by Dom Wiseman

We have now tested a few Jeanneau boats but we have barely scratched the surface in terms of the mind-boggling array of models made by this massive manufacturer. We’ve looked at boats ranging from the small centre console Cap Camarat through to the bigger and luxurious Prestige 500. All have been built impeccably by one of the largest boat manufacturers in the world and certainly have wide appeal with their European styling and innovative use of space.
The new Merry Fisher 795 replaces the 755 that has been available in its current guise for nearly three years. This is impressive when you consider most manufacturers make barely imperceptible changes to existing models before re-badging them as new ones. In the three years to date, 3000 755s have come out of the factory for sale worldwide. That alone is an impressive feat. Moving forward they expect to produce a staggering 100 new 795s in the first three months of production. The factory staff must be running around like headless chooks.
In the tradition of the Merry Fisher range, the sliding doors, a feature of this, what I would call a pocket cruiser, have been retained but she’s undergone a bunch of changes with most in the interior.Merry Fisher 17
Merry Fisher 6WHAT YOU GET
My first impression of the older 755 was that it appeared to be quite boxy, albeit softened by a gently curving gunwale and cabin roofline. Without comparing them side-by-side, the 795 appears to have been softened even more. The roofline looks to be raked back more and the deck line appears to be more curvaceous. It’s a stylish looking package.
There’s plenty to like about this package with a large, spacious aft cockpit that features a ‘U’ shaped lounge which runs the full width of the transom (the centre section folds forward when the engine is trimmed up) along the port side and across the recess for the sliding door. It’s finished with a durable, comfortable tan cushion assembly that took a little working out at first but is neatly secured with clips and tie downs affixed to the cushions themselves. The area is finished off with a simple removable fibreglass table that leaves ample room for guests to get around. Those looking for a more relaxed use of this area will appreciate the additional drop in poles and supports combined with additional cushions that turn a large chunk of the space into a sun lounge. The space immediately ahead of the door is purposefully left open so you can still walk out and chat to those out the back. The floor is fibreglass, which makes it a breeze to clean, and under the floor there is a large lockable hatch and access to the fuel tank.
The massive floor to ceiling glass door allows the captain full vision from the driving position to the rear cockpit. The upholstery oozes class without being too fancy to want to sit on and is a brilliant match to the rest of the cockpit.
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Merry Fisher 8The cabin it is a light and airy space courtesy of the rear sliding door and large windows that have been redesigned so they drop down in the centre allowing more light into the cabin. On the port side they are level with the dining table creating a very spacious look, not to mention a cracking view at mealtime. Getting a breeze flowing on a steamy summers day is easily achieved by opening the windows adjacent to the helm or on the passenger side, or you can simply open the sunroof. It provides an extremely spacious outlook with almost 360 degree views and a lovely light and spacious feel.
There is a small kitchenette on the starboard side behind the helm seat that folds, almost out of the way, to create additional bench space. While it is small it has everything you need for short stays on the boat with a single burner gas stove top, a small sink with pop up faucet and a storage cupboard underneath. There is a small fridge located under the drivers’ seat and finally more storage protected by a Perspex lip behind the stove and sink. Two cup holders are moulded into the black bench top while the cupboards are a timber finish. The space is adequate and if you were really pushed for space, I’d simply take whatever I had to prepare outside and do it sitting in the rear cockpit or in inclement weather sitting at the lounge/table located opposite the galley.
The dining table and seating (saloon) arrangement opposite is finished in grey upholstery and includes a smartly designed folding seat, which can be flipped to face forward when underway, opposite the single helm seat that is immensely comfortable. When flipped to face the rear it creates two inward facing seats capable of accommodating four with a heavy timber table top in the centre. After dinner and if you have guests aboard, you can drop the table to create a double bed. There is also storage underneath in the floor. In fact there are several storage bins in the floor of the access way through the cabin with drop in timber covers. I found these rattled a little on bumpy seas so would opt to fit a clip in carpet to deaden the sound and prevent grime being walked through the cabin into the forward berth.
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Merry Fisher 11The helm position, a single seat with bolster affords a comfortable place from which to drive. The seat is adjustable and is definitely the most comfortable place to drive. The height of the seat is perfect and provides a good view all round. When standing, I found I was tempted to stand on my tippy toes, which isn’t that comfortable on long runs. The best bet is to find a comfortable cruising speed, take a seat, put your feet up on the footrest and sit back and steer. The gauges in the newly-designed dash are laid out simply with the Yamaha digitally integrated Helm Master Display offering easily readable figures while on the run positioned on the left with a Lowrance HDS 7 on the right.
There isn’t much space left with for additional gauges or equipment so, on the test boat, the Fusion stereo control was located directly behind the steering wheel making on the fly music changes a little challenging. Ignition is on the right along with the optional bow thruster, which I didn’t need to park alongside another boat but will give some owners peace of mind when maneuvering into tight berths. The switch panel is easily accessible on the left while the anchor winch is remote controlled.
Directly ahead of the helm is a small toilet (head), sink and cupboard, making overnighters a little more comfortable. Interestingly, there is a hot and cold shower which is located at the back of the boat on the starboard side. With the optional extended swim platform that extends either side of the outboard, there is plenty of space here for such.
The forward berth is finished in timber veneer creating a luxurious feel. It has a full-length shelf running along the port side and a small shelf assembly in the rear starboard corner. The bed itself with infill is certainly big enough for me (5’9) but a taller person would need to use the recess built into the port side if they want to stretch out. Air flow is provided via a hatch over head.
Should you ever need to venture up the front, the walkaround nature of this design makes that a simple process. There are grab rails on the roof and the walkway itself is about 300mm wide. Sadly there isn’t much room at the bow for lounging around, although kids can find anything comfortable for a period, so throw them some towels, send them up the front (safely of course), kick back and enjoy the tranquility down the back.
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Merry Fisher 14POWER
Power to the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 795 was delivered by a new Yamaha 200hp with stainless steel prop and LCD engine display. The performance from this four-cylinder four-stroke engine was as you’d expect on a boat like this remembering that it isn’t designed for high-speed thrills but rather casual cruising.
The Yamaha 200FETX is the lightest 200hp four stroke on the market, a result of the move down to a four cylinder engine. It is impressively quiet and has enough potency to get this large-ish boat moving. Interestingly, the standard engine on this hull is a 150hp, although no one at the time of writing has ordered one with the standard engine.
The digital controls are somewhat of a lottery in my mind. On the plus side, the fly-by-wire throttle is easy to push forward and keeps the boat exactly where it is supposed to be power wise unlike older cable set ups. But the light feel also makes it tricky, especially when docking or in close proximity to other boats, for those not used to the technology. It does not take much effort to push the throttle all the way forward and have the boat lurching toward danger.
With the throttle wide open the motor spins at 4700rpm and has the 795 clipping along at 29 knots (54km/h) while using 55.2-litres of fuel per hour. By dropping the revs back to 4000 you will sit on a more comfortable 23 knots (43km/h) and fuel consumption drops back to a much more economical 34.0-litres per hour.

ON THE WATER
As mentioned, this is not a performance hull, so one cannot compare it to one. The 200hp is a comfortable engine on the back which pushes the boat onto the plane predictably and comfortably while still having enough juice to push it up to 30knots (55km/h) which is more than enough for casual cruising around the many harbours and estuaries Australia has on offer.
While conditions on the test day were some of the best I’ve seen on Sydney harbour, turning the boat back across its own wake revealed a capable hull that didn’t throw spray all over the place courtesy of several running strakes and a healthy reverse chine running the length of the hull. It felt very stable at rest, which, for a boat that will spend, I expect, most of its time sitting in a quiet bay, is exactly what you want.Merry Fisher 2
Cornering was impressive with a soft lean into the corner evident. The hull is a little trim sensitive on hard corners and cavitation was evident early in the turn but this could be alleviated by judicious use of the trim button, or trying a different prop.

TOWING
While you could tow this boat, it will certainly be over width on a trailer and weigh around 3000kg which means only a handful of large 4WD would be able to pull it. To tow an over width vehicle you will need a permit. Regulations regarding these permits vary from State to State so check with your local authority to learn more about the regulations in your area. Most will keep a boat like this on the water in a pen or on a swing mooring.

OVERVIEW
The Jeanneau Merry Fisher 795 is perfect for Australian waterways. It’s been well thought out and executed as you would expect from a large manufacturer like Jeanneau. The spaciousness is undeniable and the usability is evident throughout. It’s small enough to be manageable for a small family but certainly big enough to entertain occasionally. The extended swim platforms are a must as they make an otherwise almost unusable space far more user friendly. I could take or leave the bow thruster option.Merry Fisher 12 It’s a caravan on the water with all the furnishings you would need for weekends away. It’s all weather capabilities will appeal to a wide range of customers who will never feel closed in on a boat like this.

POSITIVES
Great design
Internal Space
Excellent finish

NEGATIVES
Drop in storage bin covers

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NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Price: $135,710 (as tested)
Construction: GRP Fibreglass
Length Overall: 7.93m
Beam: 2.81m
Draft: 0.50m
Dry Weight: 2006kgs
Engine: Yamaha F200FETX 200 hp four stroke four cylinder
Fuel Capacity: 280-litres
Water: 100-litres
Berths: Four