Jeanneau’s New Family-friendly Flagship
The Jeanneau Yachts 65 is the French builder’s latest large, luxurious cruising yacht by the dream team of Philippe Briand and Andrew Winch, again offering a head-spinning variety of semi-custom options.
After the worldwide success of the Jeanneau Yachts 60 that debuted last year, the French manufacturer has raised the stakes by introducing the new Jeanneau Yachts 65 to its flagship range of sailing yachts. Succeeding the former 64, which sold more than 70 units, the new 65 heads a prestigious Jeanneau Yachts family that now comprises four luxury models including the 51 and 54.
The Jeanneau Yachts 65 is billed as an all-rounder that provides a safe, comfortable experience for a family, with many able to see her with their own eyes when the model debuts at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival.
Designed to offer enjoyable sailing even in winds of less than eight knots, the new flagship has a classic hull, once again designed by Philippe Briand, paired with a sleek, modern deck layout. With over 12,000 sailing boats built to his designs since the late 1970s, the vastly experienced French naval architect is convinced he’s helped produce another winner in a sailing market featuring a growing number of twin-hulled options.
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“For owners looking for a family boat for extended trips, the Jeanneau Yachts 65 offers the best package on the market today. As a sailing yacht ideally positioned for the voyage market, it can access all marinas without any difficulties and offers a comparable surface area in the cockpit to that found on board a catamaran,” says Briand, who has studios in his native La Rochelle and London.
“In my view, the Jeanneau Yachts 65 offers a conclusive argument for why monohulls are a better choice for extended voyages than multihulls, as they’re more comfortable at sea, safer and more fun to sail. Indeed, the Jeanneau Yachts 65 is what we call une valeur sure or a safe bet for any owner.”
Those words rang through my head on a trip to the south of France as I tested the Jeanneau Yachts 65 in the Bay of Cannes with a strong east wind and a nice swell, which the yacht handled with ease.
The almost 68ft model comes with a 90sqm furling mainsail and an 80sqm self-tacking jib as standard, as well as a 175hp Volvo Penta D4-180 engine, which was well soundproofed, allowing the yacht to be manoeuvred discreetly with the aid of thrusters.
The two stainless-steel steering wheels are sheathed in leather, which is a nice touch, and helming is pleasant, allowing you to feel the responsiveness of the hull. The yacht is designed for use with a small crew and all the halyards and sheets return to the electric winches, which can be operated from the console.
A solid hard top with a sliding sunroof covers the cockpit, although one drawback is that it can sometimes hinder the skipper’s visibility during manoeuvres. Briand’s touches include redesigning the taper of the coachroof forward of the mast with a touch of automotive styling.
Flush Deck, Fluid Circulation
Manufactured at Groupe Beneteau’s Italian shipyard in Monfalcone on the Adriatic Sea, the semi-custom sailing yacht is carefully built with a glued hull counter-mould and an infused deck and deck counter-mould.
The Jeanneau Yachts 65 has a different deck layout and interior to the former 64 and shares a few characteristics with the CNB 66, which was produced at the same Monfalcone facility before the Groupe Beneteau brand was bought by Solaris.
On the 65, the circulation, access to manoeuvres, storage and comfort at sea and anchor have been thought out in minute detail. In the stern, the garage door folds down to reveal a built-in stairway that accesses the swim platform and the transverse dinghy garage.
On deck, an optional bench seat aft offers fold-down seats either side for a skipper to use, while if you lift the cushions on the main section, you can access the flip-up outdoor galley, a similar feature to that on the 60.
Forward of the wheels are two large, low storage lockers that can be covered in cushions to form the start of enormous lounging areas on both sides. Each side of the cockpit has a C-shaped sofa and a long teak table that can be lowered electrically to further expand the sunbed lounging area.
Circulation is very fluid due in large to the largely flush deck. With the gently sloping, step-free side decks, a cockpit with just one step up to the dining area and the external positioning of the shrouds and cap shrouds, movement from the stern to the bow is safe for crew members or young children.
Inside, the Jeanneau Yachts 65 offers a new style and decor by Winch, the prolific British designer who heads one of the yachting world’s largest design studios. The decor has evolved compared to the previous models, and is somewhat similar in spirit and interior atmosphere to Jeanneau’s new generation of motor yachts.
The teak or white oak woodwork, both in hollow pore, is harmonised with a choice of floor colours and a wide range of luxury leather upholstery. Light tones dominate the interior, which helps showcase the luxurious detailing.
The impression of volume is reinforced by the presence of numerous portholes and skylights above and on the sides, while we appreciated the good headroom, ease of movement inside and the large number of handrails.
The saloon includes a flexible coffee-cum-dining table on the starboard side along with a C-shaped sofa that can accommodate eight guests, while there’s a facing settee on the port side. Aft of the dining area and starboard of the companionway is the option of a well-designed navigation station including chart table, or the area can instead be used for a cabin with bunk beds.
To port of the stairs, the three-sided galley is well ventilated and naturally lit by the portholes, and is nicely integrated into the main saloon. The standard version offers plenty of storage space, equipment (microwave, fridge, extractor hood, three-burner stove and sliding waste bin) and attractive Corian worktops. Good news: a wine compartment can be added!
Owners can choose between two, three, four or even more cabins, with both the fore and aft areas able to be set up as one full-beam suite or two cabins. The option of an aft full-beam owner’s suite includes a king-size bed measuring 2m by 1.8m, with a sofa to starboard, corner desk to port and en-suite bathroom forward to starboard. The area can also be designed with an en-suite double cabin to starboard and a twin to port.
The forward night zone can be designed as a full-beam cabin with a forward-facing bed along the starboard side, sofa to port and en-suite in the bow. The area can also be arranged as two double cabins, each with en-suites, while Jeanneau has said a six-cabin charter version is being developed.
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As with the Jeanneau Yachts 60, the new 65 is elevating the brand’s image as it pushes into the market of semi-custom yachts with a higher level of performance and a sleek, elegant and modern design. The cockpit is particularly user-friendly, and the number of options is large and appeals to owners looking to enjoy long cruises in the company of family and friends.
“This large semi-custom cruising yacht is a concentration of the technical know-how of Jeanneau, who are forerunners in terms of performance and well-being at sea,” Briand says.
“The Jeanneau Yachts 65 is adaptable to its owner, with customisation designed and crafted in direct contact with the client, allowing them to create a boat that reflects their image.”
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