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Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44DS

2012 April 2

Bluewater cruiser

This is one of the more interesting boats we have had to review in some time. I suspect you are either going to really like this look or really not like it. While I wouldn't call this boat my idea of beauty, it is very well done, and if Euro styling is to your taste I think this is a great example. The hull design is by Philippe Briand and the deck was designed by Franck Darnet. There is a lot of clever thinking here.

The hull is very full in plan view with an L/B of 3.15, but the entry shows considerable hollow at the DWL. There is a chine ending about 18 inches above the DWL at the transom. The chine disappears amidships. I think this chine is purely used to add volume aft. The D/L is 158. This is a very shapely hull. Freeboard is high but you need that freeboard to carry off that look forward in a light boat. Standard draft is 7 feet, 2 inches but there is an option of a shoal keel drawing 5 feet, 2 inches. My guess is that large fillet at the trailing edge of the keel/hull intersection is to help spread out the keel loads. This keel would catch a lot of kelp where I sail.

Two layouts are available. Instead of the usual option of splitting the cabin aft into two mirror-image staterooms, the Sun Odyssey leaves the big stateroom aft intact and adds a small stateroom forward to port. This third stateroom has stacked berths. There is a V-berth double forward. Both heads are large and you can access the aft head from the stateroom or the saloon. The galley is nicely laid out with double sinks and a large icebox. The nav station is to port aft of the settee. In the two-stateroom version the forward stateroom is the larger of the two and includes a head with a shower stall, as well as a small writing desk to port.

The sailplan is exactly what you would expect to see on a modern production boat. It's a fractional sloop with a track forward for a self-tacking jib. The rig is not large but adequate with an SA/D of 17.28. One nice thing about a smaller rig is that the mainsail roach is not going to hit the backstay. I can't tell exactly what is happening with the mainsheet but it looks to me like there are padeyes port and starboard just forward of the companionway hatch. It appears the mainsheet then goes forward German style to go aft with the other control lines. In addition to the athwartships self-tacking track for the jib there are short tracks port and starboard nestled into recesses in the corner of the coachroof to allow you to sheet overlapping headsails. I think that is important because a self-tacking jib will probably have an LP no bigger than 95%, so you might want the option of carrying a bigger genoa for light air.

This is an amazing deck design. Everything has been done to keep the decks clear. Lines from the mast, including the sheet for the self-tacker, run under a cover aft to winches at the companionway. Genoa sheets run aft under the coachroof to emerge aft going through clutches just forward of the coaming-mounted winches. The cockpit is big and has a fixed centerline drop-leaf table. Twin wheels leave a wide space to open up the stern to the swim platform. Main decks are teak covered. There are some unusual shapes going on with this deck styling but the features work very well together.
This boat will be a head turner.