Jeanneau’s deck saloon range enjoys a wide, but particular appeal, and the Jeanneau 41 DS is the latest in the range. For modern cruising sailors who place a high level of comfort, of natural ambient light and the panoramic view from the comfort of a sumptuous saloon near the top of their list of preferences, the concept has been progressively extended to smaller yachts. That they tend to look less sleek and more top heavy as the length decreases is almost inevitable as functionality takes precedence over form.
The new Jeanneau 41 DS uses the powerful Philippe Briand hull from the Sun Odyssey 409 carrying the signature hard chine aft, which allows the beam aft to be maximised for the aft cabin, but also adds grip and effective waterline when the boat heels. We jumped at the opportunity to sail the boat at the annual Jeanneau sea trials in Cannes.
The deck line follows the DS signature with big, long teardrop windows, very rounded blister coachroof, multiple flush opening hatches, high but roomy and comfortable cockpit which is kept well clear of sundry ropes with the working area well defined.
Jeanneau 41 DS: on deck
Stepping aboard there is certainly the feel that the cockpit is relatively high up for the of the length of the boat, but in fact you kind of feel that more at rest which is no bad thing. Under way you are much less conscious of this.
The fundamental ergonomics are good. The main working area at the helm is excellent with good forward sight lines to the headsail. Standard rig is with a furling main and 106 per cent jib.
Typically then the mainsheet is lead back to the helm as is the headsail sheet leaving a very unobstructed, clutter free cockpit. To port the cabin top winch deals with all the halyards. Many owners are specifying the Harken electric rewind winches for the halyard and sheets. All of the rope tails are contained in tidy boxes outboard of the helm station, and there is another for the halyards under the step into the companionway.
All of the halyards and control lines are hidden beneath the styled eyebrow over the large windows. A neat feature is the small wood steps in the cockpit coaming, which actually gives a good footing for moving from sidedeck.
Jeanneau 41 DS under sail
We found the Jeanneau 41 DS to be very efficient, pleasant boat to sail. The deep, high aspect rudder enjoys good grip as well as giving a very nice, light positive feel on the helm.
Certainly the boat picked up speed easily with the Code Zero set and we could use this big sail right up to something like 50 degrees to the wind. We did furl it away for a short while and the 41DS still gave quite a positive account of herself, still bibbling away quite nicely on all points of sail, but the Zero would definitely be worth the extra investment.
A self-tacking jib is optional. To some that reduces a certain amount of work and fun on board, but this will certainly appeal to owners who will regularly have less able, less experienced crew. The 41 DS is very much designed for two couples to live and sail in comfort.
In mast reefing would be the standard for easy, straightforward sailing. The standard, classic rig would be chosen by the more confident sailors, though once again the boom is relatively high in the air and dropping the main into the lazy bags might not appeal to the slightly less agile.
Below decks, there is good fold up table, which even has its own lamp to provide light when lazing around after dark in the cockpit which has space for 4-6 people. There is a good touch screen nav pod which can be angled for the helm or whoever is navigating. Stowage in the cockpit with a pair of matching lockers under the cockpit seats, a wet locker in the transom, a deep locker for fenders and so on.
The interior could be said to deliver the space and feel of a 45 footer. The aft owner’s cabin is almost the starting point for the whole boat. The space, light and comfort are that of a larger boat, but delivered so that there are few obvious compromises made elsewhere.
An opening port in the transom makes the constant connection with the outside world at sea, whilst the double berth is super sized (1.97m x 1.9m x 1.2m). There is an excellent private, en suite toilet and shower room, good living space with seating outboard of the berth, and the view of the sea concept of the DS is never more evident than here.
Correspondingly the guest cabin forward offers a similar level of comfort, also with its own en suite heads with separate shower divider. There are two large hull ports, an excellent hanging locker and the generous double can offer an angled headrest option for reading or relaxing.
The main saloon is well designed for easy, modern living and socialising. Centrepiece is the good, deep U shaped seating area to starboard. The table can be extended for eating, reduced in size and lowered on its push button operated hydraulic leg to become a coffee table, or lower still becomes the infill to make a big double berth too.
Opposite, to port, is the meridian settee which also serves the navigation/office area. An optional, free standing stool serves the nav station, and also fits underneath to form an extra, single berth.
The galley is very modular in layout. Sliding sink covers maximise workspace when required but minimise the galley footprint when not. All the drawers are soft-return, and there are plenty of them, as indeed the storage options are really plentiful.
Jeanneau 41 DS specifications
Hull length 11.99m.
Sail area (standard) 66sq m.