We task Nick Burnham with finding four used boat gems for under £50,000
Jeanneau Leader 805
Jeanneau Leader 805
A slightly quirky-looking boat from one of the largest builders in Europe, the 805 Leader lacks the pointy styling common to many boats in this field, but counters with a very wide beam.
Most boats of this type limit the beam to 8ft 6in as a sop to the US market – it’s a highway towing restriction. The Jeanneau puts two fingers up to the Yanks – the 805 is almost 10ft wide!
That beam really makes itself felt downstairs. Not only does the cabin feel significantly less pinched, but there’s also space to incorporate a separate mid cabin with a proper door, a seat and a wardrobe, rather than the crawl-in double berth tucked behind the stairs that most have.
A twin burner gas hob is an improvement over the typical single meth burner, while cherry wood gives the cabin real class.
Another bonus of the wide beam is proper side decks, rather than teetering through the windscreen.
Cunningly, the aft section of the cockpit spreads luxuriantly across the full width of the boat, giving a massive entertaining area uncompromised by fixed sunpads (the table drops and infills instead).
A double helm seat is another great feature. Like the cabin, the outside feels a significant step up in size from most of its competitors.
Twin V6 petrol engines were a rare option, a single V8 petrol less so. But most got diesel power, and not the little KAD 32 you might expect.
The meaty 230hp KAD 43 found its way into boats up to the mid 2000s, the even more powerful and super efficient D4-260 into later boats, giving a 32-knot top end.
“With so much beam carried so far forward, we expected a hard ride,” said MBM in 2001. “Conditions were just right[…] not once did it slam hard, managing to cushion every wave.”
Length 25ft 7in (7.8m) Beam 9ft 9in (3.0m) Draught 2ft 9in (0.8m) Displacement 2.3 tonnes Fuel capacity 72 imp gal (330 litres) Engine Volvo Penta D4-260 260hp diesel