by Dom Wiseman

Jeanneau make all sorts of boats, from stylish cruisers built for endless cruising, overnighters for the family looking to get away from it all, and centre consoles suitable for chasing that dream fish inshore or offshore. Each vessel is built with a purpose.

Within the range, there is one boat that especially appeals to me, with its Swiss army knife like ability to cover multiple uses from the one platform. The Walk Around concept by Jeanneau cleverly combines all of the above features, allowing you to fish, cruise, ski and overnight. There is plenty of space aboard and unlike the larger 10.5WA we tested several months ago, this slightly smaller platform is a touch more manageable.

Jeanneau Cap Camarat 9.0WA

WHAT’S ONBOARD?

We met the boat at the Spit in Sydney Harbour and the sight of the Jeanneau Cap Camarat 9.0WA instantly sparked images of glamourous people, enjoying a European Summer’s day, lounging on blue and white striped deck chairs, sipping elegantly on a glass of rosé. The 9.0WA caters beautifully to the recreation of this picture, with its large seating area, upholstered in mute grey. The Jeanneau Cap Camarat 9.0WA will appeal to those looking to enjoy a sleek and stylish, versatile vessel.

There is a mix of open space up top and accommodation and amenities below. With two berths, one forward and one at the rear, overnighters are well catered for, but it is the space and usability over the entire craft that really appeals.

The 9.0WA is built on a hull designed by architect Michael Peters. At 9.0 metres you might be concerned about the handling, but sliding behind the wheel, I felt easy and in control. The steering was comfortable and the vessel felt extremely self-assured in the conditions. The early Spring weather has been quite variable in Sydney, but we were graced with little wind and only a slight swell. The weather conditions were varied enough to get a good indication of the boat’s ability, but not enough to be uncomfortable. Spray deflection was excellent, and the ride was about as comfortable as it gets for a larger boat.

Jeanneau Cap Camarat 9.0WA

It was also quite nimble, which makes this boat an excellent option for people looking to add water skiing or wakeboarding to their list of summer activities. It throws out quite a wake and while a purist may baulk at the idea, there is plenty of performance to let the kids and adults enjoy themselves out the back. For anyone keen to watch the action, there is seating at the stern and twin helm seats up front.

Fitting amenities in a boat of this size does mean a little sacrifice has to be made, so the galley is located outside to the port side of the helm seating. It does mean while using it, no one can get past easily to the cabin area. Moreover, for anyone looking to embrace their inner master chef, you’ll have to make do with a simple single burner and a sink. While it will get you out of trouble, it will not allow you to create a lip-smacking degustation menu for your guests. The 9.0WA maximises room downstairs in the cabin for twin berths and a bathroom.

Access down into the cabin is wide, providing free and easy access. At the bow is a ‘V’ berth which doubles as a dining area. The table drops down to make the bed area. There is no door as such to block you off from the rest of the boat. The second berth, a twin, is located under the helm area. It is perfect for short stay guests or kids and again hasn’t got a door. You could use a curtain type assembly if privacy is important to you.

Jeanneau Cap Camarat 9.0WA

There is a toilet located in between the berths. It doubles as a shower too with two retractable faucets, one in the sink and one in the shower area itself. There is ample head height for most, although tall people may have to stoop a little.

The entire cabin area is finished in a wonderfully warm, dark, walnut polish and there is plenty of storage. For your beers, I suggest an extra esky and reserve the fridge for your food if weekend stays are on your agenda. On day cruises the fridge will be enough on its own.

 

POWER

Power is delivered by twin outboard engines, in this case, Yamaha 225hp Four Stroke engines. These engines have a 4.2 litre displacement. They seem exceptionally powerful, and despite the boat’s size, deliver awesome hole-shot performance and mid-range acceleration that had me checking the stickers were the right ones.

Jeanneau Cap Camarat 9.0WA

Yamaha are well known for their engine prowess and the technology going into engines like this is a culmination of many years of research and development.

Class leading 4.2L capacity has been achieved by using a highly-advanced thermally-applied plasma fusion process on the cylinder walls. This is a feature more commonly found on high performance sports cars.

They have no conventional steel cylinder sleeves, yet the cylinder walls are 60% harder than steel. Sleeveless cylinders mean larger cylinder bores for increased displacement, resulting in more power and torque. This is all achieved without increasing the overall size of the engine.

It also results in better cooling properties and dramatically lighter weight. Amazing weight savings have been achieved on Yamaha’s new Offshore V6 range for maximum performance without sacrificing durability. These motors are the lightest in their class by quite a margin.

At rest, the vibration dampening is so effective, you can barely feel the engines running.

ON THE WATER

Jeanneau Cap Camarat 9.0WA

The Cap Camarat hulls are designed by Michael Peters and feature a step with some of the most elegant lines I have seen of a boat of this type. They are a sleek craft with a look that belies the all-round capabilities of the platform.

The handling of the boat is as impressive as it looks. It’s nimble and turns as if it is on rails, which, considering the size of the boat, is an excellent achievement. The helm position is supremely placed, offering a full view of the craft and surrounds. There is also space behind the wheel itself to drive seated or standing, with all the controls a comfortable arm’s length away.

We stayed relatively close to the inner waters of Sydney Harbour but even then, the water can sometimes come close to a mogul course with competing waves from all manner of craft colliding at awkward angles; tough for any boat hull to handle. The Jeanneau Cap Camarat 9.0WA chewed up the slop with ease, sending any spray well out to the side. Handling at slow speed was equally comfortable, with the steering offering a precise engagement. An optional bow thruster made parking a breeze.

Inshore and at rest, the stability sits a neat sweet spot making you feel right at home on overnight stays.

OVERVIEW

There is no doubt that the Jeanneau Cap Camarat 9.0WA is capable of many on water activities and sits in a sweet zone that makes it almost equally good at everything. Sure, there is compromise, as with any boat, yet I feel like there is less compromise to be made with its Walk Around concept. The wife will enjoy the luxury, the mates the fishability and the kids, the sporty nature.

On any given day, you can entertain, cruise, fish, deploy water toys and then overnight just because you can.

+

Spacious

Wide range of uses

Sporty and fun to drive

Some compromises necessary

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: $244,040 (as tested)

Construction: Fiberglass

Length Overall: 8.6m

Beam: 2.98m

Dry Weight: 2,487kgs

Engines: Twin Yamaha 225 hp Four Stroke

Fuel Capacity: 400 litres

Water: 100 litres