Boat Review: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379
This midsize offering from Jeanneau has a modern look and is ready for sea.
The latest fashion trend in the marine industry is the hard chine. Although touted as ultra-modern, this idea is not new at all, but rather an old one revived. Traditionally, hard chines were found on steel and plywood vessels because those materials, unlike fiberglass, are difficult to shape into compound curves. But it has been inadvertently discovered that hard chines possess additional advantages. The angular shape of the chines running the length of the hull acts as longitudinal stiffeners. The flat under-surface of the chine enhances form stability and the sharpness of the chine’s submerged edge increases the lateral resistance of the hull. Perhaps of more importance to the modern, volume-driven designer is that the chine adds a few inches to the interior right where it’s most needed, at berth level aft.
I must confess that I’ve owned two hard chine boats and have never found them to be as aesthetically displeasing as many. In fact, I find the signature look of the new Jeanneau 379 quite attractive. But aesthetics aside, designer Marc Lombard has created a performance cruiser that’s impressive on many levels.
The moment I stepped onboard, I sensed that this was a boat designed by a real sailor for real sailors. First, Lombard addresses several safety issues. For example, I found numerous pad-eyes strategically placed to hook safety tethers onto, as well as jackline hardware already installed. The non-skid is aggressive, the pushpit, pulpit, and stanchions are robust. There are numerous handholds in the cockpit and leading well forward. The dodger is small and very strong. The shrouds and tracks are installed well inboard, leaving the flow forward unobstructed. The numerous lines running aft to the cockpit are covered with a sea-hood, leaving the decks clean and clear of obstructions.
A designated life raft well, with stout fasteners already in place, makes the deployment of a raft viable in the roughest of weather. The hatch board is indestructible and when not in use stows nicely in its own shelf.
There is unobstructed access to the sheeting functions from either of the twin helms. I cannot overstate how important this is to the safe conduct of any sailing vessel.