Leader 9.0A bold design for a new market

Story by Andy Adams

In the case of baking a cake, Betty Crocker and Julia Child both start off with the same eggs, sugar and flour, but the results can be very different. Naval architects, designers and engineers in the boat business also have many of the same ingredients, but the trick is to make the cake unique and desirable.

With a huge history of innovative design in boatbuilding, Jeanneau brings the sort of skill and artistry to their boats that can set them apart. Their new Leader 9.0 model is a case in point.

We have many of the same ingredients as the competitors; great new four stroke outboard motors, fiberglass, stainless steel and upholstery of course, teak and a compliment of marine electronics yet somehow, Jeanneau has come up with a very creative and distinctive result in the form of their Leader 9.0.

I can think of many uses for this boat, but there seem to be few competitors. This is a twin-engine 28 foot V bottom hull by Michael Peters that some would describe as an express cruiser while others would see its attraction as a family runabout or day boat. It's all that and much more.

For a young couple and their friends, a retired couple and their grandchildren and lots of applications in between, the Leader 9.0 can deliver an impressive world of boating enjoyment.

Our test boat was equipped with twin 200 hp Yamaha outboards mounted to the transom and with port and starboard swim platforms extending beyond the engines, the design is both attractive and practical. A port side walkthrough with a stainless steel transom gate is your access point from the dock. It's also easy to step onto the side deck from a higher pier using the hardtop as a handhold.

A storage area on the port side swim platform is where the shore power connections, raw water transom shower and freshwater inlets are also located. Just through and into the cockpit, another side panel locker gives access to the battery switches and electrical systems.

The Leader 9.0 boarding ladder is under the port side swim platform, which has built-in stainless steel handholds in the surface to aid people getting out of the water. It's also worth mentioning that the transom design allows both of the Yamaha engines to tilt up clear of the water when moored.

Cockpit

The cockpit is one of the primary living spaces on board the Leader 9 and the designers really made the most of it. From the port side step-through to the starboard side is an aft bench seat with generous storage space underneath and two drink holders. The padded coaming bolsters combine with a foldout seat on the starboard side to create an L-shaped settee.

An optional teak high-low table accommodates outdoor dining, lowers to become a cocktail table or can be lowered further to create a sun lounge. Then, from the back of the helm seats, another seat folds out and an optional third folding seat can be added on the port side. From an open and clear cockpit floor, you can transform the cockpit to suit any need including dining for 6 to 8 people; remarkable accommodations for a boat of this size.

A large storage locker is located under the cockpit floor. A rack of drink holders and a useful handrail are included on the back of the helm seat pedestal making it safe and comfortable to stand up and hang on when running.

Leader 9.0Space efficient layout

The deck design is asymmetrical with the wider deck to port. This makes going forward both easier and safer. Stainless steel rails surround the deck from the coach house forward. The bow area will also be an important part of the living space and two options are offered for the bow design.

You can make the entire deck a padded sun lounge with nine removable cushions, or choose the optional sundeck with lifting backrests and handrails. Either choice includes four drink holders and makes the entire forward deck useful for relaxing. There is easy access to the anchor locker. The test boat was equipped with an anchor in a chute and a Lewmar windlass.

Helm

The helm layout continues the clever use of space with a pair of bucket seats that include flip up bolsters. The helm area is raised a step which provides the captain with a better view while adding headroom to the cabin below. The helm and companion seats are mounted on a pedestal, which is in fact, an enclosure for a 13 US gallon Isotherm refrigerator.

Nearby on the port side of the helm is a small sink and a place for the optional single burner stove top as your outdoor galley. We expect that most owners will also select a BBQ for al fresco cooking.

CabinOn the binnacle top, a compass is mounted directly ahead of the helm seat and the test boat’s console included the MFD screen, VHF radio, Yamaha engine control instrumentation, controls for the Lenco trim tabs with LED indicators and the control for the bow thruster as well as a drink holder. The Yamaha control box is on the binnacle. The companion seat gets a well-positioned grab handle and a drink holder too.

Stainless steel rail surrounds the large wraparound acrylic windshield and the optional hardtop is mounted on a sturdy powder coated frame to be comfortable to grab. The hardtop also has a sliding sunroof as well as recessed lights for those cool summer nights. There are also LED footlights strategically located around the cockpit. We should also mention that a full canvas enclosure is available for those who chose to cruise.

A large curved acrylic hatch offers access to the cabin below.

CabinCabin

Down four steps from the helm you find a cabin that will be comfortable for weekending and ideal for a day on the water. There is a very large double berth athwart ships that you can leave made up while the saloon also converts into a double berth or can be a dining table in the vee. To starboard is a head compartment with a vessel sink on a vanity, opening porthole and with a separate wet head and optional shower door. Adding to the comfort are long windows in the hull sides for an extremely bright interior. 

WashroomTo port is a galley unit with storage, stainless steel sink under a cover, Danby microwave and another Isotherm refrigerator; just what you need for a weekend.

Performance

Performance is a big part of the enjoyment here and the twin Yamaha F 200 four-stroke outboards are easy to run, idle very quietly and can move you along at displacement speeds with great efficiency. A bow thruster on the test boat made docking even easier.

Acceleration would certainly be sufficient for skiing or surfing and we planed off a load of 5 adults with ease. Best and most economical cruising speeds are between 4,000 and 4,500 where the boat can achieve a range of 110 nautical miles with better than a 20% reserve. Top speed was an exciting 45 mph.

The new Leader 9 is a bold new design with strong performance and a versatile layout that will deliver a very satisfying boating experience.

 Leader 9.0 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 










SPECIFICATIONS

Engines: Twin Yamaha F 200, 200 hp inline 4 cylinder, 2,785 cc / 170 ci, DOHC design, stainless steel propellers.

ENGINE RPM MPH
1,000 4.6
1,500 6.6
2,000 8.4
2,500 9.5
3,000 11.4
3,500 15.8
4,000 25.4
4,500 30.6
5,000 35.0
5,500 39.3
Max 6,000 42.6

Length overall: 28’2” / 8.53
Beam: 9’9” / 2.74
Displacement (without engines): 5,483 lbs / 2,487 kg
Fuel capacity: 2 x 80 gals / 2 x 300 L
Fresh water capacity: 26 gals / 98.4 L
Waste holding: 21 gals / 80 L
Maximum power: 400 hp
Price: (as tested in US $) $197,574

Test boat, performance data and pricing supplied by: Jeanneau America,

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