Open dayboating becomes the focal point of the Cap Camarat 8.5 CC. She’s a huge center console that accommodates the usual aspect of fishing, but she is much, much more boat than that. She clearly has what is among the highest freeboards in class. With her center console there are gathering and sunning areas to both bow and stern. An on-deck galley provides the entertaining focal point. And when the trips take her away from her homeport, there’s room to berth two inside the console.There are few boats quite like her being sold these days in the U.S. She has been sold in Europe for five years and boaters there seem to like the remarkable versatility and utility that comes with this refreshing design.
Jeanneau may be a relatively new name in the U.S.
, but in Europe it enjoys massive popularity with a name as recognizable as Kleenex or Snickers is in America. In fact, in 2012 Jeanneau celebrated its 30th year selling sail and powerboats, but what really impresses is the volume. (Jeanneau is part of the Beneteau Group.)The focus was previously on smaller boats, nearly 4,500 per year going out the factory doors, 1,500 per year going to France alone.
On deck the Cap Camarat 8.5 CC speaks of an open boat with plenty of room for socializing. This is a welcome departure from the center consoles dedicated only to fishing and we’ve long been proponents of the fact that it’s this sort of boat that would make an excellent cruising boat for day excursions. Cap Camarat has taken that concept seriously by even adding overnight accommodations below deck. But let’s start our look at the features out in the fresh air first.For this model year, some subtle changes have been made. Jeanneau is now going with two-toned outside upholstery with a combination of light and dark grey. The hull has received some new highlighting with regards to color and shading. Bimini options for color now include Sunbrella Plus Silver. New electronics are offered. And Mercury pre-rigging is now offered.
The Helm is center mounted
in the wide console. Three across seating offers the captain both the safety of additional eyes looking ahead and the company of guests to converse with as the trip unfolds.The console is quite high, which serves well to add protection, but not so high as to interfere with visibility. A large flat area just below the upper panel will no doubt serve as a space to add the usual stuff such as sunscreen, cell phones and the like. The molded console literally wraps around the panel, so the sides, heavy “shoulders” add strength while also serving as a mounting point for vertically mounted grab handles.
With a single moving map display residing in the upper panel and a multifunction screen in the lower, clutter is left off the dash entirely. Upgraded electronics are offered for this model year. Buyers can choose from either the Lowrance Elite 5 or 7, both of which include a moving map display and fishfinder with a hi-def transom-mounted transducer, or upgrade to the HDS GEN2 9” (23 cm) touch display. The beauty of this upgraded version is that it includes a thru-hull transducer and the sonic hub allowing full functionality of the upgraded sound system, even with Bluetooth functionality.A flush mounted compass is at the top center of the console, directly inline with the helm. The wheel is mounted closer to the horizontal than we typically see and in this manner a bit more space is offered behind the helm.
The cockpit features wide-open space
making an ideal area whether fishing or for mingling with guests. When underway, the standard benches will seat four across the transom and two more flip-out from under the bulwarks to both sides seating another four people in relaxed comfort. Behind the aft bench, there’s a ski tow pylon adding watersports to the day’s fun. Available teak decking only adds to the allure of the boat.
Two Leaning Post Configurations
Whether cruising or fishing, the Cap Camarat 8.5 CC can deliver with a choice of leaning post configurations.
An on-deck galley
brings cooking and food prep to the center of the party. It includes a sink, refrigerator, and a space for adding an optional gas stove with a separate compartment for storing the propane tank below the sink.
A more fishing-focused leaning post
adds an aerated livewell but still includes a removable gas stove, so this might be the more attractive option for converting back and forth between tasks.
Forward there is wrap-around bench seating that opposes the wide bench seat just ahead of the console. A filler cushion can be added to the starboard side to create another seat. And of course the entire area can be filled in to create a massive sun pad.
Entrance to the cabin is via an offset companionway
and two solid wood steps provide access. To both sides of the entry are single berths against the outer bulkheads. A sink is located in the center, just next to the entry steps, and this makes cleanups before turning in a convenient affair. Forward is a Porta-Potti and a toilet with holding tank is available as an option. Upholstery is colored in Orion White.Climate control is had from either opening hatches or a 12V air conditioning system that has already become a popular option with Florida customers. Currently, there is no generator option but that is something the design team at Jeanneau is working on, we're told.
The Cap Camarat 8.5 CC can be ordered as a single engine boat, with power options up to 350-hp. For those that will continually engage in longer trips, the redundancy of twin engines will be hard to ignore, and she can easily be rigged for engines up to 225-hp each. She takes long shaft (25”/64cm) engines and with the recent addition of Mercury to the offerings, four different manufacturers are now available: Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Mercury.
We think the Jeanneau Cap Camarat 8.5 CC is a breath of fresh air in the center console design concept and she certainly has far more utility than many conventional fishing CC's this size. With the teak deck and full amenities, this boat is a capable vessel for many uses and may be just the answer for people down-sizing from larger cruising boats.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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