I like the way the DB/43 looks. It’s got a touch of bodybuilder about it—toned but pumped, with a high freeboard, substantial windshield and hardtop, plumb bow and chopped-off transom.
That profile conceals important surprises. The aft bulwarks fold down, creating two cockpit-extending platforms that virtually double the deck space at the transom. Those, combined with a large hydraulic platform ($36,670), deliver a fabulous beach-club vibe. With those platforms down, the maximum beam dimension aft swells from 12 ½ feet to 18 ½ feet, which, to put it in better context, means its stern is much the same size as a 70-something motoryacht.
Interior and Accessories
Overall, the cockpit layout packs in all the essentials without feeling cramped, whether those platforms are up or down. There’s a sun pad aft, beneath which is a locker big enough for fenders and the life raft, plus perhaps a Seabob docking station. Then there’s a large double-leaf dining table that will easily seat six. Both benches that address the table have storage beneath and two-way backrests, and then there’s a great wet-bar/galley module amidships. There are three pilot seats beneath the windshield, all with bolstered cushions and armrests. The driver’s seat and bridge console are offset to starboard. Overhead, a hardtop provides weather protection for about three-quarters of the cockpit. This includes two small skylights that help take away some of the shadows. When you want proper UV rays, hit the switch—there’s also a large electric-opening sunroof. Optional ($9,000) 12,000 Btu air conditioning cools the cockpit and helm, while 20,000 Btu serves the cabin.
Although ostensibly competing with the likes of European brands Fjord and Pardo, the DB/43 has dispensed with easy-to-walk-around decks. You have to climb three steps on each side to get up onto the foredeck. But what you get in return is plenty of headroom in the master stateroom forward. Ringed by a low guardrail, the foredeck is still packed with utility. There’s not only another sun pad here, but also a forward-facing mini seat with a footwell and the option of a small table.
Light-oak veneers are standard in the cabin. In standard guise, there’s a secondary galley module to port of the companionway. But an alternative to this is a second head and shower-room compartment. The standard layout includes two staterooms and just the one shower room that has Jack-and-Jill doors, one to the master stateroom in the bow and the other to the lower salon area. If the second shower stall is installed aboard, the other loses a door and becomes a regular en suite to the principal cabin. The master stateroom location is given away from the outside by those long hull windows running virtually to the stem.
The second stateroom also has a pair of low-slung hull windows on both sides. They’re not so obvious. This cabin is amidships, tucked behind the companionway and beneath the cockpit, but with a proper door. Despite the generous freeboard, it’s still rather headroom-deprived yet manages to provide a comfortable double berth to port, plus another overspill single berth to starboard that can double as a low-slung sofa. Although, it has to be said that only very young children would be able to sit there with straight backs.
We tested the first DB/43 IB, powered by the standard-fit twin Volvo Penta D6-380s and Aquamatic drives. That combo was good for a top speed of 38 mph during our Côte d’Azur sea trials in April. We were running in a 15 mph breeze and some pleasantly lively seas off Cannes at approximately two-thirds load, meaning full water, 40 percent fuel and seven people aboard. At an all-day planing speed of 28 mph, the most efficient fast cruise for that setup, the boat burns 29 gph, which, given the twin-tank capacity of 211 gallons, means a practical working range of 180 miles allowing for a 20 percent fuel reserve. Enhance comfort by adding a Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer ($78,430).
The ergonomics at the helm of the Jeanneau DB/43 are good. Steering is precise, and it turns faster than those lines would suggest, carving its way nicely through the meter-high seas we encountered. Moreover, the slow in-harbor stuff is oh-so-easy given the latest Volvo Penta joystick and much-improved hydraulic clutch system that make slipping in and out of gear smooth at low rpm. And for those who prefer their boats to come with a whiff of gasoline and yet more horses, there’s an outboard version powered by triple 350 hp Mercury Verados (starting at $1,036,000), which is said to top out around 46 mph. In fact, Jeanneau states the boat gets a range of 220 miles cruising at 32 knots. The Michael Peters hull can certainly cope with the power; the design’s speed is 52 mph.
Shoppers should check out the MJM 42 (starting at $1,616,910 powered like our test boat). It’s another fine-running boat with unique lines and offered with a choice of either twin Mercury 600 hp V-12 outboards or twin Volvo Penta diesel Aquamatic drives. It comes with a larger fuel tank and is built with epoxy-infused construction. Also consider the Cruisers Yachts Cantius 42, powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS 500 pods (starting at $1,290,485).
How We Tested
- Engines: Twin Volvo Penta D6-380 diesel Aquamatic sterndrives
- Drive/Prop: Sterndrive/H4 Duoprop propset
- Gear Ratio: 1.69:1 Fuel Load: 84 gal. Water Load: 10 gal. Crew Weight: 1,200 lb.
- Those beach-club platforms give this boat the cockpit of a 70-footer.
- Buyer’s choice of diesel sterndrive or gasoline outboard power.
- New Volvo Penta DPI hydraulic clutch means no more clunk during shifting.
- Small fuel tank lowers the range compared to similar sterndrive boats. Note: The outboard version nets a 220-mile range at 32 knots with its 340-gallon fuel supply.
Pricing and Specs
|$1,169,265 (as tested); US prices start at $1,001,000 ($1,036,000 for the OB version)
|Max Cabin Headroom:
|760 (sterndrive); 1,050 (outboard)
|Twin Volvo Penta D6-380 DPI diesel Aquamatic sterndrives or triple Mercury 300 hp or 350 hp outboards
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Jeanneau – Annapolis, Maryland; 410-280-9400; jeanneauamerica.com