YACHT CLASS N°31 (DEC-JAN-FEB 2023)
Jeanneau – Groupe Beneteau
The Jeanneau Yachts 65 marks yet another stage in the development of this high-end family. This elegant and sporty flagship has a deck layout and facilities ready to face all sailing conditions in impressive comfort. 24 hours at sea between Italy and France gave us the opportunity to check this in situ.
Written by : Christophe Varène – Photo : Jeanneau
When a shipyard offers us to sail on its latest creation – and in addition, its flagship – during a delivery trip between Scarlino, opposite the Elba Island in Italy, and Fréjus (France), it would be wrong to say no. So we put our bags on board the Jeanneau Yachts 65, ready to leave in the company of Jean-Luc Paillat, sales manager for the Jeanneau Yachts range, and François, aka Fanch, professional skipper. Before each departure at sea, checking the weather forecast is a ritual… and this one showed tonic conditions, to say the least: a good East-North-East wind of 20 knots with gusts to 30. Decision was made to go around the small low-pressure area blocking the way of our sailboat. Around 9 am, after a good night of sleep that offered us a foretaste of the comfort on board, we left the harbor with the engine, of course, which gave us the opportunity to test her 175 hp Volvo Penta D4 diesels that, at 2 000 rpm, gives her a cruising speed of 8,5 knots. The passage between the mainland and the Elba Island saw the rise of a very rough sea… that persisted until the early hours of the next morning.
Safety and comfort for the deck layout
A few days after leaving the former production site of Monte Carlo Yachts, now called Groupe Beneteau Italia and dedicated to the construction of yachts over 60 feet, the Jeanneau Yacht 65 was immediately at ease in these conditions. Based on the former 64, this new unit reflects its best elements, including a proven hull and an efficient sail plan – conceived as the exterior design by Philippe Briand – yet many changes affect the deck plan for more safety and well-being, both at anchor and at sea, which we experienced during the following hours. First of all, the roll bar with its hood and the rigid bimini will provide the best protection because, by unrolling the side walls, one will be as comfortable outside as inside and night watches will be a pleasure. For cold seas enthusiasts, the warmth from the interior heating will also radiate in this area. The two helm stations, with a light design, have all the instrumentation required to manage the engine, the bow and stern thrusters (from the starboard station) and the navigation, but also the maneuvers thanks to the electric winches where the halyards and sheets are led. In case of heel, foot braces are available for the helmsman who can also open the roof for a perfect view of the sails, an asset when racing. But as the program includes mostly long-distance sailing, the garage can accommodate a 2.90 m tender with its engine. The transom opens wide and, thanks to its automatically unfolding steps, becomes an attractive bathing platform.
A very bright saloon
During our delivery trip of 24 hours, we had time to appreciate the amenities, starting with the deck where circulation is easy (no steps from cockpit to bow) and well secured thanks to the lifelines and the bulwark protruding slightly from the deck. At anchor, the two cockpit tables can accommodate eight guests while maintaining a central passage. Available in an electric version, the tables can be converted into large solariums when the bimini is open. Aft, the bench seat has a refrigerator and can also be equipped with an outdoor kitchen. Let’s now look at the interior layouts designed by Andrew Winch, a regular collaborator of the Vendée-based shipyard. The ergonomic companionway, with curved steps and handrails on both sides, leads to a spacious saloon where light floods through the long deckhouse windows, the hull portholes and the deck panels. The bulkhead at the bottom of this companionway – a central location for the skipper – boasts a board with the navigation screen, the VHF (one fixed, one portable with a charging socket) and the electrical panel. Next to it a cabin houses two bunk beds. On port side, the very complete galley (stove, microwave, wine cellar, freezer…) has an enclosed layout that makes it both ergonomic and pleasant at sea, with details such as fiddles on the furniture and notches for cleaning.
The master is a real suite
The saloon, raised above the technical areas, has a port settee and an opposite saloon/dining area with a telescopic table: low position for aperitifs, high for meals and the intermediate one for an extra bed. The full-beam master cabin, with a day head, is located behind the galley and accessible via a small passageway. Fitted with a central king size bed, a desk and bookcase, closets, a sofa and a beautiful bathroom, it is a true suite. For guests, two identical en suite cabins share the front part. A little trick: the partition separating them can be folded away to obtain a large volume, like a VIP cabin. From the starboard cabin, a door opens onto the crew quarters with bunk beds and toilet. It is also accessible directly from the deck. With more than ten hulls sold from the very first quarter of 2022, this Jeanneau Yachts 65 proves her designers were right on target.
Jean-Luc Paillat Sales manager at Jeanneau Yachts
“Listening to our customers”
“La ligne Jeanneau Yachts recherche un positionnement plus haut de gamme que celle des Sun Odyssey pour aller à la rencontre de clients exigeants comme ceux des Swan, amateurs de performance, ou des Amel, adeptes des croisières hauturières. Le Jeanneau Yachts 54 nous a permis d’étoffer notre réserve de clientèle et surtout, nous avons été très à son écoute, lors des salons et des rendez-vous de propriétaires Jeanneau, sur leurs retours d’expérience. Avec cette démarche, la dimension de la marque et le potentiel industriel du groupe, nous avons vite acquis une forte reconnaissance de qualité au bon prix et ce sont plus de 1 000 Jeanneau Yachts qui naviguent aujourd’hui. Avec Philippe Briand, Andrew Winch et les équipes Jeanneau, nous proposons différents aménagements en conservant la cabine propriétaire arrière, le grand succès de la gamme DS, mais en y apportant des avantages comme la cloison amovible entre les cabines avant et l’accès intérieur vers la cabine équipage / soute à voiles.”