The Sun Odyssey 469 was launched at the autumn boat shows in Europe last year and has already proven a popular seller. Even for her size this is a powerful package. Maximised interior volume, along with an excellent allround sailing performance were two of the vital criteria specified by Jeanneau, and this latest model does appear to deliver on these counts.
Hull design and layout
The Philippe Briand hull carries a very pronounced hard chine from amidships, which enhances the hull volume while also helping improve stability grip and tracking when heeled. With a plumb bow and minimal overhang at the stern waterline length is maximized, but the stern sections though powerful do not extend too much wetted surface.
The rewards are a light, spacious interior which is equivalent to that of a 50 footer, while appearing to offer easily achieved sailing ability.
Multiple options are a small part of the appeal, making for a boat which first of all fits the owner but also which grows with the owner’s ability or interest. At the simplest level the Sun Odyssey 469 – like others in the range – can be specified with in-mast reefing and self tacking jib, push button winches and the 360 docking system. But with the deep 7ft 4in keel, Code Zero headsail and a decent fully battened, easy reefing main the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 will return excellent speeds from light breezes updwards with very little fuss.
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 under sail
We sailed the Sun Odyssey 469 during the annual global sea trials in Cannes, France in very light winds. But under the Code Zero, especially, we discovered a long legged, easy performer which delivered very satisfying speeds on all points of sail. We were especially impressed with how easy the sail handling and manoeuvers become, thanks to the excellent ergonomics and well sited sail controls. Upwind, even in the very light, the hull form seemed to move along quite well, requiring little effort to build speed and height.
It is a very sympathetically styled modern cruising boat with a really nice balance between moderate freeboard and the almost classical deck line.
The cockpit is excellent, all on one level. The helm’s position forms an ample working area in itself with all sail controls to hand, confined well aft so that the main lounging and seating area is very clean and clear. There is really excellent access over and through the stern thanks to the big, fold down transom with push button control, which also doubles as a decent sun lounging and bathing area. The single central backstay means there is no obtrusion in the corners of the helm’s areas, allowing the helm to sit right back.
The substantial cockpit table is the centerpiece with good stowage including an icebox, excellent instrument mounting (where the 360 docking joystick can be mounted). A series of switches control the cockpit lighting, which includes low level ambient lighting on the cockpit floor, pleasing on an evening at anchor but also sufficiently low intensity that it might prove useful temporarily at night at sea when making manoeuvers under sail.
The cockpit seating is great, secure seating with deep coamings keeping the occupants nicely enclosed, while the helm’s position is also very good. The twin wheels are pushed well outboard which of course gives good vision but also opens the passage between them. Though the helm has the main sail controls to hand, it is also pleasing to be able to step forward swiftly and easily to adjust halyards, the vang or the main traveler which runs to a good width.
One key feature on the helm stations is the matching integrated repeaters on the wheel moldings, which show GPS, AIS and systems updates for example. All round vision for the helm is very good.
There are two large cockpit lockers with good gas strut supports and a further two on the corners of the stern beneath the helm’s seats.
The deckspace is great, one of the fundamentals of the initial brief. The headsail tracks are recessed into coachroof edge leaving the sidedecks uncluttered and the numerous hatches and windows are all flush mounted. The halyards are partially covered as they run aft to the coachroof mounted winches, again making for a smooth deck space. At the front of the boat is a large sails locker which has a good access via a decent foredeck hatch. This, again, is a welcome signature from a larger boat which is reckoned to be unique for a 47-footer of this class.
The 469's standard rig is a high aspect fully batten mainsail with a 106 per cent headsail. The coachroof mounted track keeps the sheeting angle nice and narrow and keeps the hardware off the deck.
A self tacking jib is optional and with the sheet lead right back to the helm it’s a very simple boat to sail solo or shorthanded. An alternative set up is the 140 per cent genoa option, but most will probably specify the short footed 106 per cent jib and the big Code Zero, which brings the boat alive from 5-6 knots TWS.
The full width Harken mainsheet traveler track offers great control of the mainsail power, a reminder that the Sun Odyseey 469 is first and foremost a performance cruiser for all weather.
The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 interior is memorable for its space and natural light and the way that it is subtly divided into living and working areas. There are three different layout options: three cabins/three heads owner's version, up to four cabins/four heads.
The main saloon has a deep U-shaped seating area to port with excellent storage under the seating. With eight different windows and hatches, natural light is great also affording a view of the outside world. Opposite the main seating area is a split settee with a clever slide down table that forms a long single berth.
The L-shaped galley is notable for the spacious, flat continuous work surfaces, good storage and big fridge and freezer.
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 Specifications
Hull length: 48'4"
Displacement: 28660 lbs
Berths: 6 or 8 +2
Sail area (Standard): 1210 sq ft
For more information, visit the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 web page.