In recent times, the word to update is frequently used, mostly because our digital devices and gadgets get updated daily. Less frequently, but it also happens in the world of boat building from time to time. So did it happen with Jeanneau and their model 439. Instead of developing a completely new model using cutting-edge technologies to build the hull and the latest solutions for deck equipment, Jeanneau engineers led by Philippe Briand completed the new model by updating its predecessor, Sun Odyssey 439.
They utilized the existing hull and modified it for the brand new model. Updating an existing model means that its advantages and all benefits of existing solutions are still there, while all the ‘minuses’ and disadvantages were taken into consideration and improved. Of course, the latest inventions and solutions are also implemented in the new model creation.
The modification seen at the first glance is the great fold-down swim platform at the stern, as well as the companionway. Secondly, there is a bowsprit with a single roller fairlead including a provision for running a gennaker or some other modern headsail, such as the code zero. Such modifications go in line with the mark 449, usually indicating the length of the hull. In case of this model, the LOA measures 13.76 m, while the hull beam amounts to generous 4.24 m. Judging by these two measures, one can conclude that what we have here is a comfortably sized vessel easy to maneuver.
The manufacturers designed the interior layout in several versions, from up to 4 cabins, always with 2 heads. It is also available with a fixed keel or shoal draft. The range of versions brings us to the conclusion that the designers aimed at a pretty wide range of customers – from singles or couples to families and charter companies, on deep or shallow water areas, with the high level of customization.
The access to the saloon is made a lot easier than on the previous model, so the companionway is made with stairs that are not as steep for an easy and smooth incline. The saloon is bright and spacious, thanks to the light colors of the furniture and a lot of side and top windows and hatches. The galley is to the starboard, abounding with storage space within cupboards and drawers. The dining table continues at the same side. Retractable to be suitable for the size of the group of crew you want to feed; and foldable in order to be turned into a comfortable bed or sofa.
On the opposite side, to port; there is a control panel with a chart table. This one is also foldable so it turns into an additional lounge area sofa very easily. The rooms are made in manner to fit the description roomy and comfortable – the berths are wide, while storage spaces are generous and on hand. Generally, all accommodation spaces are designed with a great care for details and ergonomics.
What it feels like to sail this maiden? Well, the rigging and the deck organization follows the philosophy of the interior. The deck is organized very simply, with a clean and neat layout. The controls are organized in a manner to simplify the sail handling and maneuvers, making Sun Odyssey 449 easy to handle, even single-handed. When a larger group is sailing, that means that this yacht provides careless and lazy sailing. Moreover, the safety of those who like to use the bow for sunbathing is put on a higher level by including lots of handholds alongside the superstructure.
The best comes last – spacious cockpit and more than handy and useful swimming platform is definitely one of the highlights of this maiden. Sun Odyssey 449 loads up to 200 l of diesel and 330 l of water and is propelled by Yanmar 57 HP. When such a yacht is offered by a charter company, it definitely means that it is perfect for a careless and relaxed sailing trip.
On the other hand, due to its quite simple sail-handling system, one might think that this is a dull and less than exciting yacht, but the reality is completely different. It is very lively and responsive at the helm, while the speed is quite satisfactory with very little inclination. SO 449 would be perfect for less experienced and amateur holiday sailors. Nonetheless, even the experienced sailors and speed-addicts would admit that it is nice to do easy-going and tranquil sailing trip from time to time.
I wish you a calm sea, a fair wind and a strong mast!