By Capt. Steve
With so many companies building express cruisers in the 30-40' range (9-12 m) Jeanneau knew that the new Leader 10 had to stand out in some way in order to compete. I think the builder manages to not only make a stand-out boat, but also price it at a competitive range to take business away from competitors’ smaller models. Not only have I found Jeanneau boats to be outstanding handlers, but well-built and adept at introducing expensive materials only where it makes sense to. Jeanneau shows its ability to utilize available space very optimally -- the Leader 10 in particular does not go unnoticed in its class because of its very bright interiors (thanks to large side windows in the hull, and sky lights on the deck). The result is a spacious boat that conveys a strong feeling of openness. In my opinion, this makes the Leader 10 a very comfortable summer live-aboard for weekends.
Jeanneau tells us that the Leader 10 is a replacement for the Prestige 30. An argument could be made for this Leader 10 being a replacement for the Prestige 34, as well. The layouts are similar, only 1.5' (.46 m) separates the two for length, the beams differ by 1" (2.5 cm), and the weight differs by just 28 lbs. (12.7 kg). Fuel and water capacities are virtually the same. But that's about where I would end the comparison, as the Leader 10 has so many other attributes that make it a good boat in its own right. What we have is a two stateroom, single, wet head layout with a modest galley and L-shaped seating opposite. The Leader 10 seems to have all the qualities tailor made for a family of four, or two couples. It is certainly suitable for two couple's weekend away since both the fore and aft staterooms allow closed-off bulkhead-and-door privacy rather than just a curtained off berth.
More welcoming areas await above decks, and they're all positioned behind the captain and his/her observer. The helm is located to starboard with a double wide helm seat and plenty of room in the panel for electronics displays. Jeanneau naturally offers a selection of electronics including a Ray C90 and GPS, a 4kw digital radar, an ST 70 autopilot, an AIS receiver, and a Ray 240E VHF.An optional integral refrigerator can be fitted into the seat, and the double footrest ensures comfort. There are two windshield wipers for the single piece, full beam windshield, and if the sheer size of that forward windshield stuns you, wait till you get a load of the side windows.
A Proper Helm
You can operate the Leader 10 from either the sitting or standing position, and there's a drop down step to add even more visibility for the vertically challenged captains. The hardtop extends well aft over the entire cockpit, and comes with a sunroof that is available in two retractable versions, a manually opened canvas style, or an electrically actuated fiberglass choice. The salon area of the cockpit measures a full 8’ 1’’ (2.7 m).Lest you think you can't handle a boat this size, fear not. The Leader 10 is available with a choice of sterndrives, all from Volvo Penta, and you can opt for either a bow thruster to assist you into the dock, or the much coveted sterndrive joystick, but not both.
A Large Cockpit
Further aft, a large U-shaped settee surrounds a table to starboard with a lounger to port that also serves as seating for two. True to form, Jeanneau ensures that the under seat storage is large enough to conceal a life raft. To port a small sink is tapped into the onboard 66 gallon (250 L) water tank. A small step down leads you to the swim platform with a concealed boarding ladder to port, just abaft the portside cockpit entrance.
Comparing The Basic Specs
The Leader 10 is 35' 7" (10.85 m) LOA and hull is 34'7" (10.55 m) long. Her beam is 12'3" (3.73 m) and she displaces 13,200 lbs. (6,000 kgs.). When I used the BoatTEST.com comparison feature and compared the Leader 10 with other boats in her type and size I discovered that she is the beamiest of five other major brands from 3" (7.5 cm) to 9" (22 cm).At 13,200 lbs. (6,000 kgs.) the Leader 10 was the lightest of the five boats by anywhere from 400 lbs. (181 kgs.) to over 3,000 lbs. (1,363 kgs.) She also carried slightly less fuel than the other boats, but carries slightly more water. I suspect that the she has a lower fuel capacity because most of the Leader 10s are ordered with diesel engines which have greater range than the comparable gas engines that most American boaters buy.
I have already mentioned most of the boat's noteworthy features, but just to make it clear here is a list of them in one place-- *2 staterooms. *One-piece windshield and side windows. *Option of either soft or fiberglass sunroof. *Good interior natural light. *Ability to stand or sit at helm with sunroof closed. *Lightweight for more economical operation. *Long overhang of coupe roof for shade. *Ease of enclosing cockpit with attractive-looking canvas. *Reasonable prices for option packages. *Competitive base price.
There are two popular option packages that are offered with the Leader 10, the Premier and the Preference and I can't imagine ordering this boat without both. The Premier Package includes a bow thruster (unless you opt for sterndrive joystick), wood decking in the cockpit and swim platform, snap-in carpet, a cockpit refrigerator, and an extra 110 amp battery. As for the Preference Package, it includes electric trim tabs, a forward sun pad cushion, a wood cockpit table and cover, and an electric toilet.
I have not yet tested the Leader 10 so I would like to hold off making a recommendation until I do. I'm particularly interested in finding out how she performs in a seaway at best cruise and I want to check out her engine room. Having said that, I must admit that I am intrigued by what appears to be an exceptional "utility-to-price" value. Given her handsome, contemporary lines and styling and the features noted above, she looks to me like she should be on the "must-see" list for many boaters thinking about a 30'+ express cruiser.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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