The NC 33 is the latest launch from the Jeanneau shipyard that carries on the tradition of building boats that seemingly have an interior larger than the exterior. The way it does this is by making so many aspects of the boat convertible into other uses, sizes, or shapes. We’ve been impressed with how well the NC line carries out this mission since the first test of the NC 11 some seven years ago, and our enthusiasm hasn’t wavered. The NC 33 marks the first boat of Jeanneau’s revamping of the series. Our first question though, is why did they call it the 33?
- Recessed sidedecks
- Modular cockpit
- Balanced distribution of space
- 2 large double berths
- A head with separate shower compartment
|Length Overall||34' 5" / 10.50 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||6.1 sec.|
|0 to 30||15.0 sec.|
|Load||5 persons, 2/3 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||65 deg., 46 humid.; wind: 5-10 mph; seas: 1-2|
2 x 220-hp Volvo Penta D3 DP
2 x 220-hp Volvo Penta D3
Contents of Report
The new for 2018 NC 33 is yet another evolution in the lineup of these versatile boats from Jeanneau. Now at four boats strong, the lineup, for now anyway, runs from 30’11” (9.43 m) for the NC 9, on up to the NC 14 at 45’8” (13.93 m). It fills a gap between the NC 9 and NC 11, which begs the question: where are these names coming from and why isn’t the NC 33 the largest in the fleet instead of second from the smallest?
The answer is that this European builder previously named its boats according to their size in meters. Now that Jeanneau has gotten such a strong following in the North American market, the builder is converting the naming over to be more relatable in feet as the next Gen models are built. So at 34’6” (10.53 m), why is it not the NC 34? That’s a good question.
The underlying theme is that the NC line is getting revamped for the next generation of the lineup, and this NC 33 is the first of that new series. As others are built, they will be replacing previous models, and the line, more than likely, will go back to three models. We’ll see.
The swim platform can be covered in optional teak ($5,560) and its depth from the transom is variable, depending on whether the standard sliding seating in the cockpit is slid forward or aft. In the forward position, there’s room for hanging out during a swim party, or securing a RIB tender with 3’1” (.94 m) of space. A large storage locker is in the transom. To port is a hatch over the shore power inlet, and there’s plenty of storage here for the shore cord as well.
The cockpit is accessed from steps to the starboard side of the cockpit, and as with the swim platform, it’s entertainment space is variable. Seating is L-shaped and this is part of the next generation of the NC Series of boats. Previous models had a bench seat at the transom. The aft section of the L-seating is expandable or retractable, depending on where we want the space to be. While some would say “we want both”, Jeanneau sells bigger boats for those folks. Here, as with any other boat this size, it’s about compromise. Jeanneau has come up with a creative and innovative way to accommodate just such a compromise with this movable seat that varies the space from one section to another. And it works quite well.
In the optional version ($2,020), the seatback will also lie flat, the seat base extends ahead into the cockpit and then a filler pad is inserted to form a sun pad measuring 4’9” x 6’ (1.45 m x 1.83 m). This adds versatility.
There is storage under the seats. The cockpit is also protected under the extended overhead with a canvas extension that has opening sections to allow light in. For some, this is an invite to enclose the area for three-season boating ($5,490).
Jeanneau also worked out a fair compromise with the side decks and created an asymmetrical layout with the port side much narrower than the starboard side. We measured 12” (30.5 cm) to port and 18” (45.7 cm) to the starboard side. Again, this is a fair compromise, as any owner will clearly be spending more time in the salon area as opposed to the side deck. We’ll take the added interior space.
For tying up the boat, the port side deck is still useable, but for reasons we’ll get to shortly, the starboard side will always be the preferred side for docking. And for transitioning to the bow, the starboard side again, is the way to go. It’s also where we will board the NC 33 from a fixed pier as there’s an opening side door to the bulwarks right at the cockpit.
Being so easily accessed it makes sense to have another relaxing area at the bow. Jeanneau accommodates this with the large and optional sun pad ($4,930) spanning the length and width of the trunk cabin. It includes adjustable seat backs and bases to arrange the pads in a myriad of ways.
A 35.27-pound (16 kg) anchor is fixed to a rope and chain rode that is managed from a vertically mounted windlass at the deck. An anchor roller is mounted just ahead. Access to the self-draining rode locker is alongside and it also includes a windlass control on a coiled wire.
We move inside through a triple set of sliding glass doors that open fully to either side. With the opening to starboard, it’s 3’6” (1.07 m) wide and to port it’s 3’7” (1.09 m). Other than that, the opening to starboard is slightly interrupted by the cabinetry while to port it is less so due to the seating.
Once inside, a convertible space is the theme along with generous doses of natural light. And with a flush deck there are no steps to this single level main deck that begins at the cockpit and continues to the forward companionway. Optional air handling provides 28,000 BTU air and heat ($22,350). An optional 6.4 kW generator ($26,270) would provide the power when away from the confines of the optional 220v shore power. Otherwise, the standard 120Ah and optional 115 Ah batteries ($660), along with a 12V/220V 2000-watt inverter will handle the load. The Alpi wood comes standard with a Moabi finish, but the Walnut of our test boat was optional ($3,840).
There’s no step separating the cockpit from the salon, it’s all on a single level. Seating is to port in the form of an L-shaped sofa wrapping around an expandable table on either a standard fixed base or an optional hi-lo pedestal, allowing for conversion to a berth. With that being added, all windows will have blinds, the aft doors have curtains, and the overhead skylights have a blackout screen.
The forward seat has a clever conversion that not only reverses the seatback, it also elevates the seat to the same level as the helm seat. So in effect, we can be seated for dining one moment and switch to forward facing when underway. And in a brilliant move by Jeanneau, the windows also drop down as they are carried aft. This, along with the narrow side decks, provides a much-improved level of visibility from the seated positions, regardless of which way we face when seated.
With the aft doors fully opened, there is nearly continuous seating along the entire port side of this main deck between the cockpit L-shaped seating and the salon L-shaped seating. It’s among the most inviting in class.
Across is open counter space, trimmed in Walnut Alpi wood with leather inlay. The counter is also a lid, that when lifted, reveals the cooking space while still leaving a counter prep area to the aft side. This space houses the stainless steel sink and propane stove for European customers, and electric for the North American. Below are an optional 80L refrigerator ($1,810), a trash receptacle, and the microwave. The standard refrigerator is below at the atrium to the cabins.
Blending the inside with the outside is a large aspect of the NC 33. Not only do we have the large aft doors that open fully, but we also have a port side window, a starboard side door, and a standard pair of manually opening tempered-glass sunroofs that owners can swap out for a large single electrically actuated Webasto sunroof ($8,000). Even with everything closed, the sheer amount of visibility is still enough to blur the line between in and out.
The helm is where form meets function and Jeanneau did its usual good job of designing an efficient workspace for the operator. It’s starboard mounted with a panel suited to fit a 19” (48.3 cm) display. To both sides are the engine tachometers. Additional gauges line the top of the panel, the compass is further ahead but still in line of sight. Lighted rocker switches are to both sides of the display. Below are the optional depth gauge, optional autopilot, and a pair of beverage holders. The wheel is mounted to an adjustable base and connected to hydraulic steering. The digital engine controls are to the right.
Additional optional electronics include a 9” (22.86 cm) Raymarine touch display with sonar ($4,350). This can be upgraded to the optional 12” (30.5 cm) display with sonar (+$1,240). The radar ($4,130), autopilot ($4,730), VHF ($1,740), and AIS ($2,250) are also offered as options.
The helm seat is doublewide so an observer can always join the operator, and this is ideal for the typical use as a couple’s cruising boat. And visibility is outstanding with plenty of windows and narrow mullions that don’t have to support the weight of a flying bridge. Windshield defoggers are supplied as standard as are wipers with integrated washers.
The helm seat is seat-and-a-half width and includes a single flip-up bolster. There are two elevated platforms underneath, one for when we’re on the bolster that also doubles as a convenient step for exiting the side door. The second is a comfortable spot for the feet.
However, our favorite aspect of the helm station is the opening side door. It’s immediately adjacent to the helm, so no running around to the other side of the seat. Plus there are several additional aspects that owners will come to love with this arrangement.
First is docking. We can be seated, or standing right at this doorway with our hand on the sterndrive joystick. This will allow us full sightlines of the entire starboard side as we maneuver into the dock. If the bow thruster option ($5,940) is chosen, we could also move our hand quite easily to its control stick that would get installed right alongside.
Furthermore, it gives a clean and quick access to the starboard side deck, right at the midship cleat, making it a breeze to tie up the NC 33 single-handed. A hinged opening in the rail would further facilitate this ease of tying up, and reboarding after leaving this last line secured before departure. But at 33” (84 cm), the rail clearly doesn’t prohibit swinging a leg over.
Of course on hot days, this door will also be a comfortable feature as it lets so much air into the interior. Open up the back door and the port side window, and the breeze has nowhere to go but right past the operator on its way out, and the feeling is quite refreshing when the temperature climbs.
The NC 33 carries a theme of being on deck by day and below deck by night. Both cabins and the single head are down a set of stairs at the center-mounted companionway. At the bottom of the stairs, there’s an open atrium surrounded by doors leading to the two staterooms and the head. Additionally, in a door to the port side Jeanneau provided space for the standard refrigerator along with more, much appreciated, storage.
The master stateroom is fully forward and is the most spacious. Privacy is via a sliding curtain but a sliding door is offered as an option and will provide a 22” (56 cm) wide entrance. The door automatically latches in the open position so as not to slam closed on any fingers. A button to the starboard side, inside the stateroom, releases the latch allowing the door to be re-closed.
The stateroom features an overhead clearance of 6’3” (1.90 m) at the entrance. A large berth measuring 6’3" (1.91 m) fore and aft and 5’ (1.52 m) wide has access to both sides. Those dimensions may be plenty for most, but should tall owners be in the mix, the foot of the berth slides out and a filler cushion adds another 8 ½” (21.59 cm) to the length of the berth.
Optional storage surrounds the upper level ($1,240). White laminate cupboards are trimmed in Alpi wood. Shelf space is below. More storage is under the berth, accessed by simply lifting the foot of the berth. This storage space measures 29” (73.7 cm) x 53” (134.62 cm) x 17” (43.2 cm).
There’s plenty of natural light pouring in from the hull side windows to port and starboard, plus the obligatory overhead hatch.
The guest quarters are just abaft and here the berth is mounted athwartships to face another hullside window. Storage is at the foot of the berth along with the usual handing locker at the entrance, and another smaller compartment alongside that. The overhead presents a variable geometry here, due to the living space above, so while we won’t be using the bed for a trampoline, for sleeping and sitting it’s more than adequate.
At the entrance there’s standing headroom of 6’7" (2.01 m). A seat is just alongside the berth. The berth measures 6’9” x 7’1” (2.06 m x 2.16 m). There’s a hullside window with an opening portlight plus an overhead and opening hatch just at the entrance.
The head is to starboard and also accessed through the main foyer area. It includes a hull side window with opening portlight and an optional separate walk-in shower. Otherwise a wet-head layout is standard. A vessel sink is atop an Alpi wood counter. The standard toilet is manual flush, electric is optional.
Jeanneau placed the toilet inside the shower stall, or it would be more correct to say that the shower stall is placed around the toilet since the walk-in shower is optional. The opening portlight is placed here as well, giving much appreciated ventilation for both features.
The engine room is accessed from a hatch in the cockpit deck that allows us easy access to the twin 220-hp Volvo Penta D3 diesel engines turning DP outdrives. This is the only power choice available for the NC 33 but the joystick functionality is an option ($20,500). The engine room is well ventilated from natural inlets and standard air extractors to keep the temperatures at bay.
As we got underway, we got a good feel for how impressively she handles in tight confines. Her joystick functionality is what makes it so easy and the stick seemed to be dialed in nicely to the engines and drives. A bow thruster is optional on this boat, and our test boat was not equipped with it. Once clear of the slips and into the canal, a nudge of the sticks disabled the joystick and we were back to regular controls and steering, still with excellent responsiveness.
We tested on a typical South Florida day with temperatures at the upper 60s and seas running in 1’ to 2’ (.30 m to .61 m) swells. With the twin 220-hp Volvo Penta D3 diesels turning DP outdrives, we reached our top speed of 31.3 knots at 4170 rpm. Best cruise was measured at 3250 rpm and 21.3 knots. It was at that speed that the 12.7 gph fuel burn translated into 1.7 nmpg and a range of 206.8 nm, all while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 137-gallon (518.60 L) total fuel capacity.
We reached planing speed in 6.1 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 8.8 seconds, and 30 mph came and went in 15 seconds.
With sterndrives, the NC 33 is very responsive to the helm. It’s easy to get heavy handed with three turns from lock to lock on the wheel so small movements of the wheel are in order here. That also has an added benefit of helping maintain control at low speeds. Her usual 15-degree roll into the turn occurs simultaneously with the change in direction so everything remains comfortable. She does have a bit of a bow rise so I was adding just a touch of down trim to the tabs, which didn’t seem to affect the performance. She’ll also lean slightly into the wind, which again, tabs can correct for, all of this is typical and fully expected.
During our tests, we were in 1’ to 2’ (.30 m to .61 m) swells and if we pushed her we could get the hull to slap, but that’s not how this boat will be operated. At cruising speeds, it was a much different ride, smooth and soft. She’d simply ride right over the waves, and press into the next one and continue on, over and over again. It’s a nice characteristic to have in a cruising boat.
When it came time for docking, there are two aspects. One is how easy it is to dock the NC 33 single, or short handed. That side door not only provides the excellent visibility, but it’s also so easy to just step out and put a line out from that midship cleat. Once that’s secured, the rest is just a matter of tying the bow and stern.
As for close quarters, again, that side door, along with the joystick functionality, make it an easy task. It’s also this combination that makes the NC 33 such an ideal boat for someone moving up from a smaller boat. She’s pre-molded for a bow thruster, but our test boat didn’t have one, and frankly, we didn’t miss it.
Optional Considerations and Pricing
The Jeanneau NC 33 has a base price of $299,000. As tested, she came in at $410,577. This includes some optional packaging such as the;
$17,500 trim level options (electric windlass, 110v shore power fitting, charger, water heater, ambiance pack (outside steps LED lights + inside indirect lighting), ventilation pack (opening deck hatch in fore cabin and opening deck hatch in aft cabin), horn, electric toilet with fresh water, electric trim tabs, bilge storage in engine room, microwave, and ceramic glass cooktop).
$1,900 comfort pack (drawers in utility room, connector for direct water supply from shore, shower wall).
$4,350 Electronics Pack (Axiom 9 GPS chartplotter/sounder with 9”/22.86 cm touchscreen), cartography included (SD card EU, N. America or ROW), Wi-Fi connectivity to get control from tablet or smartphone, and P79 depth transducer.
This latest launch of the Jeanneau NC 33 now brings the total number of boats to four in this particular lineup. It carries with it the “swiss army knife” theme that the range is so well known for of being able to do so much in a small package thanks to the versatility and convertibility. It’s like having a larger boat for a smaller price. Pretty much the “holy grail” of boating achievements.