The new 13-metre Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 419 is meant to be sailed by a small crew, in line with feedback received from the French shipyard’s customers. It incorporates all the innovations and key features of the Sun Odyssey line and although not a performance boat, it has been designed to be fast and easy to handle.
Successful brands give customers what they want: One of the keys in Jeanneau’s success has been its ability to listen and interpret the wishes of market, which is quite an achievement when your customers come from basically every country in the world. The brand’s appeal is such that it has been able to avoid most of the difficulties generated by the credit crunch and the ensuing recession. It has extended its reach even further to new markets and new customers and launching new boats year after year.
The length of the Sun Odyssey 419, 12.76 metres, is not ideal for first-time boat owners. It is better suited for those with some experience and a clear idea of where they want to go and how they want to get there. Although it is definitely a fast boat, with a modern hull form that will allow for good performance, its layout has been planned for relaxed and easy cruising.
The most remarkable new feature of the 419 is the drop-down swim platform, which not only makes getting in the water a breeze but also creates a new space to enjoy under anchor, a privilege usually reserved to much bigger boats. Access to the interior has also been improved with a revamped staircase with safer and more user-friendly steps. To achieve this, the kitchen area has been rearranged.
Below decks, you can opt between a two or three-cabin layout, with one or two heads. We tested the three-cabin version, which is aimed at the charter market. The two guest cabins are located aft and across from the kitchen, to port, is the head and shower compartment where you can also hang your wet suit. Also to port, between two seats, there’s a small chart table, a feature that may tend to disappear from many designs as electronic devices and tablets take over traditional navigation tools. The U-shaped dinette has a reasonably sized table and the option of converting into a double berth. The forward master cabin with en-suite heads and good storage space is especially bright.
The deck is meant to be fully enjoyed. It’s clean, ergonomic and allows you to keep the sheets under control. The cockpit is spacious and the centre table has a small storage area and two handrails. The most eye-catching feature is the drop-down swim platform, which virtually occupies the full width of the transom and when deployed, it allows you to enjoy very close contact with the water.
Under sail, the Sun Odyssey 419 behaves like a very light boat: although during our test the wind barely went above eight knots, the 419 clearly showed that despite being a cruiser, it performs very well in light winds.
The sail plan comprises a battened mainsail, with a lazy jack system for easy handling, and a 106 per cent genoa. The innovation here is the bowsprit with integrated bow roller, which allows you to fly a code 0 and achieve better performance in light winds.
The running rigging is well sorted and most of the lines run under deck, although this solution is bound to create more friction, which may hinder some manoeuvres. This is the case for the mainsheet traveller, which frees the cockpit since it’s located on the cabin top, but for the system to work at the right angle on the stopper and winch, the sheet has to go to the bow and back. The main and genoa sheets are lead aft to helm winches beside each wheel and there are two stoppers on each side for the convenience of those who want to steer from leeward. Thanks to this system, you can block one sheet and use the winch with the other, without having to switch sides.
The cockpit is very comfortable and the twin wheels allow you to helm from several positions on both sides. Another good development is the single screen that combines all instrumentation in one place and is mounted on the cockpit table. It comes with a mechanism that allows you to adjust its position so that you always get the information you need with the best viewing angle from both helms.
Standard engine is a 40 HP Yanmar with Sail Drive transmission, which during our test managed a cruising speed of about 5 - 6.5 knots and a top speed of 8.2 knots.
It is true that the hull lines, particularly the hard chine, makes you think this is a racing boat, even more so when considering the addition of the bowsprit. However, the true calling of the Sun Odyssey 419 is as a comfortable, fast cruising, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take part in some local regattas and even get a good rating.
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 419 specifications
Overall length (with bowsprit): 12.76m
Engine: Yanmar 40 CV
CE Category: A9/B10
Design: Philippe Briand
Suggested retail price (Ex Tax): EUR 150,800