sail_boat_review-jeanneau_53-largeSailing the first Jeanneau 53 to land in North America was a treat to say the least; to share the day with my colleague David McPhail from Boatcan made for a wonderful time. Invited by Paul Fenn (also on board) and the Jeanneau team, we were treated to perfect test sail conditions on Lake St. Clair, close enough to the Canadian border to guarantee Canadian content. Our test conditions were perfect: slight chop, moderate building and waning breezes nearing 6 knots true that drove the 46-foot waterline through the water at an impressive 5.4 knots. Steering the boat was a joy with the twin steering set up, finger-tip control and light responsive helm.

The Jeanneau 53 is a natural evolution of the 54DS. That's hard to do considering the 54DS sold 400+ boats worldwide. Jeanneau has, in fact, set off a new division to focus on sailboats 50' and over.

The new moves Jeanneau is making and the new processes being implemented are yielding a higher quality product at a much lower price. Levering economies of scale across models, lower design costs with the reliance on CATIA design software and lower material costs, a base Jeanneau 53 comes in just shy of $357,000 US (landed in Baltimore, Maryland).

If we were to spec the boat, all we would add is a 60 amp battery charger, extra 12v house batteries, LED navigation lights, and a bow thruster. After year one, there is no doubt we would opt for an asymmetrical spinnaker as well. What more do you really need?

On the building front the hull is a hand laid up Fibreglass in a two-part opening mold, allowing for the recessed cove striping and hull port recesses. For osmosis protection, Jeanneau relies on two outer layers of a vinylester barrier while the hull's strength is based on a 3rd generation counter-moulded structural grid that is glued and laminated. This structural grid is also designed to minimize weight as evidenced by the numerous cutouts in its framework on throughhulls etc., which does not in any way compromise the strength.

Fred Smith, Jeanneau's local Detroit dealer, and an affable, knowledgeable and capable sailor may have sold me on an inmast furling set up. He challenged me to release my racing mindset in order to better appreciate that these boats are equipped for major bluewater cruising (where bucking the wind for hours might not always be on the dance card and where long reaches best meet the market demand). He demonstrated that by merely mirroring the way you would trim the jib for reaching by matching the same shape on the mainsail's foot (through outhaul trim) provided a very solid setup. He was right; the boat flew on our first test reaches as my colleague from Cruising World Magazine and I sat dumfounded. (Here is the basis for a future article we both thought.)

I steered for a good twenty minutes and the boat responded and tracked beautifully. The access to controls were perfect and the optional electric winches made sailing this boat effortless. Jeanneau has done an amazing job forecasting the trends; the 53 will definitely stand the test of time well. This boat will be as popular if not more so than the 54DS.

The 53 is an elegant boat. The Jeanneau team under Vittorio Garroni and Phillipe Briand has established a new benchmark in the industry. Its sailing characteristics are amazing, its live aboard space decadent and the value quotient to say the least unbelievable. The neat touches include a wonderful sliding hatch with a neat cockpit floor flip-up that contains the control lines and cleans up the cockpit, a huge cockpit (in fact, that is bigger than the Jeanneau 57), windlass controls at the helm, an expansive teak deck to die, and the bright open interior brought forward though a perfect array and integration of deck hatches and portholes. The 3-part cockpit is perfect for dining, entertaining and, of course, sailing. The unique dedicated life raft compartment allows deployment without leaving the cockpit.

Below decks the wood (or furniture as the trade seems to be calling it these days) is well done and crafted and beautifully offset with the use of both leather and stainless throughout. The flexibility of choice in configurations makes it very appealing as well; one can choose for a two stateroom version, or opt for twin forward guest cabins, or even choose a five-cabin layout with its lateral guest cabin.

It is hard not to get excited by this boat's luxury, ease of handling and performance at a price point that's going to become the new norm.

By John Kerr

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!

Destinations

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An Abacos Adventure

Great Guana CayBy Mark Stevens; Photos by Sharon Matthew-Stevens

It’s a perfect Sunday morning jaunt.

We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

Read More about An Abacos Adventure...

 

Lifestyle

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Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read more about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

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Ask Andrew – How to hire a boat repair contractor

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A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out there, including: Websites showing repairs, YouTube tutorials, Instagram pages and snapchat streams – let alone books, magazines, service manuals, and years of practical experience – how does a boat owner know which method(s) are ‘right’, who to trust, and who to hire to do the job? In short: How do you find and select a contractor?

Unfortunately, most people are forced to hire a contractor due to a circumstance where something has broken or failed, or the task...

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Marine Products

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