by Robin Ball
Images courtesy Jeanneau Yachts
This magnificent yacht is available with a wide range of layout and equipment options to personalize it to your lifestyle desires.
The 51 is the latest in the Jeanneau Yachts series which include the 64, the 58, and the 54 designed by naval architect Phillipe Briand, in close collaboration with designer Andrew Winch. The award-winning architect, who has worked with Jeanneau since 1977, has designed the current series of Jeanneau Yachts as well as the Sun Fast, the Sun Odyssey and various other lines. Winch Design has worked with Jeanneau since the early 1990s. Their commitment is “to design spaces for lifestyles”.
The lifestyle on board a yacht is about enjoying the fresh air, the sun, and the water. With that in mind the lifestyle begins on deck. The design team has created a large and comfortable cockpit space to lounge, sail, dine and entertain. The cockpit features generous armchair lounge areas on either side of the companionway and protected behind the spray hood / dodger. A very generous Bimini provides shade over the entire cockpit. The large centre line table incorporates folding leaves to easily accommodate six for dinner.
The Jeanneau 51 features a long list of optional equipment choices enabling the owner to personalize their new 51. On the test boat, we found cockpit tablefeatures like a top access 12V fridge, a teak serving tray and, in the aft end, life raft storage. Folding helm seating allows access to large in-floor storage. The Jeanneau patented aft terrace system with cushionsprovides available lounge space close to the water as well as dock level access to the boat by the transom.
Twin helm stations were fitted with a full range of electronics. Our test boat included electric Harken primary winches within easy reach of the composite wheels.Placing the winches aft allows for easier short-handed sailing.
The patented terrace transom swim platform opens to create lounge space close to the water.
The 51’s sleek, uncluttered design very effectively provides for both utility and comfort on deck. Flush hatches, covered running rigging channelsand outboard positioning of shrouds,all contribute to ease of movement forward on the wide side decks. The test boat had a split bow pulpit. An optional removable forestay would facilitateaccess to the boat by the bow.The expanse of flatdeck surfacesback to the mast accommodate a wonderful foredeck mattress for lounging in the sun.
This shows the three-cabin layout with the third head instead of the utility room with washer dryer and additional fridge.
Below deck there are several layout options for this space. The 51 is available in a two or a three-cabin variation. In the two-cabin layout, the starboard aft quarter turns into a workshop or skipper’s cabin with direct access to the cockpit. In the two-head version, the third head is replaced by a utility room that can be outfitted, like our test boat was, with a combination washer/dryerand an additional ‘fridge– great for extended cruising!
The large glass areas bring lots of light into the large saloon and galley areas.
The second cabin or VIP cabin in the port quarterhas a large double berth, side tables with lighting, a hull port and cockpit hatches, and ample storage. This cabin has a private head with a separate shower.
The bright and spacious head includes a vessel sink in light finished cabinetry.
The saloonfeatures a standard fixed pedestal table with U-shaped settee. This can accommodate six for a meal. Optional removable table legs allow this to convert to anadditional double berth.A third option for a folding leaf table would expand the number of place settings by extending the table to allow seating on the port side settee. A retracting TV is mounted behind the port settee.
The U-shaped galley includes a three-burner stove, oven,a microwave and an under counter ‘fridge.Corian countertops, stainless steel double sinks and light oak cabinetry provide a contemporary look to the area. The sinks and stove have covers to enlarge the counter space when not in use. Innovative use of storage space includes a freezer icemaker, alarge drawer for pots and pans. Drawers outside of the galley near the table hold crockery and utensils. All of the cabinetry features soft-close and latching hardware. A wine cellar locker in the floor iscertainly in keeping with the leisure entertaining lifestyle!
On the port side, opposite the galley, is the forward-facing navigation station. The test boat featured a full range of controls, switches and equipment;Raymarine VHF, Fusion CD DVD and MP3 stereo, Raymarine autopilot with wireless remote, controls and gauges for shore power, the 2000w power inverter and the Cummins diesel generator that were fitted. The designers have put the bulk of the equipment behind the cabinetry leaving a clean, organized and contemporary style to this area.
For a portion of our time onboard the generator was running.Thanks to the effective sound insulation,the noise from the generator was barely a discernible ‘hum’ while sailing.
On the port side, opposite the galley, is thefully-equipped, forward-facing navigation station.
The owner’s cabin is forward in the Vee and features a queen-sized innerspring mattress on a raised walk around platform. Under the bed are large drawers for storage. Additional storage is available inside-deck cabinets and in large hanging lockers. The ensuite head includes a separate shower, a Corian countertop with a bowl-shaped vessel sink and an electric head.
The Jeanneau 51 even includes an underfloor wine rack and storage.
Overall the interior is bright and spacious with lots of headroom. Hull ports and hatches all have window coverings. They provide an abundance of natural light. At night, energy efficient LED lighting warms the interior.
Our test boat was arranged through Jeanneau America at its Houston, Texas dealership, Texas Coast Yachts. The Galveston Bay, Clear Lake area is a boater’s haven. They have it all;year-round sailing, protected moorings, large inland waters, varied harbours and moorings to visit and blue water sailing only a few hours away. The area has the third largest concentration of recreational boaters in the USA. Our test sail was conducted on Clear Lake in late March this year. Temperatures were in the mid-eighties with partly cloudy skies. Winds were varied from 10 to 12 knots true and wave heights of one to two feet. Ideal conditions.
For extended cruising in comfort, an owner can select the available combination washer/dryer.
As a cruising boat with all of the comforts on board, the Jeanneau 51 achieves a good level of performance. With 18 knots of apparent wind and 7.5 knots of boat speed close-hauled under full sail, we had the rail six to nineincheabove the water. It was smooth and relatively stiff for a shoal draft boat. Reaching at 60 degrees apparent or about 90 degrees true, we got the speedo to roll up above 10 knots of boat speed. On a broad reach the boat maintained 7.7 knots of speed.On a close reach on the way home the autopilot kept us effortlessly and accurately on target doing 9.5 knots or better.
For the cruising couple or the family with older children the Jeanneau 51 firmly puts you into the upper end of the sailing lifestyle. This boat combines an abundance of available comforts and amenities with impressive performance and the capacity to sail for extended distances, and it does so in a style thatis unmistakablyJeanneau!
Overall length 15.38 m / 50′ 5″
Hull length 14.98 m / 49′ 1″
Waterline length 13.95 m / 45′ 9″
Beam 4.70 m / 15′ 5″
Displacement empty 14,400 kg / 31,747 lbs
Standard keel weight 4,300 kg / 9,480 lbs
Standard keel draft 2.28 m / 7′ 5″
Shallow keel weight 4,750 kg / 10,472 lbs
Shallow keel draft 1.73 m / 5′ 8″
Fuel capacity 240 l / 63 US gal
optional 480 l / 127 US gal
Water capacity 640 l / 169 US gal
Cabins 2 / 3
Architects / Designers Briand Yacht Design / Winch Design / Jeanneau Design
I 19.20 m / 62′ 11″
J 5.93 m / 19′ 5″
P 17.90 m 58′ 8″
E (Furling main) 6.30 m / 20′ 8″
E (Classic main) 6.00 m / 19′ 8″
Mainsail (Furling) 52.2 m² / 562 sqft
Mainsail (Full-Batten) 62.9 m² / 677 sqft
Genoa 110% 55.9 m² / 601 sqft
Self-tacking jib 41.6 m² / 448 sqft
Code 0 100 m² / 1,076 sqft
Standard sail area 108.1 m² / 1,163 sqft
Classic mast sail area 118.8 m² / 1,278 sqft
Mast height above waterline 21.95 m / 72′
optional ICW mast available
Engine Yanmar 80 Hp Sail Drive
optional Yanmar 110 Hp
CE Category A