Passion for design, performance plus and brilliantly conceived
From the first time I saw this boat I was impressed. Its distinctive look was unique. It was big, it looked fast, and it had that edge that seems to be the new trademark for Philippe Briand and the Jeanneau design team. It is impressive from the outside with its long waterline, high-aspect-ratio sail plan, hard chines and massive deck; and wonderfully brilliant inside, with a voluminous interior and wonderful design elements. No wonder Warren Feldstein and his family were most gracious (and keen) to show it off to Canadian Yachting – and no wonder, too, why Paul Fenn, president of Jeanneau North America, Steve McPherson and Shawn Bannon of Navy Point Marine were so keen as well to go sailing on this boat.
The brilliance of the design also allows several variations of rigs and sail plans, depending on conditions where you sail. The hard chine increases stability and yields great interior volume. This is the new flagship for the Jeanneau line, built on the company’s experience and success with the 409 and 429 models. A variety of features and elements combine to make this such a wonderful, elegant offshore cruiser.
The wide foredeck is complemented by the sort of extra elements that give this boat’s layout an ergonomic feel: double anchor rollers, a deep anchor locker, above-deck windlass and below-deck furler are a few of the neat touches. The below-deck furler allows a larger sail forward, adding more performance. And if you opt to add a Code Zero asymmetrical spinnaker, you gain better speed and performance in lighter airs. I was impressed, too, with the tight sheeting angle for the genoa, the flush hatches, and the rig and shroud configuration that allows easy access forward on the side decks and complements the boat’s expansiveness on deck. The inset handrail is a neat touch, too.
Each of the twin helm stations boasts a compass and GPS touch-screen instrumentation with nav, wind and autopilot. The twin helms (choose the composite steering wheels!) are far apart and offer superb visibility.
Usually, one would prefer a building breeze for a boat test but on our chosen day a lighter air greeted us. That said, sailing a big boat in light breeze is a solid test of its performance potential and this boat did not disappoint. Its easy and effective steering, responsiveness and reasonable acceleration out of the tacks we attempted are a testament to its powerful high-aspect rig. This boat is easy to sail: with its electric winches and sheets led back to the helm it is configured perfectly for access while sailing.
The cockpit is massive and its one level is a neat touch – there are no step-ups anywhere. Deep storage lockers are located on either side of the helm, and the drop down aft platform is ideal for access at anchor or on the dock. It opens up a ton of extra space and effortlessly folds away when under way. The high-backed coaming provides super-comfortable seating. A central locker adds storage space and can easily hold a genset while providing easy access to the steering system.
The extra thought the 130-person design team at Jeanneau brings to its models is reflected in touches as the functional cockpit table with integrated handrails, indirect lighting, wonderful bottle storage, extra storage for deck essentials such as binoculars, and space for centralized instrumentation.
The single-level cockpit leads to a wide and easily-accessed companionway with two doors and a low sill that in turn opens onto a whole new way of doing things below. The extra-wide living space incorporates two wide seats with a bar cabinet/snack drawer between, a unique T-shaped galley and spacious seating for eight to 10 people for dining. The interior is finished in striking combination of solid woods, mat varnish and fabric with its honey teak feel. Simply put, it’s a fantastic living space. Like the cockpit, the interior is on one level throughout.
Again Jeanneau allows for a variety of layout options with choices in everything from fabrics to floorboards. Variations include three, four and five-cabin configurations and accompanying head layouts.
I loved the inset and wood detail on the bulkheads, the 30-mm doors, the wonderfully robust hardware and tight well-fitting cabinetry. The leather-wrapped handrails and indirect lighting complement the boat’s luxurious feel.
The focal point of the interior is the unique galley. It is fitted with a top and side-accessible fridge and icebox. The upper storage is huge and one can choose a two or three-burner stove/oven. The galley’s T-shaped layout provides two distinct working areas for easy food preparation or extra working space. This is a double stainless sink and more storage below the counter with a pull-out bin. Forward of the T there are superb pull-out drawers facing the dining area and space for a dishwasher, additional refrigeration or a wine cooler.
The nav station is perfectly placed with a wide work surface. Facing aft one can easily look outside through the companionway. There is a bookcase and a large nav data screen; the main electrical panel is hidden behind a wood cabinet door while still being easily accessible. All electrical systems are centralized to this point.
We were impressed with the great views through the hull ports, the bright and open feel of the interior and the dramatic sense of space. It’s a big boat below.
Forward the main cabin’s larger bed has well-fitting and easy pull-out drawers, a large hanging locker and a desk/vanity with a seat above. There is well integrated upper storage and a second hanging locker to port. The neat aviation-style shades are effective in blocking the morning light. There is an enclosed two-person head forward as well that boasts high-quality fixtures, a molded vanity and a shower with teak seat.
The Jeanneau 509 is a perfect example of the edge and effort this company is putting into its boats. It’s easy to see why this is the flagship for Jeanneau and why Warren Feldstein and other Jeanneau 509 owners can’t stop smiling.
• Sun Odyssey 469
• Sun Odyssey 439
• Sun Odyssey 409
• Sun Odyssey 33i
• Sun Odyssey 30i
Overall Length 50’ 5”/15.38 m
Hull Length 49’ 1”/14.98 m
Waterline Length 45’ 8”/13.92 m
Beam 15’ 4”/4.69 m
Displacement 30,644 lbs/13,900 kg
Standard Keel Draft 7’ 5”/2.28 m
Shoal Keel Draft 5’ 8”/1.73 m
Engine Yanmar 75 hp diesel
Cabins 3 / 4 / 5
Berths 6 / 8 / 10 + 2
Fuel Capacity 63 US gals/240 L
Water Capacity 163 US gals/615 L
Sail Area Standard: 1,227 sq ft/114 sq m
CE Category A13 / B14 / C16
Navy Point Marine
Marina Gagnon & Fils ltée (Groupe Performance)
Fraser Yacht Sales
By John Kerr
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 509
Passion for design, performance plus and brilliantly conceived