THURSDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2010 12:27 Just awarded European Yacht of 2009 (Family Cruiser), Beneteau’s new entry level yacht, the Oceanis 31, packs a lot of boat into 31ft. Duncan Kent took her sailing to see if she lives up to her pedigree and reputation. Every five years or so, prolific French production boatbuilder, Beneteau, launches a whole new range of yachts, both in its First performance range and its more cruising orientated Oceanis range – bringing them bang up to date with contemporary design and thinking.
The new 31, hot on the heels of – and following in the modern style of – the new Oceanis 37, has a much lower, sleeker, profile than her predecessor with a more pronounced sheer giving her an up to the minute look. Innovative features such as her all in one companionway hatch and easy access liferaft stowage are great for family sailing and her straightforward, but well planned decks and conservative sailplan make sailing her a light-handed task. READ REVIEW