The first example of the innovative swing-keel version of the new Sun Odyssey 349 is here and while there is nothing unique about the basic design of the external swing keel, the execution, especially when combined with all of the other elements of the SO349, is what really makes it stand out. Here is a yacht that can be taken into waist high water (1.26m draft), yet sails like a conventional keeled yacht. And this isn’t just a sales pitch from the factory or designer, we’ve tested and proven it! This really is a yacht that sails significantly better than most rival fixed keel yachts, but with the ability to go where no conventional yacht can. The only visible difference to the standard yacht when you inspect it on the water is a saloon table that is marginally wider than the standard, hiding the substantial hydraulic ram that raises and lowers the keel with a rocker switch at the starboard helm, in less than half a minute. And what’s even better is that it maintains virtually the same stability as the standard full depth keel with the swing-keel down, an aspect of the SO349 that is unmatched by any other performance cruising yacht available today. The photo below of “Voila” is the swing-keel version with the full racing sails package including fat-head mainsail.
The SO349 is the current “Cruising World Yacht of the Year” and was described by the judges as the ‘best value’ yacht across all of the categories. Contact PBS to find out more about this remarkable yacht, and the keel and rig options that are available to customize it for your particular use.