Boat Review Date: September 2017
Author: Mike Brown
The Merry Fisher 795 is obviously from the same stable as the previously reviewed 695. Not so much an enlarged version of the hull as of the principle. Here is a boat small enough for easy racking – even trailing with the right vehicle – yet with genuine long weekending accommodation plus spacious day boat room. And with none of the slipping, anti-fouling and pen costs of a larger boat.
Make or break in the buying or not decision often comes down to plumbing. At least half of the buying team wants a compartment with a door and a toilet that works pretty much like the one at home. The boat’s builders are Jeanneau, and French, but they do not take their sanitary cues from French railway stations: the 795 has a bathroom to please anyone, complete with holding tank, wash basin and all the trimmings.
Maximum permissible power is 200hp, and the importer generally installs the maximum, in this case a 200hp Mercury. The hull is apparently designed more for volume than sea keeping, and on the blustery day I did not expect to use a lot of that horsepower. I was wrong. The ride was good, the boat was fun, and I played hard with that power. 33 knots was the top speed and, because this is a cruising boat, on most days you would use only two thirds of that. But having lots of power in reserve makes an easier boat to drive in poor conditions. At cruising speed the 280 litre tank offers substantial range, encouraging the owner to cruise north rather than just making the Rottnest pilgrimage.
The interior is ingeniously laid out. To port in the main cabin is a table with a double seat at its rear. Ahead of the table is a double seat facing the windscreen. A mere flick of the wrist reverses it to seat four at the table. To starboard the driver has an excellent seat at the console; aft of him is the galley. There is an option on equipping this with a gas fired burner, but it is a pricey option due to complying with Australian gas installation rules. Most would opt for a barbecue in the cockpit. Fridge and sink are present as well as storage space within, behind or under practically everything. That includes a wine cellar – this is a French boat after all.
The fore cabin space is partly given over to the bathroom, but there is abundant room left over for a double bed. A second double bed becomes available with some simple manoeuvring of the table and seats in the other cabin. Curtains provide overnight privacy.
The cockpit has plenty of space for the four overnighters plus a friend or two. An optional awning and clears would make this another sleeping cabin or simply provide shade. The effective cockpit area is substantially increased by the twin timber sheathed boarding platforms. These are big enough to take a folding chair for relaxed fishing at anchor. Under the cockpit deck are compartments to store those chairs and a great deal more gear as well. One of the boarding platforms has a ladder, the other has a locker within its thickness for berthing lines.
The link between cabin and cockpit is big boat style through sliding glass doors that take up the whole of the cabin’s rear, pretty well making inside and out one space. The standard cockpit furniture is a five-seater settee, but there are multiple options to increase that and even add a table. On the whole, I think most buyers would prefer to stay with the settee.
Our 795 was equipped with a bow thruster, which many people would consider superfluous on an outboard powered boat. On the other hand I cannot recall anyone ever complaining that a boat was too easy to manoeuvre. Having total control of the bow in windy conditions makes a breeze (sorry) of parking at or leaving a jetty. I was happy to have it, particularly as the 795 does not have much draught and so is more sensitive to the wind.
Price from $117,000
Price as reviewed $137,000
Fuel capacity 280L
Fresh water 100L
Motor fitted 200hp Mercury