Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 50DS Page 2

Sailors who carry a folding multi-tool on their belts will tell you that they do so for safety reasons and also because there’s great value in versatility. They know that even though they may not be carrying the perfect tool for a job, they have something that can do a variety of jobs pretty well. Jeanneau’s Sun Odyssey’s DS series is rather like that.If you were custom-building a yacht to
Author:
Publish date:
jeanneau_sun_odyssey_50ds_deckplan

The forward cabin is convertible in that its exceptionally wide berth can be divided amidships with a plywood partition. When the partition is in place, extra cushions will fit on drop-leaf shelves to create two double berths measuring 6 feet, 9 inches by 4 feet, 9 inches.

Dividing the bed also splits the entire stateroom. Since each half of the total space has its own head and shower and its own passageway to the raised saloon, you can have either two normal-size cabins or one immense one. That said, the plywood partition is relatively thin, so the couples in these adjoining cabins would be able to hear everything that’s going on next door. The thicker bulkhead that is part of the four-cabin charter version provides more privacy, but it doesn’t have the flexibility that comes with this approach.

Jeanneau builds all its auxiliary systems very carefully. All the plumbing is of high quality, well-secured and double-clamped even where construction codes do not require it. The holding tanks are above the waterline and located where they can drain naturally when sailing offshore. That feature simplifies the plumbing a lot even as it increases reliability. Gravity never clogs.

The engine installation is typical for a modern production yacht of this size. The companionway steps lift up to expose the front of the engine, and access panels on the front and sides of the compartment make it easy to change filters or fiddle with the fuel lines. All that has to be done to expose the drive shaft and stern gland is to lift a floor in the aft cabin. The standard prop is a fixed three-blader, and that’s certainly a good choice for charter service. Many private owners, however, would prefer the better sailing efficiency that comes with a feathering or folding prop.

The main electrical panel looks very simple for a system this size, but a closer look reveals that each button will bring up a selection of choices. Now that we’ve become accustomed to mobile phones and iPods, a button is a familiar way to help simplify a display but not lose any of the numerous functions.

Menu-driven panels are likely to become more commonplace as builders begin to move toward linear wiring plans with microprocessor-equipped smart nodes attached to a central electrical bus that runs the length of the vessel. The auto industry has been wiring cars this way for several years because it reduces building costs and simplifies both troubleshooting and adding accessories later.

Converting to full-time cruising and voyaging on this yacht will require only the usual upgrades to any high-quality cruiser of this size. Among the needed items are lee cloths, cabin-sole latches, a watermaker, a life raft, jacklines, a ditch bag, and the usual personal safety gear. On this yacht the stowage area for the life raft allows the raft to be launched through the transom. While Jeanneau has earned a reputation for the integrity of its rigs and hulls over many ocean miles, it’s always better to be prepared.

While my test sail was in flat water and light air, I’d expect this big Jeanneau to behave much like its smaller siblings do when the wind and seas build. The hull form is driven easily, and it is fast; an initial tenderness tends to become stiffer when the yacht heels a bit. The fine entry and long waterline slices easily through wakes, and that’s a good sign that the bow sections should also handle the natural waves of choppy bays and sounds and produce a smooth ride.

There’s one more thing, and that is the price. The owners told me that they hadn’t originally planned to buy a bigger yacht so soon, but when the low cost and charter-leaseback arrangement was put on the table, they concluded the deal was too good to pass up.

jeanneau_sun_odyssey_50ds_boat

Designers:

Philippe Briand and Vittorio Garonni

28 Rue Saint Saveur

1700 La Rochelle, France

Tel. 011-335-46-50-57-44:

briand-yacht-design.com

Builder:

Chantiers Jeanneau SA

BP 529 85505 Les Herbiers

Cedex, France

Tel. 011-332-51-64-20-20

jeanneau.com

Jeanneau America

105 Eastern Avenue,

Suite 202

Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Tel. 410-280-9400

jeanneauamerica.com

Tom Dove has been sailing for more than half a century and writing about it for over 20 years. When he’s not exploring new technology or testing boats, he sails his Ranger 33, Crescendo, on Chesapeake Bay and beyond.

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more