New Beneteau flagship yacht: European Yacht of the Year 2017 award winner Oceanis Yachts 62 debuts
Groupe Beneteau went to the world of Powerboats when they decided to design a brand leader for their new production sailing yacht line: Oceanic Yachts
This is not, as one might assume, just the next Oceanis, a Beneteau range that extends from 31 feet to 60 feet. No, the Oceanis Yachts 62 is the harbinger of a new range of boats, distinctive in style, that will extend from 53 feet to 73 feet, and is designed by a team that includes the man who has been designing Beneteau’s Monte Carlo Yachts powerboat range for some years, Pierangelo Andreani. No wonder it took home the European Yacht of the Year 2017 award in the “Luxury Cruiser” category at the recent Düsseldorf Boat Show.
Beneteau was looking for something new, and decided the powerboat world was a good place to look. Just in aesthetics alone, the signature horizontal black stripe could be borrowed from the appearance of half the powerboat brands out there, and it does the same job, disguising the number and size of portlights that collectively provide huge amounts of brightness below.
The realisation that the modern family sailing boat is rarely going to be set up for long passage-making means that below-deck accommodation can be minimal, yet comfortable and some serious thought has been put into what the boat will actually be used for.
The design team, which also includes French designers Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design, have created a boat which includes a raised cockpit that sits above a toy garage that will hold a 2.85meter Williams Jet Rib, the stowing of which is facilitated by a hydraulic swim-platform, that folds away completely when the boat is underway.
Not content with just using the same designer of their Monte Carlo Yachts, they are also going to use the same yard. The yard that regular readers of this column already know produces the MCY boats very cheaply indeed by building the interiors outside the boat and dropping the completed module into the hull in one quick operation. Interior work is always costly and slow because of the confined space within which the work has to be done. Doing this work on the factory floor permits more people to have access with better tools and in more comfort and safety than before. All this translates to “lower costs” and keeps the MCY boats affordable. The lessons learned on the MCY shop floor will be applied to the Oceanis Yachts production line with the objective of being able to sell large yachts at significantly lower prices than 20 years ago.
The cockpit area is enormous and is extended by the swim- platform; the side-gangways are wide and flat, as is the foredeck. Indeed, all the usual toe-stubbing traps for the unwary have been kept out of the way as much as possible. Generally, the yacht has been designed with the destination in mind as much as the journey. This, and the “industrial” innovations are the chief lessons learned from the powerboat world.
This boat is a sailing boat and boasts a perfectly centred sail plan, which with the chined hull and twin rudders, is designed to provide impeccable balance and manoeuvrability. The mainsail is kept high (the mast height is 90 ft), the boom well above the tallest crew in the cockpit, and the mainsail traveller is on top of the arch that goes over the cockpit. This arch can be extended into a full bimini, handy in a sun-bound anchorage.
Cabin accommodation is three double cabins, two aft and one forward, a twin bunk (that can be swapped out for another head), and two heads, one en-suite with the forecabin. The galley is built-in as a long bench against the starboard hull (you can have another pop-up galley to the rear of the cockpit if you like). All in all, a great family cruiser that will be a delight to sail.
This article was first published in Yacht Style 37.