By G Cairns
At the dock in sunnier conditions
After a period of record breaking hot and humid weather we had a dose of more traditional east coast conditions for our test run aboard the Jeanneau NC 795, with steady drizzle and a 15 – 20 knot south east breeze kicking up a short chop on Halifax’s Bedford Basin.
Last fall the management team from Dartmouth based Seamasters Services Limited, Chris Mills and Tara Mills along with sales manager Dave Trott, had an introduction to Jeanneau’s NC line at Yamaha’s fall gathering in Ontario. The boat was the new NC 895 and the group were immediately impressed, not just with the boat’s performance, but also by the light, airy yet fully protected inside steering. Here they thought, was a boat for the Maritimes.
Unlike most boats imported to this region which are American designs, the Jeanneau line of boats was developed in Northern Europe, where the open waters are cold and often challenging. As we headed out the narrow channel which connects Seamasters’ marina with Bedford Basin, the benefit of the enclosed wheelhouse was immediately apparent. Off came the raingear and on went the windshield wiper. One is struck right away by the excellent 360-degree visibility from the helm thanks to the broad forward windshield, which does not have mullions, and the low side windows. Sliders on the windows, a ¾ opening aft door and a large overhead hatch all contribute to the open feeling.
As we headed out to open part of the Basin the boat felt the short chop, but as we powered up, the deep V began to smooth out the bumps. Powered by a quiet 200hp Yamaha, the 795 was up on the plane in short order with very little bow rise. An easy cruise seemed to be about 20 knots and 4,000 RPM depending on wind and sea, with the Yamaha showing a fuel burn of 7 GPH.
Finding some smooth water on the lee side of the Basin, we saw 33 knots at 5,500 RPM. The engine was brand new, so we had to be gentle on the throttle, but at this speed things in the wheelhouse were pleasant and conversation was easy. The boat was only lightly loaded with fuel and just two aboard, so this was not a thorough performance test. Clark Malcolm, who handles customer service for Seamasters, and has had a lot sea trial experience driving a wide variety of boats, as was very favorably impressed with several aspects of the boats performance. Clark has already delivered two NC 895 s and his first impressions of the 795 were very good.
Misty and wet outside, but shirt sleeves in the cabin. Extended season anyone?
Mention Jeanneau in this part of the world and sailors immediately recognise the name, as the company’s sailboats are well known and have been imported to the region since the 1970s. Jeanneau is less well known in the powerboat community, but the company has been designing and building them for 60 years. In 1957, Henri Jeanneau, who already had a passion for aeroplanes and automobiles, discovered a brand-new passion for powerboating. In Les Herbiers, France, he began building a wooden hull with which he participated in the 6-hour Paris race, the largest national race at the time. He was first to cross the line, and this galvanized him. So, a pass-time became a career. Jeanneau began building in fibreglass in 1958 making them one of the European pioneers in the new material. Indeed, they must have been quite proud of this fact as their first model was called the “Sport Polyester”.
The design of the NC795 is well matched to the requirements of the maritime boating environment. We will no doubt be seeing more of these distinctive boats in our waters and soon it won’t be “What’s that called?” but “There’s a Jeanneau”.
NC 795 Specifications:
First 7 photos by G Cairns
Historical picture and layout drawings by Jeanneau