Thursday, 11 December 2014

Sun Odyssey 379 Options

Outfitting a new boat is equal parts excitement and bewilderment.  It’s a bit like walking into Starbucks for the first time thinking you’ll just order a small black coffee. 

When we went to the dealer to discuss prices, he handed us a 3-page small-print list of options.  He explained awkwardly that many of the options weren't really optional. (Hmmm… do I really need an anchor?

Patrick and I rushed home and went to work outfitting our dreamboat: deck hardware, power supply, water reservoirs, navigation electronics, sail rigging, upholstery, and kitchen equipment. 

And then we pulled out the calculator to see how much this was going to cost us. 

And then we went back to our list and started removing options. 

After several days of research and tense negotiations, we designed the boat you see in About Mareda. There are, however, a few features that Mareda doesn't have that may surprise you:

A heating system.  We have 2 types of heaters on board: an electric blower and an electric oil-bath radiator, which provide all the heat we need when in port and hooked up to shore power.  On those rare occasions when we might want heat at anchor, we’ll just have to throw an extra comforter on the bed and think warm thoughts.  If it happens too often, we’ll buy a small fuel heater.  With plans to sail in the Mediterranean from April to October, we thought we could forego this 4000 Euro ($5000) option.

Bow thrusters.  These are very popular but for a 37 foot boat we think it’s entirely unnecessary, especially for 4500 Euros ($5600).

An adjustable backstay.  We have one on Spray and we use it, but we’re never sure we’re using it correctly.  We’re just not that keen on chasing fractions of a knot of speed if we have to pay 650 Euros ($800 US) for the pleasure.

A detachable forestay and set of headsails.  This wasn’t an option and would require an expensive custom order and very expensive set of sails.  On Spray, there were occasions when we greatly appreciated the sail options we had, but there were other times when we really should have changed the headsails and didn't because it was too rough or just too much of a bother.  A friend who sailed from Brittany to the South Pacific said that his set of headsails was the worst investment he made for his cruise.  I believe we do need a storm jib, however.  We have plans... 

A spinnaker.  We decided to buy a Code D furling sail instead of a spinnaker.  A Code D can be used from approximately 60° apparent wind to a full 180° using a whisker pole.  It is easy to deploy and douse by a shorthanded crew.  It is smaller in surface area than a standard spinnaker (65m2 instead of 90m2) but the tissue is more rugged and has to be able to stand up to being rolled without ripping.  Because it’s so easy to install and handle, people use it more often and keep it up longer than with a typical spinnaker.  The price is similar to a traditional spinnaker, even for ours which is made-to-measure for Mareda.  As an added bonus, our sail maker tells us that he can make a storm jib that can be yanked onto the Code D furler in under 5 minutes.  That will be our next purchase !

A radar.  I want one, as well as a Navtex system, but the budget is screaming for mercy already.  We’ll grow into these.

So what do you think?  Enough energy and water for Med cruising?  Enough chain length?  Any must-haves we forgot?  


Unknown said...

Bow thruster is something I do miss once in a while in the windy Baltic with busy ports ... you will have more hull exposed to the wind compared to Spray ... certainly not needed to anchor if this is what you plan to do ... have not done a lot of Med sailing recently but my gut feeling tells me you might not need it that much when you anchor the bow away from shore.

A Radar can be great, but honestly in the days of good GPS an maps you will know where you are. And in order to 'see' other boats AIS can be a great and less power hungry alternative.

Navtex really? How about a Iridium cell phone for those cases where you need instant information?

Unknown said...

We have got that list too and did the same as you - adding everything on and then taking stuff off! I can't wait to hear how you get on with the things you have chosen and how you like them.
You might also like this blog - Lyn is a New Zealander and they have a 44' Sun Odyssey. She has been really helpful to us with our decisions.
One other question - which boat yard are you using for the commissioning? We have been given the options for a couple in France. Our preference we think will be to get the one in the Med so it is easy for us to pick up and sail away!

MH said...

Hi Martin. For the radar, I like the ability to see squall lines and other boats not using AIS, but I'm not sure this would justify the cost. Instead of Navtex, what I'd really like is a SSB transmitter / receiver so that I can get weather info and communicate with other boats anywhere, anytime. But those installations seem to be really tricky. In any case, we can't afford either right now so we have time to think about it !

MH said...

Hi Astrolabe, We're using our hometown boatyard here in Vannes. We will head down to the Med probably at the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016 and will probably go through the canals. Buying directly in the Med is probably a good idea. I have a book that lists the cheaper marinas in the area if you're interested.