If you want a flexible but sensibly priced flybridge cruiser, Jeanneau’s flagship Merry Fisher 1295 might be about as good as it gets. Motor Boat & Yachting's Alex Smith takes a test drive...
Right from the start, the new Jeanneau Merry Fisher 1295 feels like a distinctly modern boat. True, it’s a name that’s been around for decades and the idea of a boat that inhabits that overlap between fisher and family boat is hardly avant garde.
But just look at the evidence. This is a 41ft flybridge-equipped motor yacht with a trio of 300hp V6 outboards on the transom. It comes with a drop-down bulwark, sliding furniture, a step-through side gate, an offset pilothouse and an aft galley with alfresco bar.
With lots of outdoor entertaining zones alongside six-berth accommodation and a big internal saloon, it also does a great job of stealing some thunder from the ultra-stylish new breed of dayboat/cruiser hybrids that come in at this kind of length.
Yet in stark contrast to that sector, it brings its talents to market at a price that’s very much in line with Merry Fisher’s no-nonsense heritage. So what does your £500,000 buy you? Well for a start, it buys you some seriously hard-working day spaces.
In the cockpit, for instance, the aft bench slides fore and aft, enabling you to take full advantage of the zone above the engine well when the legs are dipped. The fold-down starboard terrace expands the deck space again and the transom shower and mixer tap are perfectly positioned on the bulwark between this and the starboard walkway that links the cockpit and swim platform.
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The flybridge steps are also neatly conceived. They run at a steep angle to avoid swallowing up too much cockpit space, and when you don’t need them, they can be folded flush against the pilothouse’s aft bulkhead.
Better still, to compensate for the L-shaped bench, which shuts off the port side of the cockpit from the aft platform, there’s also a port side gate for easy access to the pontoon. That same respect for spatial efficiency is equally evident on the bow.
Up here, the island sunbed has raised headrests and fold-down armrests, as well as elevated mouldings on both sides for extra security when you nestle into place. That’s allied to a pair of aft-facing seat pods moulded into the forepeak on either side of the anchor, so you can sit five people at the removable bow table in great comfort.
There’s also enough length up here for a set of skylights aft of the sunbeds so you retain plenty of light on the lower deck, even when the sunbeds are occupied. As for the all-important flybridge, that also does some pretty good work with relatively modest space.
The starboard helm seat, which sits sociably behind a forward sunpad, rotates so it can face across to the settees at the port dinette. There’s also room for an optional wet bar at the aft end, plus a screen that does a far more convincing job of protection from the elements than your average inverted wind deflector.
Notwithstanding the narrow port side deck, movement between these outdoor spaces is generally good too, and while the infirm might struggle with those steep steps, the day boating options on board this boat are so strong that these few compromises feel well worth the effort.
For Alex’s full review of the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 1295, pick up the December 2023 issue of MBY, which is out now.
Jeanneau Merry Fisher 1295 specifications
LOA: 41ft 2in (12.56m)
Beam: 12ft 6in (3.80m)
Draft: 2ft 6in (0.76m)
Displacement: 8,181kg (ex. engines)
Fuel capacity: 1,740 litres
Test engines: Triple Yamaha F300 4.2L V6 outboard engines
Top speed on test: 39.1 knots
Fuel consumption: 92lph @ 20 knots
Cruising range: 303nm @ 20 knots
Noise: 72.6 d(B)A
RCD category: B10-C12
Starting price: £464,000 (inc. VAT)
Price as tested: £560,000 (inc. VAT)