There is only one word to describe the new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 and that is “sensational”. The way it sails, how it behaves, how easy it is to handle has to be experienced. Make no mistake this is the future of cruising yachts and if it doesn’t get European Yacht of the Year we’ll be astonished.
Through a range of conditions it simply shines. In light winds it sails effortlessly, accelerates quickly and turns positively. As the wind increases it remains balanced and continues to simply accelerate. Steering is finger-tip all the time and even with the smaller sail-plan self-tacking jib the distance this relatively small yacht will cover is remarkable.
During a boat review with Cruising Helmsman Magazine we recorded a GPS boat speed of 6.5 knots hard on the wind at 32 degrees apparent in 12 knots true wind, at 60 degrees apparent it was doing 6.8 and then as we bore away the wind increased to 15 plus and it was gliding along at mid seven knots. Simply brings a smile to your face! And this is only touching the surface of this remarkable yacht. The modern chined hull with twin rudders isn’t a marketing ploy, this really works and offers significant advantages over yachts not offering these features, especially when designed by naval architect Marc Lombard who has this knowledge and experience.
In terms of the rig having no backstay is not new, but it is new to Jeanneau and with a twin wheel cockpit it’s a big plus as there are no backstay wires right in the way of your head when helming to windward. The cockpit is generous and optional cockpit table substantial. The deck layout can be kept really simple with both jib sheets and mainsheet along with everything else led to winches adjacent to the wheels, or it can be expanded to additional winches on the coach-roof as suits the owner’s needs.
The standard jib uses a loop fitting instead of a track borrowed from modern racing yachts and the boom is trimmed to the centreline using an ingenious strop system rather than a traveller and works remarkably well. Alternatively the self-tacking jib is trimmed from either a primary winch or coach roof winch if fitted. The side-decks are wide offering ease of access forward to a generous anchor locker and there is an optional bow-strut to aide efficient use of a furling Code 0 or asymmetric spinnaker for those looking to boost light air performance.
In the two cabin layout the storage locker behind the head is enormous and full accessible via a hatch in the cockpit. The aft cabin/s have large opening hatches to the cockpit and are surprisingly spacious for a yacht this size, aided by the wide chined hull. The head is exceptional in the two cabin layout offering a dedicated separate shower stall with generous head-room. The saloon feels very spacious, partly due to the reverse shear which raises the hull towards the centre of the yacht, but also due to generous coach-roof windows and large hull ports. The aft facing navigation table hinges up to aide movement around the drop-leaf saloon table, though it’s hardly necessary and there is good storage throughout. One of the things that isn’t noticeable during a day viewing is the LED lighting with long strip lighting in the saloon and touch-control dimming lights elsewhere. It is brilliant and very effective.
What Jeanneau have achieved with this yacht is a true advancement in design offering phenomenal flexibility to tailor the yacht to suit your particular needs, but based on an exceptional platform, a remarkable hull design that is a delight to sail. To achieve this with a high quality of finish at such an exceptional price is just the icing on the cake! With 140 sold Worldwide and 7 on the way to Australia this new design should definitely be on your short-lists, so contact Performance Boating Sales to find out more on (02)9979 9755 or email@example.com .
Lee Condell – Performance Boating Sales.