JEANNEAU LEADER 10 SPORTSCRUISER BOAT TEST

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

TAB_432_DSC0199.jpg TAB_432_DSC0199.jpg
TAB_432_DSC0243.jpg TAB_432_DSC0243.jpg
TAB_432_DSC0325.jpg TAB_432_DSC0325.jpg
TAB_432_DSC0346.jpg TAB_432_DSC0346.jpg
TAB_432_DSC0352.jpg TAB_432_DSC0352.jpg
TAB_432_DSC0377.jpg TAB_432_DSC0377.jpg
TAB_432_DSC0381.jpg TAB_432_DSC0381.jpg
TAB_432_DSC0374.jpg TAB_432_DSC0374.jpg
TAB_432_DSC0368.jpg TAB_432_DSC0368.jpg
TAB_432_DSC0395.jpg TAB_432_DSC0395.jpg
TAB_432_PlanProfil_Leader10.jpg TAB_432_PlanProfil_Leader10.jpg
TAB_432_PlanPont_Leader10.jpg TAB_432_PlanPont_Leader10.jpg
TAB_432_PlanCockpit_Leader10.jpg TAB_432_PlanCockpit_Leader10.jpg
TAB_432_PlanAmenag_Leader10.jpg TAB_432_PlanAmenag_Leader10.jpg

Sportscruisers can carry a hot price tag so it’s hard to beat Jeanneau’s Leader 10 in the value-for-money stakes. This two-cabin, 36-foot weekend escape machine delivers on luxury, looks, fitout and sporty pizazz

JEANNEAU LEADER 10 SPORTSCRUISER BOAT TEST
Jeanneau's Leader 10 sportscruiser makes for an ideal mid-size entertainer.

Not that long ago, we put the latest Cap Camarat 8.5 Centre Console through its paces. These boats are manufactured by Jeanneau in France and are quite something. The builder's powerboat range is new to Australia and judging by what they have on offer it's no doubt the brand is going to become a common sight on our waters. Not only does it manufacture trailerable powerboats but also some very classy larger vessels up to 36ft in length. The latest model being showcased and up for test was its Leader 10 - an absolute head-spinner and a top performer.

A combination of sharp and soft lines with elegant finer touches, an open, summery layout and all the creature comforts of a luxury boat make the Leader 10 the perfect manageably-sized entertainer for both young and old.

Now whether you are just window shopping or in the market for a boat in this category, I think we all tend do the same thing - we find something that looks appealing (read - appeals to the wife) then go straight to the price. If money is no issue then that's great and you can shop around until you find the perfect boat, but if it is, as in many cases, you have to get the best out of what you can afford.

Looking at the new Leader 10, well, at a first glance it appeared it would to irrepearable damage to the bank account, but I was pleasantly surprised when I popped the price question.

I was expecting an answer between 500K and a million, considering the package and with it being a French import. Well my judgement was way off - this executive machine comes in at $379,000 as tested with all the bells and whistles, which personally seems more like a pre-owned kind of price rather than new.

MORE FOR LESS
So what do you get for your money? Well, it's definitely not a substandard boat if thats what you are thinking, rather something quiet, elegant and classy. It's a boat that is automatically pleasing to the eye and especially to the ladies and entertainers. It's a craft manufactured by world-renowned motor and sail boatbuilder Jeanneau.

When I climbed aboard the open-plan cockpit and entertaining area that flows through to the helm, my imagination was automatically taken to sitting back and relaxing off an island somewhere. The Leader 10 has a huge windscreen and full wraparound side-glass allowing in plenty of light and keeping it nice and airy. As tested this boat had the electronic sliding sunroof, a really good feature as you can adjust it to suit the conditions.

Another thing that appealed was the social aspect of the cockpit layout: the ample lounge and dining area are under cover, while the transom lounge is only partly covered by the roofline for those wanting to catch a bit of a tan. What Jeanneau has also done is to double-up on galley accessories. Instead of having to go below to prepare food and drinks, you have a mini galley on the top-deck, including small fridge and prep-sink.

TWO TO TANGO
The helm has a very comfortable seating arrangement that's spacious enough for two - so the wife might allow you to sit next her while she's driving. The dash layout is modern and sporty looking and has all the controls and electronics positioned correctly making driving comfortable and viewing of electronics unobstructed. Again, the large screen and side windows provide good 360-degree vision for the skipper.

One part of the design that caught my attention was the glass-topped wraparound dash that follows from the screen along the portside windows to provide natural light down below, which is accessed by an adequately-sized sliding door. Here space is abundant and it's a nice social spot where a full galley and lounge/dining area are combined. Once again, more light and ventilation than usual stem from the dash-glass above and multitude of full-length side windows.

There are two cabins fore and aft of the saloon, however, the single bathroom is not an en suite and functions as a dayhead which can only be accessed from the saloon. As per usual though, this is an important room for the ladies and it's a decent enough size.

Up front the master suite features a queen-sized bed, plenty of light and ventilation, and is spacious with loads of storage space. The second suite doorway is next to the galley and is situated directly below the helm and cockpit area. It's also roomy and like the master cabin has a queen bed and plenty of stowage.

The trimmings and finishes are beautiful throughout the interior and exterior layout, with a combination of teak and classy upholstery. There is no lack of storage throughout the boat and, as mentioned, heaps of light and ventilation too. Another nice touch is the clip-in carpets; if you want a softer touch and feel you can have them in or simply take them out for the teak-floor look.

Overall, the Leader 10 has an ergonomic layout indeed, and despite having plenty packed into it Jeanneau has managed to maintain spaciousness throughout.

PERKY PERFORMER
Fitted with twin 260hp Volvo Penta D4s and a joystick there was most certainly no shortage of power. You can opt for 300hp but I really don't think it's necessary. When knocking down the hammers the hull planes fast and when the turbos kick in the Leader 10 accelerates up to high-speed instantaneously.

The controls are comfortable to drive and very smooth. Having the joystick option fitted is not necessary but I would definitely go for it - it makes driving that much more pleasant and even better when it comes to docking in tricky areas or conditions.

Within the Gold Coast Broadwater, which was flat for our test, you can cruise at any speed, but we did take the boat outside for a spin too and the conditions, to say the least, were not the norm for an offshore cruise. The ocean had a fair swell on it, with a gusty 25knot southeaster puffing and turning the sea upside down - quite angry to say the least.

Offshore the Leader 10 sat quite comfortably at around 20kts, which considering the conditions was good. Speeds above that were achievable and even when pushing above 30kts the boat still maintained a good ride. In fact the Leader 10 sort of had a combination between a decent trailerboat's ride and a cruiser. Let's not forget she is quite a big boat and shouldn't really be driven like it's been stolen offshore. Regardless, it handled well and was impressive.

Even low-down, cranking it out of the hole on a relatively tight turning circle the Leader 10 basically does what you would normally do in a smaller trailerboat. If anything, you do lose a bit of side vision hard into turns but that's really not the norm for this style of boat.

In my opinion it's the kind of boat that you sit back at 20 to 25kts and just cruise with. The motors run quiet and economical at average cruise speeds, and if needs be you have the extra grunt to get you there faster or out of trouble.

THE WRAP
The Jeanneau Leader 10 is definitely a pleasant-size boat to operate, not too small and not too large. The overall finishes and decor are classy; and to top it off you have sporty look and sporty performance combined. With all the above mentioned features onboard there is no need to stress about not having the creature comforts of home; it has the majority of them to keep you happy and contented. Besides being comfortable to spend a weekend on, I would be quite happy to stay longer aboard.

For the dedicated fisherman it may not be the perfect fishing boat but with a few add-ons you can adapt the Leader 10 to suit - and you would be fishing in style.

This is one of those boats that you have to see for yourself simply because there are just way too many features to mention. Once again, I'm certain that we are going to see the Leader models - like the sister Cap Camarat range - more and more on our waters in the near future. The boats are classy and pretty good value for money in my opinion. By the way, within the next year around another 16 models are to be added to the Cap Camarat range, so if this is anything to
go by then we are definitely in for a few treats from Jeanneau.

(Facts&figures)
JEANNEAU LEADER 10

PRICE AS TEST
$379,000

OPTIONS FITTED
Diesel engine with joystick option, air-conditioning, cockpit cover and rear canvas, electronics pack, and Premier package (removable saloon carpet, teak cockpit floor and swimplatform, cockpit fridge and additional battery)

PRICED FROM
$296,023

GENERAL
MATERIAL: GRP
TYPE: Planing monohull
LENGTH: 10.85m (overall);
10.55m (hull)
BEAM: 3.73m
DRAFT: 0.9m
WEIGHT: Approx 5415kg

CAPACITIES
PEOPLE (NIGHT): 4+2
FUEL: 700lt
WATER: 250lt

ENGINE
MAKE/MODEL: 2 x Volvo Penta D4
TYPE: Four-cylinder turbo-diesel
DISPLACEMENT: 3.7lt (each)
RATED HP: 260 at 3500rpm (each)
WEIGHT: 482kg (each)

FOR MORE INFORMATION
For Australian dealers, visit www.jeanneauaustralia.com

From Trade-a-Boat Issue 432, Oct-Nov 2012. Story & photos: Kevin Smith.

Find Jeanneau boats for sale.

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.