Review: Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755
The Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755 proves to be a Jack-of-all-trades luxury power boat on Sydney’s Middle Harbour.
It is 4pm on Friday afternoon and the weekend is so close I can almost taste it. My anticipation of the imagined fun and frivolity is heightened by the promise of cold beers upon our return to the marina.
With little warning the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755 starts cutting laps back and forth in front of me, tearing up the now frantic white water like some sort of boating ballet performer. I’m up to my knees in photography equipment and struggling for balance in the inflatable camera boat.
Instantly, wishful thoughts of the weekend vanish as the sum of the situation – a beautifully sunny spring day, a hot boat and a bikini-clad model screaming in hysterical fits of laughter – dawns on me and I realise what a great job this is!
Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755
Snapped back to reality I get back to the task of shooting Jeanneau’s latest powerboat offering, the subject of the day, the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755.
The giant French boatbuilder is famous for having one of the broadest ranges of product in the industry, with multiple new-releases every year. The Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755 is at the small end of the scale and is squarely aimed at small families who want to cruise, entertain, fish or simply lounge around and have fun. It’s a modern and more versatile rendition of the classic Euro-styled luxury dayboat.
When you first take the wheel you feel a sense of familiarity come over you. It’s comfortable, with everything in the right place.
The large helm station presents no blind spots meaning there is no need to move your head back and forth like a meerkat when steering into a tight corner or docking. Just like a decent modern car you just sit down and drive. And when you do kick that big, grumbling 200hp Evinrude E-TEC in the proverbial and shoot off onto the plane, any initial sense of calm quickly dissipates and turns into adrenalin.
As the train-spotters would say, the hull gets out of the hole quickly with no noticeable lag from the extra-responsive two-stroke outboard. Once you’re on the plane she handles smoothly, softly and quietly, deflecting short, sharp chop with ease. The boat banks into tight corners quite easily with only a little cavitation at the extreme ends of the turning circle.
To be critical, I did notice a lack of punch at the top end, finding myself pushing the throttle down harder in attempt to find another thousand RPM, or at least a nitrous oxide boost. In fairness, I’m a rev-head fisherman and the Merry Fisher 755 isn’t designed to break the sound barrier. Instead, it’ll motor the family at a pretty decent clip in comfort, safety and with style.
Jeanneau boats appeal
Is the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755 sexy? I think so. It has the tough stature of an Escalade SUV, combined with the smoother lines of a Maserati – maybe there’s a touch of "spaceship" to boot.
If that sounds like quite a weird combination, it works; and for a family cruiser it is quite a looker.
One of the biggest selling points of this boat has to be its ease of use.
As mentioned earlier everything feels immediately familiar – just like jumping into your own car. Your hands fall naturally into position over the throttle and wheel and with only a small amount of boating knowledge, I’d be confident that anyone could hop into the driver’s seat and feel comfortable and safe.
When it comes to versatility, this setup has it in spades. You could do a different boating activity every day and the Merry Fisher would gladly oblige. If fishing is your game the boat will be happy shooting out to the shelf, although in truth the fishing setup is very basic. But hey, at least it has rodholders.
Merry Fisher interior
For a sub-eight-metre hull the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755's interior certainly surprises. With ample space and small but smart innovations, you can tell it’s a Jeanneau.
Ideas from the company’s more prestigious models improve the usability of this boat. Out on the deck an extra-long, forward-facing lounge in cool caramel tones extends across the full width of the stern. It offers plenty of comfortable seating with grabrails each side of the gunwale. A press-studded mesh storage bag hangs from each handrail – perfect for sunscreen, kid’s toys and all sorts of other odds and ends.
For the extra sun-safe, a retractable bimini which covers the aft cockpit in complete shade is available as an option. From there, access to the wheelhouse is via a sliding door.
A cosy, multitasking dining area that can be converted to a flat lounge or children’s bed greets you on the port side, and a sink and stovetop sit on a bench behind the driver’s position to starboard. It is not a boat built for significant catering but a galley is available should it be needed.
Next is the previously mentioned helm station and its marine electronics. It looks an ergonomically designed dash fitted with 9in Raymarine C97 plotter-sounder combo (also an option). A real highlight (or skylight in this case) is the jumbo sunroof, giving the boat a sporty edge while retaining important practicality.
Pushing forward into the cabin there’s a small head with a toilet, sink and storage cabinet. Next to which is the first-class V-berth bedding, with great depth for extra head-height and reasonable privacy.
Safety at sea
The Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755 is a boat which puts family-safety first. It has high gunwales, clear walkways, plenty of padded seating and a wide beam for extra stability.
The aft lounge also acts as a barrier to the transom, keeping curious hands away from the engine. This does come at a cost, however. The centrepiece of the lounge does need to be lifted when the outboard is tilted clear of the water, which may be annoying after a few beach landings.
The rear-boarding ladder makes life easier for dipping a toe into the water during winter or wetting your gills completely in summer – so bombs away!
As a whole I felt as if the engine and boat combination were like a good and bad conscience on each shoulder – they somewhat juxtapose each other.
The classy, elegant Merry Fisher hull is the good conscience, suggesting day cruising, entertaining and champagne breakfasts. While on the other shoulder, the 200hp Evinrude E-TEC two-stroke is the bad conscience spurring you on to go wave jumping, dragging inflatable tubes and pushing the hull into some naughty turns.
Some may think it odd to have an outboard fitted to a mid-sized cruising boat like the Merry Fisher but I love it. It essentially means cheaper maintenance (especially with an Evinrude E-TEC, as its first service is in three years or 300 hours), no reduced performance due to overdue antifouling because the package is easily trailerable, and for customers who are upgrading from smaller outboard-driven boats – it’s a win, win, win.
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon on the Merry Fisher 755. Even with that tasty promise of icy cold beers awaiting us at the marina, we carved up Middle Harbour until the sun dropped below the horizon and pitch-black darkness ensued.
Eventually we cruised back to the marina and I met the proud new owner of the boat and his family. We had a beer together and that’s when it dawned on me – what’s the best thing about the Merry Fisher? Well, it’s a serious ‘dad toy’, but the missus will let you buy one because it’s something the whole family can enjoy – just try to not look too excited the first time you take it out for a spin…
› Safe for the entire family, with high gunwales, easy boarding and clear access throughout
› Great visibility from the helm station and comfortable driving position, whether sitting or standing
› Amazing handling at speed
› Extra versatile
› Rear seating needs to be lifted when the outboard is tilted completely out of the water
› Standard features are basic
The Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755 is a modern, versatile rendition of a luxury Euro-style dayboat. It’ll be ideal for weekend overnighters and suit small families perfectly. She looks great on the water and is a true Jack-of-all-trades.
JEANNEAU MERRY FISHER 755 SPECIFICATIONS
Jeanneau Merry Fisher 755 price: $129,900
LENGTH 7.4m (overall)
WEIGHT 1750kg (w/o engine)
MAKE/MODEL Evinrude E-TEC 200-HO
TYPE Two-stroke petrol outboard motor
RATED HP 200
REC. MAX HP 200
Matthew Willett Marine,
D’Albora Marinas, The Spit,
Mosman, NSW, 2088
Phone: (02) 9930 0000; 0488 821 112
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Originally published in Trade-a-Boat #444, September 2013.
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