This model has an all new hull design that represents a new generation of thinking, including a distinctive chine that runs the length of the boat, and wider hull sections above the waterline forward. As with other twin-rudder boats, in the after sections the chine helps to confer additional form stability. However, the difference is further forward, where the chine increases the width of the hull in the forward cabins by up to 40cm, without an associated increase in waterline beam. There are also further innovations on deck that make this boat really stand out compared to existing designs.

Watch our First Look Video of the yacht, filmed at Southampton Boat Show.


Below decks

Two, three and four cabin layouts are offered in an open layout that gives both a sense of space and allows for good airflow through the boat. There’s a particularly the large and well appointed u-shaped galley on the port side of the saloon, aft of which is a good-size forward-facing navigation station with its own seat. The sitting/dining area is on the starboard side, with a good view out through hull windows.

The sleeping cabins in the two and three cabin boats are surprisingly spacious, particularly the forward master suite, which opens onto the saloon through a pair of double doors. In the four cabin option this suite is split in half to create two smaller double cabins. In all versions the two heads/shower compartments are of an impressive size and include separate shower stalls.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440 below decks

Below decks the Sun Odyssey 440 is bright and cheery.

On deck and performance

The deck arrangement around the cockpit has been totally re-thought, with the aim of making it much easier to move around the boat. Of particular note is the aft section of the side decks, which slope gently upwards from the helm stations to the forward end of the cockpit. This makes it possible to go forward without having to clamber over multiple levels of seats and coamings.

In addition, the lower (D1) shrouds and cap (V1) shrouds are taken to different chainplates, one on the outside of the hull, the other on the coachroof, so they don't interfere with easy passage along the side decks. Even if you have an all-furling rig and don’t intend to go on deck while under sail, the combined effect of these changes still makes line handling when berthing easier, especially when taking a lazy line to the bow when mooring stern to, Mediterranean style.

The primary winches have been moved slightly inboard on pedestals just ahead of the helm stations, with both headsail and mainsail sheets led to each one via clutches. This leaves the forward part of the cockpit entirely free for crew to relax, sunbathe and dine alfresco. The large central table has a concealed, portable fridge that can be used for excursions ashore, as can the portable barbecue, which is stowed under the helm seat, adjacent to the cockpit sink.

An option that’s sure to be popular among those sailing in Mediterranean latitudes is a giant sun bed conversion for the cockpit seats, coamings and side decks that places them all on a single level. This is a new, patented feature that creates a massive increase in cockpit area when in port or at anchor. Other changes on deck include a lower gooseneck that makes it easier to pack the mainsail away after sailing, yet is also more efficient.

Sun Odyssey 440 layout options

There are various layout options depending on your accommodation preferences.

Sun Odyssey 440 layout

This layout maximises sleeping space in the front and aft of the boat.

Equipment and options

In addition to the three different accommodation layouts and a wide choice of finishes for upholstery and interior joinery, there’s a choice of a standard (2.2m draught) keel, or a shallow 1.6m alternative. Owners can also specify a choice of slab reefing or in-mast furling mainsails and an optional taller performance rig.

What it does best and compromises

Most new cruising yachts are simply a slow evolution of the model they replace, often based on the same hull and deck moulding. However, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440 introduces a number of useful and novel features that are sure to slowly find their way to many more models over the coming years.

The interior spaces are in general very generous, although some may find the saloon seating/dining area smaller than their expectations. However, Jeanneau rightly recognises that most owners and charterers will spend the bulk of their relaxing and socialising time in the big cockpit, if necessary under the protection of the sprayhood and bimini, rather than below decks.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440 sailing

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440 includes some real innovations, making it an exciting design.

Other models in the range

Jeanneau’s Sun Odyssey range now consists of nine models from 32-52ft. The Sun Odyssey 490, launched around the same time as the 440, benefits from the same innovations, while also offering significantly more volume below deck. The company also produces two deck saloon boats – a 41 and 44 footer, plus a four model line-up of Jeanneau Yachts from 51-64ft, and the Sun Fast 3200 and 3600 offshore race boats.

Alternative boats

There’s plenty of choice in this sector of the market, including the Bavaria Cruiser 46 and Beneteau’s Oceanis 45. Hanse doesn’t have a direct head-on competitor – the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey falls between the Hanse 418 and 455 in terms of size. For more information visit Jeanneau.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440 specifications

LOA: 13.0m
LOA with bowsprit: 13.39m
Beam: 4.29m
Light displacement 8,561kg
Draught: (standard keel) 2.2m (shoal keel) 1.6m
Ballast: (standard keel) 2,280kg (shoal keel) 2,670kg
Fuel capacity: 200 litres
Water capacity: 330 litres
Optional additional water tank: 200 litres
Mainsail: 45.15sq m
Genoa (125 per cent): 45.15sq m
Code Zero: 81.85sq m
Engine: Yanmar 45hp

Written by: Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes has more than 70,000 miles of offshore cruising and racing experience, in waters ranging from the North Sea to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn. He writes about all aspects of boat ownership and marine travel, including destinations, seamanship and maintenance, as well as undertaking regular new boat and gear tests. He currently sails around 5,000 miles per year and in the past couple of seasons has cruised from the UK to the Azores, as well as winning his class in the 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also owns two yachts, one based in the Mediterranean and the other in the UK.