rockdawg, yes the 409 price is pretty good for a boat it's size. But we all know, you get what you pay for. Some of the feedback from people who have crawled all over the boat, wasn't as enthusiastic as the hype from europe will lead you to believe.
Below is a quote from Melnra, Miami Boat Show Thread
"Jeanneau 409 and 42DS -
I spent considerable time on these boats. I had mention earlier I was going to do the delivery for the 409 but due to health reasons I was unable to join the crew. So the sailing characteristics are unknown to me personally. This was an upsetting defeat for me in not being able to sail these boats.
The new 409 I was excited to see due to all the hype in the all the sailing magazines. It is a gorgeous boat with good sheer, low freeboard and dynamite topsides. I will start this review topside and then go below. Starting at the bow of the boat the anchor set-up is good. A good deep locker than can be easily divided, with a hidden windlass. What kept this from being excellent was no cleat in the locker nor for safety reasons the tie off for the anchor rode was at the bottom of the anchor well and impossible to reach in an emergency. When I check the forward cleats for backing plates there were none. The non-skid topside was excellent with good room on the side decks to move forward. However, I felt the coach roof hand holds were hard to reach and inadequate. Furthermore they did not go completely forward. They are recessed into the coach roof to make for a clean un-obstructive deck but I felt they should be more accessible. The forward hatch to the V-berth is large. It is total Lexan without frame support. It is not a straight piece of plastic but with a curve face plate. While it looks pretty and lets in sunlight I can see that it will be easy to scratch. The rest of the topsides I cannot say enough about; well designed. The whole topsides forward of the cockpit is clutter free. All the lines are cover in a channel back to the cockpit. Standard Sheldon Mast for which I like. This boat had the new Harken Re-wind winches. Very cool piece of equipment. The cockpit was both comfortable and functional. Two nice lockers under the settees plus another on under the port helm seat. The one thing I loved on this boat was the Chart plotter was up high on a gimbal mount that I can read, program and see without bending over/sitting on the cockpit floor like on other models. The 409 had additional storage in aft cockpit floor for a life raft or dockside gear. With German sheeting back to cockpit, it is an easy boat to handle. Like the other critics of this boat, only one winch in the back that has to serve double duty for the jib and main sheets. The performance package adds a few things for which I think are important. One a bigger jib for sailing in light air and going downwind. Along with that comes additional sheeting track on the deck. Better running sheets, bigger winch, adjustable backstay, spinnaker set-up to name a few are the other options.
Here is what I don't like. The Lexan glass on the topsides. Both in the v-berth and aft berths hatches I can see getting scratched real easy and hard to replace down line. No dorads or ports. There is very poor ventilation for the tropics on this boat. The mid cabin hatches face aft. According to Jeanneau they had to do that to get the A class ocean rating. So getting fresh air in the salon area is next to impossible. One of my biggest pet peeves is the short lifelines. Just above the knee is not only to short but dangerous in any seas. Another thing I didn't care for was the single shroud attachment point. I am sure it is engineered to some level but it looked like it can come apart at a moment's notice. The rod comes down from the deck to a U-shape flange where the rod can rotate and move that was then attached to the stringers on the hull. I have seen smaller 20' boats with stronger support for the mast than this set-up. But like I said, I sure some French engineer will say it is strong enough for ocean sailing.
Down below: I really like the layout of this boat. That is all I can say that is good about it. The styling while IKEA in nature seems to have taken over the boating industry and not my style, I can see others liking this type of design. What I found was it was only skin deep. When I took this boat apart I was hugely disappointed so much I had to walk away from the boat for awhile to collect myself. It seemed like it was all a facade. Minimum material used and the cheapest found. It felt like the whole interior was particle board with some veneer over it. Strings were used to hold open the doors, 1/8 plywood for the top coverings under the beds and settees, floor boards so badly made I wanted to scream. It was all shame because this could be a really great boat.
The cabin layout for a 40' boat is great. The v-berth is big, with plenty of storage. The optional desk is real nice and functional. They used every space available for storage including places to put shoes. The aft berth is great also for guest. One of the things I really like is the storage room set-up on the port side. Reminds me of the Catalina 445 set-up but not as nice(40' vs. 45' makes a world of difference). The one head is large with a separate shower area. I felt storage here was lacking. The settee cushions in the salon were lacking in both material and cushion thickness. Not sure what they were thinking here. The new dining table is an engineering marvel. I really like this table and the way it unfolds into a bigger table or how it comes down to make up an additional bed. There is even a nice little storage unit for my favorite rum.
The galley is a little small for a 40' boat. I have seen a lot better. One thing they could have done is a fold out table on the end, to give more workspace. The refrigerator is nice and big but lacking in any freezer space. One of the best things I like is the extra row of storage bins they added to this model along the hull wall.
The engine access was good but Jeanneau didn't put any fuel filters in for the engine. You heard me right NO fuel filters. When I asked Jeanneau what is up with that, they said " with the boat selling all over the world, every region has their own unique fuel filters, so we don't put one on.!" WTF over and out! There was no automatic fire extinguisher like the other brands have. One has to asked where else did they cut corners.
The rudder is composite frame with foam. Those that followed the Hunter story from the early 2000-2005 models knows that did not work out well for them. This rudder stock looked worse than what the Hunters had. When I asked them about how it is made, I was told they just roll up fiberglass like one does a newspaper. Since I used to work in Composite technologies for DuPont, I almost lost right there. So back off the boat for another beer, to regain myself. I never returned.
The other Jeanneau story I find sort of hairraising is here:
Jeanneau 42 DS Comissioning
This being said, I am still interrested in checking the boat out myself.