Theo Stocker finds that this Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45DS is surprisingly well suited to West Coast Scotland cruising

© Theo Stocker / Yachting Monthly

What’s she like to sail?
The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45DS had options for shallow draught or a deeper, high-performance setup. We tested the performance option, so she had plenty of power over a long waterline, giving her a good turn of speed. In light conditions and off the wind she handles like a much smaller boat than she is.© Theo Stocker / Yachting Monthly
She is a high-volume cruiser with ample space to live aboard, but this entails some sacrifice in her handling of stronger wind. Weight has been kept down to keep her light and responsive and her good form stability compensates for this, but with a ballast displacement ratio of just under 30 per cent, she can be tender once a blow gets up. This isn’t a problem as long as you reef early and sail her reasonably flat. The newer 44DS has been stiffened up by a seven per cent increase in her ballast: displacement ratio.
There is acres of space on deck, so she is great boat for warmer climates, or for shorter cruises with friends and family. The sails and helm are easily handled, so she won’t scare less-experienced crew, but with the ability to cover plenty of miles she should keep keen sailors happy.

© Theo Stocker / Yachting Monthly

What’s she like in port and at anchor?
She isn’t a true deck saloon as the saloon table is slightly too low to give its occupants a 360° view. Not that this is matters as there is ample light and the views from the hull ports make the saloon a genuinely pleasant place to while away an evening at anchor.
Her space on deck and numerous opening hatches would make her a comfortable choice in the Mediterranean, but two Webasto heaters on the test boat would be enough to keep her cabins toasty warm even in a Scottish winter.

© Theo Stocker / Yachting Monthly
The 45DS was available in two and three cabin versions. In the two-cabin boat, a full-width owners’ cabin aft creates a palatial hideaway, but also limits the accommodation to four berths. We tested the three-cabin version where the owners’ cabin is forward. It’s pleasant and private with adequate space.
The saloon table had two folding leaves, with shallow grooves in place of real fiddles and there’s certainly space for at least six round the table. There’s plenty of stowage in the cabins, saloon, and even under the sole in the bilge. On a rainy day there would be enough space to relax without being on top of each other.
© Theo Stocker / Yachting Monthly
Would she suit you and your crew?
The Sun Odyssey 45DS is a competent, well-rounded and homely boat that is more than capable of cruising UK waters, the Mediterranean or further afield to the trade winds.
Some might find her cockpit exposed and her handling too tender in a real blow, preferring to opt for something with more protection and better at plugging away to windward.
She is a large boat, with high topsides, so getting to the pontoon during berthing manoeuvres could be tricky if flexibility or speed is an issue. She is very well thought out and set up, though, so a couple can easily handle her. Second-hand, she offers a lot of boat for the money. If you sail to relax during weekends and holidays and get a good few miles in, rather than testing your endurance in a hooley, then this boat could be just the one for you.


Guide price
£95,000 to £150,000
LOA 13.75m (45ft 1in)
LWL 11.45m (37ft 7in)
Beam 4.37 (14ft 4in)
Draught 1.65/2.05 (5ft 5in/6ft 8in)
Sail Area 52.4 m2 (564sq ft)
Mainsail 51.15m2 (551sq ft)
Engine Yanmar 54hp
Displacement  9900kg (21826 lb)
Ballast 2954kg (6512 lb)
Ballast ratio 29.8%
SA displacement ratio 16.92
Designer Philippe Briand / Jeanneau
Builder Jeanneau
Owners Association