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Infatuation

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-WorldCruising.com 28 Nov 2018 15:00 PST
Performance version of the new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410 with Code Zero flying. © Guillaume Gauter

During the course of the week, we published our speed date with Jeanneau's Sun Odyssey 490. It is a succinct, five-minute video of going sailing with this most attractive and impressive of craft, along with taking in the interior spaces of the three-cabin version that we had on offer. Our first date with her, which will be a full written review, is in the works presently, so stand by on that one...

However, the purpose of today's headline is to allow us to continue the theme, but in this instance, it refers to the Sun Odyssey 490's little sister, the even newer 410. This is the craft you can see in the imagery throughout this editorial. You'll notice that on her quarters this particular vessel carries the word 'Performance', denoting she has the taller stick that adds 3 sq m to the mainsail.

Jeanneau Australia inform me that first craft into Australia will be a Performance version. She arrives into Sydney during April 2019, and premieres at the Sydney International Boat Show, and she may possibly be the first I will see in the flesh. I am under the impression that there is a real hope she is ready for Sail Port Stephens, as well.

Now we ran a picture of her from Cannes, where she had been unveiled to the world, and immediately visible were the Open 60-esque boom angle, chamfer, slab sides, and chines that the entire range carries.

There was one set of differences to her larger siblings, however. They were the reverse bow, and the knuckle at the bottom of her stem completely out of the water when she is at idle. Now the former is very much in vogue from everything in the from of an F50, to a Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 cat. Yet the latter has not been around that much since the very end of the IMS era. A Farr52 OD comes to mind there. The other item is at the other end, and that is that her transom is well out of the water. In fact, this happens ahead of her rudderposts. Yes. She has two...

It all stands for speed and manoeuvrability. So to get the real deal on it, I spoke with her designer, the impressive Marc Lombard. The main thing I really wanted to establish was how he and his team approached the 410 to fit into the new Sun Odyssey look, yet deliver its distinctly different visual markers, as well. "Jeanneau has his own aesthetical codes, and marketing line for Sun Odyssey. Obviously it is based on analysis of what the typical Jeanneau clients like. For this reason it is based on solid foundations, but is also ideas 'from the recent past', and does not reflect what they would like in the future," said Lombard.

"We always manage to add new ideas, and to push them forward. If it becomes right commercially, then it enters the 'aesthetical code'. Inverted curvature, which is logical with stability, internal volume, and the aesthetics of a stern not too high from the water came into being like this. So too the recent fore overhang, inverted bow, which is a direct a consequence of it, large bow section, which gives internal volume, and it also gives more power, without an increase in beam."

"Obviously we had to push them a bit, but with past success of Sun Odyssey 349, Jeanneau are trusting us more and more on our feeling on evolution... Not revolution!"

So the Sun Odyssey is certainly a very impressive craft. She measures 42 feet, not including her prodder, and at just under eight metric tonnes it's a really good start. So then what was the genesis, and how did Lombard's team implement it all? "We work a lot on optimising structures with the Jeanneau Team. The resin-infusion process has helped us to achieve a strong and reasonably light hull and deck. In fact, this boat is not lighter than its predecessor, but offers more power when sailing, less drag (not more wetted area), and then overall it offers so much more volume!"

"All of this is obviously a consequence of our research work in the racing department, in which we made large steps recently in IRC and Class 40 vessels." Note here that one of Lombard's latest designs, Veedol, was the winner of the Class 40 in the recent, and utterly brutal Route du Rhum. And so the spectre of the crossover between racing and cruising appears once more. We have been talking about in these pages for the last few years, so none of it should come as any surprise.

So with that wonderful segue, and given all of their work in Class 40s and also the sensational Minis, the question would be, will the scow bow make it over to cruisers? "I'm not certain that 'radical scow bows' will work on cruising boats, as displacement is too important, and the boats will therefore be unsafe in heavy seas. We will not apply a fashion rule. In this particular case, it has to be adapted to the reality of a cruiser. Really good designs are never fashion, for fashion always dies one day. Fashion and aesthetics are the opposite of really good design. It has to be all about function, and I believe my team is good in making function into the reality of design!"

Now if all the new innovations look very IMOCA 60, or Class 40 like, how does one provide living space with things like a low freeboard? "We feel that some progresses are worth declining on cruising boats. You have to be very careful, as displacement is very different from those classes to that of a cruising vessel, and all the ideas embodied in those types of classes have to be adapted to cruising."

So in a case of really stepping up the ante, the reverse or dreadnought bow of the Sun Odyssey 410, with its knuckle distinctly airborne, as it were, offers an advantage with manoeuvrability, but is there anything else? "You're right. Overhang does give the helm a highly improved touch, as the nose does not dig into waves, such as with older generation boats."

"The reverse stem is logical with the enormous amount of available volume on forward sections of the boat. Under the IRC rule, the fore overhang has also has a rating advantage, as there is a decrease in waterline length for the calculation and also a smaller wetted surface area for working in light airs. Of course at heel angle, and as soon as the boat moves quickly, the waterline length increases right to the stem (as well as transom), and thereby affords the long flotation."

Now the Sun Odyssey 410 is available in only a 40hp shaft drive configuration. So clearly drag was not too much of a consideration for the speedster. Lombard remarked, "This was a technical decision from Jeanneau, not from us. It is about the comfort of the customer. They cost the same, but there is less maintenance with the shaft configuration, for the sail drive's water seals have to be changed every five years, which requires a partial removal of the engine. Sincerely, both solutions are good, however."

As we began to finish up I asked Lombard, as a graduate of the renowned Southampton Institute of Technology, why it was that this school generates so many revered Naval Architects? "It is simply that for a long time it was the only school for sailing people that want to become naval architect with a general approach."

As for the elements he is most pleased about with the Sun Odyssey 410, Lombard reflects, "It's a total good compromise. She is fast, almost very fast, provides for a big volume below, and has nice ergonomics. There are also streamlined lines, pleasing aesthetics, and it is all there for a reasonable price. She has all the keys to success!"

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about adventures with the ARC, Outremer 4x, two Chinese sailors and their Lagoon, Townsville says no to single use plastic, looking out for right whales, Florida's red algae explosion, red diesel, Renolit Dolphin S coating for your boat's underside, Perini Navi, Spinlock, our video of the new Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 has been polling very well, thank you, as well as much more.

So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of the Sail-WorldCruising home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-WorldCruising.com

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