JEANNEAU LEADER 8
BU ILT 2011 PR ICE £58 ,750
Although not a direct replacement (there was a production gap of about four years), the Leader 8 was basically a comprehensive upgrade of the highly sought after 805 Leader, designed for the teenies with a more modern look and some of the quirks ironed out. INTERIOR The Leader 8 is identical in layout to the 805 Leader, with a large comfortable dinette forward that converts to a double berth and a separate mid cabin divided from the main accommodation by a proper door. There’s a decent galley with a twin burner gas hob rather than the single meths burner of many competitors, plenty of storage and even a microwave, while the heads opposite features smarter surfaces. Two good sized wardrobes augment the storage and a more modern light oak finish was available, although this early example has the more traditional cherry wood. EXTERIOR Bigger changes were found on the outside. The whole boat has a sharper, more angular look, and although the deck layout is the same, with really good asymmetric side decks, the 8 offers squared off aft seating, a radar arch that helps support the canopy, a larger bathing platform and a new dash layout with enough space to flush mount a plotter. PERFORMANCE Jeanneau fitted both petrol and diesel engines, and while the latter will normally cost more to buy, it should maintain its value well. And in the meantime, you’ll benefit from better economy and far better fuel availability. The Leader 8 got Volvo Penta’s lusty D4-260, a supercharged and turbocharged 3.7-litre unit that offers strong acceleration and a top speed of more than 30 knots. SEAKEEPING A three-metre beam makes for a very stable boat at speed (there were no trim tabs as standard) and the gently flared bow helps keep the spray down. It’s a solid performer with a sturdy feel and a great ride for its size, helped by the fact that it can plane at quite low speeds.
LENGTH 29ft 4in (9.9m) BEAM 9ft 9in (3.0m) DRAUGHT 1ft 8in (0.6m) DISPLACEMENT 2.9 tonnes FUEL CAPACITY 300 litres ENGINES Volvo Penta D4-260 260hp diesel
The new dash layout has enough space for a flush-mounted plotter
The spacious dinette transforms to a double berth