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Beneteau Oceanis 40.1

Beneteau Oceanis 40.1

I’m on a perennial search for the perfect couple’s cruiser. I’m like Goldilocks; one is too small, and one is too big, etc. It's true that a couple can cruise on anything from a superyacht to a bathtub but for self-sufficient cruisers who like comfort but are still realistic about their abilities, there really is a range of boats that makes sense. One such boat was just introduced by Groupe Beneteau in the form of the Oceanis 40.1.

This Marc Lombard design has a fractional rig that consists of a deck-stepped, Z-Spar aluminum mast with an air draft of 60’2”. The standard sail area is 751 square feet split between a self-tacking jib and a large furling mainsail, but you can add another 658 square feet with the Code 0.

The boat feels much larger than her 40 feet. There are a number of layouts offered below, including two cabins and a workshop aft, as was the case on the test boat I rode. A total of four accommodation plans are available, including three or four cabins and one or two heads.

The galley is straight-ish and to starboard. There will be no cooking underway on a starboard tack, though, as there’s nothing to brace yourself on. However, Beneteau has a small space next to the sink that can fix this, and I hope they use it in future iterations.

Our test boat was outfitted with a shoal keel and the "Comfort" pack, which includes a teak swim platform, electric windlass, and Incidence sails with a furling mainsail and a self-tacking jib. In 10-12 knots of true breeze, we sailed 7.5 knots at 60 degrees apparent wind angle. The real fun came when we unfurled the Technique Voile Code 0. In 14 knots of true, we were doing 8.2 knots on flat water. Absolutely sublime.

A Yanmar 45 hp diesel provides plenty of power, and at wide-open throttle, we motored at 7.1 knots and 3100 rpm with the three-blade Flexofold folding prop. A more economical cruising speed of 6.5 knots can be found at 2500 rpm.

Although the base price is $251,000, our loaded boat came in at $375,000 USD. For a forty-footer that feels like forty-five, that’s not bad, and it completely satisfies my Goldilocks complex.

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