While French boat chock Jeanneau was, for many years, well-renowned for its sailboats, many ignore the company also boasts a large series of motor boats, from small crafts to large yachts. Jeanneau even has its high-end series called Prestige, ranging from 39 to 60 feet long boats. It’s been a year since the Prestige series is available in Canada and the one we tried recently — the Prestige 390 S — really stole our heart because of its surprising ease of use, efficient layout and dynamic performances.

Rivalry can get ferocious is this specific niche, making it hard for boat manufacturers to set themselves apart from their competitors. As for the Prestige series models, they draw attention because of their elegant sobriety, neat lines, and European design. And to make the Prestige series even more appealing, Jeanneau decided to offer it at very affordable costs. Combining great looks and good price should make Jeanneau one of Canadian’s most favourite options.

European sporty style
We recently tried the “smaller” of the Prestige models, the 390 S, which is a part of the Express Line series. The 39 feet-long and 12.9 feet-wide boat is just perfect for Canadian water bodies : not too small and not too big. Its slender hull, hard-top and super large windows make the Prestige 390 S a very attractive boat. A small arch at the back also adds a je-ne-sais-quoi to its sporty style. The exterior accommodations are well-though out. For instance, you and your guests will be able to spend a lot of time on the large and comfy sunpad.

In the back, a teak swimming platform leads the way to a covered dinette. An electronic control button makes it easy to raise this platform, giving access to a large storage compartment. Underneath is the machinery compartment, very large and very accessible, making maintenance all that more easy.

Shape your environment
Thanks to a glass door located in the back of the boat and next to a bay window, we access the all-covered cockpit without a hitch. Being sheltered from bad weather makes it easier to do maintenance on the boat since only the dinette is located outside. However, even if the absence of canvases is a sure benefit, some may be afraid of feeling trapped or isolated. They can be reassured: it is absolutely not the case. At the push of a button, it is possible for the bay window to hide in the lower part of the boat, leaving open the rear part. Another control button makes it easy to fold almost half of the headliner. As for the side windows, they all have a foldaway portion. In short, in a few seconds, one can appreciate both sun and air. The best part is everything can go back in place just as easily. Way more practical than handling numerous canvases!

The interior shines by its simplicity. Nothing is flashy in here. The L-shaped living room is plain and practical. The banquette ends with an inclinable back, adding another resting space. Behind the driver’s seat is a refreshment corner which includes a small fridge. It is a great add-on, although the space around it is rather restrained. The control panel is also simple yet elegant. Everything is well-thought-of, easily accessible and comprehensible. The sporty steering wheel gives the Prestige 390 S a speeding style.

The cabin is just as clean and simple. Wood and light-toned leather blend harmoniously, creating a rich yet elegant décor. A bit more detailing would have been appreciated, especially in the kitchenette where a lot of wood is used. Then again, this is all a question of taste and preferences… The cabin also includes a full-bathroom, a master bedroom in front as well as another good-size bedroom in the back with two small beds and a reading nook.

On water
Even if other manufacturers often offer a wide range of motorizations, only one engine is available onboard the Prestige 390 S: a pair of 4.2 liters Cummins diesel motors boasting 320 hp each. This may disappoint those who appreciated the Volvo engine and its IPS system. However, those will be able to add the AXIUS propulsion system package featuring a joystick, making manoeuvring all that more easy.

I really enjoy large boats for their luxury and comfort, but I have to admit that I am often disappointed with their performances on water. Being too heavy, they don’t glide as well, leaving us no choice but driving with our nose up. However, I was really surprised by the overall performances of the Prestige 390 S. Push the lever and after a small response delay —caused by the electronic throttle—, the torque kicks in, sending the boat to plane in only 16 seconds. I was surprised to reach a cruising speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) at 3,000 RPM. The fuel consumption, at 19.9 gallons per hour (75 liters), is quite reasonable for a craft this size. The top speed is 42.1 mph at 3,850 RPM. And the Prestige 390 S proves to not only be a well-designed boat, but also one that is quite pleasant to drive. One can enjoy a casual touring drive and appreciate the scenery while another can reach a destination quite rapidly, without having to deal with excessive fuel consumption.

Thanks to its good size, the Prestige 390 S’ steering is precise at cruising speed with very little pitch in turns. The only bad thing we could say about this boat is the lack of visibility makes it hard for stowing manoeuvres. The pillars of the windshield block the view but luckily, the AXIUS system and its joystick makes everything much easier.

Both the layout and the performances make the Prestige 390 S a fantastic boat. And while its price may seem a bit on the high side, it is in fact very affordable when compared to the competition.

Review boat provided by: Groupe Performance Marine