Jeanneau Cap Camarat 12.5 WA, the formula for happiness

Three outboards times six cylinders by twelve metres of boat – that’s the formula for happiness. It’s been discovered by Jeanneau and Yamaha

by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Jean-Jacques Bernier and Tom King

LET’S START FROM THE STERN. Three 300 hp Yamaha outboards are fitted to the transom. They are the new Premium V6s, which is the Japanese firm’s new take on the six cylinders. They weigh less and are easier to handle, in part because of the extensive use of electronics.

The V6 300, like the 250hp model, is fitted with digital electronic steering. This gives better control, and more precision, thanks above all to the actuators that take the place of traditional hydraulic pumps. It is an outboard fitted with an electronic throttle drive-by-wire system, and if you want there is also the Helm Master EX programme, which is perfect for fishermen because it integrates GPS, autopilot and engine. It obviously weighs less than the Yamaha V8 XTO, but it has inherited from that engine the ingenious TotalTilt system, which means that you can bring the propeller out of the water so that it takes up as little room as possible in the stern. TotalTilt is also fitted with an alarm system that lets you know when the engine is moving, specifically to prevent one from harming people or objects. And then there is the TERE system, which stands for Thrust Enhancing Reverse Exhaust. Basically, when you go into reverse and are under 2500 rpm, the bubbles from the exhaust stay away from the propeller and above the anti-ventilation plate. That way, the propeller can bite into dense water without the bubbles caused by the exhaust gas. And when the water is dense, the propeller works better and the outboard is more efficient when reversing.

It has a lot of living space and light thanks to the large number of windows, which allow natural light to filter below decks. There are five berths, of which three are in the cabin amidships, and two in the convertible dinette.

But it is when you are moving forward that interests us most, and so to try that we did no less than putting it in gear and accelerating to see if the restyling has produced a good performance in terms of acceleration and speed. The Cap Camarat 12.5 WA from Jeanneau is a boat of nearly twelve metres overall, with a three and a half metre beam and over seven thousand kilos dry weight. Essentially it is a sporty boat, but with generous volumes and as a result also weight. But even so, nine hundred horsepower is a lot, and it is no coincidence that you can’t fit any larger engines. And you see the result immediately. Even though you need to be doing over sixteen knots to get the hull out of the water, you start planing in just three and a half seconds. That is acceleration that nails you back to the chair as you helm, and comes from the size of the engines, with a full 4,169 cc. At top speed we got to 42.7 knots, using 299 litres per hour, effectively 100 litres per motor.

Fuel consumption at 25 and 30 knots are in line with that. To do thirty we needed a total of 163 litres, while at 25 knots, 120 litres an hour was needed for all three outboards. The way it handles when underway is a balance between sporty performance and comfort. The project from Michael Peters convinced me precisely because the equilibrium between these two characteristics was found without giving anything up. The boat is very easy to handle as a consequence of the electronics that help when turning. It tilts the right amount and reacts quickly to changes in direction.

In keeping with the walkaround concept, it is easy to get from stern to bow. It takes just a few moves to get an ideal set-up for relaxation or to provide a lot of seats for guests.

Visibility from the steering console is always excellent, even when you are turning as hard as possible. The T-Top, which is strong and fairly large, never means you can’t see, not even to the side. Even with waves between 40 and 50 cm, the V-shaped bow managed to cut through them without any difficulties. Up to thirty knots, we didn’t feel the need to go easy on the throttle because the boat didn’t jump off the waves too much. In any case, the fuel delivery is progressive and the throttles do their job very well. The only thing about the boat that is not completely convincing is a structural matter. It is offered by Jeanneau with two or three outboard engines but, unfortunately, there are just two tanks, and they aren’t linked. That means if you have three engines, two of them have to be fed by a single tank. Clearly, if one tank is empty, the other will still have fuel left. To get around this hitch, a pump has been supplied to allow alternating the feed from one tank or the other. Even so, it would have been better to have two linked tanks, or three – one for each motor.

It handled well in rough sea, and above all was very manageable when turning and when manoeuvring at low revs. That is thanks to the hull and the Yamaha outboard engines with electronics that mean they can be set perfectly.

Engine data
Three 300 hp engines make it a sporty ride, but without any compromise in terms of comfort and safety. Another option is having two outboard engines.

The T-Top is strong because it has a solid base. It is wide and protective and even comes with an extension to give shade to the cockpit.

The opening along the side means you can get to the sea and is an alternative to the stern beach area which surrounds the outboards.

32 Avenue des Sables – CS 30529
F-85505 Les Herbiers Cedex

PROJECT: Michael Peters Yacht Design, Sarrazin Design, and Jeanneau Design

HULL: LOA 11.90m Maximum beam 3.58m Light mass displacement 7,123 kg Fuel tank volume 1,150 l Water tank volume 200 l

MAIN PROPULSION: 3xF300NSB Yamaha Outlet mechanical power 220.6 kW (300 hp)    6 V-shaped 60° cylinders Swept volume 4,169 cc Bore&Stroke 96mm x 96mm Transmission ratio 1,75:1 Maximal rotational speed 5000-6000/min Weight 260 kg

EC CERTIFICATION: CAT B 11 people CAT C 12 people

PRICE: 193,614 €, Inclusive VAT

(Jeanneau Cap Camarat 12.5 WA, la formula della felicità – – Ottobre 2021)