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Jeanneau SO 389 Yacht Review

We had the pleasure of sailing a 2019 Jeanneau 389, our version was a fixed keel with three cabins, in Turkey for three weeks. I wanted to share my review of the boat. As a disclaimer, we own a 2015 Dufour 382, which is a similar boat to the 389 we chartered with Dream Yacht Charter (DYC) at their Gocek, Turkey base. One thing we love about owning a yacht with DYC is that we get to charter a variety of different yachts in their fleet, besides our own Dufour, which is based in Propriano, Corsica. We have two girls, 4 and 6 years old, and spent the three weeks with just the four of us aboard.


Some pros about this yacht:

  • It has a full size jib. (Ours is self tacking) We sailed both upwind, and did a 50mile downwind run one day as well, and she sailed really great in both conditions. We had her up to 8kts surfing downwind and easily hit 7kts upwind. The meltemi winds pick up every afternoon and we frequently sailed in 15kts of wind.

  • The visibility from the helm was nice, and the cockpit was spacious with a really innovative cockpit table with lots of storage, including one bench lazarette, and two deep aft lockers one if which held the gas for cooking.

  • The head was larger than ours, with added space for a shower, and felt very comfortable. I frequently showered with one of the girls and it was plenty of space. The stainless sink and shower head were also well appointed.

  • It was well equipped with 220V outlets in every cabin, and USB ports which was a bonus.

  • Companionway steps were well designed and easily maneuvered, more like stairs than a ladder. Also, when accessing the engine below, the hydraulic arms keep it open where on our Dufour you need to tie it up while accessing the engine.

  • There was lots of well placed grab rails and hand holds, both above and below deck, to safely maneuver aboard in any conditions.

Some cons of this model yacht:

  • Two to three steps up the mast to drop the main. This can get a bit

tricky when you are in winds and rolly seas! I am 5'6” and had a difficult time dropping and flaking the sail. Our Dufour 382 can easily be dropped from the deck without climbing any mast steps. I honestly feel much safer dropping the main on our yacht compared to the 389 two or three steps up.

  • No swim platform! It literally had a step as long as my size 8 foot, and was fairly difficult to even get aboard from the much too short swim ladder. We rigged up a grab line when we were on anchor to make it easier to get back aboard. We feel the swim platform is easily one of the most innovative features of modern production yachts and were really surprised to see the 389 did not include one.

  • There was no salt water foot pump, so you were constantly using your fresh water for everything in the galley. However, we felt the water tanks were a good size for the yacht and we easily went 10 days on both tanks without running out.

  • The cabinets in the galley are not soft closing (Dufour's are) and it felt like there could have been a much more efficient use of space for storage. If you were living aboard full time, I would say you may find it challenging to store provisions for a long passage. Also, the cabinet above the stove opens down onto the range, and in doing so anything on the stove gets knocked off when it drops down. I spilled a whole pot of percolated coffee one day.

  • No hull windows in the v-berth so it felt a little dark, as it only has the one hatch for light. Our Dufour has two hull windows in the v-berth which let in a lot of added light and give you that “on the water” feeling that the 389 didn't offer.

Overall, we really enjoyed our three week charter on this beautiful yacht and would recommend it to anyone considering a smaller size cruiser with three cabins. It can take you offshore or would be a perfect weekend or coastal cruiser for all seasons.