Bluewater Sailboat – Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49DS


Over the past few years, Jeanneau has made a stir by entering the market for deck-saloon cruisers, but it has also done an excellent job of upgrading their mainstay boats, as evidenced by the new Bluewater Sailboat Sun Odyssey 49. The SO 49 takes the position of the SO 45, a common vessel in charter fleets all over the world. Like its predecessor, the SO 49 is intensely targeted towards this market’s requirements.

Over the past few years, Jeanneau has made a stir by entering the market for deck-saloon cruisers, but it has also done an excellent job of upgrading their mainstay boats, as evidenced by the new Sun Odyssey 49. The SO 49 takes the position of the SO 45, a common sailboat in charter fleets all over the world. Like its predecessor, the SO 49 is intensely targeted towards this market’s requirements.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49 DS
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49 DS
  • LOA:14.80m (48ft 7in)
  • LWL:13.24m (43ft 5in)
  • Beam (max):4.49m (14ft 9in)
  • Draught:2.24m (7ft 4in)
  • Displacement (lightship):11,290kg (24,890lb)
  • Ballast:2,870kg (6,327lb)
  • Sail area (100% foretriangle):103m2 (1,109ft2)
  • Berths:4–6
  • Engine:57hp or 80hp Yanmar
  • Water capacity:635lt (140gal)
  • Fuel capacity:240lt (53gal)
  • Sail Area/Displacement ratio:20.8 or performance 23.4
  • Displacement/LWL ratio:136
  • Design: Philippe Briand/Piaton Bonet


According to Paul Fenn, director of Jeanneau America, when French boatbuilder Jeanneau debuted the 54DS in 2002 at a dealer gathering in the United States, there was “complete stillness.” Dealers were apprehensive about their ability to sell the sailboat since the style of the first model in this distinctive-looking deck saloon class differed from the bulk of yachts found in American waters. But there was something unsettling about this contemporary style.

Response to the 54, particularly on the West Coast, “has been above our wildest aspirations,” said Fenn. The manufacturer struggled to keep up with demand for the 54DS and created a second set of moulds to increase output.

Later this year, Hull No. 200 will leave the plant in western France; by that time, more than 30 of the boats will be going to the United States.

The Bluewater Sailboat Sun Odyssey 49DS, which debuted at the Annapolis Boat Show last fall, is the second deck saloon type that the business anticipates will see a similar level of demand. By the end of the year, Jeanneau intends to construct 90 boats, 30 of which will be shipped to the US. “Our future lies in the DS line. here is where we sell, “said Fenn. This summer, Jeanneau will reveal a third boat in the lineup. (The designs of the Jeanneau 40DS and 43DS differ.)


The design goals for the 49DS are described as “volume and comfort” in the brochure, and there is some truth to that marketing. This Bluewater yacht is not your father’s. Every characteristic of a sailing yacht constructed in earlier generations has been completely altered. The low-volume cockpit, small ports, and the dark, cramped cabin are all missing, as well as the narrow beam, low freeboard, lengthy overhangs, and curving sheerline.

There is not a single angle from which the 49DS appears awkward, despite shattering all of the established conventions characterising the design of a stylish, usable sailing yacht. Particularly with the optional dark blue hull color, the sailboat appears to have good proportions.

Even the first startling cat-eye windows quickly disappear into the general smoothly flowing design, which is continuous all the way down to the rounded teak caprail.

This “daring to be different” strategy shines out even more when viewed from the side. The chamfered edges subtly meld to a toerail as your gaze goes back. Then, there is a significant departure from earlier deck designs behind the mast. The brand-new Sun Odyssey 490 features a wholly unique “walk-around deck” design that enables sailors to leave the cockpit and proceed to the foredeck without having to climb over coamings or step up onto lockers. The transom, which is at the same level as the cockpit sole, is reached by sloping the side decks from midships to it.

Above Deck

For a Bluewater sailboat of this size that is now used for charters, the deck arrangement is comparatively typical. When the boat is well heeled, the twin wheels allow exceptional all-around sight, and the fixed cockpit table works wonderfully as a foot brace in the incredibly wide cockpit. Another feature typically found on larger boats is a full-size, separate sail locker up front with a ladder leading down into it.

The size of the cockpit is the first thing you notice when you go aboard. The 14 feet, 8 inch maximum beam is carried well forward, making the long cockpit appear spacious and also rather wide. It’s simple to see two people manning the dual helms, leaving plenty of room aft for children to utilize the swim platform and deck shower while the adults unwind at the cockpit table and have their lunch in peace. The cockpit sole is where the fibreglass table foundation, which has been formed, is attached. It is prewired with 12-volt power and designed to mount an LCD radar or chartplotter on the rear end. A lovely teak table top was an optional feature aboard the test boat (hull number 14).

The split backstay makes it possible for broad gates at centerline to provide access to the swim platform. On the fore-aft axis, the sail lockers under the cockpit benches are quite short, but they extend far enough outboard to make the capacity acceptable overall. On this boat, most sail adjustments will be made via the furling mechanisms rather than by modifying the canvas. The deep twin lazarettes have room for fenders and cleaning materials in addition to housing two cooking gas canisters.

The 35.4-inch-diameter wheels on the twin helms, which have duplicate compasses and instrument readouts, are well outboard. At the starboard wheel are the engine controls. The helms have convenient access to the main genoa winches.

The cabintop winches positioned on either side of the companionway hatch are where the mainsheet and furling lines are connected. A moulded mount for the optional dodger is located forward of the winches and their corresponding line clutches. Its positioning and construction are intended more to protect the companionway than the helmsman or anyone seated in the cockpit.

A polished pipe strut that is fastened to the hull supports the deck-stepped Sparcraft mast below deck, which rises 64 feet above the waterline (hand-laid solid glass, while the deck is balsa-cored). Mast bend or active backstay adjustment are not possible with an in-mast roller furling main, but there is a lot of rake, which explains the 9/10-fractional headstay. Profurl is the manufacturer of the roller furling system. Large chain locker and 1,200-watt anchor windlass allow for the employment of some robust ground tackle.

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Below Deck

The volume is what truly stands out below deck. The 49DS drew a steady stream of guests to the Strictly Sail boat show in Oakland, the majority of whom remarked on how airy and open the saloon is right away. The forward-facing navigation table is located immediately to port after descending the companionway ladder. The navigator is kept still at sea by a lovely curving bench. A folded paper chart has plenty of room on the table’s surface, but there isn’t much vertical space for mounting electronics, which is in line with the trend of placing chartplotters and radar screens in the cockpit. The breaker panel is located away from the table and has labels in both French and English to serve as a reminder of where the boat was constructed.

As you descend the wide companionway steps into a bright and airy cedar cabin, the Sun Odyssey makeover continues. Deck hatches, coachroof, and hull windows all let natural light in, giving the area a wonderful sense of space. Together with interior decorator Jean Marc Piaton, Jeanneau created this fresh appearance. A full-size chart table with a unique design is located on the port side by the steps; rather than having a single seat in a small area, this table has access from both sides. A slightly longer sofa that backs onto the galley is located in the opposite way from the traditional navigator’s seat, which faces forward.

A front master cabin with an en suite bathroom, two double aft cabins that are both spacious and have plenty of light, and a small head with a shower just across from the chart table make up the three-cabin arrangement. Ample work surfaces and everything being within reach from one central location are provided by the galley’s reasonable size for the yacht. The large refrigerator has access from the top and the side. The saloon is spacious and inviting, with a table that can seat six people at a time for meals and a pull-out bench seat that can be safely tucked under the table while sailing.

Interior weight has been maintained to a minimum, distributed within 1.5m of the keel, and deep down in the hull to maximize the potential power of the hull design. A close proximity to the boat’s centerline is where huge drawer and cupboard units, as well as space under the seats, are located.

In contrast to many production boats, these are constructed with elegant round fiddles and curved edges to the drawers, giving the boat a sophisticated appearance. The retractable inspection hatches in the flooring are fitted with stainless steel pins around their edges to wedge them snugly into their holes and stop rattling. Fabric panels are utilized on bulkheads and counter tops to dampen noise.

The Sun Odyssey 490 has a forward master stateroom similar to what you might anticipate in a motor cruiser thanks to the additional inner bow volume produced by a wide, slab-sided hull design. A full-size double bed (200×160 cm) may fit here, and there are three sizable storage drawers underneath. A separate bath and shower, two hanging lockers, a central TV console with a bookshelf, and a vanity unit with a washbasin, mirror, and storage are all included in the enormous cabin. Even a pull-out shoe rack is present.

There are two corresponding layout choices. The initial layout places a convertible cabin forward with smaller twin heads and the owner’s stateroom aft of the companionway with its own head. A thin partition that divides the room in half to create two smaller cabins can be installed in the convertible cabin. The second plan positions the convertible cabin aft with a single head and the owner’s stateroom forward with a larger single head. Both floor plans appear to be designed to comfortably fit two couples for a lengthy voyage and additional passengers for shorter trips.


A 75 horsepower Yanmar (or an optional 100 horsepower Yanmar), a fixed three-blade 20 by 12 prop (or an optional three-blade Max Prop), and the choice of a bow thruster are used to propel the boat. The boat is equipped with the Max Prop and a two-liter, 100-horsepower turbocharged engine. It breezed along at 7.5 knots despite a 15-knot headwind. With the optional electric winches, hoisting (or unfurling, in this case) and trimming sail is as simple as touching a few buttons. On this yacht, there is no need to work up a sweat unless you enjoy manually turning winches.

Their hulls have good initial stability and track well; their sailplans are powerful without being overbearing; and this one was no exception. Their helms have a smooth, positive feel with a fat sweet spot. Can make better than 8 knots through the water under full sail and is fairly comfortable doing so when beating through Long Island Sound into a 20-knot breeze. The boat seemed very substantial, and there was only a slight tremor.

Two persons can easily sail the boat thanks to its design, with one at the helm controlling the genoa sheet and the other adjusting the main and handling the furling lines. Sailors in windier regions will probably choose to complement the Technique-Voile sails that come with the boat from the factory with a smaller jib. The boat ships from the factory with a 135 percent genoa. It can blow 20 to 25, which is provided by H+S Yacht Sales, the largest West Coast dealer for Jeanneau. When directly in the path of the wind, with the breeze less than 5 knots,

The main and jib can be furled, unfurled, and then furled again in a matter of seconds, and the speed and simplicity with which they can be adjusted encourages small, intermediate adjustments. The furling main is fashioned using a combination of sheet, traveller, vang, and outhaul without the use of battens, cunningham, or leach line.

With a variety of heel angles, the steering positions are comfortable at both helms, and the wheel sensation is moderate—neither twitchy nor dull. Even in turbulent weather, the cockpit remains astonishingly dry due to the deckhouse’s low profile, which does not obstruct view.

The cockpit table, which at first glance when sailing seems like it would be an obstacle, actually functions as a useful footrest for people seated. Because the cockpit is so large, the cockpit table—which initially seems as though it could be a hindrance while under sail—actually serves as a useful footrest for people seated on the windward bench while still allowing smooth passage. The general comfort of sailing made a breezy afternoon feel more manageable. In fact, practically every aspect of the 49DS seems to have been thought out to make sailing fun and comfortable. By focusing the 49DS completely on cruising baby boomers, Jeanneau has avoided the temptation to appeal to globe girdlers or racers, and it appears they have succeeded.

Quick Notes

Understanding the interior possibilities of a full bow shape on a cruising yacht is what makes this design so brilliant. In its endeavour to advance the Sun Odyssey line, Jeanneau has unquestionably gone big. This yacht has genuinely unique design elements. The Sun Odyssey 490 is aggressive and looks like a fist smashing through the water, but beauty can be found in both form and function. This design focuses on ease of living and sailing and provides a lot for the money. It is a large boat that, in the correct circumstances, will provide quick and enjoyable sailing. It is simple to operate, adaptable, and features a chic interior that prioritises comfort.

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