Double the fun!
The Jeanneau Velasco 37 Flybridge offers two fully equipped helms for double the pleasure.
Flybridge boats practically demand to be driven from the upper helm station, and in warm weather climates that’s usually the captain’s favorite spot. But sometimes it can be too hot, cold, wet, or windy—and then piloting from down below in the comfy confines of the main helm station is the right choice. On the Jeanneau Velasco 37F you have all the latest power and navigation technology at the ready whether you are inside or outside and space for family and friends to enjoy the ride right along with you.
That’s because Jeanneau—one of the brands under the French megabuilder Group Beneteau—puts a premium on social gathering and communication while on board. Both helm stations feature room for at least two if not three people to gather around the dash as I discovered during the launch of the Velasco 37F at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show. “Jeanneau wants to share navigation with those on board,” explained Coryne Thibault, a Jeanneau representative who unlocked all the secrets of the new Velasco 37F. “The helm seat in the main cabin can be configured many different ways.”
The Velasco 37F is most likely going to be operated by the owner, and Jeanneau’s design engineers have helped improve access to the bow from the main helm seat with a clever starboard-side door. With the flip of a handle the captain gains fast access to the starboard walkway to tend lines or handle fenders. It’s that kind of versatility that makes the Velasco 37F so interesting.
“It’s not just the layout that’s flexible and appealing. You can bring everything you need on trips because plentiful storage is a major theme on this boat,” Thibault added. “Everywhere you look the use of space for storage and socializing has been maximized.”
The Velasco 37F makes for one great party platform starting at the transom with the large water-level teak swim step. There’s also a drop-down boarding ladder to make it even easier to board the boat after swimming. Guests climb a few steps to the spacious cockpit and transom bench seat, and on the teak flooring there is another sign of the Velasco 37F’s versatility—the cockpit space can be left open, or a table can be securely fixed onto the cockpit sole forward of the bench seat for dining. The cockpit is also partially covered by a hardtop that extends off the flybridge, so there’s some relief from sun and weather if needed. “The table works in many different ways—you can use it in the salon, the cockpit, or store it out of the way,” Thibault said. “When you lower it in the salon, it can be used to convert the U-shaped couch into a double bed. Then by drawing a curtain around the entire area you make another stateroom that is quite private.”
Entering the salon through a three-panel sliding glass door from the cockpit, the galley is to port with stove, fridge and microwave, and the U-shaped couch and aforementioned table is to starboard. The helm backrest is actually shared with the couch—another way that the boat’s social zones are tied together. To port is a copilot’s bench seat and map station, and what quickly becomes noticeable is the near 360-degree views throughout the salon. Huge port and starboard windows let in sunlight and also give the captain and guests a clear view of the surroundings. The forward windshield is wide and tall, while the aft salon sliding door provides excellent rear visibility.
Stepping down two steps from the helm to the lower deck, the master stateroom is located forward and features a double bed and generous storage. A hanging locker to starboard and more stowage compartments under the bed allow for plenty of space for clothes and gear. A single head with toilet, sink and large shower enclosure is to port and shared with guests in the starboard-side guest stateroom furnished with two single beds, which can be joined with a filler cushion to make a larger two-person bed. Both staterooms have portholes to allow natural light in, and the master has a hatch in the ceiling for ventilation.
Back at the helm level, the captain looks forward to a compass at the top of the dash and a pair of tachometers for the twin Volvo Penta D4 300-horsepower diesel powerplants on a flat vertical section of the dash to the right. To the pilot’s left on the dash is a single Raymarine HybridTouch MFD that offers a complete look at all system and performance information. The Volvo Penta throttle-and-shifter assembly and bow thruster controls are in a comfortable position to the right, while the steering wheel is centered and features the Jeanneau badging.
The Velasco 37F is powered by twin 300-horsepower engines mated to conventional shaft drives, with bow thrusters for added control while docking and at low speeds. The hull is built of fiberglass with a balsa core for added structural integrity, and the bottom design allows the Velasco 37F to plane easily, while also handling chop and rough water.
The flybridge is accessed by a starboard staircase and encircled by a stainless steel railing for safety. A U-shaped lounge on the back portion of the flybridge can be configured as a couch or sunpad. There’s also a faux radar arch for mounting electronics, and the staircase opening can be closed off with a hatch to provide more flybridge floor space. The helm station forward offers a single captain’s seat and dash that’s a near mirror of the helm station on the deck. Everything you need to operate the boat, including another Raymarine MFD, bowthruster controls and compass, is well positioned in the dash console. “Warm weather, hot weather, cold or windy, this boat can handle many different conditions,” Thibault said. “You can run the boat up top, or go down below into the air conditioning if it’s too hot. A Bimini top on the flybridge protects you from the sun, and the visibility is amazing.”
LOA: 37′ 6″
Beam: 12′ 7″
Draft: 2′ 8″
Weight: 18,234 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 210/87 U.S. gals.
Power: 2x Volvo Penta D4 300-hp diesels
Cruise/Top speed: (w/twin engines) 23/29 mph
Range: 199 nm @ cruise
320 N Federal Hwy
Dania Beach, FL 33004
By Doug Thompson, Southern Boating Magazine, August 2015