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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