Bareboat-charter companies account for a large proportion of the sales of some of the larger production boatbuilders, and through their buying power, they can arrange for equipment of their own specification to be incorporated as the boats are being built.
Such is the case with the Sunsail 44, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44i fitted out to meet the demands encountered in Sunsail’s bareboat fleet. Much of the gear, such as the 7-horsepower bow thruster, comes as part of the standard option list. It’s packaged with the “classic” mainsail, extra battery capacity, and other items to ensure that boats are standard across the fleet to facilitate maintenance.
Sunsail offers two interior layouts. We sailed the four-cabin/two-head model, which splits the bow into mirror-image double cabins. The starboard one is also fitted with an upper single berth, which dismantles to stow under the fixed berth. The arrangement offers flexibility for family groups with children. The saloon is the same in both versions and has a U-shaped dining area opposite an in-line galley. A bench seat along the table’s inboard side provides support for a galley worker.
Under way, the Sunsail 44 has less power under motor than the Jeanneau sister, the 44i, that we tested, but the full-battened mainsail, which stores in a pouch on the boom, promises adequate sail power and perhaps one less headache for the management company than an in-mast furling sail. The cockpit provides plenty of room for both sailors and passengers. With the genoa winches handy to the helm stations and the mainsail controls forward, two people can handle the boat with ease.
The merging of the Jeanneau’s voluminous interior and Sunsail’s experience with equipment should ensure a comfortable fit with all three parties in the triangle of owner, charterer, and management company.
LOA 45′ 1″
LWL 37′ 7″
Beam 14′ 4″
Draft 6′ 9″
Sail Area 850 sq. ft.
Displacement 21,892 lb.
Water 162 gal.
Fuel 63 gal.
Engine 54-hp. Yanmar
Designer Briand Yacht Design