I test sailed one last year. There has also been reviews either this year or last with both Yachting World and Yachting Monthly. Might pay you to get a hold of the reviews. If you contact me privately I'll let you know what I thought of it.
Point taken Andrew, It's just that I can get a bit long winded when talking about boats , which some people might find a bit boring , so I sent Richard a fairly lengthy email telling him what I thought about the boat. I'll quite happily sum it up here. I thought it was basically a boat designed with the charter market in mind , with a large, broad , very shallow cockpit that would be a disaster area for a family with young children. Sailing performance to windward was unimpressive though reaching and running were fine. I didn't test it in light airs but I thought she was undercanvassed but I think most production boats are. Finish down below was average with a lot of space I thought was under utilised in the design. Overall disappointing. The Sunfast 37 looks a better boat.
The Sun Fast 37 and the Sun Odyssey 37 are the same basic mouldings. Differences include an enlarged rig and deeper lead keel for the Sun Fast. Difficult to accept that for family sailing that the Sun Fast is a better choice, even acounting for personal perceptions. Getting upwind for many lightly crewed yachts with fragile crews often will result in the iron topsail being called into action.
I took the plunge and bought an SO37 which was delivered in march.
Before choosing i inspected and sailed the Benateau 361,Bavaria 38,Hanse 37 and Elan36.
In terms of performance,ability to stand up in a blow,standard of construction and level of standard fit out the SO37 was the best for my purpose.
I opted for the shallow keel,owners cabin and the largest engine ST6000 steering and electric anchor windlass.
Whilst it would be unusual for someone to say they made the wrong choice i would pick the SO37 again.This is despite the forestay failing after 200 miles.
The boat is brilliant, the uk importers as useful as a chocolate fire guard.
I sail with my wife and 4year old daughter.
Let me know if you want any more info.
Sorry for disagreeing with you Malcolm but if you can't go upwind without resort to the engine , then the boat isn't worth a candle. In times when you're engine fails what are you going to do ? I'm aware of the differences between the boats and the reasons I thought the Sunfast 37 would be a better boat was because of her deeper draught leading to better upwind stability. With regards to sail area , on any boat , the deck gear should be able to cope with the sail area.