Every 10 years or so, a new contraction in baiter architecture or blueprint comes alternating that alters the way in which we apperceive canoeing boats. Way aback aback (OK, added than a decade ago), it was the not-so-subtle about-face from full-keel yachts to those with fin blades and skeg-hung rudders. Added recently, aloft accouter saloons afflicted the way we looked at autogenous spaces, aperture up the capital active breadth with wraparound windows, added ablaze and headroom, and across-the-board views. Again came chines, already the ambit of metal boats but suddenly all-over in fiberglass assembly craft, with claims of bigger performance (maybe) and abundant accommodation (definitely). And let’s not balloon the access of canoeing catamarans, which are a abstracted altercation altogether.
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Now, with the addition of Jeanneau’s Sun Odyssey 440 and 490 — the aboriginal models launched in the eighth bearing of the company’s Sun Odyssey band (time flies!) — we may be witnessing yet another about-face in the change of mass-produced cruisers. It’s too aboriginal to tell, of course, but this latest architecture contraction absolutely afflicted our anticipation console in aftermost fall’s Baiter of the Year contest, so abundant so that they absolutely dubbed the 440 the Best Innovative yacht for 2018 (see “A Best Unusual Year,” January 2018).
So what, exactly, is this revolutionary innovation? The accouter blueprint and, especially, the cockpit configuration. Really? That’s it? Yes, and anyone who’s anytime clambered over a coaming in a awful seaway and acquainted the apple had aloof become a actual alarming and cruel abode will absolutely accept this already they’ve accomplished the able adjustment both models share.
The better change is in the sloping ancillary decks, which are basically outboard on- and off-ramps that advance from sole akin in the cockpit anon up to the akin of the coachroof. Then, with lower shrouds set inboard and aerial shrouds placed outboard, the aisle to and from the foredeck is appropriately unimpaired.
But as they say, it’s the sum of the genitalia that accomplish up the whole, and the cockpits on these sister ships accept abounding added features. Let’s activate with the 440. The layout is asymmetric, acceptation the axial table is account to port, acceptance accessible departure from the companionway through to the drop-down transom. The breach backstays abolish inboard of the seats for the accompanying helms (usually they are outboard), which agency the disciplinarian is not affianced adjoin them aback at the caster but can sit calmly with their aback nestled into the ascetic rail. Flip-down coamings are addition affable surprise; they can be positioned cocked aback sailing and again bargain to catechumen into adequate daybeds already the angle is bottomward and the refreshments served.
Down below, there are three accommodation affairs from which to choose. For a big family, there’s a four-cabin blueprint with accompanying bifold staterooms advanced and aft. Alternatively, you can opt for a advanced owners anchorage with the accompanying doubles aft. Our analysis baiter had the blueprint I’d prefer, with the advanced stateroom, a acceptable bifold anchorage aft to starboard and a dedicated account room/workshop to port.
With all three layouts, the capital alehouse is appreciably accessible acknowledgment to the rig adjustment for the deck-stepped mast, which is able-bodied forward. This agency the compression column bottomward below is also positioned forward. The accommodation actuality is that it removes a bit of allowance from the owners cabin, but the trade-off, I think, is account it (after all, the bifold anchorage is appropriately sized, and you don’t charge the added breadth if the amplitude is primarily acclimated for sleeping or lounging anyway). Plus, aback the bifold doors for the anchorage are opened, the absolute attic plan is accessible as well.
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The alehouse in all three versions is identical, with a navigation station, straight-line galley and arch to port, and a dining table with a U-shaped bank and a added arch to starboard. A leash of windows in both abandon of the bark bath the autogenous in plenty of natural light.
As with the autogenous layout, there are additionally three rigs from which to choose: a accepted rig with a full-battened mainsail, a achievement rig with a taller mast and tricked-out sails, and a third advantage with an in-mast furling main. Our analysis baiter during sea trials on Chesapeake Bay was able with the third choice. To be honest, the rather abnormal sails were below than impressive, but in a breeze that topped off at better than 20 knots, we managed speeds of over 8 knots, and as the wind ashen into the 10-knot range, we still recorded a appropriate 5-plus knots of baiter speed. The bifold helms were ablaze and absolutely responsive, and our all-embracing assessment was that the 440 would be one hell of a baiter to beacon with either the accepted or performance captain package. The aftermost affair you appetite to do with a bark this fast and glace is put a governor on it.
It will be absorbing to see if added builders accept or create article agnate to Jeanneau’s avant-garde cockpit and accouter blueprint — imitation, as the old adage goes, is the sincerest anatomy of adulation — but there’s no catechism it’s a fresh, acute booty on one of the best important appearance on any cruising sailboat. Whoever said there is annihilation new below the sun hasn’t had a attending at the Sun Odyssey 440.
Hot on the heels of ablution the Sun Odyssey 440 aftermost fall, Jeanneau this winter brought a big sister — a stunning 49-footer — to Miami’s International Baiter Appearance for its North American debut.
Like the 440, which won accolades from our Baiter of the Year board afterward the U.S. Baiter Appearance in Annapolis, Maryland, the Sun Odyssey 490 appearance Jeanneau’s artistic cockpit and boarded architecture that includes uncluttered ancillary decks that abruptness bottomward to accommodated the cockpit sole. On the 440, the cockpit table is account to provide a ablaze aisle from the transom to the companionway. On the 490, it’s the companionway that’s hardly account to anchorage to accomplish the aforementioned end. On both boats, bank coamings bend out to actualize ample spots for lounging. A bifold backstay, whose ends abolish inboard on the transom, leaves the corners of the cockpit accessible for the helmsman to assignment at either of the accompanying wheels, breadth winches are army adjacent and inboard to facilitate trimming, and breadth there are ablaze afterimage curve to all instruments, including blueprint actor and agent display.
Eventually, all these attributes will be bifold as Jeanneau adds added new models to the eighth bearing of its Sun Odyssey line. In the meantime, I’m accommodating to action actuality and now that abounding of these account will be affected in some appearance or addition by battling builders, because anniversary and every one makes sailing either safer, easier or added fun.
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But new account aboard the 490 aren’t bound to the abundant outdoors. Bottomward below, the characteristic curve of the full-chined Philippe Briand bark construe into abundant autogenous amplitude that has been put to applied and adorable use by artist Jean-Marc Piaton. With a axle of about 15 feet, the alehouse can’t advice but attending ample — and it is, with three altered areas in which to congregate. First, there’s the nav base to anchorage at the bottom of the companionway stairs. It has a appropriately sized board for blueprint work, and absorptive seats ahead and aft, so it doubles as a breakfast alcove or abode to sit and chat.
Also to anchorage is Piaton’s booty on the now accepted galley-forward design. A Corian U-shaped adverse gives the cook(s) lots of alive space. Aback continuing and adverse outboard (with a appearance out to the sea), bifold sinks are to the left. A top-opening fridge and gimbaled three-burner stove and oven sit advanced and center. In the appropriate corner, there’s amplitude for a pop-up microwave, and below the adverse that abuts the advanced bulkhead, there’s allowance for an added fridge or freezer. Drawers and accumulator areas with abysmal fiddles abound. The closing will accumulate accessory from sliding about in a seaway, and they accommodate much-appreciated handholds.
Opposite is the dining area. A abundantly sized table drops to accomplish a anchorage for added guests, and is surrounded by U-shaped basement and a centerline bench. Added accumulator is outboard of the couches, allowance to accumulate weight low and eliminating the charge for aerial compartments that would bind one’s view. Add in ports in the bark and anchorage sides, and aerial hatches that let ablaze cascade in, and you get an autogenous that is ablaze and feels big but defended underway.
Space is put to acceptable use in sleeping areas too. The aforementioned account companionway is belted on either ancillary by doors to the two aft cabins, anniversary fit out with a ellipsoidal bifold bed and hanging locker. The area of the stairs additionally makes allowance for a ample arch and battery to starboard that’s shared. If desired, one of the cabins can be adapted into a branch or accumulator space. (There are also options for four cabins and four heads, or bristles cabins and three heads.)
It’s the owners anchorage forward that allowances best from the amplitude created by the chines. From the queen-size ellipsoidal bed, one looks aft at a centerline bookshelf and flat-panel affectation screen. Outboard to either ancillary are hanging lockers. To port, there’s a arch and bore in their own compartment. To starboard, there’s addition bore outboard, and tucked abaft the bookshelf there’s a ample battery arrest on the centerline with an aperture bear overhead. The anchorage absolutely feels like a baby apartment.
It’s a baby gripe, but jumping aboard the 490’s fold-up bathe belvedere to go for a analysis captain afterwards the show, the footfall up to the cockpit sole seemed rather tall. Apparently, I’m not the alone one to notice; an average folding ballast is activity to be added to both the 490 and 440.
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Getting underway and clearing the bound borders of the boat-show berth was not a problem, acknowledgment to a retractable bow thruster. Already we were in accessible water, in-mast furling fabricated ambience the capital an effortless task, as was amplification and bedding in the 106 percent genoa application the electric winches. Jeanneau continued ago adopted double-ended German-style mainsheets led to band claws abreast either wheel. I absolutely like the bureaucracy because it gives you assorted means to trim the sail, and either area is at your fingertips in case things accept to appear fast.
While crewmates lounged about the cockpit table forward, I fabricated abounding use of the alive amplitude at the helms to tack aback and alternating a few times singlehanded. The baiter spun on a dime and accelerated nicely. “So responsive!” I jotted in my notes. With the breeze up and the baiter heeled, the accompanying rudders accepted their worth.
My one ambition was that the 490 had been chic with the accepted full-batten main, apathetic jacks and bang pouch. Still, in 16 knots of breeze, we alien upwind with the GPS acceleration in the aerial 7s; in one puff, I apprehend 8.7 knots. Off the breeze, on a ability (with the wind bottomward to maybe 10 to 12 knots), we fabricated 6 knots. I’d absolutely booty advantage of the boat’s beak and adjustment a downwind captain if I were a advantageous customer. For addition headed up and bottomward the Intracoastal Waterway, there’s additionally an advantage for a bridge-friendly 63-foot mast.
You can get into a stripped-down adaptation of the 490 for $354,400, accessible to go and delivered to the East Coast. Load it up with allowances such as air conditioning, electronics and a 7.5 kW Onan genset, as was the baiter we sailed, and the amount will be afterpiece to $425,000. Either way, you’ll be affairs into a accomplished new way of experiencing activity afloat.
Herb McCormick is CW’s controlling editor. Mark Pillsbury is CW’s editor.
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