Boat Review: Jeanneau 41DS

The new 41DS marries a deck saloon layout with its raised living space amidships, large windows and private cabins forward and aft, to a proven hull with fine sailing qualities.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Jeanneau-41DS

Jeanneau and “deck saloon” have become inseparable terms in the world of midsize cruising sailboats. The new 41DS marries a deck saloon layout with its raised living space amidships, large windows and private cabins forward and aft, to a proven hull with fine sailing qualities.

This large-volume builder stands squarely in the upper middle class of the construction world. The glass work is excellent, the joinery fits perfectly and all the systems are installed properly. It's not a custom vessel with elaborate detailing, but a sound, attractive boat with things just done right.

Our test boat was built in France, but all future 41DS models will come from the company's newly expanded factory in Marion, South Carolina. For years, the U.S. factory only built hulls and did the final assembly of parts shipped from France. But now even the CNC machinery for cutting interior joinery is in that facility.

jeanneau-41DS_interior

The hull is solid fiberglass, while the deck is cored with balsa. Polyester resin is used throughout. I found neat, smooth glass work everywhere. The electrical and plumbing systems were equally neat and made of high quality materials. Like most European production boats today, the keel ballast is cast iron.

Batteries and tanks live below the raised saloon sole, keeping that weight down low for better stability. I found good engine access through panels under the steps and in the aft cabin.

Jeanneau deserves applause for its owner's manual, the best I have seen for any boat. It covers all the systems and factory options thoroughly, and is filled with gorgeous color drawings that lay out the innards in wonderful detail.

ON DECK

The Jeanneau 41DS is set up for easy handling by a couple or singlehander with average strength and agility. Our test boat had the standard in-mast mainsail furling and a 106 percent self-tacking jib, along with electric Harken Rewind winches, which pay out the sheets as well as trim them in at the press of a button.

The tall mast, small jib and rolled mainsail combination makes sailing almost effortless for skippers who are comfortable with a bit of technology. Naturally, the traditional mainsail, which includes an additional 90ft² of sail area, will provide more power, but of course, this comes at the physical cost of hoisting and furling canvas manually.

There's a good arrangement of sheets and other control lines, with everything both marked and color-coded. I especially appreciated the excellent line tail stowage in bins beside the winches and under the bridgedeck. This is a detail many boatbuilders often overlook.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The Jeanneau 41DS is set up for a couple to cruise either alone or with occasional guests. There's no attempt to cram in a bunch of berths for charter operation, and the company plans no other interior versions.

jeanneau-41DS_accommodations

As you descend into the saloon, a modern, sleek, bright environment greets you. The wood is in a medium tone, the overhead and hull ceilings are padded, and all the joinery fits precisely. Open one of the numerous lockers and you will discover that what appear to be magnetic catches are, in fact, mechanical. Sliding shades regulate light through the ports and hatches.

Sit at the nav station and you find space for a laptop computer in one compartment and room for a chartbook or other traditional nav tools in the other. Stretch out on the comfortable portside settee/chaise to enjoy your latest copy of SAIL magazine.

Somebody on the Jeanneau design team is tall. My 5ft 2in wife could not reach the overhead grab rails, but she found the countertop fiddles and other grab points convenient underway and commented that the companionway was exceptionally safe and secure. Deck saloon boats have a slight step-down as you go either forward or aft, so you will have to learn to be aware of that to avoid a jolt.

The two sleeping cabins are conventional and comfortable, with good headroom in the aft cabin as a nice result of the raised bridge deck. The aft head compartment is practical, but a bit complicated to use, and I had to do a bit of fiddling and twisting to work the clever transparent plastic partition that walls off the shower from the toilet and sink.

UNDER SAIL

In a 6- to 8-knot breeze off Annapolis, the 41DS returned 4.5 knots on a beam reach. This seems respectable for a fully equipped cruiser and the feel of the helm and responsiveness of the boat were quite pleasant. Tacking angles were below 90 degrees and setting sail, furling, tacking and changing course were delightfully simple. Visibility was also excellent with clear sight lines from any place I chose in the cockpit.

Jeanneau-41DS_under-sail

I appreciated the efficient arrangement of sheets and other control lines and everything was marked as well as color-coded. It's easy to get to know this boat, but be warned that the high-aspect rig provides an air draft of about 62 feet. You will therefore have to choose masthead accouterments, like antennas and wind sensors, with care to avoid exceeding the magic 65ft clearance that is standard for most highway bridges in the United State.

UNDER POWER

As it did under sail, the 41DS revealed very nice handling under power, turning in a one-boatlength circle. It stopped without fuss and backed almost perfectly straight without any significant rudder kick. The standard three-blade prop proved a good match to the engine with a cruising speed of 7.5 to 8 knots at 2800 rpm. It reaches its limiting hull speed without working the engine hard. The cruising sound level was modest at 77 dBA.

Jeanneau offers its optional “360 Docking” system for skippers who want the ultimate maneuverability in exceptionally crowded marinas, but I was pleased with the conventional drive system.

CONCLUSION

While 40 feet is about the minimum size for the deck saloon layout to function well, Jeanneau has created a spacious, comfortable interior, an efficient deck layout for shorthanded sailing and attractive appearance in their 41DS. Add easy handling and sound construction and the result is a winner.

Jeanneau-DS_plan

SPECIFICATIONS

HEADROOM 6 ft 4 in / BERTHS 6ft 7in x 4ft 10in (fwd), 6 ft 5in x 6ft 2in (aft)

LOA 40ft 6in

LWL 36ft 1in

BEAM 13ft 1in

DRAFT 6ft 11in

DISPLACEMENT 17,292lb

BALLAST 6,284lb

SAIL AREA ft2 (100% FT)

FUEL/WATER/WASTE (GAL) 53/87/42

ENGINE 40 hp Yanmar 3JHS-CE

ELECTRICAL 440 AH (house); 110 AH (engine)

DESIGNER Philippe Briand, Interior by Franck Darnet, Olivier Flahault

BUILDER Jeanneau, Les Herbiers, France

U.S. DISTRIBUTORJeanneau America, 410-280-9400

PRICE $239,000 base includes sails, furling mast, self-tailing winches. Less ground tackle, electronics.

BALLAST RATIO 36

SAIL AREA-DISPLACEMENT RATIO 18

DISPLACEMENT-LENGTH RATIO 164

OUR TAKE

Pros:

* Simple, sound construction

* Attractive lines and interior

* Good sailing qualities

* Easy handling

* Competitive price

Cons:

* In-mast furling main loses area, increases complexity

* Base price does not include several essential items

Brokerage listings powered by BoatQuest.com

Find more Jeanneau Boats

boatquest_100x30

Related

yandy-600x

Eight Bells: Olaf Harken 1939-2019

Olaf Harken, who along with his brother, Peter, created the now legendary sailing hardware company Harken in Pewaukee Wisconsin, has died. He was 80-years-old and is survived by his wife of 47 years, Ruth, three daughters, four granddaughters and one grandson. When Olaf and ...read more

Safe-and-Sound-Pelican-RUCK_CASE_PROPS_R20-614

Gear: RUCK Personal Utility Case

Safe and Sound An age-old problem for small-boat sailors has been taking care of their wallets, keys and other valuables while, say, tooling around the harbor, a problem that has only become all the more pressing in this age of cell phones and other digital products. Now, ...read more

Culebrita-Anchorage

Chartering: The Spanish Virgin Islands

The Spanish Virgin Islands are really a part of the U.S. along with Puerto Rico, and that means you can travel there without a passport or even a special international phone plan. You do, however, need to clear into the islands if you are arriving from the USVI or BVI, which are ...read more

CONNECTING-SHROUD-2048

Experience: Wild Ride

My Hartley 38, Moet, is pounding into massive Pacific Ocean seas. One week of continuous storm conditions has taken me 700 miles south of Fiji, heading for New Zealand. Every few seconds the bow lifts out of the water and hangs in midair for a moment while I tense my muscles, ...read more

01-LEAD-nSterling-ProCombi-S-2

Know-how: Inverter, Charger Combos Offshore

With solid-state inverters and domestic AC devices becoming increasingly efficient, it only makes sense for many sailors to install the necessary 120V AC power for the many appliances now finding their way onboard: including washing machines, TVs, microwave, laptops, chargers ...read more

IMG_5308

Chartering in the British Virgin Islands

Not for nothing are the BVI known as the “nursery slopes” of sailing charters. There simply is no better place to ease yourself into a first-time sailing vacation; for that matter, such is the appeal of these islands that many charterers return year after year. The islands ...read more