Jeanneau's DB/43: Thoroughly Reviewed by Rich Report
On the final approach into Nice, France, I noticed that we would have some fun on the water. It was a breezy morning on the Côte d'Azur, and Cap d'Antibes was ringed in white, margarita-style breaking surf. French shipbuilder Jeanneau designed the DB/43 as a premium cruiser with an open hardtop.
With 380 hp Volvo Penta D6 Duoprop sterndrives, I cruised at 32 to 33 knots at two-thirds load with 39 percent fuel, 100 percent water, and seven people aboard the Jeanneau DB/43. In a 25-knot cruise, the engine burned 29 gallons of gasoline per hour, giving a theoretical range of 170 nautical miles. At 8 knots, expect 340 nautical miles.
At the wheel, the yacht felt nimble and turned tightly. The hull design, designed by Michael Peters, moved smoothly through the choppy seas. The joystick made it easy to maneuver in close quarters. There's nothing clunky about these latest sterndrives and their electronic clutches. They slip into and out of gear effortlessly.
A triple 350 hp Mercury Verado outboard or equivalent Yamaha promises a top speed near 40 knots with triple 440 hp diesels and stern drives.
A Seakeeper gyrostabilizer is optional, but this DB/43 did not have one. The original design speed was 45 knots, and the hull and stringers are made of reinforced fiberglass.
In terms of appearance, it boasts a thoroughly modern profile. The stem is squared off, as is the relatively low transom. The freeboard is high, and there are two tiers of hullside windows set In profile, the transom appears high and almost back-raked, and it runs from amidships virtually to the bow, and one aft that is near the swim platform. The hindquarters are folded down to create an aft terrace, which extends from 12 feet, 6 inches to approximately 18 feet, 6 inches within 20 seconds.
The cockpit is a versatile entertaining area with headroom ranging from 6 feet, 5 inches to 6 feet, 7 inches, and a 21-square-foot sunroof above is a sun pad with stowage underneath for a Seabob, life raft and fenders. Part of the sun pad doubles as a sofa bench at a double-leaf dining table that easily seats six to eight guests for alfresco meals. There is a bench like that and another one as well stowage underneath and two-way backrests. The forward bench slides on tracks for whichever way guests want to face. A wet bar is amidships.
Behind the single-piece raked windshield are three helm seats. All three seats are adjustable back and forth, and have bolster cushions and armrests. Starboard is the position of the helm console. It is especially great if you can find a dock with a height that is appropriate for stepping ashore if you have a short boarding gate adjacent to the helm.
The DB/43's foredeck is surrounded by a guardrail and accessed via three steps past the windshield instead of walk-around decks. As well as providing additional headroom in the main deck master stateroom, the extra space allows for a sun pad and sun loungers, as well as a small table.
In two staterooms, the yacht can accommodate four to five people. A second shower room can also be configured at the foot of the companionway (in addition to the proper galley).
There is an aft-facing 6.5-by-5.25-foot berth in the master stateroom and an en suite shower room with another door opening to the lower lobby, unless a second shower room is specified. Located amidships, under the cockpit sole, is the second guest room. In addition to a double berth to port, there is also a low-slung single berth to starboard.
With the Jeanneau DB/43, you can enjoy dayboating with friends or taking a family trip over the weekend. There are clearly defined social spaces on the main deck and everyone is within hearing distance. It's fair to say Jeanneau has created a vessel that appeals to a wide audience with its zip and seakindliness.
In the past 40-plus years, Michael Peters' prolific team has developed more than 500 designs and launched around 40,000 products, including the Jeanneau DB/43 running surface. Among them are iconic models from Chris-Craft and Viking Yachts. Camillo Garroni and his studio, based in Genoa, Italy, are responsible for the rest of Jeanneau's design credits.
A Beach Club
“The beach club” is an everyday phrase in the yachting world, but what is its origin? Although some say the Beach Club in Palm Beach, Florida, the InterContinental Carlton in Cannes, France, appears to have first referred to its private beach facilities as "the beach club." Cary Grant and Grace Kelly appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 film To Catch a Thief.
Where It All Started
Located in the French city of Les Herbiers, Jeanneau is a French company. In 1957, Henri Jeanneau began building outboard-powered wooden dinghies, but soon switched to fiberglass. Jeanneau Sea Bird, a 16-foot motorcruiser, is one of the company's earliest models. In 1963, the first sailboats were added. As a result of its 1995 merger with its biggest competitor, Groupe Bénéteau is today the world's largest builder of sailboats and second-largest builder of pleasure boats, after Brunswick.