I mentioned last summer that after months of talking about boating and sailing, Nick and I decided to take an introductory course on sailing, which helped us solidify our decision to move forward with a boat purchase.
We spent many weekends last summer visiting new and used boat dealerships as well as marinas, and shortly after we returned from our trip to Europe we finally made a decision and became boat owners!
We eventually settled on Jeanneau, a modern boat brand built in France and part of the Beneteau group, another well known sailboat company. We had our eye on two of their models, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349, a brand new model they were just starting to manufacturer in the U.S., and a larger Sun Odyssey 379 (a boat’s model number usually references its length, so a 349 is 34 feet long and 379 is 37 feet).
After weeks of looking online at photos and reviews of the new Sun Odyssey 349, in early-September one finally arrived at a dealership in Annapolis, and we visited it while it was still wrapped in plastic and missing its mast and rigging. Despite it being a great little boat (it was recently named 2014 pocket cruiser of the year by a sailing trade), it just wasn’t big enough for how we plan to use and enjoy our boat. (We wanted something that would be comfortable for weeklong trips and several overnight guests.)
We’d previously toured the larger Sun Odyssey model and really liked it, but we didn’t want to move forward with it until we’d seen the smaller model. Once we ruled the smaller boat out, we found a new 2014 Sun Odyssey 379 at a dealership in Riverside, N.J., just outside of Philadelphia, and on a weekend visit to the marina we re-toured the boat (and a few other models they had in stock) and took the plunge.
Here we are after we signed the purchase agreement:
As I mentioned above, the boat is 37-feet long and has two cabins, a v-berth cabin in the front and a large aft cabin. The boat has dual helms, a shoal-draft keel for shallower bay waters, a 27hp engine, and a bow thruster (which is very helpful to maneuver the bow of the boat independently from the stern (or back) and great for newbie sailors like us).
The cockpit has large bench seats on either side of a foldout cockpit table/navigation station. Behind each helm there are also small bench seats.
Inside the boat there is a galley kitchen, very large storage locker, head and shower, and the two cabins mentioned above. The dinette also folds down into a bed, but 6 people on a boat might be a couple too many 🙂
Here’s the view of the cabin after you come down the steps from the cockpit over the galley and into the dining area and v-berth cabin in the front. The boat has light woodwork and white leather upholstery, making it very light and airy inside.
If you stand in the v-berth cabin and look in the other direction, you see the dining area, galley kitchen and aft cabin on the left and the settee and head and shower on the right.
The galley kitchen is well-equipped with two sinks, refrigerator, mini freezer, stove/oven and microwave, and lots of storage space.
Next to the galley is the aft cabin. It has a large storage locker for clothes and a king-sized bed.
The head/shower combo is very common on boats (different from the campers with which Nick and I are most familiar).
The other cabin, the v-berth cabin (named because of its v-shape at the bow of the boat) also has a large queen-sized bed and storage lockers.
Since we bought the boat late in the season we negotiated winterization and storage at the marina (rather than bringing it down to D.C. and having to pay for it ourselves).
Because of work and travel schedules, Nick and I weren’t able to make it back up to New Jersey and the boat for several weeks, but when we did make the trip, we were really happy to see the dealer had installed the custom canvas cover (yay for no sunburns!).
We chose the color, Sunbrella taupe, to match the boat striping and brightwork (wood) and we were really happy with how it turned out.
On that return trip, Nick and I spent two days with
Lee from the marina, who is a third-generation sailor and boat builder. On the first day, we took the boat out on its maiden sail; we spent the entire next day taking the boat apart and learning about its mechanics and maintenance, which was incredibly helpful. I’ll be back soon with an update and pictures of that trip.