- If you are looking for an open-decked boat to participate in water sports, the Cap Camarat should certainly be on your shortlist.
- This boat can be driven hard and frenetically and it shrugs it off like a sports boat.
Cap Camarat 75cc
Simon Everett introduces us to this all-new Cap Camarat 7.5m centre console from French builder Jeanneau.
Boat designs have been getting progressively more refined further down the range, right across the board, as more people aspire to own their own boat and expect more to be included. The centre console design has proved its practicality on both the fishing and family fronts over many years due to the immense versatility of the style to suit different requirements. There are good reasons for this – you have a clear walkway all around the boat, they provide a high level of performance, the seakeeping is surprisingly good and, with the high freeboard, they are inherently safe, making these boats especially suitable for introducing the next generation to the joys of boating from an early age.
Over the last five years Jeanneau have invested heavily in expanding their range of boats. The new Cap Camarat 75cc takes over from the previous WA model, with a new performance hull designed by M. Peters and an interior that provides a high degree of comfort with unhindered access to all areas of the boat. You could be forgiven for thinking this looks like every other centre console out there, but when you get her out on the water the improvements in the hull shine through very quickly.
I don’t know about you, but when I see a flock of birds going mad on the surface and spray and fish flying everywhere, I want to get over there and chuck a lure or fly into the mix as fast as I can – but then I enjoy my fishing. The hull on the 75cc is refined and allows you to make full use of the potential that lurks within, even with the full power of the 300hp that it is rated for unleashed. The test boat was fitted with the more mildly tuned Yamaha F225hp, which gives the package a genuine 43-knot performance. With the F300 mounted you can expect a good 48 knots, but either way this is a boat that is able to get to the action fast, or just to transport you at thrill ride speeds for the sake of it.
However, power is nothing without control, so the design team have concentrated on making this hull the most refined Cap Camarat yet. We had a great time putting her through her paces in the Bay of Antibes with a groundswell running, and taking on the broken sea outside the bay proved just how refined the new hull is. At 40 knots the sea held no fears, despite the near 2m swell and broken tops outside the shelter of the bay. I wasn’t supposed to take the test boat out there, but it is easier to seek forgiveness than it is to be granted permission, and the dedicated boatman assigned to her was happy for me to go out there … On his head be it!
In keeping with the performance, the seating at the helm consists of fully adjustable pedestal bolsters with plenty of back and lateral support created with some really sumptuous padding. The helm is positioned over the centre of action and provides a clear view of the water ahead over the raised bow. The dashboard is kept clean and simple with Yamaha multifunction digital gauges and a chartplotter flush-mounted in line of sight above the wheel. The relationship between wheel and engine control lever is comfortable and feels intuitive, which is less fatiguing over a long passage. Talking of long trips, the Cap Camarat is blessed with a 285-litre fuel tank, which should provide around 200 miles’ cruising at between 20 and 25 knots, which certainly makes Channel hopping well within range and the boat’s capability.
Seating in the stern has a couple of variants that can be specified. As standard, there is a locker box with a seating cushion mounted on top and backrest padding on the cockpit coaming. This is expandable each side to create a U-shaped seating area with clever folding seats that stow flush against the gunwale. In fishing mode with the seats folded down they provide padding when leaning against the gunwale. In social mode they lift up to create a wrap-around seating area, with a table that can be mounted in the middle. It gives the cockpit a multi-purpose layout to suit all kinds of water sports. You can sit comfortably while trolling and clear the cockpit in a matter of seconds by dropping the leaf seats down out of the way to play a fish, or bring a swimmer back into the boat.
The forward cockpit is furnished with two seats on lockers each side, leaving space for working the anchor, which is housed in a cradle on the bow, and the labour saving of an electric windlass for doing the donkey work, feeding the anchor and warp into the voluminous chain locker below the covered foredeck. There is plenty of space for lazing around in the bow area, in addition to the aft cockpit with its table that can also be put up forward and provides the infill to create the sunbed in the bow. The space on board and seaworthiness of the 75cc will cater for the adventurous boater who wants to explore further afield, or who is prepared to go a bit further in search of solitude for a romantic picnic.
Instead the forward accommodation of a pilot house or cruiser, the Cap Camarat 75cc provides some shelter in the form of a small cuddy within the centre console, leaving the entire circumference of the deck free for all-round access. Admittedly the cuddy is a tight squeeze, but it provides somewhere to hunker down out of the worst of the weather while a squall or heavy shower passes, and there is the sensible option of fitting a heads unit in the space. Pretty obviously a centre console design is meant for better weather than a wheelhouse craft, but with the advances in protective clothing, many people are using them all year round. It depends on your outlook and propensity to go out in rough conditions – the boat will stand the weather if you can.
The way the hull handles the water is similar … As you can see, this boat can be driven hard and frenetically and it shrugs it off like a sports boat. The poise and balance of the boat coupled with the new V6 fly-by-wire Yamaha motor are excellent. She took the conditions in her stride and I was even able to see the top speed outside in the rougher water. Taking the waves at speed, the Camarat came off the tops straight and level, landing planted and square with no crashing or banging. The new hull softens the landing well and provides an easy-to-handle boat that will surprise in her user-friendliness. For boaters who like to go further, the extra performance will be a big attraction, and if you are looking for an open-decked boat to participate in water sports, the Cap Camarat should certainly be on your shortlist.
- RPM Knots Fuel consumption (litres/hr)
- 600 2.6 2.1
- 1000 4.3 4.3
- 2000 6.9 11.9
- 3000 10.6 21.0
- 3500 21.8 26.8
- 4000 25.0 36.1
- 4500 29.2 41.4
- 5000 33.9 57.0
- 5800 39.1 81.0
- 6000 43.2 86.2
- Length overall: 7.42m (24′ 4″)
- Hull length: 6.96m (22′ 10″)
- Hull beam: 2.54m (8′ 3″)
- Weight without engine: 1410kg (3109lb)
- Standard keel draught: 0.55m (1′ 9″)
- Fuel capacity: 285L (75 US gal)
- Water capacity: 80L (21 gal)
- Max. power: 300hp (221kW)
- CE category: In progress
As tested with Yamaha F225: £46,524 (inc. VAT)
BHG Marine Ltd.
Hampshire SO41 9BY
Telephone: 01590 613600
- Great-handling hull
- Large fuel tank
- Versatility of use
- Forward console rail is at neck height when sat on jump seat