JEANNEAU MERRY FISHER 1095
We take this cruising crossover for a spin
Think of ‘Merry Fisher’ and a 6m outboard engine powered peche promenade wheelbase fishing boat that you’ll find tucked into every harbour and inlet in Europe, springs to mind. It’s been a hugely successful genre and the good news is that Jeanneau is continuing with it.
In recent years the brand has been stretched, and stretched again. Jeanneau has taken full advantage of the rise in the popularity and power outputs of outboard engines to deliver its largest Merry Fisher yet – the 32ft MF 1095.
It looks exactly as you’d expect – a ‘stretched limo’ version of the smaller boats with the same upright wheelhouse and clamshell roof on black pillars as the rest of the range. From a distance, the only obvious differentiation, aside from the length, is additional hull windows.
Step aboard via the starboard section of platform that juts out past the twin outboard engines and you’ll find a cockpit geared more toward social cruising than fishing. It’s clear that despite the name, Jeanneau has aimed this boat firmly at its cruising, rather than angling, clientele. So you have fixed seating across the stern and up the port side, with a short third leg in front of the fixed portion of the sliding wheelhouse door. The starboard side is kept clear, easing access to the transom door and forward to the wider of the asymmetric side decks. Cunningly, the aft seat is on tracks so that in normal use it is pushed right back against the outboard engines, maximising space. Should you wish to tilt the outboards clear of the water, the seat slides forward creating a gap for the engine powerheads to swing into.
The deck saloon itself has some neat touches. Two double seats face each other across a dining table on the port side, but the forward (aft facing) seat cantilevers to create forward facing seating underway. The starboard side is mostly galley behind the single helm seat, the
helmsman gaining a side door which not only offers immediate access to the side deck but also gives a sense of connection to the water rushing by, and of course masses of light and ventilation, augmented by two glass hatches.
In theory, Jeanneau presents this boat with either a two or three-cabin layout. In practice, the layout stays the same. So you get a master cabin forward, its centreline island double a nice touch in a sub mid-30ft boat. You also get a single generous heads with a shower stall.
But you pay for both these things with a second cabin that is pretty much just a small double bed running back beneath the dinette, hemmed in on both sides by the cabin walls. The third cabin is smaller still – Jeanneau describes it as a double berth, but it’s certainly extremely cosy.
So what of that alternative two-cabin layout? Well, it’s exactly the same, only there is no bed in the third cabin, it’s a storage area instead. Personally I’d opt for three cabins regardless and simply store things on the bed, at least then you have it should you need it. In fact, if you’re a real glutton for punishment, as well as sleeping six on the lower deck, the dinette converts into another double, but be prepared to queue for the facilities in the morning…
Those two 350hp Yamahas suggest serious potency, but you need to remember that this 32-footer weighs almost five tonnes without engines. Add the two 4.2 litre V6 Yamahas at a quarter of a tonne each in the worst possible place right at the back of the boat, and it’s not quite the rocket ship you might have hoped for. But recalibrate your expectations and the performance is entirely sufficient, with a 37-knot top end giving genuine 30-knot cruising ability.
More impressive is what’s going on at the bottom end of the planing speed range, because, despite that half tonne hanging off the transom, the Merry Fisher 1095 lifts onto the plane at surprisingly low speed, runs remarkably level and doesn’t need a fistful of throttle to get it there.
Handling is a similar story. No, you can’t throw it into turns like a race boat and yes, if you push it hard, you can induce cavitation in the outer propeller as it lifts as the boat banks. But why would you want to? As ever, Jeanneau has the fundamental hull dynamics spot on. As a boat to cruise with, it’s excellent, and when you reach your destination that practical layout works well. If you want to get your hands on the last word in speed and dynamics, then you’ll need to look elsewhere (in fact, look at Jeanneau’s new Cap Camarat 9.0 – that’s a serious driver’s machine) because what this boat does is simply uphold those practical, sensible values that put its smaller siblings into almost every harbour and inlet in Europe in the first place.
BUILD: GRP RCD: B8/C10 persons LOA: 32ft 11in (10.50m) Beam: 10ft 11in(3.35m) Draught 2ft 3in (0.69) Displacement: 5.1 tonnes Price from: £181,813 As tested: £196,956 Enquiries: www.jeanneau.com
Twin 350hp Yamaha outboards give the MF1095 a top speed of 37 knots
THROTTLES Yamaha’s electronic throttles are exceptionally smooth and sensitive SIDE DOOR The sliding helm door gives easy access to the sidedeck and a good connection with the sea
The mattress fills the full width of the guest cabin The wheelhouse is blessed with plenty of light and fresh air The solitary but spacious heads serves all three cabins The dinette seat can face backwards or forwards ABOVE The forward master cabin enjoys the lion’s share of the space and storage below decks