Bella

Bella 2007 Jeanneau 39ft Sun Odyssey Deck Saloon (39DS)

Bella at Kawau 

Bella at Kawau before we renamed her

I had been looking all over the place for a new boat, including several trip to Australia and even the Düsseldorf boat show in Germany. On one occasion we had gone to look at a boat in our own marina Gulf Harbour. The minute Bev saw the home built monstrosity she was making her way back to the car. I thought it polite to look through it with the broker. At the end of the inspection, I said it was not what we were looking for. Like any good broker he asked what I wanted. Would I consider a Jeanneau? It was a little out of our price range but you should take a look, he said.

I wasn't keen, I had imagined something less production, but on seeing the boat I immediately knew it was right for us. I suppose I have a soft spot for Jeanneau having sallied the Sunsail boats in the Solent on several occasions, including doing our Dayskipper course on one and we also chartered Anonymous in Greece.

The boat was known as Kabitta after something the Germans owners grandkids would say. I don't think its a real word. He had not used it much (about 80 hours on the motor) but had specified some great options which we were to benefit from.

The deal was done in a week and our daughter Annabel named the boat Bella and the tender Tinkerbell.

In a very bizarre co-incidence, when we registered Bella with Yachting NZ to get a sail number, they allocated us the number 9372, which is the same as the last 4 digits of my old Enterprise Clod's sail number. I take it to be a good omen !

We have found Bella to be an excellent boat for this area. She sails and motors very well. She is light and bright below and has great headroom throughout. She has a king sized bed in a single cabin aft, with headroom you just don't normally find in a boat this size. She also has a big storage cupboard on the port side aft, which is accessed through the heads. She has in-mast furling which I never thought I would like but is actually brilliant. She also has a bow thruster, electric winch, gennaker, a three blade folding prop and custom stainless arch with wind generator. The first owner also put in a "weaver system" to stow the dinghy, deck washdown system in the anchor locker, some neat cupboard cutouts and solar powered vents in a couple of the cabins. He also provided a huge array of spares and all the harken hardware to fit adjustable jib cars and an inner forestay for a storm jib. I suspect he might have been thinking of a trip to the Tropics.

To her already generous inventory we have added a Spade anchor, new stereo, Raymarine E95 plotter at the helm, upgraded the autopilot to a Raymarine Evolution and the VHF radio to a Ray55 so we could fit a remote microphone/speaker. I also fitted a Racor Snapp diesel filter so I could see if there is any water in the trap and also change it out without any tools.

From a non-routine maintenance perspective we have had to replace the starter battery,exhaust elbow, mainsail and the bimini and sprayhood.

Our longest trip on her has been about 10 days, which left as low on drinking water, but she has got the storage space to go out for much longer. It would also be relatively easy to fit a watermaker in the cavernous storage cupboard. 

Not much to fault her really, she has a silly little step down in front of the forward cabin, which tends to catch out people at first. The fridge arrangement is also not ideal with the compressor directly underneath it in a small enclosed space. I think this will mean the fridge is consuming more power than it should so a future project is to put some forced ventilation into that area.