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Great review of the new Jeanneau Velasco 37F

The Jeanneau Velasco 37F is a 37’5” (11.40 m) flying bridge yacht designed to serve as a compact cruiser that is easy to handle. She maintains the features that have now come to define the brand, such as the clever use of space and the opening side door from the helm to the sidedecks. Above, the flying bridge encompasses three social areas.

Key Features

  • Removable cockpit upholstery ”Otonne”
  • Lockers in the cockpit sofa
  • Swim platform with ladder
  • Adjustable captain’s seat at the helm
  • Copilot bench facing the sea on portside
  • U-shaped flying bridge saloon with storage under the seating
  • Access to saloon by a sliding glass door aft
  • L or U-shaped saloon (depending on options) with removable table
  • Galley with gas burner, oven and a 21 gal. (80 L) refrigerator
  • Master cabin includes double berth with integrated storage

The Jeanneau Velasco 37F is a small cruiser, relatively speaking of course, that also offers the convenience of a flying bridge and its added social areas. As an entertaining platform, she is first rate having three social areas on both the flying bridge and main deck. With the opening door from the helm to the side deck, she also lends herself to being operated short-handed. As for overnights, two cabins sleep four and two more can be accommodated on the main deck.

Major Features

• Side Door From Helm. With an opening door to the side deck, and the midships cleat, this is a boat that can easily be operated, and docked, single-handed.

• Recessed Side Decks. Not only does this boat have symmetrical side decks but they are recessed well below the gunwales making for a safer transition to the bow.

• Owner’s Suite Forward. This is not a new feature to the brand but a departure from what we usually see of having a full beam owner’s suite located amidships.

• Dual Entry to Cockpit. With a wide full beam swim platform there are two entry gates to the aft cockpit. Certainly one can be fitted with a passerelle for boarding from a med-moor.

• Galley Up. The galley is on the main deck, directly across from the dinette, ensuring that the host never has to leave the gathering to prepare meals.

Boarding the Velasco 37F is as easy as stepping onto the massive swim platform and entering through either the port or starboard entry gates. The platform is covered in teak and a concealed reboarding ladder is to starboard. Two grab handles are at the trailing edge making a convenient spot to hold onto when waiting for a turn at the ladder. These handles also make a good spot to secure a tender to. Two cleats are mounted to the transom sides, well elevated above the trip zone.

Roomy Cockpit

The spacious cockpit can be enjoyed even on the sunniest days thanks to the protection of the extended overhead. With entry gates to both port and starboard, Jeanneau went with a four-across bench seat along the transom. These seats offer a clear view of the entry to the main salon and with the wide sliding doors opened completely, the line between outside and inside is barely noticeable. A ladder to the flying bridge is to starboard and this location keeps the ladder under the protection of the extended overhead and eliminates the burden of impeding on the interior space. Certainly the entire cockpit can be enclosed for three-season use.

Salon/Galley

With the sliding doors opened all the way, the social area of the main salon is expanded right into the aft cockpit. This is a great benefit to those who will surely utilize the Velasco 37F for entertaining. The settee is to starboard and takes the form of an L-shaped sofa wrapping around a table on a telescoping pedestal. Lowering the table and inserting a filler cushion will convert the area into another sleeping area when the need arises. For privacy, curtains can be drawn across the windows and a separate privacy curtain encloses the area just behind the helm and observer’s seats.

Directly across is the galley, which keeps the food prep right in the thick of the main social areas. Naturally this whole space has plenty of light with nearly 360-degrees of glass surrounding the main deck. The usual cast of appliances for a boat in this class is present with the sink and cooktop taking up a minimal amount of counter space. Covering both adds to the workable space. Storage is below and additional storage is under the deck allowing the Velasco 37F to be utilized for extended times away from the dock.

Helm/Observer’s Stations

Forward and to starboard is the raised helm station. Jeanneau went with a doublewide helm seat so the captain never has to be alone keeping an eye ahead of the bow, and a single flip-up bolster takes in the full width of the seat. This lower helm station is standard, even though there is a second operating station on the deck above. This feature negates the concept that the flying bridge simply must be wrapped in an enclosure to operate in inclement weather.

Of course the feature that we like the best is the opening side door to the starboard sidedeck. Why this isn’t done on other brands more often is a mystery to us. Here it ensures that an easy passage to the side cleat will make for operating the boat single-handed that much less of a chore. Now this doesn’t imply that this is a single person’s boat. Quite the contrary, but there are those times when she needs to be moved to the fuel dock in preparation for a trip, or when the captain is the only one with the skillset for handling the boat. That’s why this is such a welcome feature.

Another welcome item is to port where there is yet another forward facing seat. This speaks of a boat that is meant to spend more time underway than sitting at the dock, and whenever a boat is moving people like to sit and face in the direction of travel.

But the real difference with this boat is that so much space is being given to its operation from this main deck. Others we see in class simply eliminate this lower operating station entirely and use the room to expand the living area. Here, owner’s still have a choice of where to operate. Once the boat is away from the dock, if rain or cold hits, the trip can still go on as planned.

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Bow

The bow is accessed from recessed side decks. With the bulwarks coming up high, and rails being mounted atop, the transition to the foredeck is a safe one. This is important as not only is the bow reserved for the working sections but also as an entirely separate social area.

A huge sun pad is recessed into the trunk cabin. This feature of being surrounded by protection from the sides makes the area much more user friendly than those with the bolted on rails that we’ve seen elsewhere. A center cushion is removable to provide light to the owner’s cabin below but it’s probably rare that this will occur. More likely is that this cushion will only be removed when the hatch is in use.

At the working end only the windlass leading out to the flush mounted davit interrupts the deck. The rail is split to allow for boarding from a bow-in docking. Otherwise the rails provide ample protection and appear to be compliant with standards regarding height.

Flying Bridge Deck

Three more social areas are on the flying bridge deck. Forward, there’s a seating area adjacent to the starboard mounted helm. With this arrangement, as with the lower operating station, the captain never needs to be alone when piloting the Velasco 37F. The portside seatbacks are convertible and with a flip forward the second social area, the dinette, becomes more welcoming. A pedestal table allows for use as an al fresco dining area. To the aft end is a large sunning area.

The helm is a fiberglass pod-style with protection from angled and tinted windscreens wrapping around the forward section and culminating at the ends where they transition to the side rails. With no overhead, the area doesn’t lend itself to being enclosed, which makes the standard lower station all the more attractive.

Moving below decks the owner’s suite is forward nestled into the bows. An island berth allows access from both sides and Jeanneau does a great job of use of space by providing plenty of storage. A flat screen TV is to the aft port bulkhead. Natural light comes from side windows for the most part as the overhead hatch is often covered with the removable sun pad cushion.

The Head is to Port and Features a Walk-in Shower. The entrance is in the companionway so this head will not get used as a private for the master but as a shared head along with the guest stateroom. In this manner, also serves as a day head for the main deck above. With four guests, it’s best to keep the showers to a minimum as the water supply can get exhausted with its 87-gallon (330 L) capacity.

There’s a mirrored cabinet but its location seems much too high to be used as a vanity mirror. We’d like to see the addition of a lower one, even if it means attaching it directly to the bulkhead. Below is a sink recessed into a solid surface counter. A small storage cubby is below and it could use some rails to keep items in place. A cabinet is below that.

Towards the Stern is the Guest Stateroom. It features twin berths that can be converted to a queen and storage is in the hanging locker to starboard. A single hull side window allows natural light and an integrated opening portlight allows for ventilation. Artificial light comes from a center lamp mounted to the bulkhead and dual LED reading lights are mounted to goosenecks over each berth.

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Observations

The Velasco 37F has all the trademark features that we’ve come to expect from Jeanneau. Aside from the clever use of space, there’s the mix of materials ranging from Alpi wood cabinetry to plastics on the overhead. In this manner, the price of the boat is kept competitive by having choice materials where they matter, and not where they don’t.

She also represents a refreshing blend of a family cruiser with a nod as an entertaining platform. From a family aspect, while she sleeps 6, certainly more will be spending days aboard having fun on the water, and those are times that are most valued.

For more detail and the full review, go to BoatTest.com…