Sailing’s BOAT TEST Oceanis 38: AS YOU LIKE IT
There was a time when only the largest production boats were customizable. But why should only owners of big boats get what they really want in an affordable production boat? Beneteau recognized owners’ desires to have the boat they want, without much compromise, regardless of its size, and in doing so have managed to create a 38-foot boat that sails and feels like a much bigger boat.
Beneteau’s Oceanis 38 comes in three versions depending on what its owners plan to do with it. Daysailer, weekender or cruiser layouts dictate the basic interior design, while the deck layout remains consistent. We test sailed a three-cabin weekender version—a nice compromise between the spacious but light-on-accommodations daysailer and the more conventional cruiser layout— on San Diego Bay on a glorious sundrenched afternoon with Barrett Canfield and Rob Harring of South Coast Yachts. With breezes ranging from 8 to 13 knots and a gennaker borrowed from a Beneteau down the dock, we had a ideal day for sailing and chose to continue puttering around the bay long after we were finished testing the boat.