While hundreds looked on under gorgeous Indian summer skies at the United States Sailboat Show, Beneteau demonstrated its revolutionary Dock & Go joystick maneuvering system aboard a brand new concept in live aboard sailing yachts, the SENSE 50 footer. Operating in just a 60’ by 60’ square, Garth Hichens’ team at Annapolis Yacht Sales has proven that with this new innovation a child can easily move a 50 foot sailboat side to side, quickly rotate it 360 degrees or slide it in any direction to make docking stress free. Every two hours as the Dock & Go demonstration concluded, the appreciative crowd erupted into applause at the wonder of this exclusive development from Groupe Beneteau. The Dock & Go is available on Beneteau 46 and 50 foot models equipped with 76 HP engines
The SENSE range, soon include a 42, has also garnered note as being a truly new concept in yacht design. Unique hull form mated with an amazing combination of on deck and interior livability have already cemented the launch of this series of boats which offer the feeling of living in the open, both in the cockpit and down below. “The public loves the SENSE. And we have already received several orders for it from the target clientele which was to bring new people into sailing. In fact one of the orders received at Annapolis is from a couple who have never owned a boat before! ”, exclaimed Mike Lecholop, Vice President of Sales. Lecholop revealed that with one day left to go, Beneteau USA is about 25% ahead on the value of contracts written last year at the Annapolis sailboat show.
In addition to multiple sales of the SENSE, Beneteau dealers have already enjoyed improved sales on the full range of yachts, whether built in Marion, SC or imported from France. “This is the best show in years. Not only has the weather brought out all the sailing public, but the buyers are here again. I worry that on some models, such as the new Oceanis 50, we may run out of available spring deliveries, if we don’t get the orders in soon. That’s actually a nice problem to have again.” remarked Glen Winter, owner of Winter’s Sailing Center in Riverside, NJ.
Beneteau also won two other accolades in the first days of the Annapolis show. Sail America awarded Beneteau the Best in Show trophy for the big boat display category for its unique “island” booth layout which allowed the Dock & Go and new models to be highlighted. Plus Wayne L. Burdick, President of Beneteau USA, received the SAIL magazine SAIL’S INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP AWARD for his decades of involvement in all aspects of sailing, from voluntary service in boating associations to leading the premier American sailboat builder.
Beneteau USA, the American division of the world’s largest sailboat manufacturer, builds hundreds of 31 to 50 foot production sailboats in Marion, SC and imports sailing and power yachts up to 58 feet in length from its parent company in France.