Sun Odyssey 1Author: Zuzana Prochazka
Photos Courtesy of Jeanneau

Practice Makes Perfect 

Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the launch of their new 490. Coming fast on the heels of her 44-foot sister, the Jeanneau 490 took all the innovations that were introduced previously in Annapolis and, with the luxury of five more feet, added some flair. The results are applause-worthy.

Sun Odyssey 2

 

 

 

On Deck

What Jenneau practiced on the smaller boat, they perfected on the 490 and it’s hard to know where to start with the new features. Of course, the most noteworthy is the “walk-around” cockpit created by designer Philippe Briand. The decks slope down either side toward one of the twin wheels. Instead of climbing over the coaming, you simply walk from the drop-down transom to thebow and back. Judging from the reaction at the boat shows, this newfangled thinking will easily find an eager market because even those with limited mobility can move around easily. An added bonus is that this may help keep people in the sport longer.

Another head-smackingly brilliant feature is the backrests of the cockpit settees that lift and extend outward like gull wings to form large sunbeds on either side. This simple trick transforms deck space into lounge territory in less than a minute. This idea was introduced on the smaller model but with extra room in the larger cockpit, the concpet has grown into itself on the 490.

Newly added are two fun features if you want to party ashore and take along a portable galley of sorts. The optional 12V refrigeration unit that drops into the cockpit table can be lifted out and used ashore, as can the portable grill that hides in the transom seat behind one of the wheels. Just pack up the beer and appetizers and take the party to the beach.

Primary winches, which typically reside on the coaming, had to move inboard, but that’s a good thing. It allows the weight to shift toward the centreline and lets the crew face forward when grinding in genoa sheets so they can see the telltales.

The final benefit of this radical deck design is that the driver can now sit facing forward and that’s way more comfortable on long stretches of watch-standing or when tacking around the bouys. Deck drains were added by the wheels in case green water washes over the bow and rolls down toward the driver. If it’s that wet and lumpy, I’ll just drive from the high side.

Sun Odyssey 3Overhead hatches, hull windows and indirect lighting at floor level floods the master suite with light so nobody will feel buried in this sumptuous cabin

What’s New Below

Belowdecks is where the extra length really served this new model well. Most of the additional space was dedicated to the galley and the navigation station. The forward-facing nav desk is close to the companionway for easy communication with the helmsperson. It also forms a part of a small dinette with another bench seat forward between the desk and the galley. A dedicated double-seat nav space is a rarity on this class of cruiser and it makes a great place to sit with a cup of coffee and discuss the day’s plans with your mate.

The galley was reconfigured too. The refrigerator drawer that was in the 440’s aft utility cabin is now at hand in the galley so the cook won’t have to go far for the steaks. There’s even an opening hatch directly over the three-burner Eno stove to vent cooking heat and odours. This functional kitchen can be used under way, even on a port tack, because the chef can brace against the small centreline island and keep both hands free to work.


Sun Odyssey 4The large cockpit ensures that relaxing with sundowners will be a favored part of the day.

The Jeanneau 490 comes in three configurations with three to five cabins and two to three heads. The centre section with the saloon, galley, and nav desk remains mostly the same while the ends of the boat change. The exception here is that the fabulous nav desk can be replaced by an over/under cabin or another head. It’ll make more room for charter guests but otherwise, it’s a shame to mess with that lovely captain’s retreat.

Sun Odyssey 5The Jeanneau 490 looks much bigger below as the eye is drawn along the entire length of the boat from the companionway all the way forward to the master stateroom.

In the standard owner’s layout, the master is forward with an island berth, a head to port and a separate shower stall amidships with its own sink outboard. The front side of the shower compartment, which faces the bed, has been used well. It holds a flatscreen TV, a bookcase,and drawers. For charter, two cabins and two heads can be wedged in here,but for private use that wouldn’t be my choice. Oh, and take note and rejoice in the use of rectangular beds that won’t need custom sheets – isn’t that nice for a change?

 

Under Way

Our test day in Miami was an ideal mix of bright sunshine,lots of wind, and flat water – the kind of conditions that make you want to stay out all day and then maybe head to a nearby island to use that portable beach galley.

Sun Odyssey 6The very functional galley ensures that the chef will have bracing points even on a port tack.

With 16-18 knots of true wind, the1,188 square feet of sail area produced 8.1 knots at 60 degrees apparent wind angle. Not satisfied, we unfurled the Code 0 and that bumped us up to 9.1 knots. This boat loves to point and delivers snappy tacks through 70 degrees. The integrated composite sprit is convenient, too, as it does three things: Elongates the boat’s profile; moves the anchor well forward of the plumb bow to minimize stem dings; and adds sailplan versatility so you can use a Code 0 or a gennaker to blast downwind.

The rig and hull deserve a nod, too. The lower D1 and cap shrouds terminate at different chainplates – one on the outside and one on the coachroof – so it’s easier to make your way forward on the wide decks. Our test boat had inmast furling but a performance-oriented traditional hoist mainsail is available in a package that also includes tri-radial Mylar sails and adjustable backstays.

Sun Odyssey 7Unique in the industry, the Jeanneau 490 offers a nav station where the captain and her mate will be able to sit together and discuss the day’s itinerary.

The new hull is flat in the forefoot with a noticeable chine that runs from a foot aft of the stem all the way to the transom. This creates volume below for the staterooms and helps the model stay on her feet in a blow. With shallow forward sections she may pound upwind in a seaway, but we didn’t have a chance to test that on the flat waters of Key Biscayne.

Slipping along at nearly double-digit speeds, I found everything at the leather-covered wheels (composites are an upgrade) quite user friendly. The twin backstays are high and out of the way and the sheet bags help keep the cockpit sole clear. A few times, I tripped over the foot braces by the wheels and would have appreciated the pop-up variety to save my toes. As on the 440, the B&G multifunction displays here are mounted low on the pedestals and angled outboard. That placement makes them just about invisible to anyone in the cockpit. Maybe a single chartplotter on a swivel at the table would be more effective.

Too soon, we had to head back to the dock, so we fired up the upgraded Yanmar 80 (57 hp is standard) and scooted along at 9 knots and 3,100 rpm. Unlike the 440, the Jeanneau 490 has a Saildrive transmission,so Jeanneau offerstheir optional 360 degree Joystick Docking. However, it’s hardly necessary, especially with the optional retractable bow thruster that makes tight quarters maneuvering a snap, even for newbies.

Being number two has its advantages. With even a short time of market feedback, it’s easy to work out the kinks and introduce refinements. Jeanneau’s 490 did that and also has the additional length and beam to provide more elbow room. Otherwise, she’s a copycat in the best sense of the expression.

Sun Odyssey 8The Sun Odyssey 490 cockpit is a design highlight.

It turns out practice really does make perfect.

 

Specifications
LOA: 48' 6"
LWL: 43' 5"
Beam: 14’ 8"
Draft: 5’ 4” shoal, 7' 4" deep
Displacement: 24,890 lbs.
Sail Area: 1,188 sq. ft.
Fuel/Water: 63/169 gallons
Engine: Yanmar 57 or 80 hp
Designer: Philippe Briand
Builder: Jeanneau Yachts

 

Related Articles

Wednesday, 10 June 2020 01:32

As boat builders clamber to create ever-bigger platforms for ever-more generous budgets, the entry-level cruiser has become an elusive animal. Sure, if you want to daysail, there are plenty of small...

Tuesday, 14 April 2020 17:41

With their new midsized model, Bavaria has zeroed in on a versatile design that ticks all the boxes: family friendly, flexible, fast and fun. Alliteration aside, you can hardly ask much more of one...

Sunday, 01 March 2020 18:49

With 24,000 boats produced in nearly 40 years, French builder Groupe Beneteau is reinventing their First range, which was introduced in 1977. Although the four other models in the current First...

Thursday, 24 January 2019 01:58

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp...

Thursday, 03 May 2018 04:34

There are few things more satisfying than watching someone thumb their nose at tradition and introduce something revolutionary that kicks convention to the curb. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2020 15:28

Unknown to us at the time, the quest for VIA-MARA started in 1973 when I saved the back cover of a boating magazine with the advertisement for the Trojan 42 Motor Yacht.

Neptunus 650F

By Andy Adams

Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.

We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
I sail on Lake St Clair. Michigan is on one side of the lake, and Ontario is on the other. My ...
The bright summer sun forces its way through magnificent Arbutus trees as I dive off our ...
I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to ...
It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul ...
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...

Sunset off St. John

By Mark Stevens

I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola to begin one of our earliest British Virgin Islands charters nearly twenty years ago.

A perfect sunset off St. John with St. Thomas views for backdrop.

Clearing Pillsbury Sound, surrounded by voluptuous emerald mountains as the ferry sliced through royal blue waters, I was struck by the unspoiled ambiance of St. John, the island gliding past our starboard beam and the irresistible charm of a village called Cruz Bay visible from our quarter stern.

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Our Photo of the Week this time comes from our CY Team at FLIBS. Perhaps it’s the camera angle or ...
Yes, we are once again going to the dogs, a very popular and always welcome Photo of the Week ...
Last week Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester NS were named today Sail Canada’s Rolex ...
This week’s Photo of the Week comes from BC. The 99th Grey Creek Regatta was held at the Lakeview ...
Back in 2019 (I believe) your magazine used a pic of Sweet Love, a Ranger Tug 31, in a photo ...
a few shots of my wife Maggie practicing her silks routine on our 1982 C&C in the North Channel ...
Last issue, we took a look at boat names. Little did we know we would get what probably will be the ...
Boat names and puns go together like …. Well, like nothing else. Here’s a couple shared by our pal ...
Frequent Windsor racing contributor to Sailing in Canada Roger Renaud, caught this gorgeous ...
The Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) celebrated its 125th anniversary in the summer of 2021, in all the ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Last issue we explored NMEA 2000 networking, including the advantages of creating an on-board ...
The fungicide also acts as a biocide and prevents bacteria & fungal growth contamination from ...
Imagine a world where multiple touch-screens conveniently located will display information from ...
Last fall, a few members at my yacht club walked over and joined the exchange, which, by the way, ...
Boaters tend to be hands-on and active. Many (most?) like to launch and trailer our boats on our ...
We settled Svala into what my family and I had come to think of as the most desirable anchorage on ...
Never chartered? No problem. Here’s how to plan, execute and enjoy a vacation on a charter yacht ...
Once you’ve removed everything around and opened up all accesses to the engine and prop shaft, use ...
Most boaters are thinking about the end of the season at this time of year: prepping for haul-out, ...
Do you have abnormal engine vibration; rubber dust around engine mounts; telltale signs of possible ...

Svala at Anchor

Story and photos by Matt Bera

We settled Svala into what my family and I had come to think of as the most desirable anchorage on Lake Ontario, on a sunny summer afternoon. With an abandoned settlement, an old schoolhouse full of swallows, giant snakes and a rum-running past, Main Duck Island had it all.

That we had to sail past the Psyche Shoal, a magnetic disturbance, and into the middle of the rumoured Marysburgh Vortex made an even better sea story. It had taken us two attempts, two years, two boats and a new sort-of experimental engine to get there.

Read More

 

  

Sailing With a Captain

By Zuzana Prochazka

Never chartered? No problem. Here’s how to plan, execute and enjoy a vacation on a charter yacht where life is easy and the sunsets can’t be beat.

Decide on a crewed or bareboat charter

A crewed charter means you have a captain who manages the boat and maybe a chef or mate as well. Crewed charters ensure a safe and comfortable vacation with most everything done for you. The chefs are usually outstanding so if you’re a foodie, you’ll be in heaven and you may be able to pick up new recipes too. Larger crewed yachts may also have a mate who works with the captain and will do things like getting toys (kayaks, SUPs, snorkel gear, etc.) ready for you to use so you do very little work.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
The world of marine electronics is just on fire in terms of development. You can almost name ...
On the water, most people store mobile devices in safe but relatively inaccessible spots. This ...
Many consider a tender a utilitarian means to an end—mere transportation. Argos Nautic's RIB ...
Internal mechanical marine tank sensors are plagued with problems that cause inaccurate readings. ...
When the weather turns ugly, how many of us contemplate just taking off, maybe forever. Long ...
Nothing is worse than going to the freezer to find that you’re out of ice. With a portable ice ...
For the skiers, wakeboarders, wakeskaters, or kneeboarders, the Kwik Tek Airhead Rope is a ...
Highly regarded by our readers as some of the best wine glasses for marine use out on the market ...
Teak accents and accessories are always a good idea. Keep your glassware safe with this appealing ...
The Hot Dog Banana Tube (aka “water weenie”) guarantees a summer full of laughter and fun.

News

  • Prev
Have you taken everything off the water already or are you still out there enjoying this amazing ...
On November 15th 2022, Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), introduced ...
Originally launched in 2022, Four Winns’ H-series’ success elevated the brand’s reputation as an ...
We couldn’t resist this promotional story and video from Yanmar. Thanks. Let’s enjoy the waterways ...
If you’re a first responder, work or just spend time recreating on or near cold water, this ...
SamBoat, already well implanted in Europe, is a boat rental platform that allows people to rent ...
West coast builder, Aspen Power Catamarans, has developed a new series of lightweight rigid tenders ...
The Four Winns TH36 Catamaran had its world premiere at the Cannes Yachting Festival, September ...
After borrowing boats for a couple of years, longtime J105 fanatic and many-year organizer of the ...
Due to ongoing mechanical issues, the Kirkfield Lift Lock will remain closed for the foreseeable ...

Mercury marine V10 OutboardsOn November 15th 2022, Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), introduced the industry’s first ever V10 outboard with the official launch of its all-new 5.7L 350 and 400hp Verado® outboard engines.
 
Consistent with the award-winning Verado brand, the new V10 engines are the quietest and smoothest in their class running 45 percent quieter than a leading competitor at cruise. In addition to NVH, the new Verado’s are not only compatible with the latest Mercury SmartCraft® technologies but will also be offered with an optional dual-mode 48V/12V alternator to seamlessly pair with Navico Group’s Fathom® e-power system, an integrated lithium-ion auxiliary power management system, providing boaters the opportunity to eliminate an onboard generator system.

Read More