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  #1  
Old 06-09-2009
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Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 50 DS - offshore passagemaker?

I'd like the forum's thoughts on the offshore passagemaking capabilities of the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 50 DS.

Assuming a standard mast system and full-batten main, and assuming the most common modifications and additions are made for offshore cruising safety are made--e.g., a staysail stay for a hanked-on storm jib, can this boat function well offshore?

I am aware of the forum post providing a comprehensive list of all offshore boats. Of course, the Jeanneau 50 DS, and other commercial production boats, are not listed. Why? At least with respect to the 50 DS, is it because the Jeanneau 50 DS is a relatively light displacement vessel with a fin (deep draft) keel? Is it because her cockpit very large? Is it because her cabin is basically one wide open space with little to brace oneself in the event of a roll?

Personally, I enjoy the space that the 50 DS offers, both above-decks and below, and the value of the product. But, at the same time, I am looking for a boat that I can enter in the Newport-Bermuda race, and not be laughed at.

Is there a moderately priced (e.g., $300-500k, new or pre-owned) sloop (standard-, solent-, or cutter-rigged) that offers the space that the 50 DS offers, and also offers the offshore and racing chops that, let's say, a Sabre, J-boat, or Hinkley offer?
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Old 06-09-2009
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I'm no expert, but I venture to say that when the mucky-mucks do respond to this thread, it will go something like this in summary form. Forewarning - I own a coastal cruiser (Beneteau 343) and I bought it because my cruising will be Florida, The Keys, Bahamas and maybe a down island poke in the next 5-10 years. But mostly, it will be used on weekends and for the occasional longer cruise.

1) No one feature makes a boat offshore capable or not, but a combination of features or lack thereof coupled with the capabilities of the skipper

2) The Jeanneau you mention here is designed primarily to be a coastal cruiser but can make an offshore passage if you properly prepare yourself and the boat

3) This big Jeanneau wouldn't be the first boat someone would go offshore in...because it doesn't have enough tankage, the cockpit is too wide open and there aren't enough hand-holds.

4) Its very tough to get a boat with lots of space (in the cockpit and down below) and be a boat that can handle offshore conditions for an extended period of time. The same features that make a boat airy and open cut down storage and tankage. That queen center island berth is beautiful, but it comes at the expense of a good sea/pilot berth that can be used for a relief captain on a passage where you'll do shifts 24x7. The same feature that make a cockpit comfortable at anchor mean it can be treacherous underway. Have you ever been at the helm in a wide open cockpit when there are steep and big rollers hitting you? Its very tough to brace yourself in at the helm, even with dual helms. Its like doing the splits for hours on end to get enough foot bracing!

5) This Jeanneau could be made offshore worthy capable...but you'll spend a fortune on modifying things like the rig and safety gear and tankage. And the time spend modifying the boat will hold you back from the real goal which is to GET OUT THERE! At that point, you might as well have paid for one of the boats on that offshore list and have been cruising right away...many people lose the dream in the way of prepping the boat.

I think the soundest advice someone can give is to buy the boat that is designed for the sailing you intend to do. If your plans are to island hop and be able to make some longer passages offshore, then my perspective is that Jeanneau is a great boat. Its perfect at anchor...and you'll make a lot of friends with all the nice features on the boat.

If you're looking to cross oceans or go into rough waters in the higher latitudes, you could do it...but be prepard for rapid degradation of the equipment you have on board and for uncomfortable ride.


With regards to why the Jeanneau isn't on the offshore list...here's my take. That list is just the analysis of various critics. There are probably Jeanneaus out there that do make the occasional Atlantic crossing.
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Old 06-09-2009
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They do not make the list, probably due to lack of tankage among other items. And that list is made up by one person.

Now to say that a Jeanneau 50DS can not make an ocean passage, That would be hogwash IMHO! Zanshin is cruising on his 2nd DS model, not sure where all he has been, but Au from the Caribbean is on the list. Most if not all of the charter boats got to the Caribbean on their own WL, not a boat!

The owner of the local, ie Seattle for me, took a SO49iP down to Oz and back over two yrs with his family. No issues. IIRC rubyslippers.com is the blog web addy. If not, go to marineservicenter.com and you can get a link. That boat currently is for sale, with all the bells and whistles needed for long distance crusing. Depending upon you view for boat layouts, if you want a DS, it is not.

In last year ARC, IIRC there were 15-18 Jeanneaus from 37' on up the most popular boat. The world ARC has 4 50'ish' Jeanneau, again, the most of any boat brand!

With the above in mind, granted the BIGGEST numbers of boats built by one brand, one would expect a few more than other brands, but they are plenty capible of going offshore. Now if you want to do a roaring 40 circumnav........better find a different boat!

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Thanks Marty. Your views are well received. If tankage is a main concern, what would one do with, for example, a Sabre 386, or even a 426?
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Old 06-10-2009
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I have a 49DS that is equipped in such a way that I consider it an offshore passagemaker. As mentioned earlier, the fuel tankage is quite small but for my purposes I am going to convert the 3rd water tank in the aft bunk into a fuel tank. That still leaves me with over 400l of water (for one person, with a watermaker) so I am comfortable with doing that.
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Old 06-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I have a 49DS that is equipped in such a way that I consider it an offshore passagemaker. As mentioned earlier, the fuel tankage is quite small but for my purposes I am going to convert the 3rd water tank in the aft bunk into a fuel tank. That still leaves me with over 400l of water (for one person, with a watermaker) so I am comfortable with doing that.
Zanshin,

Does your 49DS have dual helms? If so, how do you find sailing the 49DS in heavy seas?
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Old 06-13-2009
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The 49DS has dual helms. I find myself sailing with the equivalent of 3 or even more reefs in the mainsail with none or just one in the Genoa in heavier weather and seas. Once the sails are balanced the boat sails like a dream. Pounding is limited, somewhat less than the 43DS, and the relatively high freeboard along with the rear cockpit make it a dry sail (even without a dodger). The downside is that the main cabin is huge and getting around below decks at sea can be tricky - Jeanneau has put in a lot of handholds but the ergonomics were done for someone at least 6'2" with arms as long as a gorilla.
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Old 01-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I have a 49DS that is equipped in such a way that I consider it an offshore passagemaker. As mentioned earlier, the fuel tankage is quite small but for my purposes I am going to convert the 3rd water tank in the aft bunk into a fuel tank. That still leaves me with over 400l of water (for one person, with a watermaker) so I am comfortable with doing that.
i just bought a so 49 ds were the starbord watertank in rearcabin is converted to diesel.and i have the watermaker and gen-set...works well
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Old 01-30-2010
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Was the starboard watertank replaced or just converted? I still haven't decided how I am going to do this and if the original water tank material is acceptable.
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Old 01-30-2010
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Zanshin sails with a crew of finelookingwomen, which, I'm told, can make any production boat a suitable boat for offshore work. For instance, if your boat is a 1977 Catalina 22 and you're want to, say, sail a rhumb line from Chile to New Zealand, you'll need a crew of finelookingwomen. Indeed, if you have any production boat and are looking to do any offshore passage, make sure you have a crew of finelookingwomen.
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