Jeanneau Cap Camarat 8.5WA Review by Leisure Boating

01 Aug 2016

Family cruising, waterskiing and fishing. This is the trifecta to which any multi-use craft strives to achieve.

Dean Castle goes in pursuit of perfection.

While the Cap Camarat brand is new in South Africa, it stems from an impressive boating heritage out of the Jeanneau boat yard. Erudite readers will know that this company is known for their quality craft and fine attention to detail in providing the ultimate in luxury, and I’m sure that the Cap Camarat range something to really get excited about.

Deck layout

The 8.5 Cap Camarat is the second largest in the fleet, surpassed only by the 10.5. While this, the walk-around version, is more sought-after by owners looking for a stay- aboard cabin for their family, there is also a centre-console derivative which is probably and comfortably spend the night onboard.

Measuring 8.42 metres overall (or just over 27 foot), this Cap Camarat is no small order – and that means the designers have been afforded plenty of room to accommodate the works. From bow to stern, it’s evident that every detail has been carefully thought out to maximise space and amenities.

On board, the Cap Camarat 8.5 WA speaks of an open boat with sufficient room for socialising. This craft would be an ideal day cruiser – and Cap Camarat have taken this concept a step further by adding overnight accommodation facilities below deck, meaning that you can cruise along the coast and comfortably spend the night onboard with your family, as the water gently rocks you to sleep.

Boarding through the transom doorway on the port side, you step down into the stern lounge area. Immediately you are met by a wash of teak decking, lavish seating and fine detail work. It’s not hard to see that the Cap Camarat is built by a company that simply oozes luxury lifestyle – from any angle. A removable table is easily installed within (and conveniently stored out of sight when not in use), allowing you to host a small dinner soirée for your guests.

Moving forward you step up to enter the cockpit area which is fitted with the latest and greatest electronics – and kitted out to be possibly the most user-friendly craft in its class, what with the great ergonomics, perfect all-round visibility and ultra-comfortable dual-helm seating. Our review Cap Camarat had already been sold prior to it landing in South Africa, and the owner opted for only the best in marine electronics, including a Garmin GPSmap 7410, a Fusion sound system, and of course Yamaha’s top-of- the-line engine management system. Accompanying these extras are the standard features which include a magnetic compass, trim settings, VHF radio and a switch panel. It’s a no-nonsense, easy-to-use craft that is designed to get the skipper excited.

From the cockpit you are granted access to the galley and accommodation below the deck. Slide open the door and step down the modern wooden steps to be met with the equivalent of a presidential suite. This Cap Camarat may not have the largest berths, but what it does bring to the table is a beautifully appointed below-deck area which is almost deceivingly ideal for a family of four.

In the saloon, a small prep area and a microwave allows mom to whip together a light meal for the kids. Cold drinks and other items can be stored in the onboard fridge and kept cool until they’re needed.

There’s ample natural light inside the cabin, and with the entrance open, you really get a pleasant breeze wafting through. However, should the sun be beating down, an aircon unit can be fitted to take the cabin to a new level of fresh cool air.

For those spending the day, or even the night on board, a head and shower unit is located on the starboard side of the cabin, allowing you to wash up after a hot summer’s day – and although I may be a little vertically challenged, even I appreciated the head height and overall roominess of this craft.


Jeanneau really have put everything into
this model since she weighs around 2 540 kilograms without the motors. Speaking
of which, you are afforded the decision of whether to go single or dual mount – and personally, I would suggest the latter for safety and reliability. Since you’re going to be coastal cruising, the weight of two motors is sure to keep the overall weight and balance of the craft in check. A single engine installed allows you up to 350 HP while twin engines up to 225 HP each can be mounted.

Whiling away her days in Cape Town, this Cap Camarat is kept pristine and out of the water on an Air Berth floating mooring. When her owner spots some good weather, it’s simple enough to lower the mooring and reverse out of the ‘driveway’. It’s easily done and impressive for a craft of 27 foot in length. Our Cap Camarat 8.5 WA is fitted with the full stable – a total of 500 horses from Yamaha’s 4-Stroke range – and let me tell you, they’re wild! Hammer down the throttles and set the trims just right, and you should be able to skip a flat water surface at a little under 50 knots. While it’s more than capable of handling it, expect to throttle to around 15-20 knots in the average size swell where the hull rides comfortable and tracks true for a predictable, stable ride. The high freeboard of this craft also contributes to giving you a feeling of confidence while skippering and does especially well keeping the deck dry from spray. Behind the wheel, the skipper is kept cool and calm from a craft which can handle just about anything you can throw at it. If you’re looking for some coastal tripping, then this Cap Camarat is surely worth your consideration.


Jeanneau’s Cap Camarat 8.5 WA is a breath of fresh air in this segment of the market. She certainly has far more utility than many other conventional 27-footers. With all that an owner could need, this craft is ideal for skippers who want something more manageable than a larger cruiser, as well as those who are looking to trade up in size from their smaller pleasure craft.

Its dynamically fluid design makes this an elegant boat. Perfectly suited to coastal cruising and fishing, it achieves everything it sets out to, with an uncluttered cockpit, plenty of room, a generous sunbathing platform and real comfort for four on board.

Pricing starts at €43 890 ex. factory and excludes motors and a trailer.

This review was originally published in Leisure Boating Magazine March 2016.