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Beneteau Oceanis 46.1: Sail Away Today

by Guy Nowell 16 Sep 03:06 PDT
Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 © Groupe Beneteau

The discussion about the ‘perfect’ size of boat has provided sailors with endless entertainment for ever. Of course, the real answer depends what you are going to do with it, but there is a general consensus that something around 45 ft is big enough for an extended cruise, small enough to be sailed short-handed, provides enough deck space for a racing crew, and carries sufficient sail area for performance to be sprightly. It’s a great size for a weekender with friends, and it will comfortably take you across oceans, too.

Having said which, we happen to know that there is a brand new straight-out-of-the-box Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 in Hong Kong looking for the right owner. Beneteau are in the process of re-drawing all their most popular models; this new Oceanis 46.1 comes from the drawing board of renowned naval architects Finot Conq, and features a chine or ‘stepped’ hull which gives the boat increased form stability. “We took out the volume from under the waterline, and put it at the sides. There are no losses, just better performance and space,” says Pascal Conq.

The interior fit-out allows for three fabulously spacious double berths. Convertible saloon seating allows for a total of ten berths if you really have to. The boat presently available in Hong Kong has a very classy light oak finish is just right for warmer climes – it’ll still be airy and elegant in the middle of the hottest summer.

Nauta Design are responsible for the deck layout. It’s clean, uncluttered, and spacious, which means two things. First, there’s plenty of room for socialising and lounging – this is the Oceanis 46.1 in cruising mode. Drop anchor in the bay of your choice, and bring out the prosecco, the parma ham and the panini.

Second, it’s an excellent working space when the boat is in racing mode. The sail plan involves a roller-furler headsail, a mast-furling mainsail, and an asymmetric cruising spinnaker to allow for easy handling. All the control lines lead back to the helm position. You can sail this boat short-handed or fully crewed – in which case that prosecco will have to wait until a little later!

The weather is cooling down just a little in this part of the world. If your idea of a great weekend getaway includes a quiet anchorage, open hatches, and something chilly in the deck fridge (which is built-in under the cockpit table), then you should be looking at this boat. She’s quick and fun on passage, and properly tricked out for the cruising overnight. Pick up the keys tomorrow.

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