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Some of my earliest boating experiences took place aboard flybridge cruisers, on which the only spot to pilot the boat was a cramped topside station, cabin accommodations were limited, and the only power available consisted of inboards and sterndrives.
Oh my, how things have changed.
The new Jeanneau NC 1295 Fly that I tested bears an only faint resemblance to those traditional flybridge cruisers. Amenities both above- and belowdecks are innovative and posh. This 41-foot-2-inch length-overall pocket cruiser also handles and performs much differently, thanks in large measure to using triple outboards.
Interior and Accessories
This flagship of the Jeanneau NC series is in nearly all respects a thoroughly 21st-century take on the flybridge concept. A walk-through is like touring a custom home with so many places to explore and marvel at. For example, the salon has a 360-degree panoramic view thanks to large glass windows all the way around. There’s also a dining table and seating nook, along with a galley adjacent to a bar that serves the cockpit area too. A flip-up flat-screen TV is great touch.
In the forward starboard corner is an exquisite lower helm station for piloting in comfort. A pair of 12-inch Garmin multifunction displays provide critical navigation information for a safe passage. A Helm Master EX joystick control and thruster aid low-speed maneuvering in tight quarters. It all makes for splendid year-round boating opportunities. And once you arrive, the helm chair swivels to face the salon area and socialize.
I normally don’t get too excited about entryways, but the salon features two that enhance safety and convenience. One is a sliding door next to the helm that lets the captain quickly exit to help man the deck. The other entry to the salon from the aft cockpit features a clever sliding-glass-door design that opens in the middle or the port side. The latter can create a pass-through for a galley counter to serve crewmembers in the cockpit. From the salon, head forward and down a few steps to ogle the luxurious private staterooms. There are three, including a master forward with a large island berth and a dedicated head compartment with an enclosed shower. Two guest staterooms—one on each side with smaller berths—share an enclosed head with a separate shower.
The aft cockpit is packed with features, including a portside boarding door, a portside transom platform and transom gate, and a side terrace that folds out on the starboard side to expand the deck space. L-shaped lounge seating stretches across the transom and port side, and there’s cavernous storage below the aft cockpit. A SureShade can extend to offer relief from the summer sun.
The NC 1295 Fly also holds pleasant surprises in the bow. A wide side walkway leads forward to a trio of sun lounges, plus a bench seat at the forepeak, where guests can soak up rays while anchored in a quiet cove. Speaking of anchors, this boat features a beefy anchor roller, an electric windlass, and a roomy anchor locker to make overnighting in remote anchorages as easy as possible.
Boaters access the big flybridge via a stainless-steel ladder with teak treads on the starboard side of the aft cockpit. Topside, you’ll find a well-equipped helm console (including a second joystick) and a captain’s chair on the starboard side, with companion seating to port. The flybridge includes a fridge, an optional aft mini galley, and an expansive sun pad forward. There’s a U-shaped seating nook with a table in the aft port corner.
Looking to comparison-shop among similar boats? Check out the Regal 42 FXO ($1,298,845 with triple Yamaha 425 XTO outboards). This boat—longer, wider and carrying 500 gallons of fuel—is another choice among the rare number of outboard-powered flybridge cruisers. The Regal also features standards such as a cockpit grill and a concealed cockpit TV.
To see how the NC 1295 Fly performs, we blasted out onto Florida’s Biscayne Bay on a blustery afternoon and piloted the boat from (you guessed it) the flybridge. The triple Yamaha F300 outboards quickly lifted the boat on plane, reaching 30 mph in 14 seconds. The cruiser posted a top speed of 46 mph at 5,800 rpm, but felt more comfortable loping along at close to 30 mph at 4,000 rpm. That’s also where the best fuel efficiency occurred, with the three Yamahas burning 35 gph for 0.85 mpg. That equates to a cruising range of 237 miles based on 90 percent capacity of the 310-gallon fuel tank.
Jeanneau imagines boats differently than most US builders, and the NC 1295 Fly is a prime example. It departs from tradition to offer a choice that’s distinctively different and, in many aspects, decidedly better than conventional thinking. Step aboard and see for yourself.
How We Tested
- Engines: Triple Yamaha F300 V-6
- Drive/Props: Outboard/Yamaha SWS II 15.25″ x 19″ 3-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.75:1 Fuel Load: 200 gal. Crew Weight: 450 lb.
- Salon offers panoramic views.
- Handy sliding door by the helm.
- Foldout terrace maximizes deck space.
- Galley counter serves guests in the aft cockpit.
- Bimini top bows rattled in rough conditions.
- Though the port walkway is skinny, the starboard walkway is wide, providing easier access to the bow than narrower decks on each side.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$666,000 (base, with triple Yamaha F300 outboards)|
|Displacement:||18,031 lb. (without power)|
|Transom Deadrise:||15.5 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||310 gal|
|Bridge Clearance:||16’5″ (with radar mast)|
|Max Cabin Headroom:||6’8″|
|Available Power:||Triple Yamaha outboards up to 900 hp total|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Jeanneau America – Fort Lauderdale, Florida; jeanneauamerica.com
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