A few years ago, I rode a bicycle from Belgium south through France almost all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. I became familiar with what the French call a caravane, a sporty-looking travel trailer that facilitates going places and doing things in the great outdoors. I thought about that trailer recently, during a sea trial of the new 895 Sport by Jeanneau.
I contemplated the oodles of outdoorsy possibilities I could see in this compact, practical cruiser. There was a paddleboard-friendly roof rack. The cockpit sported a rail-mounted Magma grill, foldaway bench seats on three sides and a movable dining table. And there was fishing paraphernalia, including a rocket launcher, cutting board and optional bait well.
Going aboard, I noticed little side-to-side movement, a finding that surprised me, given the boat’s middleweight displacement of 7,275 pounds without motors and her fairly sharp 18-degree transom deadrise. I liked the extra-wide door on the salon’s starboard side; when I slid it open, the great outdoors came inside with me. I also noticed that the open door made it easy for a skipper to reach across to the amidships cleat from the helm station, a great feature for single-handed docking.
The salon itself was a practicable affair. All the way forward to port, I lifted a lid with molded-in drink holders and discovered a propane cooktop (electric is available for those who order the optional genset) and a fiberglass sink.
The starboard-side helm station (with refrigerator and stowage under the seat) had cabinets and lockers at the rear. Ventilation was ample, thanks to a sliding glass window to port and an opening sunroof above.
The belowdecks spaces, it seemed, were designed for an adventurous couple or a small family. There were two staterooms: a master forward with a V-berth and a guest to port with a transverse queen. Each stateroom had air conditioning, opening ports and windows. Jeanneau also offers a Fusion stereo with the boat.
I ran the 895 on Boca Ciega Bay off St. Petersburg, Florida on a nice day. Conditions were mild, with little more than a 1-foot chop, occasionally enlivened by a wake or two. Although I was anticipating a rousing performance, my eyes widened when I hit a one-way speed of roughly 43 knots. And sightlines were superb.
The 895 Sport has lots going for her, from an outdoorsy personality to sporty performance and a reasonable base price with test power. I could almost see a bicycle on that roof rack, yours truly flipping burgers in the cockpit.
Displ.: 7,275 lbs.
Fuel: 158 gals.
Water: 26 gals.
Power: (2) 250-hp Yamahas
This article originally appeared in the December 2019 issue.