The Grande Soleil 46 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Grande Soleil 46, an aft-cockpit sloop, was designed by Alain Jezequel and built in Italy by Cantiere del Pardo.

A Grande Soleil 46 at anchorA Grande Soleil 46

Published Specification for the Grande Soleil 46

Underwater Profile: Fin keel with spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 45'11" (14.0m)

Waterline Length: 38'2" (11.7m)

Beam: 13'9" (4.2m)

Draft: 6'7" (2.0m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 28,660lb (13,000kg)

Designer: Alain Jezequel*

Builder: Cantiere del Pardo (Italy)

Year First Built: 1984

* Three subsequent (and completely different) versions of the Grande Soleil 46 were designed by Botin & Carkeek, J & J Design and Marco Lostuzzi.


Published Design Ratios for the Grande Soleil 46

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 22.3

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 41.5

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 229

4. Comfort Ratio: 33.2

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.8

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Grande Soleil 46

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 22.3 suggests that, in the right hands, the Grande Soleil 46 will have enough performance to leave most other sailboats of similar waterline length well astern. 

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 41.5 means that the Grande Soleil 46 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 229, tells us the Grande Soleil 46 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 33.2 suggests that crew comfort of a Grande Soleil 46 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.8 indicates that a Grande Soleil 46 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 


Any Questions?

What alternative versions of the Grande Soleil 46 were built?

The Grande Soleil 46 has had three main versions:

  • the Grand Soleil 46 (J&J), designed by J&J Design and built between 1997 and 2003;
  • the Grand Soleil 46 (B&C), designed by Botin Partners and Shaun Carkeek and built between 2008 and 2012 and;
  • the Grand Soleil 46LC (Long Cruise), designed by Marco Lostuzzi and Nauta Yachts and built between 2015 and 2018.

Each version has had minor variations in terms of interior layout, rigging options, keel options and hull shape.

Is the Grande Soleil 46 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

The Grande Soleil 46 is no longer in production. The last model was the Grand Soleil 46LC (Long Cruise), which was launched in 2015 and won the Luxury Cruiser category of the European Yacht of the Year Awards. The production of this model ended in 2018. The exact number of Grande Soleil 46 boats built is not available, but it is estimated to be around 200.

How did the sailing press review the Grande Soleil 46?

The sailing press has generally given positive reviews to the Grande Soleil 46, highlighting its performance, comfort and elegance.

For example, Yachting World magazine described the Grand Soleil 46LC as "a cruiser with class" that "marks the start of a range that will address that gap between the mass production cruiser offerings of French and German yards and high-end – and typically more traditional – cruisers from northern Europe."

Sailing Magazine praised the Grand Soleil 46 (J&J) as "an elegant and swift performance cruiser" that "has bold looks, straight, angular lines, with big tinted hull portlights contrasting with stark topsides." Sailing Europe blog called the Grand Soleil 46LC "one of the best yachts designed for safe and comfortable sailing" that "will satisfy even the most demanding sailors."

What do owners of the Grande Soleil 46 have to say about their boats?

Owners of the Grande Soleil 46 have generally expressed satisfaction with their boats, citing their sailing performance, spaciousness, quality of construction and aesthetic appeal as some of their main advantages. Some owners have also shared their experiences of cruising or living aboard their boats on various online forums or blogs.

For example, one owner wrote on Cruisers Forum: "We have been living aboard our GS46 for almost two years now and we love it. It sails great in light winds as well as heavy weather. It is very comfortable inside with lots of natural light and ventilation. It has plenty of storage space for all our stuff. It is also a beautiful boat that gets lots of compliments wherever we go."

Another owner wrote on Sailnet: "We have owned our GS46 for six years now and we are very happy with it. It is fast, stable, easy to handle and well built. It has a large cockpit that is great for entertaining or relaxing. It has a light and airy saloon that feels like a home away from home. It has three cabins that can accommodate six people comfortably. It is also a very attractive boat that turns heads in every port."

What is the history of the builders of the Grande Soleil 46 and is the company still in business?

The builders of the Grande Soleil 46 are Cantiere del Pardo, a company based in Forli, Italy, that has been producing Grand Soleil yachts since 1973. The company was founded by a group of sailing enthusiasts who wanted to create high-performance and high-quality yachts that could compete in international regattas. The company has collaborated with various renowned naval architects over the years, such as German Frers, Doug Peterson, Bruce Farr, Judel/Vrolijk, Botin Partners and Nauta Yachts. The company has also expanded its range of yachts to include cruising and luxury models, as well as powerboats under the brand Pardo Yachts. The company is still in business and continues to produce new models of Grand Soleil yachts, such as the Grand Soleil 44 Performance, the Grand Soleil 48 Race and the Grand Soleil 52 LC.

How many people can sleep on board a Grande Soleil 46?

The number of people that can sleep on board a Grande Soleil 46 depends on the configuration of the boat. The standard or owner's version of the boat has three cabins and two heads, which can accommodate six people comfortably. The optional or charter version of the boat has four cabins and four heads, which can accommodate eight people comfortably. In addition, the saloon can be converted into a double berth if needed, which can increase the sleeping capacity to eight or ten people respectively.

What sailplan and rig options, if any, are available for the Grande Soleil 46?

The sailplan and rig options for the Grande Soleil 46 vary depending on the version of the boat.

The Grand Soleil 46 (J&J) and the Grand Soleil 46 (B&C) have a fractional sloop rig with a double-spreader mast and a discontinuous rod rigging.

The Grand Soleil 46LC has a masthead sloop rig with a single-spreader mast and a continuous Dyform rigging.

All versions have a furling genoa and a fully battened mainsail with lazy jacks and a stack pack. Some optional or custom features that may be available for the sailplan and rig include a furling mainsail, an inner forestay, a self-tacking jib, an asymmetric spinnaker, a bowsprit, an electric winch package and a hydraulic backstay adjuster.

What is the difference between the standard (or owner's) version and the optional (or charter) version of the Grande Soleil 46?

The main difference between the standard (or owner's) version and the optional (or charter) version of the Grande Soleil 46 is in the interior layout. The standard version has three cabins and two heads, with a large owner's cabin forward with an ensuite head and shower, and two guest cabins aft with a shared head and shower. The optional version has four cabins and four heads, with two identical cabins forward with ensuite heads and showers, and two identical cabins aft with ensuite heads and showers. The optional version also has a smaller saloon and galley than the standard version.

What keel options, if any, are available for the Grande Soleil 46?

The keel options for the Grande Soleil 46 vary depending on the version of the boat:

  • The Grand Soleil 46 (J&J) has two keel options: a deep fin keel with a draft of 2.4m (7'10") or a shallow fin keel with a draft of 1.8m (5'11");
  • The Grand Soleil 46 (B&C) has three keel options: a deep fin keel with a draft of 2.6m (8'6"), a shallow fin keel with a draft of 2m (6'7") or a lifting keel with a draft range of 1.4 to 2.8m (4'7" to 9'2");
  • The Grand Soleil 46LC has two keel options: a deep fin keel with a draft of 2.3m (7'7") or a shallow fin keel with a draft of 1.8m (5'11").

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.


Other sailboats in the Grand Soleil range include:


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