New Boat: Jeanneau DB/43

This yacht might just usher in a new era for Jeanneau.

The U.S. version of the Jeanneau DB/43 made its debut at Ft. Lauderdale 2022. See why this yacht might just usher in a new era for this brand.

The latest in a burgeoning crop of stylish European T-top sportsboats, Jeanneau’s DB/43 IB was launched at last Fall’s Cannes show and features naval architecture by Sarasota supremo Michael Peters, and an edgy modern design from the Garroni studio in Genoa. The outboard DB/43 OB debuted at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show in October.

Both models feature a two-cabin, one-head design in standard form, with a surprisingly roomy interior. There is no dinette or seating area on the lower deck, and therefore nothing to get in the way of its roomy, full-beam amidships cabin and the bow master suite. The forward cabin has much better headroom – 6 feet 4 inches at the doorway, compared with crouching clearance over the floor in the mid-cabin of 4 feet 7 inches, and just 2 feet 6 inches of crawling space over the bed. But the beds in both are a good 6 feet 6 inches by feet 4 inches, and the mid cabin also has a sofa or extra berth along the starboard side.

At the bottom of the cockpit companionway the lower galley—or ‘breakfast point’ as Jeanneau describes it—offers some extra worktop and stowage space, with the option of a microwave, fridge and coffeemaker. In the alternative layout, this area is occupied by a day head, allowing the starboard head to become the ensuite to the forward cabin.

The DB/43’s cockpit area is the real talking point—particularly its unfolding bulwarks port and starboard, which dramatically increase the deck area. Their guardrails are slightly -whimsical, just four poles strung together with rope, but the sockets for the swimming ladders are sensibly mounted forward, to help keep swimmers away from the props and aft platform.

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The practicality of the DB’s design is a particular strength. Its overall layout works well on both decks whether you’re moving around or sitting around, but there are also numerous specific noteworthy details. I liked the cockpit table, which lies athwartships and unfolds to seat six for lunch, or eight at a pinch, and the open-air galley is well-equipped and within easy reach. Right up on the bow, a neat little fiberglass table can be quickly mounted in its stainless steel bracket to support your gin and tonic. This would be a great place to sit to enjoy a little privacy when moored stern-to or, especially, at anchor as the sun sets. The partitioned chain locker is big enough to swallow several fenders, and there is further useful stowage under the cockpit seats.

There were also good handholds in places where you would hope to find them, such as at the break in the side decks, as you step up going forward. There are glazed panels in the hardtop over the galley area, along with an opening sunroof over the helm, while a sliding canopy emerges from the hardtop aft to provide extra shade clear to the transom. A canvas package is also available to enclose the main seating areas, and there are bottle and glass holders all over the place. The moulded lid over the shore power sockets at the stern, with its cut-out for the cables, is simple, safe, and smart. Sliding seats and flip-over backrests make the cockpit seating unusually versatile.

Less successful, at least on the IB model, is engine room access. The main hatch is under the cockpit table, which is fixed in place, so getting down there requires contortionist skills that older owners might no longer possess. Once you’re installed, service and maintenance access is pretty cramped but not impossible. Headroom, naturally, is in short supply.

This of course, won’t be an issue with the outboard version, and triple 350-hp Mercury Verados hanging off the stern will suit many owners intent on using the DB/43 as a dayboat. But a pair of battle-hardened Volvo D6 inboard diesels, coupled to Duoprop sterndrives, does make an appealing package for more long-term cruising adventures, even if a fuel capacity of barely 200 gallons might curtail them slightly.

The DB/43 has been independently clocked at 33 knots with the inboard engines, and offers economical fast cruising at 25 to 26 knots. For the outboard version, Jeanneau claims speeds approaching 40 knots—and with its bigger, 342 gallon fuel capacity, with a light hand on the throttles, it will have better range.

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Jeanneau DB/43 Specifications:

LOA: 42’9″
Beam: 12’6″
Draft: 3’1″
Displ: 31,042 lb.
Fuel: 211 gal. inboard, 342 gal. outboard
Water: 66 gal.
Power: 2/Volvo D6 380-hp, Duoprop sterndrives, 3/350-hp Mercury Verados Price: $731,000

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This article originally appeared in the February 2023 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.