First impressions count, and mine were definitely favorable approaching the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 380 with C.W.‘s Boat of the Year judges at the October United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. Something about the way the inverted bow joint hovered just above the water caught my eye. Add in pronounced hull chines aft from amidships, a low coachroof and high-looking rig, and this boat hinted at the potential for some serious vertigo.
And it did, as we discovered a few days later when we went sailing on a delightfully sunny morning on the Chesapeake Bay.
The breeze was correct, around 15 knots. Sailing in strong winds, we saw 7 knots and change to GPS; we pushed it beyond 8 knots when we got away close-hauled. The 380 comes with a sprit that doubles as an anchor roller and a tack for out-of-wind sails, but a code zero wasn’t available (or we might have hit another’s speedo knot approximately by reaching deeper).
Judge Tim Murphy summed up our time on board later that day pretty well: “She was a really fun boat to sail. Boy, we went out there this morning; the breeze was light, and we really, really felt the pleasure of sailing. It’s quite successful. »
After my driving thing, I wrote in my notes, “super responsive.” Naval architect Mark Lombard knows how to design slippery hulls, and with two rudders, the 380 zigzags and zags immediately with a simple turn of the steering wheel. I believe they call it fingertip steering.
The helms are far aft in the cockpit, next to the manually foldable swim platform/transom, and there is a clean path between them. This design allows the coxswain to move easily from side to side. I had no problem tacking the boat alone, letting go of the loaded genoa sheet and crossing to set the new course. A single Harken sheet winch was located just forward of either wheel. Another pair of Harken winches were on the cabin roof, on either side of the companionway, for halyards, reefing lines and a downhaul control.
The 380 uses a double ended main sheet attached to a bridle with anchors on either side of the cabin roof. The sheet lines are brought to stops at either wheel so that they can be locked and the coaming winches can be used for trimming the genoa. Rather than using cars and fairleads, the genoa jib sheets are guided through friction rings on each side of the mast. The rings are each controlled by inhale and outhaul lines, meaning you can position the clew wherever you want and fine tune the shape of the sail. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s a pretty nifty feature. The boat we sailed on was equipped with a 110% furling genoa; a track for a self-tacking jib is an option.
Forward of the helms, the 380 has a spacious and well-appointed cockpit. A center table has fiberglass leaves that drop to allow a clear path forward on either side, and its stainless steel tube frame provides a solid grip. The boat we visited had cushions on the coamings and seats, and the benches were long enough for the watch crew to stretch out and rest.
A few years ago Jeanneau introduced walkaround decks to the Sun Odyssey line, and the builder has now brought that concept to the 380, probably the smallest boat that will see it. The side decks drop down to the level of the cockpit sole, so all you have to do is step out of either wheel and then forward down a relatively gentle incline. As well as ease of use for older crew, the layout means the lifebuoy and pushpit are about waist high at the back of the boat (which is also good for safety) . Forward of approximately amidships, the lifelines are at their typical height of 24 inches. Thick, molded toe guards prevent feet from slipping overboard when the boat heels.
Two final notes on the superstructures: the 380 has no backstay, which means an owner can hoist a square sail for more performance (our boat had a traditional sail, stowed in a boom pocket when not in use). is not used). The trade-off is relatively low lower shrouds that need to be dodged when heading to the foredeck, although the low coachroof makes climbing and overshoots tolerable.
Down below, the 380 has a fairly traditional layout from Jean-Marc Piaton, who helped style the entire Sun Odyssey range. A central drop-leaf table is forward in the saloon, surrounded by U-shaped seating to port; opposite is a long sofa, with a sort of cool inner armrest at its front end. It allows you to face back and relax, or turn to converse with friends across the table. Opposite are a navigation station and the boat’s electrical panel.
The galley is behind the dinette. It features a gimbal propane two-burner stove and oven, as well as generous refrigeration space. The counters have deep fiddles and there is ample stowage to plan for extended time at sea.
There are several sleeping options. The boat we saw had a three-cabin, two-head layout, with a shared starboard head and shower compartment at the foot of the companionway. With the two-cabin, one-head layout, you gain a second overhead locker in the forward owner’s cabin, and the cabin aft and starboard is reconfigured for a separate shower, as well as room for a workshop or storage. If it was my boat, that’s what I would choose.
Jeanneau injects the 380’s balsa-core deck, which means there is a finished top and bottom surface out of the mould. The hull is made of strong fiberglass and laid by hand. Two fixed cast iron keels are available: draft (5 feet, 3 inches) and standard (6 feet, 6 inches). There is also a lifting keel option. At 54 feet 6 inches, the rig is intracoastal waterway compatible. Our boat had a 29 hp Yanmar and shaft drive (a 40 hp Yanmar is optional). A base SO 380 model starts at $237,000. The boat we sailed, with canvas, air conditioning, electronics and a stereo system among the options, will set you back around $350,000 delivered and commissioned on the East Coast of the United States.
Although I started with a nod to first impressions, my lasting impression of the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 380 is also favorable. Or, as boat of the year judge Ed Sherman put it,
“Yeah, great boat.”
Mark Pillsbury is a C.W. editor-in-chief.
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 380 Features
|TOTAL LENGTH||38’6″ (11.73 meters)|
|WATER LENGTH||35’1″ (10.69 meters)|
|BEAM||12’3″ (3.73 meters)|
|DRAFT (standard/shoal)||6’6″/5’3″ (1.98m/1.60m)|
|SAIL AREA||704 ft2 (64.4 m2)|
|BALLAST (standard/shallow)||3,990 lbs / 4,348 lbs / (1,810 kg / 1,972 kg)|
|SHIFT||15,203 pounds (6,896 kg)|
|BALLAST/DISPLACEMENT||0.26 (0.29 bench)|
|THE WATER||87 gal. (329L)|
|FUEL||34 gal. (129L)|
|WHILE CARRYING||21 gal. (79L)|
|MAST HEIGHT||54’6″ (16.61 meters)|
|ENGINE||Yanmar 29 hp|
|DESIGNATE||Yacht design Marc Lombard|
|Piaton Bercault & Cie.|
|WIND SPEED||14-17 knots|
|STATE OF THE SEA||Light chop|
|MOTORIZATION||Cruising (2,300 rpm) 6.5 knots|
|Fast (2,800 rpm) 8.7 knots|
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