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New boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 30i

2009 May 4
Thirty feet is not a lot of boat, but somehow Jeanneau's latest introduction to its cruising Sun Odyssey line seems like a heck of a lot of boat, and plenty of boat to do whatever kind of cruising strikes your fancy.

Maybe that's because Jeanneau has a way of keeping things simple while at the same time providing the comfort people want in a cruising boat. Take the deck layout of the 30i, for instance. It's incredibly clean, with all halyards being led to the port side of the companionway. Sheets are led to just two cockpit winches, both within easy reach of the helmsman and the cockpit itself is wonderful devoid of any extraneous gadgets.

A healthy beam of 10 feet, 5 inches offers plenty of room to stretch out in the cockpit, and even a swimstep transom, which is one of those cruising amenities you may not realize you need until you don't have it.

But what sets the 30i apart from many other small cruisers is the option for a fixed keel version with a single rudder or a swing keel with twin rudders. In the right cruising area, that swing keel could be a real fun ticket: just pull up to your favorite beach and spend the night. Both models also come with a tiller or wheel steering option.

Down below, the 30i has all the fit and finish you'll find on Jeanneau's larger models, and proper headroom throughout. There is also a true galley with an icebox or optional 12-volt freezer/refrigerator and two-burner hob with an optional stove and microwave. The forward cabin has a double berth and bi-fold door to maximize space.

Many other options including a shore power system, electric windlass, hot water and numerous entertainment options will allow owners to customize their cruise.

This proper little cruiser designed by Marc Lombard and the Jeanneau design team was nominated for European Yacht of the Year. It will likely make a similar splash when it lands in the United States.