The Jeanneau SO 319 was introduced a couple of years ago but we haven’t had the chance to do a review until now. Given the state of the economy, it makes some sense to have a look at a cruising boat that might meet a wide range of sailing-family’s budgets. As Lin and Larry Pardey used to say, “Go small and go now.”
The thing about the 319, though it is a huge 31-footer, with a large comfortable cockpit, wide side decks and open deck space forward, it’s hard to see just how Jeanneau managed this. But they did. Two design features certainly enable this result. First, the chine in the aft section of the hull adds volume as well as enhanced sailing capability. And, second, the 319’s maximum beam is carried well aft so the boat has a very broad transom, broad enough to make twin rudders a necessity.
One of the interesting design options new owners have is the choice between a fixed fin keel, with a depth of six feet, or a keel-centerboard arrangement that will give you access to very shallow anchorages. The fin keel version should sail slightly better upwind than the centerboard boat but reaching and off the wind, the centerboard boat should sail easily as well as the fin keel design. And, with the twin rudders, the boat will steer like a sports car and will track as if on rails.
The rig is a seven-eighths fractional design with a standard slab reefing mainsail and a 110-percent overlapping jib. The optional bowsprit seems an essential piece of gear because it is the tack for any downwind sails. Off the wind, the little jib won’t provide all the power you’ll want so the ability to fly a reacher or an asymmetrical chute will make sailing and cruising more fun and a lot faster.
The 319’s cockpit is open at the stern and there is a swim platform that will make boarding the boat from a dinghy easy. The single wheel is on a solid pedestal where you can mount an MFD in a NavPod. The sailing instruments are mounted above the companionway where speed, depth, wind angles and wind speed will be clearly visible.
The propane locker is in the aft end of the port bench. On the starboard side, two seat hatches give access to a large locker under the seat that will be home to all of your fenders, docking lines, snorkeling gear and so forth. This is a surprisingly large cockpit locker for a boat of this size.
The companionway has a large plexiglass panel that slides into grooves when you want to close up the boat and this can be stowed right on top of the sliding companionway hatch when not in use. This is a great feature because hatch panels often float around a boat looking for a permanent home. Not on the 319.
When you climb down the companionway, you will be surprised by how large and commodious is the saloon. The L-shaped galley is to port and while compact it is certainly large enough for preparing meals. It has a two-burner stove with an oven, a large sink and a good-size top-loading fridge. The head is to starboard with plenty of storage and a hand-held shower faucet.
The center-line table, with folding leaves on both sides, is large enough for six adults to dine. The settees are long and wide enough to make good berths for extra crew. And there is even a proper chart table.
There are two sleeping cabins, a V-berth forward and a large double berth tucked in under the cockpit aft of the galley on the port side. The V-berth can be set up as twin single berths or with the filler cushions in place it will make a good double berth. The after double has storage under the berth and a large hanging locker. How Jeanneau fit all of this into a 31-footer is a wonder.
The boat comes with a light Alpi wood veneer on interior cabinets and bulkheads and a white overhead. The look is Euro-modern with a hint of classic yacht styling. The huge windows in the cabin sides, combined with the overhead hatches and large hull windows, give the interior a ton of natural light and great vistas of the world around you whether you are sitting or standing.
If you are in the market for a pocket rocker cruiser that does everything her larger sisters do but at fraction of the price and a fraction of the effort, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 319 is a very attractive option. Read more here.