We tested Jeanneau’s very impressive new flagship 64 over two days of Mistrals in Marseille. Does she have the build quality and practicality to match the superyacht looks?

Prepare to be surprised. Packed within this 64ft 1in hull, the latest from Jeanneau, are a multitude of qualities that will make you question any preconceptions about the brand. The French production builder has married the worlds of big-boat design, luxury and comfort with production boat functionality and pricing to create a new market.

The 64 has been drawn by leading superyacht designers Philippe Briand and Andrew Winch and built by Jeanneau to an impressive quality. The pictures, specs and the base price of €858,900 (£685,583) – relatively low for a yacht of this size and type – paint an attractive proposition. However, a primary concern for many will be the practicality of handling such a large vessel at sea.

Two days of sailing the 64 in gale force Mistral conditions in the south of France provided us with a ruthless test of Jeanneau’s flashy new flagship.

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A wide variety of configurations and choices have been engineered into the Jeanneau 64 to make sure owners feel as if they are getting semi-custom treatment in a cost-effective manner. In fact, it is the host of big boat features throughout that provide the real substance behind this yacht. These include a captive winch option for the mainsheet and halyard, a walk-in engine room, and an enormous cockpit that provides the comparative space of a motor cruiser flybridge.

The Jeanneau 64 is certainly an impressive step up for the French production giants. But she is not simply about more boat for the buck. To want to spend seven figures on a Jeanneau, it must make you feel like you’ve spent a million.

To find out whether we think she does, see the full eight-page report in Yachting World October edition, available from 11 September.

The Jeanneau 64 is being exhibited for the first time at the Cannes Yachting Festival from 9 September. www.cannesyachtingfestival.com

Video You Tube link: Jeanneau 64 video