In my role as sailing scribe and boat tester, I’ve seen tons of computer generated renderings of the latest and greatest designs from the world’s boat builders. And these slick, artistic, detailed, and 3D illustrations (that even show hull reflections in the computer-generated water) provide fantastic introductions to new models. But, I’ve also learned over the years that actually building a boat that’s so artfully illustrated can be interesting and impressive, but also really hard. And the bigger the boat, the more impressive (and harder) it usually is.
So, when the invitation to be one of the first American sailing journalists to see the the largest Jeanneau ever conceived–their new 64-footer currently under construction at a state-of-the-art factory over in France–I couldn’t say no. The full story of this new super yacht-styled Jeanneau, and how an American expat came to be in charge of sailboat design for Jeannueau worldwide will appear in an upcoming issue of SAIL Magazine. But here’s a little taste of what the new 64 is all about.
Hull number one under construction obviously looks a bit different than in the rendering, but this shot really gives you a sense of the scale of this project. Everything is bigger, and much more complicated on this new Jeanneau 64 than what you’d find on a typical production boat.
The ports and hatches are being installed on the deck above. The boat’s 13 opening hatches will provide fantastic light and ventilation below.
The super yacht-inspired deck is also equipped with a deep well that’s designed to accommodate the boat’s recessed anchor windlass and an optional, fully retractable anchor system.
The 64 is designed to benefit from Jeanneau’s considerable manufacturing power and efficiencies. Here’s a furniture module being completed out on the factory floor before being lowered and fastened into place in the hull.
Same is true of the companionway steps. What I really like about these is how relatively short and shallow they are. Most 64-footers require a lot more than four shallow steps to get down into the salon.
As you can see, it takes lots of wires, pipes, electronics, and most of all, manpower, to get from this stage in the salon…..
To this stage….
The shot below also gives you an idea of the complexity involved with the electronics and systems this 64-foot world cruising yacht requires. This boat is literally equipped with miles of wire.
I learned much more about the 64 and Jeanneau overall (in addition to checking out the Paris Boatshow) during my “business trip” over there, and I must admit, it wasn’t all “work” either.
We stayed in the charming little village of Clisson that’s about 45 minutes away from the factory and we had enough time to check out the ancient and utterly picturesque castle that’s protected the village for hundreds of years.
And I even had time to climb Montmartre when I was a Paris too. Tres bien, no?
Au revoir for now.
By Bill Springer from Swizzle Sport Media