Jeanneau’s premium day boat debutant
The DB/43 is not only the start of a new premium day boat series for Jeanneau. It’s also the new flagship of Jeanneau’s new-look portfolio of motorboats, with the DB Yachts series effectively replacing the historic Leader line of open inboard models launched in 1985.
As such, the Cap Camarat series – which began in 1982 and currently offers open day cruisers from 18-39ft – now acts a ‘feeder’ range to the more luxurious DB Yachts range headed by the DB/43, Jeanneau’s most expensive motor yacht.
For enclosed motorboats, the growing popularity of outboards on larger models and the increasing size of the Merry Fisher range – now stretching from 19-41ft following the launch of the 1295 Fly – has led to the recent discontinuation of the NC series of ‘weekenders’.
The DB/43 features a Michael Peters hull and a Garroni exterior
Today, Jeanneau’s revised motorboat portfolio comprises the DB Yachts, Cap Camarat and Merry Fisher ranges, plus three Merry Fisher Sport models.
The introduction of a new motorboat series and the discontinuation of two others in only a couple of years could appear like quite a shake-up at a company steeped in history, with several model ranges boasting decades of history and over 250,000 Jeanneau motorboats and sailing yachts built since 1957.
However, there has been significant market research behind the creation of the DB Yachts series and strong continuity on the design side. For starters, Michael Peters Yacht Design is responsible for the superb V-shaped hull on the DB/43 as well as the DB/37 that premiered at Boot Dusseldorf in January, with both available with outboard or inboard engines.
The foredeck can be covered by a canopy
The Florida studio has collaborated with Jeanneau for over three decades and is behind today’s larger Cap Camarat models including the series-flagship 12.5 WA (Walk Around), having also worked on the former NC and Leader ranges.
Garroni Design is arguably best known for its work on all Prestige models since the brand emerged as an offshoot of Jeanneau in the late 1980s. However, the Italian studio now headed by Camillo Garroni also has over three decades of history with Jeanneau and collaborated with Peters on recent Leader and NC designs, while it also designed Cap Camarat and Merry Fisher models in the past.
Garroni was entrusted to handle the exterior and interior design of the DB Yachts series, whose tagline is ‘More Than You Expect’. It’s designed to provide all the sexy, fun-loving style and outdoor spaces of day boats but with added versatility and family-friendly comfort, especially in the cabins.
The foredeck features a sunpad for two or three at a squeeze
“The DB/43 is Jeanneau’s entry into the premium day boat market, so we wanted to have maximum space outside, which was a strong reason for the terraces that extend the beam of the boat when you’re moored,” says Vincent Piel, Jeanneau’s long-time Powerboat Product Marketing Manager.
“It’s a totally open design, but guests are well protected from the sun because we have a proper roof, which we think will make it popular in Asia. But it’s not only a day boat. As we say, it’s ‘more than you expect’. Like on every Jeanneau, we offer a lot of comfort and space inside.”
Garroni cited the automotive world among inspirations for the muscular, sporty exterior of the DB/43, which can carry 12 passengers during the day and at least four overnight in the two lower-deck cabins.
The foldout terraces expand the beam of the aft deck to 18ft 6in
The inboard version with twin 380hp Volvo D6 DPI engines has an overall length just shy of 43ft and a joystick control as standard for ease of handling, especially in port, while the faster outboard version has an almost 46ft LOA with three 300hp Yamaha engines or the 300/350hp Mercury Verado options.
During media sea trials, the inboard version proved surprisingly responsive, very manoeuvrable in curves and was a real pleasure to drive, reaching a top speed close to 34 knots. Options include a Seakeeper 3 gyro stabilisation system.
On the inboard version, the DB/43 starts aft with a large, hydraulic platform that can be lowered into the sea and fit a swim ladder to port. It’s a step up to the main deck, where the boat’s most visible party trick is the drop-down sides, which can each be fitted with a safety line and a swim ladder.
The fold-down balconies are about 5ft long and 3ft wide
Jeanneau included a portside terrace on the Cap Camarat 12.5 WA and one to starboard on the new Merry Fisher 1295 Fly, but the DB/43 marks the brand’s first time offering a pair. And when the aft bulwarks are lowered, the lateral space is expanded by 6ft to create a three-sided beach club with a whopping wing span of 18ft 6in, compared to the standard beam of 12ft 6in.
The central island sunpad-cum-sofa is the first of three modular pieces of furniture – including the dining table and forward sofa – that can fold up, down, forward or back for different configurations.
When the sunpad’s backrest is in the aft position, it offers a deep aft-facing sofa and a forward-facing sofa that’s suitable for dining and during navigation. The backrest can be pushed forward to make a longer aft-facing lounger or even flat to create one large sunpad.
Next party trick? At the touch of a button hidden under a lift-up step to port, most of the sunpad can be electrically raised to reveal storage space for water toys and the like. There’s also a wide storage locker under the aft cushion and more storage under the forward end of the sunpad.
The galley allows those in the kitchen to face guests in the dining area
The main table has a fixed central section with four drinks holders and two foldable leaves on top. When the top leaves are folded out, the full-size dining table can host up to eight guests, four on each facing sofa, and even 10 with a foldable chair at each end.
Folding both leaves aft reveals the engine-room deck hatch below and creates room for the forward sofa to slide aft along the deck. When you then fold the backrest aft, it creates a forward-facing sofa with plenty of leg room facing the wet bar.
This is a good configuration when more seats are needed during navigation or if the outdoor galley becomes the focal point of any social gathering, which is a frequent occurrence. The forward-facing sofas are also ideal for watching the drop-down 43-inch TV, hidden in the ceiling above the galley. And yes, there’s storage under the forward sofa.
The large, user-friendly Corian-topped galley or ‘summer kitchen’ doubles as a huge bar counter, with a pop-up lamp and an integrated bottle holder on each side.
Forward view of the galley area, which can double as a bar countertop
The galley is arranged for the chef to cook from the forward side and have an aft view of the social areas. A two-piece panel folds aft to reveal space for a two-hob electric cooktop and a grill, while two lift-out panels cover the sink. Below is lots of space for storage, a fridge and an icemaker (or another fridge).
Turn forward, look down below the helm seats and you’ll see an air-conditioning/heating unit, which can be used along with canvas enclosures to control the cockpit temperature.
The twin helm seats to starboard and a companion seat to port offer supercar-like ergonomics – a Garroni signature – and have separate fold-down and forward footrests. The three seats face a beautiful, curved windshield, while the electric sunroof above offers extra ventilation. There’s also a starboard bulwark door by the captain’s chair for dockside access.
The helm console includes two 16-inch Raymarine screens, while onboard technology includes Groupe Beneteau’s Ship Control®, which centralises all electrical systems on an MFD, as well as the company’s complementary Seanapps system, so owners can monitor boat information on a smartphone app.
DB/43 is a family-friendly entry into a day boat market known for a fun-loving clientele
Jeanneau describes the DB/43’s curved hardtop as the largest on the market for a boat of this size. The structure distinguishes itself from some competitors by being full beam and extends aft far enough to cover the dining area, while an integrated bimini can extend the shade beyond the sunpad.
On each side of the helm area, three steps lead up tight side decks to a foredeck featuring a large sunpad big enough for two or three people. The lower section includes a fold-up backrest to create a two-person sofa that faces a small, cushioned seating area in the bow.
A small table can be erected to create a cosy place for cocktails or a romantic dinner for two, while the whole foredeck can be covered by a sky canopy.
MORE THAN YOU EXPECT
Downstairs, the air-conditioned lower deck features a bright, modern decor based on light oak and offers two cabins and up to two bathrooms.
The full-beam midships cabin has a double bed and a sofa or single bed
Midships is a the full-beam, low-ceilinged cabin with a forward-facing double bed to port and a sofa to starboard that can be used as a single bed, while the forward cabin has an aft-facing double bed. Both cabins share a starboard bathroom with separate shower, while to port is a kitchenette with sink, fridge, microwave and lots of storage.
In an alternative layout, the forward cabin has en-suite access to the starboard bathroom, while the midships cabin has both a double and a single bed, with occupants using day head access to a second bathroom to port, in place of the kitchenette.
Each cabin features long hull windows, a television, air-conditioning and lots of storage, a signature of a brand that has always made the most of every cubic foot of its boats, even as it moves into the more rarefied air of luxury day boats.
The forward double cabin has en-suite access to the starboard bathroom
“The DB/43 is a perfect boat for socialising, for parties with friends or business associates during the day or evening,” Piel says. “However, nobody would expect a 43ft day boat to have such comfort inside. It still has all the privacy, storage and comfortable accommodation a Jeanneau owner would expect.”
Note: The original Review appears in YACHT STYLE Issue 70