. And, she can go 20 knots in a pinch.

  23. Fleming 78: Stronger, Faster, Farther

    The first Fleming 78, introduced in 2010, was a natural evolution of the company's 75, which had, at that point, been the flagship of the Fleming line for a decade. This new 78 incorporated a longer waterline to improve running efficiency at cruise and passagemaking speeds. A boost to 90 metric tons full-load displacement assured internal ...