Well finished and well rounded, Toby Hodges finds a complete family cruiser in the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469
Last in Jeanneau’s comprehensive upgrades of the Sun Odyssey range, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 offers an impressive package, which benefits from the experience gained from earlier revamps.
Compared with her predecessor, she has increased freeboard and now has chines and a folding transom, improving her beam aft and her accommodation. The latter is akin to a 50-footer or the 49i, with up to four cabins and four heads on offer.
“She’s not going to be the first, fastest or most innovative,” Jeanneau’s Hervé Piveteau says openly. “But the target of the [Sun Odyssey] range is to be the best all-rounder… to reach the biggest market.”
What is the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 like to sail?
Jeanneau and Philippe Briand have opted for a taller mast, a shorter boom and a smaller 106 per cent genoa to make the boat easier to sail, although a 140 per cent genoa is still an option. In fact, there are eight sail options, including an in-mast mainsail and a self-tacking jib.
“We don’t do complicated packs any more. All options are à la carte,” Piveteau explains.
The Code 0 option, as offered on modern Bénéteaus, certainly enhances Mediterranean sailing. The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 is remarkably easy and pleasant to sail. Despite just five knots of wind, we still made 4.5 knots thanks to the Code 0 – pretty slick for a big cruising machine. And even in the zephyrs I enjoyed steering the boat, something that can’t be said for many mass-production boats in light airs.
There were just two of us aboard, but only one ever needed to do anything. The deck layout has been designed to make it easy to sit and sail comfortably from the quarters, with just one winch by each wheel to take the mainsheet or genoa sheets, led aft through the coachroof.
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A single backstay means maximum comfort for the helmsman when seated and Raymarine Hybrid plotters fit neatly on the aft face of the coamings, so the touchscreen is simple to operate from here.
Under engine we made seven knots at 2,000rpm with the 45hp Yanmar driving an optional three-bladed Flexifold prop.
What is the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 like below?
A wide companionway with shallow angled steps leads into a light interior. The finish is in Alpi teak. I warmed quickly to the feel, and the set-up will instil pride in any owner.
The lack of a dedicated chart table is one of the few negatives, but the compromise is practical. A versatile table works as a coffee table, a desk or a chart table, complete with lift top, etc, or drops down to form a berth.
The L-shaped galley has plenty of work surface, stowage and fridge space and cooks can brace against the companionway when working at the hob. However, the galley becomes linear in format, sacrificing the desk and sofa area, if you choose a second heads aft.
The spacious forward cabin is a copy of the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 509’s, with hull windows, lots of light and hanging stowage. There’s a generous en-suite and, if selecting a fourth cabin, the central bulkhead can be removed and stowed below the berths.
The aft cabins benefit from the Briand chine, including space between them for a technical area. The heads is narrow to enter and has varnished woodwork in the shower, but includes wet-hanging space.
Plus points include wide doorways, a level sole, LED lighting as standard, handrails everywhere and rubber-lined soleboards.
This review first appeared in the June 2013 issue of Yachting World.
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A pleasant boat to sail, with a wide selection of options. Well finished and well rounded, the 469 is a complete family cruiser. Her 4.49m beam makes her one of the narrowest boats in this market, but she uses her volume the most wisely.