We tested the new flagship of the Jeanneau motor boat range. A Leader in name and deed, with smart solutions, good performance and a surprisingly quiet ride.
Jeanneau has many brands in their lineup: Cap Cammarat, Merry Fisher, NC, Leader, Prestige, sailing boats. Some weeks ago we anticipated all the news for the season from the builder, in this article. With Prestige being the name for medium sized yachts, mainly with flydeck, the Leader lineup is the reference for open boats in the 30 to 46 feet size.
And 46 feet is the size of this Leader 46, the flagship of the range, offering smart solutions for onboard comfort, a good performance for the kind of boat, and a quiet and safe navigation.
Jeanneau Leader 46: many decks available
The exteriors of Leader 46, by Garroni Design, offer several alternatives: the cockpit can be separated from the salon with an optional opening window, while the aft deck itself can feature a solarium and a locker underneath or two face-to-face couches. We’ve seen all of these, and we think that the best configuration is the one with dividing glass and two couches, as the versatility is enhanced. Even more so, as the back sofa hides a grill/sink cabinet (optional), which can be used from the swim platform.
Unlike most of the Jeanneau models, on this Leader the side decks have the same width. Not that much, but they’re very safe thanks to the guardrails on the gunwale and the handrails on the superstructure. The fore solarium sports an (optional) tilting backseat, to find the most relaxing position at any time.
Inside, the salon layout features a kitchenette, a dinette and a second, lower couch, mainly good as a further sun bed. Because, the roof has a sliding opening part, to let the sunlight directly in.
All the floorings are teak covered, although this is an option for the outdoor ones.
So this is the chance to notice how Jeanneau boats have a convenient price, but you have to be careful not to exceed with options, as the price can levitate by 40%.
Jeanneau Leader 46: accommodation for four or six
The companionway of Leader 46 is a little steep, but a sturdy handrail comes handy. Luckily, although being fancy, it doesn’t feature any edge: in this case, the experience of the boatyard doesn’t give in to fashion. Real boaters are thankful. To starboard the proper galley is linear and complete, even with a full-height fridge and a gas oven. All the stoves aboard work with propane, a simple solution that requires to always be careful. The only part we didn’t like is the joinery used for the cabinets and closets around, which is good to the sight yet showing, at a close look, that it’s just a laminated surface of wood on a less noble material.
The dinette to port is large and can turn into a double bed, while an optional third cabin replaces it and leaves the main deck as the place to eat together. To bow, the VIP cabin features a queen bed (splitting into two single berths) and two closets, with the head only accessible from the corridor but large enough to have a separate shower box.
The master stateroom takes the full beam, with reduced headroom above the big double bed and good space around. The patterns and materials are elegant and relaxing, but the best part surely is the bathroom. A double, satin-glass door along the port side hides the sink on a nice countertop, lit by natural light from a porthole. On the two sides, two different rooms for the WC and the shower.
Despite not being the first time we see this solution, it is cool to see it on a boat this size. In this case, the owner of Leader 46 will be pleased to feel the luxury of a larger yacht.
Outside Cannes the sea is moderate, with some swell from the previous bad weather. Aboard the Leader 46 we are a crew of nine, with plenty of fuel and fresh water and a lot of gear: we can undoubtedly say it’s a full-load test. Visibility from the helm is good in every direction (except for the tallest ones), with ergonomic layout and a complete set of instruments. Our unit is powered by the smaller engines, with stern drives and joystick. This last feature (optional…) makes maneuvering really easy, but it’s when in open water that this Leader 46 impresses. Because, although being an open boat, this is a vessel designed for a relaxed, family cruising. So, we definitely appreciate the direct response to the helm inputs, the tight turns even at high speed and with the synchro engaged, and the top speed in excess of 31 knots.
Our readings also tell of a good acceleration, with 5 seconds to get to plane and another 19 to reach the maximum pace. The minimum plane speed, around 14 knots at 2400, is just average, but let’s not forget that the boat is loaded like we’re going on a long cruise.
But the best point of Jeanneau Leader 46, in our opinion, is the comfortable ride. In many aspects: the noise level is pretty low, the impact on the waves is smooth both crossing our wake and the swell. Moreover, it’s is much likely, when testing boats like this which can be compared to a moving small apartment, to hear noises and screeches from the furniture somewhere. But, in our case, we heard none.
The numbers of the Jeanneau Leader 46
Overall length 14,30 m (46’ 10’’)
Hull length 12,67 m (41’ 6’’)
Beam 4,10 m (13’ 5’’)
Displacement 10.600 Kg
Draft 1,10 m (3’ 7”)
Engines Volvo D6-370 2×370 HP, sterndrives
Cabins 2 / 3
Berths 4 / 6
Fuel reserve 900 l (238 US gal)
Fresh water reserve 400 l (106 US gal)
CE design category B-12 / C-14
Designers Garroni Design / J&J Design / Jeanneau Design
Performance with Volvo Penta D6-370, sterndrives
600 3,4 3,9 2 1,70 55 1224
1000 5,8 6,7 7 0,83 61 597
1500 8,6 9,9 18 0,48 67 344
2000 11,0 12,7 43 0,26 73 184
2500 17,7 20,4 72 0,25 76 177
3000 24,7 28,4 107 0,23 76 166
3600 31,4 36,1 159 0,20 77 142
Moderate sea, swell, temperature 18° C (64° F), clean hull, fuel 75% (178 US gal), fresh water 100%, passengers 9.
Jeanneau Leader 46, Volvo Penta D6 2×370 HP € 349,300 + VAT
Jeanneau Leader 46, Volvo Penta D6 2×370 HP + joystick € 364,300 + VAT
Premiere Package € 12,850 + VAT
(teak flooring for cockpit and platform, LED lights on side decks, folding teak cockpit table, cockpit spotlights, fresh water electric toilets, hydro-electric trim tabs)
Some optional features (prices don’t include VAT): Electronic Pack Raymarine 2016 € 3810 – Galley on swim platform € 2900 – Hydraulic integrated gangway € 19990 – Lifting swim platform € 18660 – Front sundeck with lifting backrest € 4050 – Bow thruster € 4450 – Generator 11 Kw €17490 – Air conditioning for cabins with inverter € 13390 – Teak side decks € 7540