From the clever cockpit to the wonderfully grippy hull, there’s a lot to like about the latest Jeanneau Cap Camarat
When you step onto the swim platform of the new Jeanneau Cap Camarat 7.5 DC and enter the cockpit via the starboard step-through, it really doesn’t feel like the deck of a 24ft weekender.
On the contrary, with nearly four square metres to play with, the cleverly organised cockpit feels like it belongs to something much larger. It features sociable, inward-facing seating for eight, plus a reversible backrest on the aft bench that helps generate a long aft-facing lounger on the port side.
It makes fine use of the extended swim platforms, enabling you to recline in comfort and keep an eye on the kids without compromising access either to the cockpit or the stern ladder.
There’s some clever thinking factored into the expansive C-shaped cockpit seating too – not least in features like the lightweight infill for the convertible sun lounger. Built from a welded latticework of interlinked aluminium struts, it weighs about 80% less than a conventional plywood offcut, which means you can carry it one-handed and fit it without the threat of catching your fingers.
And this thoughtful design approach is also evident in the lid for the huge under-deck storage locker, which can be lifted on a powerful ram without the removal of any cushions; and in the co-pilot’s reversible seat, which features an optional fold-down table to port.
Down below, the main double berth runs diagonally to accommodate the starboard heads compartment and, at 6ft 2in long and 6ft 6in wide, it’s perfectly serviceable for long weekends away. Headroom of around 5ft is also very decent for a boat of this type, and there’s some impressive light down here too.
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You get four raked windows (two on the hull sides and two on the foredeck), plus an opaque, curved sliding door that brings a lot of extra light in from the cockpit. You even get some neat little hatches set into the cabin’s skylights to provide extra ventilation.
However, it’s the second berth that’s the real treat – and not because it’s especially accommodating but because it’s so unexpected. A footprint of 6ft 9in long and around 2ft 5in wide is certainly impressive for a boat of this size, but with a vertical height of just 1ft, you need a very low-profile pillow to make proper use of it as a sleeping space.
That said, a couple of relatively young kids could easily top and tail in here, neatly tucked behind the removable ladder and within easy reach of the main double berth. And if you don’t use it as a bed, it remains a great space for the storage of infills, cushions and tables.
Though its output is 50hp below the transom’s maximum rating, Yamaha’s F250 outboard is a fine match for this boat. It blasted onto the plane in under four seconds, passed 30 knots in eight, and 40 knots in 16 before topping out at 42.1 knots.
There’s plenty of grip at the prop, very deft controllability of trim from both the outboard angle and the trim tabs, and a really satisfying surge of thrust at pretty much every point in the rev range. It’s a nicely balanced boat too, with a pleasant dose of novice-friendly slip in a hard turn and a pivot point directly under the helm.
Even refinement is impressive. There’s a pleasant dip in sound readings in the crucial 20-30 knot cruising zone, allied to a distinct absence of vibration. There are no bangs or clatters from the various doors, lids and hatches, and the long wraparound screen is so effective that even the back end of the cockpit gets good protection from the elements underway.
While Jeanneau’s new 7.5 DC S2 has the look and feel of a classic Nordic day cruiser, it is in fact one of the best resolved Jeanneau sports boats of recent times. It marries ingenuity of space with laudable quality of finish and a thoroughly well-sorted hull. It brings together practical weekending facilities with generous and flexible day spaces and it does so without unduly compromising either the looks or the dynamism of the drive. Aside from the ladder in the cabin, which is difficult to remove, and some of the optional extras, which look a shade pricey, there is simply nothing here to dislike.