Miami Serves Up a Cruisers Buffet
The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42i
Jeanneau is another builder that fills its model lines with multiple offerings to fit a buyer's needs and budget. In Miami, the company introduced the Sun Odyssey 42i, a handsome, stylish sibling to the SO 45i, SO 49i, and SO 39i.
All these boats feature injection-molded decks (indicated by the "i" in the name), a production technique that yields a finished surface top and bottom and a structure that's strong and light, since resin is evenly distributed. On the water, this translates into a lower center of gravity and better sailing performance.
To test-sail this boat, we motored out through the chop in Government Cut, and once in open water, we headed north along South Beach as we set sail. The standard full-batten main had been replaced on this boat by an in-mast furling Seldén rig, so there was no heavy halyard hauling to be done. The 135-percent genoa rolled out smoothly from the Profurl furler, and we were sailing.
The 42i has some much-appreciated traits for a cruiser. First and foremost, with the sails trimmed, she holds a course into the wind without a hand on the helm. We close-reached at a bit less than 6 knots over the ground in just 9 knots of wind, and the boat tacked easily side to side even from a beam reach. Off the wind, I would've liked to have played with the downwind sail that the company's brochures hint at with its pictures of a bow sprit, but heck, sometimes you can't have everything on a boat that was right out of the box.
Jeanneau does a good job with its deck layouts, and the 42i is no exception. Twin wheels mean easy boarding via the swim ladder and open transom. A fixed cockpit table, a good brace under way, is sized for entertaining in port. With lower shrouds placed inboard to the cabin house and uppers to chainplates on the hull, there's no clutter when you move forward along the decks, which, like the coamings and cabin top, were finished with nonskid.
A buyer can choose from a couple of layouts below: a two-cabin/two-head layout, as on the boat we sailed, or a three-cabin/two-head model. Our boat had a head and a separate acrylic glass shower to port. And behind the shower was a finished storage space that could easily be used for a shop or a place to stash the kids.
The interior is finished in teak laminate and solid teak trim, which blends well with the light-colored upholstery and liner. The main saloon has a fully stocked galley to starboard and a nav station to port that slides forward when in use and aft and out of the way of the settee when not. Opposite the settee is a table and L-shaped couch that can be converted into a third double berth. The forward cabin has a V-berth, hanging locker, and head.
Designed for an owner who's looking for a boat that can sail and pamper, the Jeanneau does both well. And priced at just more than $200,000, it won't leave the cruising kitty too badly depleted.