After almost 30 years and over 17 thousand boats built, Jeanneau’s Sun Odyssey range reinvents itself with a completely new sailing cruise concept. The French shipyard has, in fact, announced the new generation of the Sun Odyssey range with preliminary details of three new models to be unveiled for the 2018 season: a 44-, a 49- and a 31-footer that promise to mark a significant turning point in the segment of sailboats.
With the launch of the new Sun Odyssey 440 and Sun Odyssey 490, Philippe Briand and Jean Marc Piaton have introduced a new type of boat: at once sporty and extraordinarily cosy, modern and elegant, ergonomic and well-equipped, both models provide easy handling and high comfort levels.
At a first glance, both boats immediately impress the observer with large volumes, perfectly in line with the latest yachting design trends. As we will see, this opens the doors to previously unthinkable spaces below deck, especially as for bow sections. However, innovations are not restricted to volumes. They also concern the deck layout, that, except for some very small details, is nearly equivalent in the two models.
The first “conceptual distance” from the conventional deck layouts commonly used in sailboats of this size, is given by total absence of steps along the whole perimeter of these boats. Lateral passages, in fact, progressively become lower and join the flooring on the same level, ensuring complete freedom of movement on the whole deck level. Movement about the deck is facilitated by the separation of the shrouds with the vertical shroud located on the outside of the hull, and inner diagonal shroud placed inboard for an easy passage forward and a large genoa. The traditional gunwale is now replaced by a raised border with soft shock-proof edges. The fact that passengers don’t need to climb over the benches in the cockpit represents a small revolution in terms of safety and comfort.
Always in the cockpit, the innovative handrail design has allowed a further design drive: not only the backrests of side benches are higher than average and therefore more comfortable, but, thanks to an innovative opening system, they can be placed horizontally on the “gunwale” while an additional plane can be obtained from the sides of the central table and positioned between the latter and the seat. This results into two huge sun pads located on both sides, in an area where passengers usually “fight” over traditional seats.
The cockpit has an asymmetric development: the left bench is indeed linear and gives direct access to the companion, while the starboard one is L-shaped and partially envelops the central table. Twin rudder wheels are well-sized and served by columns that host the instrumentation (mapping, etc), suitably oriented toward the outside of the wheel, exactly where normally you stand steering. In its aft section, the cabinet that supports the table hosts the remaining equipment along with the electric push button panel for the stern swimming platform, lights and further services. The table houses a small 12V removable cooler and a portable BBQ, useful to take food in land excursions.
The low location of the parrel enables crew members to work comfortably when collecting the mainsail on the boom. The whole sail plan has been specifically designed to ensure easy handling even with small crew. All the sheets are lead back to the twin helm stations which remain uncluttered. The bowsprit hosts an integrated anchor roller and offers the possibility to install a Code-0 or a gennaker, too. Thanks to their volumes, both boats promise to deliver extraordinary downwind sailing performances. However, the hull chine is expected to define a good personality of the new Sun Odyssey models even in terms of upwind performances. This, of course, makes us want to test them.
More specifically, the Sun Odyssey 440 houses clear-coloured woods that, together with walls, beds, clear fabrics and numerous windows, contribute to flood every environment with great brightness. Volumes are amazingly spacious and every single space is cleverly used, which increases the sensation of being before a new way to interprete on-board life. On the left, a wide chart table is equipped with a complete control panel and a small display.
Refined details, such as a watch and a barometer specially designed by Jeanneau, contribute to enhance interior design. On the left, the galley is ergonomic, enveloping and safe even in rough sea. Fully equipped, it includes an extractable microwave oven positioned next to the refrigerator. On the starboard side, just at the foot of the staircase, a wide bathroom serves the cabins in the stern while a small lounge is furnished with a beautiful table and a C-shaped sofa.
The master cabin is breath-taking. On board the Sun Odyssey 440, interiors are so spacious that Jeanneau even proposes a version with 4 cabins, two of which are positioned just here. The owner’s cabin is very high, with a 160×200 cm centrally-located bed, lateral wardrobes and en-suite bathroom with a separated shower box. Available in a 2-, 3- and 4-cabin version, the Sun Odyssey 440 will be officially presented at the next Cannes Yachting Festival.
All the remarks we’ve made for the 440 are replicable for the Sun Odyssey 490 but with the additional advantage of a larger size (the boat is 5 feet longer than the Sun Odyssey 440).
The aft cabin on the starboard side is large and bright, with an en-suite bathroom always positioned on the starboard side. Next to it, the dinner zone is centrally located and furnished with a large table completely surrounded by seats. The Sun Odyssey 490 is available in two versions, with two or three cabins.
With a length of just 9.99 metres, the Sun Odyssey 319 (of which only a few renderings have been unveiled) is a well-equipped boat with a more traditional deck layout. The central rudder wheel, the essential well-arranged deck equipment and the double rudder blade prove the attention that Jeanneau is used to dedicate to its small boats.
Constructed in partnership with the Delphia shipyard, the Sun Odyssey 319 stands out for its rational well-designed interiors where comfort, rather than additional cabins, is the priority. Below deck, on the left, there is the access to the large aft double cabin furnished with a large wardrobe and the L-shaped galley. On the right, a large bathroom offers a space where passengers can enter even in wet coat without “compromising” the rest of interiors in bad weather.
The dinette consists of a central table and two counter-posed benches that can be easily converted into twin beds. The seat on the starboard side can also be used as a comfortable chart table. Finally, in the bow, another double cabin offers a V-shaped bed and some lockers on each side of the entrance door.
The result is a rational boat, perfect for a couple or a family.