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BoatTest.com reviews the Jeanneau NC14

Following up on the success of the NC9 and NC11, Jeanneau is now introducing the NC14. The mission of this 45′ boat as described by the builder is to be an “apartment on the water with terrace and sea view.” Many of the innovations that we saw in the NC9 and NC11 are employed once again in this larger boat. The smaller boats reminded us of a floating beach house because they were designed for real living and heavy use as day boats and on long weekends.

The Mission of the NC14

Jeanneau’s NC Series is intended to be an affordable, practical boat for a family and its guests to enjoy the pleasures of the water and sun. At 45′ this model can do a bigger and better job of both of these things than can her two smaller sisters. The builder envisions the boat as an “apartment on the water.”

Distinguishing Features 

Hull Design. This boat has an underwater wedge shape which is a bit more exaggerated than usual. The builder tells us that this design enables the boat to have a lower bow rise in a wider range of speed.

The NC14 is sharp and shallow forward, then the bottom shape extends out to have wide, relatively shallow stern sections. The wide stern has the advantage of added buoyancy aft where it is needed to support the Volvo Penta D4 IPS400 or optional D6 IPS500 diesels, and the shallow V means that the hull will be easier to push. The beam will also add stability and helps keep the draft to just 3’5″ which is an ideal depth for places like the Bahamas, the west coast of Florida and the Baltic Sea.

Plumb Bow. Plumb bows have been in fashion lately in large motoryachts and some cruising boats and specialty boats like the Wally series. Because of it the hull length is essentially the same as the waterline length (LWL). With this design there is no wasted space inside the boat due to long overhangs at the bow and stern. This design saves weight in addition to being distinctive.

Lightweight. When we compare the NC14 to other express cruisers in her length, we find that she is lighter than many of them. This helps with her draft and also means that she will be easier to power.

Low Horsepower. Boats that are lightweight require less horsepower to achieve the desired cruising speeds. That means that the NC14 can have smaller, lighter engines such as its twin Volvo Penta 300-hp D4s.

Convertible Features. There are few boats this size that can convert so many aspects of the boat to a secondary use. Some examples: her U-shaped seating on the aft deck converts into a large sun pad, the booth seating in the wheelhouse on the main deck can become an aft-facing lounger, and the queen bed in the forward cabin can be split into two single berths.

Here Comes The Sun

The NC14 was designed to appeal to people interested in taking advantage of the sun. She has three sunning areas plus a swim platform that can also be used for laying out. On the bow is a long, wide sun pad, the aft deck seating coverts into a sun pad, and the booth seating to port of the helm also makes into a lounge and is right below the sun roof.

Teak Beach. The swim platform is just over 3′ (.91 m+) fore-and-aft, which means that it makes an ideal “teak beach” for swimmers. Everyone will love sitting on the platform when it is in the lowered position. This platform is also ideal for scuba divers, making it easier to get gear on and to get out of the water. An hydraulic swim platform is optional.

Performance

The Jeanneau NC14 has a length overall of 45’ (13.7 m), a beam of 13’5″ (4.1 m), and a draft of 3’5″ (1.04 m). With an empty weight of 23,100 lbs. (10,478 kg), 60 gallons (227 L) of fuel and three people onboard we had a test weight of 24,062 lbs (10,914 kg).

With a pair of 370-hp IPS500 Volvo Penta engines doing the heavy work we reached a top speed at 3650 rpm of 31.7 kn. At that speed fuel burn was 40.55 gallons per hour giving us a range of 167 nautical miles. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 23.3 kn. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 26.7 gph giving the NC14 an endurance of eight hours and 187 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.

But when climbing up through the rpm range, I found that a comfortable slow cruise pace was reached at 2250 rpm and 12.6 kn, and interestingly enough it produced nearly the same range as the high cruise setting. But it was certainly a speed that made me want to stop recording numbers and just keep going.

We had a time to plane of 6.3 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 7.3 seconds and continued accelerating through 30 mph in 14.2 seconds, and she settled back into the water from a level attitude.

Handling

She doesn’t really lend herself to operating while standing. When the waves start coming, her straight stem tends to part the seas with practically no pounding whatsoever. In the light rollers on test day her 6-degrees cruising attitude caused an entry level about one quarter of the way back from the bow keeping us more on top of the conditions while remaining comfortable, and she rolls 10-degrees into the turns. With the massive sunroof, side doors and wide aft glass doors all opened up it was easy to bring the outside in and really enjoy the weather as we cruised along the French Riviera.

For the full test go to…