The Leader 30, the entry-level boat for the Jeanneau Leader series, is also the only one with a fully open cockpit. Starting with a hull designed by Michael Peters, Jeanneau has managed to fit a surprising amount of living space into the cockpit and, somehow, into a cabin with an outward appearance belying its capacious and comfortable interior accommodations.
The cockpit has thoughtful touches, including seatbacks that fold outward in order to create a sun pad, a backrest that becomes a helm companion seat, a mini galley with sink and refrigerator, plus a folding dining table for alfresco meals. Entertaining crew should prove easy aboard the Leader 30.
Belowdecks, we admit to being impressed by the big aft stateroom. It’s a squeeze to get through the door but, once inside, there is 6 feet 2 inches of headroom, a settee, and a 75-inch-by-51-inch square berth slightly smaller than a standard full-size bed. Brightening this mini suite is the pale moabi (pear wood) on the bulkheads and a large window with an opening port for light and air.
In the main cabin, a dinette wraps around forward, converting into another double berth when needed, with a fabric privacy screen. We give extra points for the overstuffed backrest cushions, which would make this a prime spot for lounging comfortably. “Cave” describes many aft cabins, but not this one.
The galley is a compact unit to port with an undercounter fridge, two-burner cooktop, and surprisingly spacious stowage for utensils and supplies, including a dedicated cutlery drawer. Overhead skylights and long windows keep this area bright and cheery.
The enclosed head will find favor, since it’s molded fiberglass for easy cleaning. A vessel sink is atop the vanity, and a hand-held shower has a drain in the floor. A cabinet holds toiletries and, again, an opening port, set into a large window, provides fresh air.
A Volvo Penta D4 diesel with a Duoprop drive powered our test boat, and we topped out at a respectable 36 mph. The engine compartment is a delight: fully molded and spacious with great access. Your service tech will love you.
With a distinct French flavor, this import packs a lot of livability into 30 feet, and you’ll find yourself saying “tres bon!”
* Large aft cabin features a square double berth, settee, and closing door for privacy.
* Large transom platform has a cavernous locker for stowing a life raft or an inflatable tender out of sight.
* Michael Peters designs soft-riding V-hulls, and this is no exception.
* The 20-inch-wide door to the aft stateroom is a good incentive to start a diet.
* Wide, black mullions in the corners of the windscreen can block your view.
* Glossy-white dash reflects in the windscreen, reducing visibility.
Toughest Competitor: The Sea Ray 310 Sundancer ($224,574 base) is 9 inches longer and offers a similar layout, although it has two dinettes below and is a bit larger in the galley and head compartment.
Available Power: Sterndrive
How We Tested
Engine: Volvo D4-300ZD
Duoprop Gear Ratio: 1.76:1
Fuel Load: 50 gal.
Water On Board: 0 gal.
Crew Weight: 500 lb.
Annapolis, Maryland; 410-280-9400; jeanneauamerica.com