Jeanneau Leader 7.5 CC Boat Test
The Leader 7.5 CC is flexible enough to handle a variety of boating styles.
“Convertibility” is a word that pops up often when Nick Harvey, president of Jeanneau America, talks about the new Jeanneau Leader 7.5 CC center-console. Born and bred in France and now living in Maryland, Harvey might be melding French and English, but it perfectly describes this 25-footer, which can be what you want it to be and then convert back easily.
Center-consoles tend toward fishing, so the 7.5 CC has all the usual amenities. These include a 52-inch fish box, rod racks in the coaming, and so forth. But Jeanneau positions the Leader 7.5 CC as a “cruising center-console” for family fun, and here’s where it shines the brightest.
First of all, the entire center console is a private head (with either a built-in or portable toilet), since privacy and lots of storage equals happy families. Showers are located not just at the stern but also forward, and 32-inch-high gunwales keep kids secure.
The cockpit almost requires a manual. It can be wide-open, it has fold-down seats on three sides and a central table, and it can become a sun pad. The skipper and a companion get two comfy pedestal chairs behind a tidy dash with a 12-inch Garmin display, Lenco trim tabs and stylish wraparound windscreen. Our test boat boasted the optional (but no-brainer) hardtop with power-coated frame and canvas sunshade.
Forward, get the manual again. We started with a table with seating that wraps around on four sides—perfect for afternoons at the sandbar. Pull out a support framework and voila-—the entire bow is a sun pad.
We tested with the Yamaha 300 outboard and, while a 250 is available, go for the 300. It has yank power for wakeboarding or skiing. We topped out at 50-plus mph, and you’ll want to warn your crew before you put the hammer down—it’s hang-on time!
Jeanneau understands service access; the battery box is right there in a transom locker, the gas tank is under a cockpit hatch, and the neat, color-coded wiring is easy to trace for troubleshooting.
This delightful French import is as welcome as a chocolate croissant.
- Michael Peters’ 20-degree transom deadrise hull performs well in choppy seas.
- Cockpit seating is ingenious and highly flexible.
- Great storage around the helm, with chargers and USB plugs.
- Bow roller and anchor are quite a spear over the bow.
- Grab handles would be appreciated by bow riders.
- We’d like to see more fuel capacity in a boat rated for 300 hp.
The Release 24 R ($85,810 powered like our test boat) offers loads of seating and a generous head, but no mini galley or berth in the console.
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: 300 hp Yamaha F300
Drive/Prop: Yamaha 17″ x 15.5″ Saltwater Series II 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 75 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Jeanneau America - Annapolis, Maryland; 410-280-9400; jeanneauamerica.com