Prepare yourself for a rant:
. Not that the 349 is a bad boat but precisely because it could be an exceptionally good cruiser and it is not, spoiled by some details that will have great influence on the way the boat functions and that includes cruising, not only performance cruising. That is nothing that pisses me more than a great boat spoiled by details
First the good things: Great Marc Lombard hull, great stability not only given by a moderated chined beamy hull (3.44m) but also very a good B/D ratio (30%) for this type of boat, considering keel and draft (1.98). Good weight too (5350kg). Possibility of a big square top mainsail.
Great interior by Jeanneau design, better in quality (design) than the one on the 379. Fantastic the separated shower of good dimensions on a 34ft boat and very good the holding tank capacity (80L) as well as the galley and the freezer dimensions. God storage on the interior. Very nice and comfortable.
On the cockpit, nice bathing platform, nice space for the wheels man, nice access to the main winch, nice place for the plotter, nice storage for the liferaft and fenders on the back of the boat.
So many nice things BUT look at this:
Yes, very nice ventilation and illumination for the aft cabin...the problem is that on the other side of the cockpit they have another hatch with the same size to access the main boat storage space. They are kidding me? This would be alright in a racing boat. It has advantages in what regards to keep the boat watertight in extreme conditions (and inversion) and it is a common solution on racing boats but on a cruising boat?
Yes they also have a small access through the shower but all the concept is plain ridiculous on this type of boat. You will not have a decent access to the big and deep looker and would have to go to the shower, pass a very small opening to manage to take out stuff from there to the cockpit. If they wanted this kind of solution, that has advantages, they would have to consider a rectangular bigger opening hatch. As now they don't have the space for it, the only solution would be to enlarge that acess trough a traditional cockpit locker. It would give some more acess space but they would have to provide illumination and ventilation in the traditional manner.
Can someone explain to me the advantage of that small narrow space on the frontal part of the forward cabin???? It is ugly, serves no purpose and turned the anchor locker in a very small shallow one that will be even smaller when a winch is istalled
The standard version has not a geenaker pole but they have one option for one, this one:
It is nice but can't they see that the anchor roller is on a bad position and that the anchor is sideways making pressure against the fiberglass structure of the pole and is going to destroy it? The right way to have an anchor on that kind of pole is to have the bow roller and anchor stand integrated on the structure, otherwise it will be needed a very oddly designed bow roller, very sideways, not very effective and very ugly.
Yes that's right, the boat does not have a genoa traveler, it has one of those 3D systems that are used on race boats...except that here they are not 3D because you have no way to regulate it and what it seems a coll thing coming from racing is just a way to save money on a traveler. On this boat you have very little control on the shape of the forward sail, specially when reefed or if you decide to use a bigger genoa. Cheap!!!
On such a small boat a so monstrous cockpit table severely limits the space on the cockpit and thos one that is not removable. If they wanted a fixed one at least it should be one that folds completely, leaving a single hand grab at the middle. This one even folded is fat and wide...and for what? for having some storage space in the middle
and this ?
Okay, I understand the need of having a basic boat to sell cheaply but I don't understand why it is done in a way that prevents upgrading the boat. Yes, having only one winch for the main and the geenaker or the frontal sail is a nice way to save money but why to have a boat with an option of a big square mainsail (a sports option) and not allowing the possibility of having separated winches for the mainsail and geenaker (or frontal sail)?
In fact the way the boat is rigged (in a very definitive way) prevents the addition of a second winch on the cockpit...and it would be easy, it would only be needed the elimination of that useless triangle on the cockpit seat and to enlarge with that space the bench and put there a second winch, or even easier, to have a version with a removable cockpit table, or one that folds in the cockpit and allow a sportier version with the mainsheet coming to a traveler on the cockpit trough a purchase system. The mainsail with a square top is not meant to turn the boat on a more sportier one? Than what is the point with so many limitations in what regards sail control?
I am quite sure that the hull potential of this boat deserved a more sportive version and that is prevented by many limitations on the way the boat is designed (cockpit) and rigged. It does not make sense to me.
The tendency today (a logical one) is to have a good fast basic hull that allows for a boat that can be modified in many versions, from an inexpensive basic cruiser to a performance cruiser or even a cruiser racer. Salona and Dehler are very good examples of that trend that allows for a boat to suit many, with gains on the costs. The Jeanneau 349 is regretfully a very bad example, and the sad thing is that the hull has the potential to create a truly polivalent boat with several versions to different types of sailors.