By any standard the new Jeanneau 64 is a remarkable yacht. She is about the same length of the 12 m "Courageous" which won the 1974 and 1977 America's cup -- but she has 5'6" (1.68 m) more beam and weighs 10,000 lbs. (4,536 kg) more! She is not just big, she is also superbly engineered, and easily handled by a couple despite her 1,829 sq. ft. sail plan (also about the same as a 39’/12 m yacht). No coffee grinders deck gorillas needed. She has a guest-friendly entertainment platform with 40% of it given over to the cockpit, and she is as modern and trendy below as a Paris runway during fashion week. Because she can be configured and decorated so many different ways, she can be considered a semi-custom build, as only the hull, engine, deck and basic rig remain the same in most versions.
- Lounging/dining area protected by coachroof and optional sprayhood
- Steering area with twin helm consoles, winches and engine controls
- Aft sundecks
- Teak cockpit tables with pneumatically-assisted telescopic legs
- Large fold-down swim platform with telescopic ladder
- Starboard helm console with Raymarine p70 autopilot display
- Interior with choice of 'Classic' or 'Contemporary' designs
- Saloon with seating arrangement for 8 people with large table
- Owner's stateroom includes double berth with a high-density foam mattress
|Length Overall||65' 11'' / 20.1 m|
Currently no test numbers
1 x 180-hp Volvo Penta D4-180
Jeanneau says that this boat was in the design phase for years before she was introduced in the summer of 2014. We can believe it because the attention to detail that will be illustrated below leaves little doubt of that. Indeed, the builder says that over 120 engineers worked on the project, and that is one of the great blessings of being part of the Beneteau Group.
Leading the design effort was Andrew Winch who for 25 years has been designing superyachts, both power and sail, and Philippe Brand whose naval architectural firm has designed over 12,000 yachts in the last 37 years. We have rarely used the much overworked word "awesome" but if it applies anywhere in production sailboats, it belongs as an adjective to the Jeanneau 64, in our opinion.
Function Comes First
Because this vessel is so big, and because she costs so much (count on something around $1.4 million U.S.), she needs to appeal to sailors with a variety of missions. One of the primary ones will be entertaining friends, clients, and family during day outings and evening cruises. Here, the 64 excels.
Because 40% of her deck space has been given over to the cockpit she can seat over a dozen people just around her two cockpit tables. Plus more can sit aft around the double helm. And because she will see duty all over the world, both in formal and informal occasions, she must be versatile. To that end she has both a professional, fully-equipped galley below with top-brand appliances -- and, a mini galley on deck with grill, refrigerator and sink.
Because she is so large, she is designed to be sailed on her feet and not on her ear, and because of her dodger, this oat will keep the guests dry and cozy even beating to windward in a fresh breeze. When the sun is out and the hook is down, her cockpit converts into two huge sun pads, towels can be spread on her flush foredeck without the annoyance of hatch covers or sail track, and her transom swings down, morphing into a teak beach for diving and swimming.
Sailing is Easy (and Fun)
Jeanneau has been building sailboats since 1964 and over the last 51 years un-fettered by anachronistic, traditional Anglo-American approaches to sailing and yacht design, managed to make sailing so easy a couple or even a single hand could sail a very large boat. While the English and American yachtsmen were explaining how complicated it was to sail well, the French were proving how easy it actually could be.
No wonder French builders swept in during the 1980s and won the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of sailors all over the world.
The Jeanneau 64 is a beneficiary of all that development over the last few decades. She has a well-balanced cutter rig -- which means that the mast is stepped further aft than it would be in a conventional sloop design. This improves balance and adds versatility to sail selection. The headsail has roller furling and it can be rolled into a spitfire job if need be. We like her self-tending staysail as that eliminates any work in the cockpit when the breeze is up. The mainsail can be roller furled in the mast or battened with extra roach, and then lazy jacks are installed to ease sail handling and reefing.
All Lines Lead to Helm.
As with virtually all Jeanneau sailboats, the boom is well above the heads of even the tallest deck hand standing in the cockpit. The main sheet is tethered to a fiberglass arch overhead and led forward, then through the mast and under the deck to a jam cleat and self-tending winch handy to the captain. It along with all other lines that we typically see handled on the top of coach roof by the companionway are run aft to jam cleats placed on the coaming just forward of the helm both port and starboard. This set-up is really a single-hander's dream arrangement.
In light air off the wind the 64 can fly an asymmetrical spinnaker if the captain wants. It is not hard to picture this rig being used in the light trade winds from the Canaries to Barbados in late November.
Décor Fit for a (Modern) Prince
Karl Lagerfeld once said that "Fashion is now and the future, not the past". We can only think that he must of seen the interior of the Jeanneau 64 before he said that. The fact is, there is precious little about the 64's interior that reminds us of a traditional sailboat of any size. Of course, that's the way the folks at Jeanneau wanted it.
So for those sailors who want a walnut or teak interior and prism skylights -- look elsewhere.
The builder offers a panoply of materials, fabrics, textures, and colors with which to decorate the vessel, but we suspect missing from that selection is anything that could be considered retro or moss-backed. As the images on this page amply show, all the fixtures are the latest thing from Milan, woods are strikingly different from what we have come to expect seeing on a Jeanneau, and the shapes of virtually everything are more what we'd expect to see in a modern apartment overlooking the Med than an interior of a sailboat.
Jeanneau says that the 64 can have anything from two to six sleeping cabins, and while we haven't seen a layout for six cabins we know where they could be installed -- all small of course. But that is not the way most people will go with the 64.
This boat has a 17'8" (5.38 m) beam which makes her wider than many powerboats this length. That means she can really be made expansive below, and Jeanneau has done that in the layouts shown on this page. The master can be placed forward and take up most of the bow, or placed aft and be full-beam and huge, certainly large enough to accommodate Admiral Nelson, Captain Cook, or Bligh for that matter.
But there will be no Fletcher Christians here, as several layouts contain luxurious staterooms for guests and VIPs, most with en suite heads and separate showers. These are some of the most comfortable staterooms we have seen on a sailing yacht of nearly any size. Remember, that this design has full bilges and a hard chine that allows a cabin's width to go right down to the deck , or nearly so.
Three things stay the same in all layouts --the galley, the dinette, and the engine room. Virtually everything else can be changed to suit.
Other than the features we have already noted, we should point a few other aspects of this build -- or potential build -- which are unusual. They are --
Some people like to "inadvertently" let drop how much they paid for a big yacht and others like to brag about what a good deal they got. Most people we know just keep the price to themselves since yacht ownership is a very personal matter. The base price of the Jeanneau 64 is a moving target depending on where one lives in the world and what equipment is on the boat -- to say nothing of the exchange rate. Nevertheless, we'll quote the base price of the boat at 858,900 Euros ($953,379 U.S. at the 3-4-15 exchange rate of $1.11 per Euro), an amount few will go out the door at since most everyone will want all sorts of options.
We suspect that most boats shipped to the U.S. will be more on the order of $1.3 million. That's a lot of money, but the Jeanneau 64 is also a lot of boat.
Because this yacht is so sleek on the outside and so bright on the inside she appears lightweight, and it is easy to forget that this Jeanneau flagship weighs over 68,000 lbs. (30,844 kg). Because she has the sail area of a 12-meter yacht, she also has to have a lot of ballast and draft. She draws 9'8" (2.95 m) in her "standard draft" version and 7' 2'' (2.20 m) in her "shoal draft" version. That means that the Jeanneau 64 will have to pick her cruising grounds with care. She is, after all, as we keep saying, a very large yacht.
Long Range Cruiser.
But because she is so big, she obviously has capabilities that we have not touched upon in this short report. That will be a matter for special discussion with the dealer so that the vessel can be properly fitted out for the intended task, be it trans-oceanic, ventures into the high arctic, or to the tropics -- all of which she is eminently capable of handling.
In any case, no matter what her layout, friends will no doubt eagerly line up for an invitation for a cabin on the annual yacht club summer cruise. All that will be needed is a dedicated chef.