Yacht Class n°27 (dec 2021/jan-feb 2022)
Jeanneau – Groupe Beneteau
The fourth model in the range, the Jeanneau Yachts 60 is highly customizable, whether it is the rigging or the layouts, to meet all sailing desires. She has a meticulous design and many assets for fast cruising or long-distance voyages.
Written by: : Christophe Varène – Photos : Jean-Jacques Bernier et Jérôme Kelagopian
As life gradually returned to normal and summer offered the chance to rediscover at sea a sense of freedom we lost during the last few months, we had the tremendous opportunity to test out the latest addition to Jeanneau’s range of excellence, the Yacht 60. The rendezvous was made in Canet-en-Roussillon, not far from the Pyrenees and the charming village of Collioure. And, since good news never come alone, the weather promised to be, if not sunny, at least pleasant with 12 to 15 knots of wind. The Jeanneau Yachts 60 gives the feeling to be aboard a resolutely high-end boat. She has smooth lines, with a wide stern and a fairly large volume in the forward third, a rational and uncluttered deck layout with sloping side decks, while the two steering positions free up a convivial cockpit. It is easy to manoeuver in port, since all the engine controls and the thrusters (retractable at the stern and in a tunnel at the bow) are located at the starboard steering position.
Designed for short-handed sailing
Tested with a Performance version, the Jeanneau Yachts 60 mainsail was quickly hoisted up the mast and, with 15 knots of apparent wind and a strong chop, the self-tacking staysail was unfurled, allowing us to easily get a few upwind tacks and to sail at around 7 knots. The sensations at the helm were pleasant, with a real reactivity of the hull. It was then time to open up the wind angle, put away the staysail and unfurl the genoa : the boat sped up and, with identical wind conditions, reached up to 9.5 knots. For ease of use with a small crew, all the halyards and sheets are led to the four electric winches that can be controlled from the starboard console. A hydraulic system allows to manage the downhaul and the backstay settings.
A wide and high canopy protects the entire cockpit, making this place very pleasant in navigation. A model intended for bluewater navigation will be fitted with a roll bar creating a hard-top, with an opening canvas centre section, to cover the entire aft area, including the steering positions. Which is perfect to sail in all latitudes and conditions. To finish our tour outside, she also features a garage for a tender of up to 2.90 m with a 15 hp outboard, offset on portside, which opens onto a large platform. As we shall see, this layout has a major impact on the interior layout, especially when the master suite is aft.
It has been 17 years since the Jeanneau Yachts range was created. Now it boasts more than 1 000 units sailing around the world, divided between the 51, 54, 60 and the latest addition, the Jeanneau Yachts 60. With this family, the French shipyard clearly wants to develop its image and enter the market of luxury yachts with a higher level of service and a more handsome, elegant design. To meet various expectations or sailing programs, the Jeanneau Yachts 60 is customizable and offers two draughts (2.55 m as standard and 2.10 m as an option), four types of mast (classic as standard, furling, performance or carbon as options), and of course different interior layouts – up to 19 versions – with three to six cabins and a forward or aft master suite. Her meticulous construction features, among other things, a deck counter-molding, laminated bulkheads to attach the lower shrouds. A significant research was also conducted on weight, leading to the use of a cathedral rig that reduces the weight in the upper part and thus lowers the ballast volume. She can get either a modern atmosphere with light oak or a traditional one with a dark teak.
Aft master cabin and guest cabins forward
The Jeanneau Yachts 60 we tested exuded a contemporary atmosphere and, as we entered the saloon, the impression of volume and luminosity dominated thanks to numerous ceiling and lateral portholes. No matter where you are, whether sitting or standing, there is an amazing outside view. As requested by the owner, the saloon is located on portside, and features a telescopic table to suit to the time of day. Opposite is a space occupied by two armchairs, but it can also accommodate a long settee or a sofa with a chart table. The galley is located forward, slightly below, and spans over the entire width with just a central passageway leading to the guest cabins. With two U-shaped sides, this galley seems very functional for navigation with generous equipment (two fridges, including one with drawers, a three-burner stove with hood, a microwave oven…) which can be complemented, if necessary, by a wine cellar, thanks to the storeroom designed in the floor. The guest cabins are located forward and each has its own bathroom with shower. An interesting feature is that the central bulkhead dividing them can completely slid to create a very large space. The forepeak can be a sail locker, a double cabin or a skipper’s cabin with bathroom. The aft cabin takes advantage of the offset position of the tender garage to offer a large double berth on starboard with a closet and storage space, a sofa and a beautiful bathroom on portside. With its many facets and its level of customization, the Jeanneau Yachts 60, while remaining maneuverable with a small crew, is ready for all sailing programs, with elegance and refinement