Jeanneau Leader 9 WA : Series 2 of a popular model debuts in Fort Lauderdale
Fresh off its world premiere this summer in Europe, the Jeanneau Leader 9 WA Series 2 welcomed curious crowds at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October. New from scratch, this Michael Peters re-imagined hull has been tricked out with loads of options and big boat features. It’s perfect for first time buyers or old salts looking to downsize to a fun boat that’s easy on the wallet as well as on necessary maintenance.
Branding & Target Market
I stepped aboard hull #2 with Jeanneau’s Wade Clevenger. “Although it’s all new, the popularity and reputation of the Jeanneau Leader 9 were strong, so the branding was continued and we just added Series 2 to the name,” says Clevenger.
Jeanneau’s Leader series is a line of open boats, more like express boats, which differentiates them from the NC series that has enclosed cabins. The “WA” in the name means “walk around: although technically, you can only walk forward on the port side. That said, the Jeanneau Leader 9.0 WA Series 2 is all about on-deck living and versatility. “The target is someone a little younger, who loves being outside, is looking for sophisticated features but also values a simplicity,” adds Clevenger. “The boat’s a little fishy but it’s more for family fun.”
Signs of its fishiness can be spotted in the summer galley module that’s tucked just behind the double helm seats. On the left, you can spec a Kenyon electric grill or cooktop, or opt for a propane grill. To the right, our model had a baitwell and on the outer gunnel, a single rod holder. (You can also spec extra storage in lieu of the baitwell) “I’m not fishy at all,” adds Clevenger. “So, I just fill it with ice and beer.”
The galley was reconfigured from the one on the predecessor which grouped the grill, sink and fridge on the port side at the companionway. In the new version, the grill is amidships but the sink and 52-quart refrigerator are separate and still on port as before. Between the two galley spaces, you’ll find six decently sized cupholders. In fact, there are 12 cupholders in total if you count the rod holder as one. It seems that the French are finally learning about the priorities of the American market.
Also new is the larger fiberglass T-top with an integral manual sunroof, and the portside terrace that swings out manually via a block and tackle. This platform is a great place to enter and exit the water (ladder included) while keeping clear of the outboards. The Jeanneau Leader 9 WA Series 2 top platform is just to the side of the twin bucket helm seats (with bolsters) and the helm console. To enhance the outdoorsy feel, the windshield doesn’t connect to the hardtop so the breeze will blow your hair back but you can add a spray hood for cold weather boating.
Aft is a fixed table and two benches which are joined by side seats that flip down from below the gunnels. You can use this as a dinette or a sunbed and with the swinging backrest on the front bench, you can achieve three rows of forward-facing seating. On the bow, you’ll find a triple sunbed, a small anchor locker and an optional Lewmar electric windlass.
Jeanneau Leader 9.0 WA Serie2: Inviting Interior
Although built for an outdoor lifestyle, the Jeanneau Leader 9.0 WA Series 2 can also be weekended with two cabins and a fully enclosed head. Three steps down and you’re in a lovely interior that glows with indirect lighting. Four adults wouldn’t feel crowded here overnight.
Forward is the master stateroom with a centerline queen bed, good headroom and decent privacy. Aft is an open cubby cabin with a larger bed but low headroom which will be popular with kids. The head is generous and even has a shower stall of sorts with a flip down seat over the toilet. Our model also had the optional Dometic fridge and a Danby microwave inside by the entryway.
Propulsion, Power & Price
The Jeanneau Leader 9.0 WA Series 2 comes with twin outboards only – no stern drives. Yamaha 200-hp outboards are standard but may be upgraded to 250s. This might not sound like a big jump in power but with it comes the option for Yamaha’s joystick and CL7 display. Add a bow thruster and you can forget about docking angst.
With the lightweight infused hull, the top speed using the upgraded engines should be 40-42 knots or roughly 50 mph. A comfortable and economical cruise will be 25-28 knots and with 150 gallons of onboard fuel, she’ll be able to stretch her legs.
According to Clevenger, there’s a plan to offer this model with a lithium battery pack and a large inverter which can run all systems aboard including climate control for up to eight hours or overnight. “With Yamaha’s large alternators, the batteries can charge from 10% to 80% in just five hours,” adds Clevenger. “Of course, that last 20% will take another three hours.”
As seen at the dock, the Jeanneau Leader 9.0 WA Series 2 came in at $309,757 (landed Fort Lauderdale) and it was loaded with all kinds of goodies including the larger engines, joystick, bow thruster, Garmin GPSMAP1223 XSV, Fusion RA210 stereo with 6 speakers, Zipwake trimtabs, interior fridge and microwave, and much more. You can even spec a towing post for wakeboarding which really underscores the family target of this model. To keep things simple and affordable, there’s no option for a gyrostabilizer or digital switching. The boat is also available in only one wood color which Clevenger says is Grey Walnut.
Jeanneau Leader 9.0 WA Series 2: a Solid Choice
Jeanneau took a successful model and completely revamped it down to the hull. In the process, the quality was elevated and the options were taken up a notch. Anyone looking for an all-around family boat that can tow, cruise, entertain, weekend and fish a little, the Jeanneau Leader 9.0 WA Series 2 is a solid choice. It also has a 4-5-month lead time for delivery which is respectable so put it on your short list and test one out soon on either side of the Atlantic.
Jeanneau Leader 9.0 WA Series 2 Specs
|Beam 9’ 9”||9’ 9”|
|Draft 2’ 2”||2’ 2”|
|Weight (hull only)||5,798 lbs|