On the heels of the Jeanneau Yachts 60 and 65, the French boatbuilder synonymous with sailing in style premieres its latest prodigy, the Jeanneau Yachts 55, at the Annapolis Sailboat Show. Our editors first saw the 55 as a scale model back at the 2023 Miami Boat Show. A quick study suggested it was anything but another everyday sailboat design. With this new model, Jeanneau has emphasized the idea of building a boat around its potential owners’ needs, with an eye on long-range cruising in more space and comfort than ever before.
The Jeanneau 55 was penned in a collaboration between Philippe Briand Yacht Design, Winch Design and Jeanneau. According to the builder, the 55 sought inspiration from catamarans for space optimization. That approach is evident in the final product.
It starts with the boat’s exterior, in the form of a true dual cockpit setup. The twin helm stations are positioned a bit forward, leaving a wide area abaft for entertainment and relaxation, with two sofas: one U-shaped and one L-shaped, which both convert to sun lounges, and a hydraulic swim platform. Sheltered by an optional hardtop arch, the helm area and forward “exterior salon” include a chart table with a GPS screen and autopilot controls, all protected by a wraparound windscreen with excellent visibility. The streamlined foredeck also includes plenty of real estate for a sun-lounge, which can be shaded with a canopy at anchor.
Below the waterline, it’s a dual rudder system and a sturdy keel (either a traditional L-shaped fin keel with a weighted bulb or an optional shallow-draft version). At 40,878 pounds with a D/L of 125.5 and a 26 percent ballast-to-displacement ratio, it extends its beam throughout, adding a topside chine for more interior volume.
Its sail configuration comprises a modern fractional sloop rig, enhanced by an attractive bowsprit. Versatile rig options are available. Downwind performance can be enhanced with an optional asymmetrical spinnaker, spanning 2,690 square feet.
The Jeanneau 55 employed advanced composite materials in the build, with elegant wooden accents carrying a sense of timeless craftsmanship. Inside, the 55 sports a distinctive three-cabin layout, providing roomy, comfortable accommodations for up to six guests. Designed with a private apartment in mind, the forward owner’s suite occupies nearly two-thirds of the main interior. The cabin has an inviting island berth, while the salon offers an inviting L-shaped settee and two comfortable chaises. Two aft cabins offer cozy double berths, each accessible via its dedicated staircase from the protected cockpit salon. A functional crew cabin can be integrated into the bow as an option.
The starboard-side galley has a streamlined design, incorporating an island with a cooktop, an ice storage unit and a double sink. The 55 has three private heads, one in each cabin. Cabin headroom is also a plus, at over six and a half feet.
Attributed with the 55’s living spaces, design Andrew Winch says ergonomics are essential to the success of any boat design. “I was so pleased with the Jeanneau range, I even bought one for myself,” he says. “I have always wanted a yacht that was as comfortable as this and performed extremely well as an ocean sailing yacht. If there is one unifying thread which runs through all of our design departments, it’s our commitment to designing not just spaces for clients, but lifestyles.”
Jeanneau Yachts 55 Specifications
|Draft||6’2″ (shoal); 8’4” (deep)|