During our two sea trial days in Cannes, we had the opportunity to test the latest Jeanneau‘s models and the new Sun Odyssey 490. Designed for comfortable long-distance cruises with family or friends, she is offered for sale from € 298,000, taxes included, which is a really interesting price for a 14-meter high-level boat like this.
On the first day, we admired her from a distance while, with her black-coloured Code Zero, she was sailing the same waters where we were testing other boats. We saw her sliding fast on the water, always well-balanced and elegant and we were looking forward to testing her in order to record her performances which promised to be encouraging!
Unfortunately, however, on the following day, Aeolus let us down.
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490 – Sea Trial
On the second sea trial day, in early morning, it was finally our turn to test the new Sun Odyssey 490. We were all really curious to see her at work. In the harbour, the wind was totally absent but we hoped to find some in the gulf.
But, as soon as we left the port, our enthusiasm nosedived. The sea was as smooth as silk, there was no visible trace of pressure around us and the windex, positioned at the top of the mast, rotated, pushed by a slight riptide, without being able to stabilize.
Anyway, we hoisted sails while sailing along the coast and waiting for onshore breeze. It was like a regatta mode: we watched out for any possible signs of improvement.
Finally, a breath of wind came; so, we immediately opened the Code Zero and the boat slowly started its race. A slight apparent wind gave us the possibility to luff and bear away for a while. With a true wind of about 3.5 – 3.7 knots, whose origin remains uncertain still today, the boat ran at little more than 3 knots.
It was a real shame because, on the previous day, the boat looked really promising.
Time was up (our schedule for the day was really tight) and, disappointed and embittered, we gave up and we came back to the port. We had no choice but to detect and record under-power performances.
The only sensations we can share with you now are the practicality and simplicity of maneuvers, facilitated by the good position of equipment and the neatness of side-decks, in perfect line with the easy sailing principle of the 490.
The only feature that didn’t convince us was the fixed point of the mainsail sheet which, positioned ahead of the companion, consists of two textile extensions which form a non-adjustable triangle. This way, sail trimming requires the joint action of the mainsail sheet and the kicking strap. Nevertheless, we can understand this choice since it is compensated by a significantly shorter mainsail sheet and a more uncluttered cockpit. After all, we are talking of a pure cruiser and this option is quite reasonable.
Designed by Philippe Briand and Jean-Marc Piaton, the new Jeanneau‘s model boasts a considerable development of the central section of the boat that, compliant with the cruising-oriented character of the concept, is beneficial to outdoor life.
The lateral width of the hull is used in a very clever, innovative and practical way and contributes to expand the surfaces of seating. How did designers succeed in doing that? They simply equipped cockpit seats with folding adjustable backrests!
Yes, you got it straight. Passengers can enjoy two comfortable sun pads in the cockpit which can stretch until the side-deck. This solution has made possible another important feature: seat backrests are definitely high and therefore very comfortable.
The deck equipment of the Sun Odyssey 490 includes four electrical winches. Two are set up just ahead of the twin helms and serve both the mainsail sheet and fore sails; a secondary pair of winches is positioned on the coachroof and can be used for halyards and running rigging.
Our test boat featured a high-quality mainsail, equipped with three reefs and a German circuit. The jib furler was manual and the Code Zero was set up on the bowsprit, equipped with an electrically-operated furling system.
Equipped with three cabins, the version we tested is the most spacious and the most comfortable one among the various layout options available. She features three wide comfortable double cabins.
More specifically, the fore master cabin is surprisingly bright (it is indeed surrounded by many windows), furnished with a centrally-located double bed and an en-suite bathroom. The other two double cabins, one on each side of the stern, share a bathroom in the middle. This version sacrifices the third bathroom, on the starboard side of the boat, to the benefit of a large, convenient chart table that, thanks to its generous size and a double bench, can efficiently work also as an itinerant office.
On the left of the dinette, the galley is well-organized and rich of worktops. Equipped with two sinks and a three-burner stove, it offers enough space to cook and prepare meals even for a large number of passengers.
Thanks to a practical and retractable microwave oven, you can enjoy cruising even in harsh wind and sea conditions, without never having to renounce a hot, fast, safe meal.
In the dinette, a large table can seat 6 adults in total comfort, thanks to a system of seats positioned all around.
Browsing the brochures the shipyard gave us, we realized that the other versions of this boat offer a wide range of interior layouts. In particular, the shipyard offers versions with four or even five cabins and four bathrooms.
Bearing in mind all these features, in addition to the cruising-oriented soul of this boat, we can say that the 490 is a really good option even for charter companies.
The hull is definitely interesting. The sharp-cornered hull and the large stern suggest excellent performances even when running downwind. The rudder double blade, too, facilitates handling when the boat lists.
So, if you’re looking for a well-sized boat, an interesting price, a fast, easy and comfortable cruiser, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490 can be the right option for you. Whether you want to sail with your family or friends, abundant common spaces and private moments are always guaranteed.
If you also want to reconcile your sailing desire with the tanning needs of your family, this boat is certainly right for you.
|Fuel Tank Capacity||240 l|
|water Tank Capacity||640 l|
|Cabins||2 / 5|
|Category : A|