We bought a new boat !!!!!
At the end of April 2015, we will sail away in Mareda (Ma-RAY-da), a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379 with 2 cabins and a swing keel. Over the last month, we have visited other Category A swing keels, but none matched our interests as well as the SO 379. (Note: all photos below are catalogue photos. Mareda's hull hasn't even been constructed yet.)
Now, we could regale you with a list of our criteria and cruising plans, discuss the technical aspects and relative merits of various boats we considered in an attempt to convince you that we made the right choice, but that would be boring and fruitless. We know that boat buying is not a rational exercise anyway, so we’ve decided to adopt Benjamin Disraeli’s philosophy: Never complain, Never explain. (This application of philosophy is a one-time only thing, mind you, since there would be little to blog about without explaining and complaining…).
But we will point to others who can explain it better than we can. For Cruising World Magazine, Alvah Simon said, “It’s the rare boat I test that I would personally want to own and operate. But for me the 379 hits its marks perfectly regarding safety, size, style, speed, accommodation and equipment.” Having followed The Roger Henry File (Simon’s CW blog of his world cruising adventures), this review carried a lot of weight with me.
Bill Springer for Sail Magazine had this to say: “Plenty of boats call themselves good-looking and rewarding to sail. Many boats are also designed to be comfortable at sea and in port. But after testing the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379 in a healthy sailing breeze, I can honestly say it comes closer to achieving these goals than most. It was a blast to sail. It was easy to sail. It was comfortable to sail, and its accommodations are both spacious and stylish.”
We live two hours away from the Jeanneau shipyard where these boats are built. In the seduction phase of our relationship with the dealer, we were given a private tour of the facilities. We saw every step of the production, from hand-laid fibreglass to the new injection methods (no photos !) to create lighter, stronger, and more rigid deck and bulkhead mouldings. My favourite part was the assembly line room, where a dozen hulls were lined up along a conveyor belt. A naked hull arrives at the beginning and a fully finished hull leaves from the other end, to be sent to the tank room where the water tests begin. In between, the hulls are fitted out with electric cables and plumbing, the motor and reservoirs, the bulkheads and furniture. It was like walking through Santa’s workshop ! Granted, most of the interior reminds me of IKEA furniture, but the final result feels quite solid.
And what of our dear little Spray, you ask? You won’t believe this, but we turned away yet another tall man who wanted to visit the boat yesterday. That’s FIVE in a row over 6 feet tall. Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot ?! But yesterday we got a call from an interested buyer who, he assures us, is only 5 feet 8 inches tall and we’ll show him Spray on Friday. We are also planning to take her to the Crouesty boat show at the end of the month and will do our best to find her a good home. The dealer offered to buy her as a trade-in, but we didn’t like his price and Patrick is sure we can do better ourselves. Fingers crossed !