Leader 33 1

 

Big yacht features without the big yacht price tag

By Andy Adams

All photos supplied by Jeanneau

The test boat’s twin Volvo Penta D3 220 diesel engines deliver sparkling performance but you can power up to twin MerCruiser 6.2 engines at 300 hp each.

Jeanneau’s new Leader 33 is an amazing express cruiser with great accommodations for two couples or a young family. Superior design skillpacks in a ton of features and amenities, yet still keeps that French design elegance.

The Leader 33 is the latest in Jeanneau’s Leader line and it is the collaborative work of Garoni Design, Mickael Peters Yacht Design, and Jeanneau’s in-house design team,who were able to bring many features from the larger Leader models into the 33. Apart from the obvious price advantage, it’s a lot easier to get a transient mooring for a 33 than it is to find a marina that can accommodate a 53, for example. The 33 will also be easier to handle in the tight quarters of the locks on some canals or rivers.

On top of that, with the test boat’s twin Volvo Penta D3 220 diesel engines (or any of the gasoline engine choices),this is a quick and fairly economical yacht to operate. More about the on-the-water performance in a minute, but a design feature many owners appreciate is the great forward view from the comfortable helm seat and the two-passenger companion seat that also faces forward at helm height.

To get so much accommodation in 33 feet, the designers have integrated the various living spaces with some amazing convertible furniture and features.

Starting at the swim platform, there is abundant space for swimming, mooring, or simply stepping onboard, and Jeanneau has built a space in the transom large enough to handle several big fenders and lines. Shore power connections come in on the port side while the starboard side has the transom gate, walk-through, and a shower as well.

The test boat had an optional mount for a barbeque,which would be a great addition.The barbeque and its mounting post store under the floor of the cockpit.

It’s just one low step into the cockpit where a refreshment area is ahead on the starboard side and the test boat had a Waeco refrigerator, sink under a cover, and two water-tight lockers. There was also a mount for the flat screen TV so you could relax and watch a movie from the big port side seats in the evening.

The entire port side is one wraparound seat and there is a teak hi / lo table with two fold out leaves for either a coffee table or dining table that could accommodate four to six. You can be open to the air or you can zip in the aft curtain that attaches to the cabin roof overhang and runs down to the transom.

Sunroof

The sunroof is quite large and with the expanse of opening side glass and the saloon being open to the cockpit, you have one big outdoor area.

Very clever furniture here includes a transom backrest that folds down flat and combines with an armrest that tilts back to make a double sun bed. Plus, the forward section backrest flips over to convert from an aft-facing section of the cockpit seating to become the forward-facing companion seat – incredible.

Above, the sliding fiberglass sunroof really opens up the saloon from the windshield header to halfway back. Slide open side glass helps too,and the saloon is fully open to the cockpit.

Throughout the Leader 33, the finish is bright white with soft grey accents while the attractive textured upholstery is beige and putty colour, so it's bright and timeless looking.

Mid CabinThe colour scheme continues forward and the side decks are up three steps (with courtesy lights in the risers) to the forward deck. Cabin trunk hand holds and a very high rail adds security as you move up to the large sun lounge area on the deck.

The mid-cabin can be either twin single berths or a queen and there is a dressing area with a side seat and big storage space as well.

This is really a large area and there are handrails on the sides as well as drink holders. Also on the deck is a Lewmar windlass and anchor chute for easy anchoring at your favourite quiet cove.

Back in the saloon, there is a very large flat area ahead of the companion seat where you could fully roll out just about any paper chart and there is a glass panel here too.

Heading down a few steps into the cabin, you’ll discover the main galley is just below the glass panel, so the food prep area is very bright and also has two levels of hull side glazing and an opening port hole for ventilation. A two-burner Kenyon stove top and single stainless steel sink join a Waeco refrigerator, spice rack, trash locker, and overhead lockers to complete the galley features.

Opposite is the head, and again, it’s very bright with opening porthole, hull side glazing, medicine chest mirror, and glass shower enclosure. The MSD is under a cover in the shower stall, so it’s a wet head but it delivers generous space for everyday use.

There's a vessel sink in the vanity and abifold glass door medicine cabinet mirror that swings to reveal a storage shelf and lighting fixture - very clever!

Forward, we find more versatile furniture that converts this area for multi-purposes. There was lots of light from the exterior window option called Sea Vision. The large table stows under the floor and the bed slides out to convert to either a dinette or into a double berth. We were amazed to see that for privacy, there is a double sliding door hidden in the bulkhead separating the cabin from the head.

Slide it across and the forward area becomes a hard-walled private cabin.

Then, depending on your needs, the mid-cabin has either two singles or a large queen-sized berth as an option and includes a dressing area with side seat. This lifts to reveal a very big storage space and then there is huge storage under the berths.

Clearly, the Leader 33 features inspired design and a host of great features but how does it perform? John Armstrong flew down to Florida to sea trial the Leader 33 and these are his impressions.

Jeanneau Leader 33 - Aft deck bench“ The Leader 33 was docked at InterMarine in Fort Lauderdale where I was joined by Capt. Tony Pedraja of InterMarine and ThibaudMaudet of Jeanneau for our sea trial. We left the dock using the Joystick controlled DuoProp outdrives for the twin Volvo Penta D3’s. The entire process was effortless considering we were in a marina with very little manoeuvring space. We elected to do the trial on the ICW in a zone that had no wake restrictions. The Leader 33 tracked very well at low speed with very little correction required at the helm. The boat jumped up onto plane in 5 seconds as we started our manoeuvring tests and it carved through the water during our 360 degree turns very comfortably - a pleasure to handle. The position of the adjustable helm seat made it possible to see in all directions and the placement of the instruments made them easy to view.

In the top photo we see how the aft cockpit bench seat back folds down to make a sun lounge with a port side angled backrest or folds up as a cockpit bench seat in the running shot below.

The performance is strong and very satisfying. The cabin space and the large cockpit make it a wonderful family cruiser and the speed of the boat rounds it out delivering all that one could ask for.”

The Leader 33 is simply remarkable!

POWER SPECIFICATIONS


SPECIFICATIONS
Engines: Twin Volvo Penta D3, 220 hp each, DuoProp drives with joystick docking

ENGINE RPM MPH

Idle 3.9
1,000 5.6
1,500 7.8
2,000 10.2
2,200 10.7
2,400 11.4
2,600 12.0
2,800 14.2
3,000 15.5
3,200 18.3
3,400 23.1
3,600 29.1
3,800 32.6
4,000 35.4

Aft CockpitLength Overall: 34’7" [10.6 m]

Beam: 10’10" [3.2 m]

Displacement: 10,829 lbs. [4.912 kg]

Water Capacity: 129 gals [490 L]

Fuel Capacity: 146 gals [520 L]

Waste Capacity: 46 gals [175 L]

Maximum Power:Twin MerCruiser 6.2L MPI, Axius, 300 hp each

Price: Please contact dealer – www.jeanneau.com

Test boat supplied byInterMarine of Fort Lauderdale Florida. Performance data and pricing supplied by: Jeanneau America, www.jeanneau.com

 

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