Let´s stay with Scandinavian boats a little furthermore. In my last article you have read about the seriously marvelous X-Yachts Xc-47 as seen during Duesseldorf Boat Show 2024. There was another boat around that in many ways is closely related to this yacht, but in many other ways it´s not. A complicated, interesting story. Welcome to the Arcona Yachts booth where the “Yacht of the Year” is displayed: The Arcona 50.

An impressive boat for sure!

My relations to this brand are special. I´ve never heard of Arcona up until three or four years ago when I was sailing the Baltic Sea, being tied up in a small nice Danish harbor. Three boats entered the marina, sleek, gracious, very striking appearance. They looked a bit like X-Yachts, but they didn´t fly the three trademark waterline stripes and looked … different. This is how I learned that there was a small but very aspiring shipyard near Stockholm, called Arcona.

Some familiar lines …

Ever since I was fascinated by their approach to boatbuilding. Which was a no compromise-policy in performance and quality. I learned that this brand was successful especially in the UK. The tragic passing of naval architect Stefan Qviberg in 2018 however made me fear that the brand would lose its mastermind. The company has indeed changed since then. A new management, mainly Urban Lagneus as new CEO, who took over both Najad and Arcona as boss, entered the game and the company struck a deal that literally shook the yachting world: They appointed no other than Niels Jeppesen (together with his partner, Ariadna Pons) as principal designers for their new generation of Arcona performance cruisers. This 50-footer is the first outcome of this collaboration and I was very keen to take a thorough look at her.

A big, big boat!

First of all, she is a big-ass yacht! 50 feet is not the average skipper´s size. I understand that media attention is created best by a big bang and also that big boats are a head-turner. Nevertheless, personally, I would have loved to see their bread-and-butter size, let´s say 38 or 40 feet, first. Anyway, here we are: The new Arcona 50.

Quite a voluminous bow section

“New generation” hits it. This boat has almost nothing in common with the Arcona yachts we have seen before. I realize this by standing between the both exhibited yachts on the stand, the new Arcona 50 next to the Arcona 435 MK II, which is a classy Qviberg design (and by they way won “European Yacht of the Year” award 2019). Apparently, the Arcona 50 has loads of volume more. Also, her wide stern now bears a double rudder configuration. Another brand getting “mediterranized”?

She is a big boat!

She is a sleek, impressive boat for sure. 15 meters length overall with a waterline of 14 meters, she is maximum 4.60 meters wide and comes with a standard draft of 2.4 meters (short keel variant is 2.2 meters, performance keel with 3 meters available too). Apparently, the website does not disclose her displacement at this moment, which would have been very interesting. Sporting an upwind sails area of 63 square meters with Genoa, some 57 square meters with self-tacking jib. I walk up and down this impressive yacht and finally enter her wide, open cockpit.

Mediterranean cruising

… that´s what I am thinking of when I place myself behind one of her wheels. This feels a bit odd since Arcona´s yachts always sported a “racier” layout with working and Jib-winches on their classic locations next to companionway, on the coamings and back aft. On the Arcona 50 however the layout is handy for a single skilled helmsman who is operating all four winches from abaft.

A “Mediterranean” cockpit

All lines are fed aft hidden underneath the GRP-panels, there is no “bothering” of guests with ropework whatsoever. The cockpit is wide and provides for large benches. In the middle to static cockpit tables with folding tabletops are mounted. I loved the feature of a foldaway “sunk in” table on the Arcona 435, on this yacht I guess creating a free open workspace for a race crew is not a criterium anymore. In any case, this is a nice huge lounge-cockpit for many people.

Steering post & winches

The steering posts are modern and mounted in a sharp angle. This contributes to an aggressive look. 9 inch chart plotter displays, secondary displays (at least for the starboard main post), bow thruster controls and electronic engine throttles are also mounted here. Note the electric winch controls directly at the helm station, not at the winches anymore.

Main sails trimming

There are also some nice features like the recessed mainsheet traveler, which I am so glad Arcona retained for main sail trimming and did not sacrifice it for the sake of even more “Mediterranean style”. In this, a very important and powerful tool for fine tuning the main sail can be utilized by the skipper and crew, on the other hand, the risk of hurting one´s toes by stumbling upon the traveler is minimized. I just wonder how you clean this recess or get out stuff that falls in?

Keeping clean lines

Also recessed and a nice feature is the sprayhood on this yacht. The whole canvas is hidden under a foldaway deck-part that apparently hides the complete sprayhood. This is seldom seen on boats and surely some hustle to construct and build, but it for sure enhances the beauty and the lines of the boat when sailing without sprayhood up, skippers will love this.

The huge chain locker

A bit odd though I found the solution for the anchor chain in the bow. Again, nice work on hiding the chain underneath the deck so that everything is tidy, but it felt slightly odd to see that the whole chain is stored into a dedicated locker that is mounted at the starboard side wall of the bow compartment.

All weight to starboard?

I don´t know how many kilograms the chain will weigh, but I would always put the chain´s weight onto the central middle axis of the yacht. Maybe (and I hope they did it) the designers thought this through and added a counterweight (batteries, tanks et cetera) to the port side so that the weight is distributed evenly. I just never have seen it done that way and this struck my mind.

Light-suffused, modern, welcoming: Arcona 50 interior

Let´s go down below. I always loved Arcona boats for the class, Scandinavian approach especially in interior design. These are modern yachts but they also retained at least echoes from the “good old yachting-days”, with a dedicated chart table and nav station, classy wooden interior and generally a feel-good atmosphere.

Welcome to Salon Arcona

The new Arcona is a completely new generation of ship. Once and for all, the Qviberg-era is over and this boat leaves no doubt in this. On the contrary, her interior is very modern and suits perfectly well into the current style in yachting. I can clearly see the new handwriting, that is the influence of X-Yachts-founder Niels Jeppesen and his partner.

View abaft

The combination of a light Oak furniture interior with a darker colored floor is something I love and suggest to my own clients too. I´m glad that the owner of this yacht apparently has the same taste. The dark floor kind of “grounds” the boat and provides for some contrast, which is nice to look at.

2-seater and nav-station

The layout of the interior is quite classy: A U-shaped dinner settee around a table, vis-à-vis a large two-seater sofa. I honestly do not like the poofs, the like of which is installed on the Arcona 50 to provide for an additional guest at the dinner table. I think this always in the way, more so when the boat sails with some considerable heeling. If you really have “full house” on board and need fifth seat, there are better solution with portable and stowaway-poofs. Anyway, having such a stool on the other hand provides for additional stowage and is the perfect place to put life jackets.

The pivoting chair

In front of the day bath, Arcona has fitted a nav station with a pivoting seat for the skipper. This is a great idea for my own boat, I instantly thought as it saves space. Again, it´s a bit odd that on a 50-footer there´s apparently no space for a dedicated skipper´s seat at the chart table, on the other hand, as I wrote earlier, this is another sign that Arcona once and for all arrived in the world of very modern boats.

Cruising and living aboard the Arcona 50

The L-shaped galley is exemplary. The stowage available to the ship´s cook is huge. The worktop-area, sink and (huge!) fridge/freezer-volume will make the crew rejoice. I don´t see any problem food-wise for this yacht when used on a longer trip. A nice detail are the two opening hatches to get rid of water vapor or cooking odors, other boats just have one.

A large, large galley: Nice!

We´ve talked about the dinner corner around the large table. What strikes me here is the decision of the designers to have unusually wide cushions. The settee certainly offers maximum comfort and will be great to be seated her, to lounge, talk and of course eat. It is so cozy, rarely seen on yachts. But I can see – especially the well-fed crew mates – having some trouble to fit themselves behind the table.

Very cozy, but a bit narrow

I don´t want to say it´s “cramped”, but slightly odd to have a large boat as the Arcona 50 where space seems to be missing. Anyways, this is crying on a very high level, the furniture quality, the joinery itself and more over the cushions feel very, very nice. The smell inside is awesome (they should offer this as a little tree air refresher for the owner´s car …) and if you like it, the solution to add many, many little cubicles for stowage to the frontal bulkhead creates a completely new impression of light and feeling of depth in the salon.

The owner´s refuge

Looking into the cabins, the owner´s front cabin is surprisingly simple. No overacting luxury, no design-overkill, just a nicely proportioned cabin with a half island bed, two hull windows (which for my taste could have been put 20 centimeters lower so that one could look outside while laying in bed) and two large skylight hatches. There will be lots of natural light in this cabin, which always is a good thing.

I like the atmosphere here

A bit “warmer”, again a surprise, because of the utilization of much more wooden surface and less light canvas-covered panels, are the aft cabins. They appear much cozier and (maybe this is because of the low light situation in the exhibition hall) instantly make me feel like getting undressed and enjoy a tight sleep after a long watch outside. I very much liked the aft cabins.

This can be done better

A small detail, I know, but it feels so off because I wouldn´t have expected this on an Arcona, are the floorboards. Squeaking boards are a pain in the ass, I know, and I must confess we regularly have an issue with these on our own products. So, fixing the floorboards may be one clever solution to this problem, but … it doesn´t look really nice. Also, Arcona puts so much effort into the joinery, but the grain on the floorboards is not continuous. Maybe they can put a little effort into this for the following units.

Do I like the new Arcona approach?

So, what´s my overall impression? I was scattering around a load of advance praise when I heard that Niels Jeppesen (and Mrs. Pons of course) had been chosen to continue the legacy of Stefan Qviberg, taking the brand Arcona into a new era. Which is clearly what they did. This boat is a stunning and beautiful 50-footer and I am sure she will be sailing quite nicely. Anybody hoping to see a “copy” of Qviberg won´t be satisfied: This is a completely new yacht, rarely any similarities to the Arcona you might be used to.


In this, I stand there outside below the yacht and look intensively at the new boat. I must admit, I would have loved to see a pumped up version of the marvelous Arcona 465, which I absolutely admire. Instead, I can see a lot of similarities in design to X-Yachts, which is totally understandable. Before I make my decision, I decide to leave it as this and maybe wait for the next boat – maybe a smaller boat and some more “getting used to the new environment” will help Jeppesen/Pons to free themselves from the X-past and define a new, iconic and standalone style for Arcona.


Arcona yachts articles you might find interesting to read:

One of the last interviews with Stefan Qviberg, Arcona mastermind

Talking to Torgny Jansson, then boss of Arcona Yachts

Aboard the Arcona 435 (year 2019): True sailing!