The Jeanneau Leader 36 is put to the test in the choppy seas off Cannes
And though the Open version with its traditional radar arch and properly exposed cockpit is aimed more at the sun-drenched Spanish and Italian markets, the Sportop version that we focussed on makes good sense in places with less reliable weather.
The layouts of both versions are exactly the same apart from the Sportop gets an electronic GRP sunroof that covers the forward section of the cockpit.
On this size of boat it tends to make more sense to opt for a canvas roof to make the opening as large as possible, plus GRP roofs add weight and tend to be noisier. But Jeanneau has made its bed and is happily lying in it.
The cockpit layout works nicely with an aft sunpad that has a folding back rest to either make a bench seat at the dinette or give you room to lie down, there is a small wet-bar to starboard and a single forward facing navigator’s seat next to an aft facing chaise longue.
We’re aren’t massive fans of the chaise longue on a boat like this – it seems like wasted space – but then it does create a huge amount of headroom in the cabin below so there is some merit.
The layout below decks on the Leader 36 is brilliant, some of the best use of space you will find in the section of the market.