Under way, the Sun Odyssey 44i met expectations as far as we could test them on a day of mostly light air. We were able to maneuver comfortably around the fleet assembled for the start of the Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, and when for a brief while the wind piped up to 10 knots, we were able to get up to 6 knots while sailing closehauled. In these conditions, the boat heeled little, responded promptly to the helm, and generally handled well, aside from the need to negotiate the length of the cockpit to reach the mainsheet and traveler controls.
For auxiliary power, the test boat had a 75-horsepower Yanmar diesel driving a conventionally shafted propeller, a combination that pushed it effortlessly up to hull speed. The boat maneuvered quite well, stopping from full ahead in little over a boat length and, with the helm hard over, turning in its own length at 1,500 rpm. At the higher engine revolutions, the noise was noticeable belowdecks, and the prop wash created considerable torque on the helm.