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SchockT 05-03-2019 04:58 PM

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i
After researching, surfing YachtPorn and dreaming for years we finally took the plunge last August and bought Azura, a 2011 Jeanneau 39i. Now that we have been away on her for some weekend cruises and some open water sailing I thought I would start a thread about the model, and share my impressions of the boat so far. I encourage anyone else who owns one to share their thoughts, good or bad, about the model.

So, first of all, why did we choose this boat? For starters I have raced and sailed a number of different Jeanneaus over the years, and I have always been impressed with their sailing qualities, as well as their styling, ergonomics, and interior design. They always seem to check all the boxes on our wish list, or at least more than other boats.

The interior layout is quite similar to previous generations of the sun Odyssey line. Ours is the 2 cabin model, so it has a large head on the port side, with a separate enclosed shower. Even if you dont shower on board often it is a great place to hang wet foulies, and sea boots stow nicely under the shower seat. Aft of the shower compartment is a door that leads into a huge storage garage, complete with tool and parts drawers. To starboard is the typical L-shaped galley with Jeanneau's trademark glass backsplash, it has a cavernous fridge, that is so deep it is a struggle to reach the bottom. Aft of that is a stateroom with a king size bed. There is enough room so you can close the door and still move around, before you get into bed. In the salon our boat has the upgraded drop leaf table with wine storage in the middle. With both leaves up you can seat 6 for dinner, although with that many, elbow room might be tight...we will find out one day! The forward stateroom is also quite large. Again, there is room to stand up and get dressed with the door closed, which is more than a lot of boats have.

One of the things we were amazed with once we started exploring is the absolutely massive amount of storage! There are large, clean compartments under the floor everywhere, along with the usual settee lockers. The cockpit lazarettes are cavernous, too. We have 3 inflatable kayaks that we have had for years, and they all fit into one lazarette with tons of room to spare, and the other side is just as big. The propane locker under the starboard helm seat has room for 2 bottles, and the port side helm seat locker is deep enough to accommodate long items like broken down kayak paddles, boat hooks etc, along with a large shelf for other supplies. Between the helm seats is a life raft locker that is big enough for 3 or 4 20 litre Jerry cans, assuming you dont need a life raft.

The cockpit in general was a big selling point for us, while at the same time being a big compromise for the racer in me. The twin wheels opens up the cockpit beautifully. It is wide enough that it can accommodate a permanent drop leaf cockpit table, and it is still easy enough to move around. Guests can move around and sit in comfort without interfering with the helm at all. I can tack the jib from the helm positions without disturbing anyone. What I don't like is that I cannot reach any mainsail controls from the helm, so a German sheeting mod might be in the cards at some point. It is certainly not a great racing cockpit, but it is fantastic for entertaining! We had 12 people for cocktails, and there was still a couple of spots left! Of course the twin wheels also opens up a clear path to the walk through transom, which makes dinghy access and swimming very easy.
I think the mast and rigging are the biggest compromise for me. I am used to racing rigs that are easily tunable and adjustable. The rig design on the 39i is basic, but strong. It is a double spreader rig with aft swept spreaders. The upper shroud chainplates are mounted outboard, so I am limited to Jibs only. On the up side, that rig arrangement keeps the side decks nice and clear.

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Minnesail 05-03-2019 05:12 PM

Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i
Congrats on it!

I've chartered a 39i and I thought it was a great boat.

SchockT 05-03-2019 06:47 PM

Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i
Sailing: First Impressions

Buying a sailboat is always a bit of a leap of faith. You usually don't get much time to sail a boat until you make the purchase. You have to rely on anecdotal information, and a brief pre purchase sea trial. Having done most of my sailing on racier boats I certainly had my concerns that the boat's sailing characteristics would disappoint me. On paper the 39i is a bit under powered compared to more performance oriented boats. On the other hand, those performance boats also need more crew to manage that extra power effectively..

Most of the sailing we have done so far has been in light to moderate breeze and flat water in the protected waters around our home port. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how responsive and lively the boat was in under 10 kts of wind. Sailing upwind in 12kts apparent had us doing over 6.5kts, which I think is respectable, particularly considering we are dragging a 3 blade fixed prop around. Crack off onto a reach and the boat hit 8kts quite easily, and it all seems so effortless!

A couple of weeks ago we took our first trip into more open water, crossing the Georgia Straight to Gabriola Island. We had 25kts apparent wind, 4-5ft seas, and our destination was upwind. We were a bit over powered, heeling too much and doing 6.5kts. I put a single reef in the main, which took less than 5 min without leaving the cockpit thanks to single line reefing and lazy jacks. After that the boat sat up and boatspeed increased into the 7.5kt range. Not great for a 40ft race boat, but pretty decent for a cruising boat! I only wish we could have cracked off onto a reach to see what she could do!

Overall the boat handled everything easily, and was very comfortable. The helm does lack a bit of feel, but then I am used to tiller boats, so to me all wheels lack feel.

In the predominantly light conditions we get around here in the summer I think the boat will benefit from more horsepower, so I am in the process of fitting her out with a bowsprit, furler, and a masthead hoist Asymetrical spinnaker...stay tuned!

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Minnewaska 05-04-2019 09:40 AM

Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i
Welcome to the J team. Always fun to hear that someone really enjoys their boat. Good sailing, good OEM support, good resale market, good choice.

chall03 05-04-2019 07:44 PM

Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i
Congratulations! Looks like a great boat for your needs.

I am jealous of your cockpit!

paulinnanaimo 05-04-2019 09:07 PM

Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i
You have a very nice boat but I would like verification of speeds. According to the above info you were sailing upwind at 6.5 knots in about 6-7 knots of true wind, that seems really fast...and you call it 'respectable'. Without the dragging 3 blade propeller it would be even faster? I honestly didn't realize how much faster bigger boats really are.

MarkofSeaLife 05-05-2019 12:36 PM

Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i
Sounds very quick upwind.

Congrats on the new boat.

Don L 05-05-2019 12:41 PM

Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i
I'm happy the OP likes their boat.

Doesn't matter if anyone else does or doesn't.

BarryL 05-05-2019 03:46 PM

Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i

She sounds like a great boat and the right one for your needs.

Quick question: How close to the wind were you sailing on your trip upwind with a reef in the main? True / apparent, whatever.



SchockT 05-05-2019 11:03 PM

Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i
Here are a couple of pics I took to document boatspeed on one of our first sails on the boat. To be fair, the conditions were flat water, and I was sailing for speed rather than maximum pointing.

When we were reefed and sailing in up to 25kts apparent we were sailing around 35-40 degrees AWA.

There is certainly no substitute for waterline!

My local PHRF handicapper tells me my boat's base rating is 90, but I would have to buy all new racing sails and a low drag prop to come close to that rating.

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