The Sun Odyssey marque is one of the success stories of production yacht building and a key reason for Jeanneau being the world’s lagest builder of sailing boats from 40ft to 64ft. An astonishing 17,000 Sun Odysseys, produced in 48 different model designs, have launched over the last 27 years.
The unveiling of the SO 440, which is nominated for European Yacht of the Year 2018, and SO 490 this summer, marks the eighth generation of this immensely popular family cruising line. The entrylevel SO 319 with a choice of fixed of variable draught keet types was also annonced in early September and will be built in collaboration with the Delphia shipyard in Poland.
Sun Odysseys are known for being practical, reliable all – rounders but they are also continuously updated. THE 440 and 490, in particular, could be the most innovative new Sun Odyssey yet. Designers Philippe Briand and Jean-Marc Piaton have borrowed hull lines from the latest offshore racing yachts including powerful, wide bow sections, full-length chines, twin rudders and integrated bowsprits. This new hull shape creates extra volume in the forward master cabin.
And there are plenty of other new ideas – above and below decks. These are the first production cruisers to have truly unhindered walk – around decks – the side decks slope down to meet the cockpit sole in the quarters, negating the need to step over the coamings. The coamings, meanwhile, are not structural so can fold down to form sunbeds. “I tried to use every wasted space and make it a part of life on board”, said Philippe Briand, whose work with Jeanneau spans over 45 models and four decades.
SO 440: Cannes, Southampton, La Rochelle, Annapolis, Barcelona
SO 490: Cannes. Genoa, Barcelona
SO 319: Amsterdam, La Rochelle