The question begs, how can you get such a large boat with so many amenities for less than a million bucks? The answer is that Jeanneau knows its market, and knows how to design and build production powerboats for an affordable price. They do this with economies of scale helped along with its world-wide network of distributors and dealers which, taken together, sell Jeanneau motoryachts in quantity. Jeanneau, which is owned by Beneteau (yes, it builds its own line of power boats, too) is a savvy builder and it knows how to build smart.
Building smart usually means building light. Indeed, when we compared the Prestige 50 with a handful of other fly bridge boats in the 50-foot range built both in Europe and in the U.S. we discovered it is anywhere from 10% to 45% lighter than other boats in class. How does Jeanneau do that?
Its Raison d’etre
First, it carefully and precisely defined the boat’s mission before it was designed. And as a consumer, that means you have to precisely define your mission as well then search out a boat that matches it. Jeanneau’s mission for the Prestige 50 was to build a light, fast, affordable three en suit stateroom boat that would be ideal for several sun-loving couples to take short overnight cruises together, or for a family into watersports to take long weekend outings. The boat is also intended to be used in a relatively confined stretch of coastline. Since the epicenter of European cruising is the French Riviera, this was not a hard mission statement to define. But there are many other places where lots of exciting cruising can be had along a few hundred miles. For example, the Dalmatian coast, the Turkish coast, inside the Great Barrier Reef, the New England coast to Maine, and the Canadian Maritimes, to name a few.
Second, Jeanneau engineers carefully worked out how large a boat it would need to build to squeeze in three staterooms, each with its own private head and shower. This is not an easy fete. At the same time the builder knew the performance it wanted to attain and the price point it wanted to hit. It is sort of like playing with a Rubic’s Cube: several things all have to be turned just the right way to get the boats to come out and hit all of the desired parameters.
To do the seemly impossible, Jeanneau used several tricks: they cocked the master bed in a corner by the side of the hull and had it coming out diagonally into the cabin. This allowed more room on each side of the bed, as well has to pick-up headroom between the stringers in the center of the boat. Next, in the forward cabin the builder raised the island berth as high possible and pushed as far forward as possible to take advantage of bow flair and widen the deck space at the foot of the bed. Then Jeanneau used the tubular “beam-me-up-Scotty” shower stalls integral to the heads to save space. (Note to portly folks: you will want to have soap-on-a-rope because you can’t bend over in these shower tubes to pick up a wayward bar.)
Less is More
And all of those devices allowed Jeanneau designers to get three staterooms and a galley in a boat with a 14’3” (4.36 m) beam. The reduced beam would mean that the Prestige would have from 10% to 20% less material, which means less weight, which in turn means the boat won’t sink so far into the water, giving it desirable shoal-draft characteristics and at the same time making it easier to push through the water. All of this, in turn, allowed the engines to be smaller. Smaller engines translate into lighter weight and less cost. It all works together.
Jeanneau’s clever design work does not end with the accommodations deck. For example, the two steps up to the helm and dinette below is made possible by the unusual raised sunning pad on the flying bridge forward of the helm console. To our Anglo-Saxon mind this is an odd place to putting a bunny pad for a curvaceous tanning body, and hopefully the helmsman won’t be distracted. Nevertheless, there it is, pulchritude right in your line of sight, when you are supposed to be looking for deadheads, submerged containers, and staying off the rocks.By pushing the console back, the skipper could sit lower on the flying bridge. By extending the flying bridge back over the aft deck, a nice “L”-shaped lounge with table could be added. The Rubic’s Cube benefit of this is that the aft deck is now in the shade and can be completely buttoned up with isinglass for cool nights adding even more “interior” living space to the boat. You get the idea. Jeanneau has done a masterful job of designing this boat, thinking out of the box, and keeping costs down.
Have the Layout Your Way
As you can see in the drawings on this page there are at least three different interior layouts that Jeanneau will build for you. The boat comes in two, three stateroom versions and in one, two stateroom version. You can have a dinette below or above or both places depending on what best fits your cruising requirements. Further, you have the option for a crew cabin aft, or Jeanneau will be glad to turn that space into a garage for your tender.
In looking over the list of standard equipment on the Prestige 50 we find a number of items that are “must haves” but which are made optional by some builders to keep the base MSRP price as low as possible. The items which caught our eye which are meaningful on the standard list were: windscreen defogger, “rope” cutter on the shafts, radar arch (which Jeanneau calls a “roll bar”), a wood cockpit sole, a tender garage, and electric rising TV in the saloon.
Having said all of these nice things about the boat, are there some things that we would change? Sure, there always are—*First, we would like a solution to the optional hydraulic passerelle which stands erect off the transom of the boat. While this sight is quite common in the Med, and when at dock it is quite practical, we just think there should be some place to stow it because it ruins the lines of the boat. Is it just us, or does thing look rather phallic?
*We would like to see a third seating position at the helm on the flying bridge, but realize it would not be easy to fit it in. *We would like to see the helm and companion seat at the lower station be four-way electrically adjustable. *We think that both the fuel and water capacities should be increased. The boat holds only 169 gallons (641 L) of fresh water. A couple of loads of wash and a few long showers by unthinking guests will drain this water fast. A boat such as this will probably not have a watermaker, so we think it needs at least twice the water capacity.
*And we would like to see port and starboard pop-up cleats on the aft edge of the swim platform upon which to tie-up the painters for our tender and those of friends come to visit.
The Prestige 50 is an exceedingly-well designed motoryacht offering as much utility and as good a value as you’re apt to come across, in our opinion. Since we have not tested the boat, we can not comment on the boat’s performance, or handling underway. So while those two important aspects of the boat remain a question mark, the rest looks pretty good to us.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard Radio - MP3 - DVD Player|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
|Cockpit Cover||Optional Flybridge cover|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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