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Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 479 Survey

This Sun Odyssey 479’s hull was solid, hand-laid fiberglass, while the deck incorporates a balsa core. A fiberglass grid set into the lower part of the hull helps accommodate rig and keel loads under sail, and supports cabinetry, the cabin sole and other below decks structures.

Layout gave four cabins outside the saloon with eight berths in total. The spacious interior provided comfortable, live-aboard facilities for extensive cruising.

Designed by the Philippe Briand office, the SO469 is a “big” boat for its size, with a wealth of interior volume and deck space enclosed within its 14ft 9in beam. The hull is all fiberglass, hand-laid in a two-part mold, and the injection-molded deck is attached with a combination of adhesives, bolts and screws on an inward-turning flange: all good stuff. I’ve long been a fan of the “Prisma Process” Jeanneau uses to create its molded decks. On the one hand, it allows the company to carefully regulate the amount of resin in the mix in the interest of minimizing weight. On the other, it creates a finished surface on the deckhead that doesn’t have to be hidden from view using liners or other gimmicks. 

Securing some of the smaller bulkheads has been rushed using purely silicon sealant! This method of securing is inadequate and poses potential safety risks. Silicon sealant, while useful for waterproofing and minor adhesion tasks, is not designed to bear structural loads or provide the necessary strength for securing bulkheads.

  • Observation: The steering gear was found to be easily accessible. This accessibility is a positive aspect as it facilitates regular maintenance and inspection.

  • Implications: Easy access to steering gear is essential for routine maintenance tasks such as lubrication of wires and connections, and servicing. This accessibility greatly aids in ensuring the smooth operation of the steering system and prolongs its service life.

The forestay attachment point, integral to the genoa roller and foil system, was found to be bent. This deformation is a critical concern.

The keel is an iron fin with a bulb, the double-spreader mast is aluminum, and there is a glassed-in structural grid inside the hull to absorb the loads generated when the boat is under sail. Overall, build quality and trim is attractive and well executed, especially for a mass-produced boat. It really is impressive how high-volume builders like Jeanneau continue to up their game with every passing year. 

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