When a film studio releases a hit movie, the inevitable follow-up sequel is almost always worse than the original – with every extra iteration getting even worse than the one before. But thankfully, boats are not like blockbuster films. When a boat becomes a success, as was the case with the Merry Fisher 755, of which more than 1,000 units were sold, there’s always room for genuine improvement with the benefit that most of the hard work has already been done and all the effort can now be put on the details. A lot of units sold also means that the market has accepted the package and the brand has a lot of feedback to draw on and enough input to help improve what was already quite good.
The most distinctive feature of its predecessor, the hull shape, has remained virtually unchanged; the same for the outboard engine, although the 795’s is the product of a collaboration agreement between Jeanneau and Yamaha. The real change becomes apparent once you step in the pilothouse and notice how the visibility and brightness have improved with a major change in the size of the port and starboard windows. The sliding skylight in the roof is also larger and the door that connects the cabin with the cockpit is now divided into three sliding panels that open to expand the entrance.
Closer to the water
To enjoy direct and easy access to the water, the swimming platform area has been expanded; in fact, the two platforms now take advantage of the 2.80m beam, leaving just enough space in the middle for the outboard engine. The starboard platform holds a telescopic ladder and is connected to the cockpit by a gate. The stern seating surrounding the table has been modified so that the whole area can be easily repurposed into a sunbed. Even the access gate space can be filled with a cushion so that we get a bench across the whole width of the stern.
There is one fishing rod holder on each side and a few hand-holds to be used when sitting down; these will come in handy when the boat is going fast. Walking towards the bow is faster on the starboard side, but equally safe on both sides thanks to the properly placed handrails. The bow has an additional sunbed and enough room to operate the anchor.
In the cabin you find the kitchen unit with a stove and sink right behind the helm. To port the variable height table slides down and converts into an extra bed. There’s seating for four people around the table and during navigation the front seat’s backrest can be reversed so that you can face the bow and sit at the same height as the skipper. The bow area gives access to the heads compartment, which is to starboard, and the forward berth. There’s plenty of storage space under the seats, in the floor and in the cockpit, thanks to the outboard engine.
The hull lines have not been modified since they’ve had very good reviews from users who usually highlight its stability during navigation and at anchor, and the smooth way it cuts through the waves with minimum slamming.
Our test boat was crewed by four people and equipped with a Yamaha 200hp, the highest recommended horsepower, with mechanical remote and hydraulic steering.
Underway, the same good vibes
At tickover speed, it reached 3 knots with a fuel burn of 1.5 litres per hour and it only took a tiny bit of throttle to get up to 6 knots – the ideal speed for troll fishing – 1500 RPM, for a fuel burn of 5.4 litres per hour. To reach planing speed you need to go above 3000 RPM and 20 litres per hour for a cruising speed of around 10 knots. A higher revolution cruising mode gets you above 15 knots with a fuel burn of 25 litres per hour. The maximum speed we were able to reach, controlling the trim quite closely, was 33 knots with 74 litres per hour. Acceleration from zero to planing speed took seven seconds while maximum speed was reached after 21 seconds; quite a good score, although the boat wasn’t carrying the loads that a normal family outing would require.
Steering response is adequate and the hull continues to respond well in more demanding turns.
Obviously, the focus on family use means that most of the changes have been made with the intention of improving the comfort of those who want to spend the night or at least the whole day on board. The list of options allows you to get a great deal of customisation for a boat this size... And yes, air conditioning is on the menu too.
All of which is probably over the top for the devoted fisherman, who would be happy with less, since anything that floats and sails towards a fishing ground (perhaps with a cabin) is basically good enough. But for those who not only want to fish, but also want to share their boat with family and friends, less might not be more.
Specifications Jeanneau Merry Fisher 795
Hull length: 6.97m
Fuel capacity: 280 litres
Category C: 9 people
Price before tax: €28,730 (£24,612)
For more advice on choosing a fishing boat, read Dave Barham's guide to fishing boats. For more affordable family powerboat reviews, see: 5 best 30ft family powerboats and 5 of the best compact cruisers.