One of the first boats that caught my eye at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show on Australia’s Gold Coast was a model that I’d never seen before, yet at the same time looked oddly familiar.
Called the Cap Camarat 10.5 overseas, she was unmistakably of Jeanneau descent. In the U.S. she goes by a more familiar name: Leader 10.5. Aha, that’s why she looked so familiar! My feeling of déjà vu evaporated as memories of our 2016 summer boat, the Leader 36, came rushing back. Though it’s a starkly different boat, what with outboard power and a walkaround configuration, I noticed similarities at every turn, from the fabric on the cushions to the shape of her hull windows and even the feel of the table.
Stepping past onlookers, through the gunwale door and into the cockpit, I was impressed by the versatility of the space. With a dining table removed, this area feels like an open pool deck. Fold-down seating to port and starboard transforms the space into an alfresco dining room where six adults can break bread; lower the table and place a fill cushion on top to turn the space into an exceptionally large sunpad. (I felt a sunburn coming on just looking at it.)
That versatility continues as you step past the three-person helm with bolster seats and down into the cabin. Perhaps the only area that caused me pause was the floating staircase below with its short steps. Call me a worrier, but one misstep by a guest puts them right into the galley.
Once below you’ll find a surprising amount of space. Hullside windows, mirrors, a white color scheme, an overhead hatch; Jeanneau broke out all the tricks to make this space feel airy and it works.
A U-shaped settee forward is a comfortable spot for a meal and easily converts to an ample berth, perfect for kids or the occasional guests. You had better be tight with said guests though, because just aft of the galley is the second open stateroom. You’ll have to crouch to get into the amidships berth, but once you’re in, you’ll find that there’s significant headroom where the console lives and ports on both sides should allow fresh air to fill the space—not always the case on boats of this style.
Power for the 10.5 is a pair of 300- or 350-horsepower outboards of your choice. When paired with Michael Peters’ twin-step hull, 600-plus horsepower should give this newcomer a nice top-end of 46 knots, according to Jeanneau, and straight-as-an-arrow tracking.
I’ve been thinking about these features, as well as the comfort and reliability I came to appreciate from the Leader line during the summer with our 36. The 10.5 combines all that with the convenience of outboard power. I’m quite sure you’ll find in this new model a nice platform from which you and your family can make memories of your own.
This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.