Beneteau Gran Turismo 40 - fast and stylish!By John Armstrong and Andy Adams

Fast Fun In The Sun

Beneteau Yachts and Naval Architects Nuvolari - Lenard, really have the new Gran Turismo 40 dialed in for fun in the sun.

After he drove it, Canadian Yachting’s John Armstrong said, “This boat is fun, fun, fun! The patented Air Step design really works; turns tight and stays flat, didn't need attention to trim and driving through the chop was not an issue. This is a fast day boat, but also has accommodations for longer cruises. And, the centre helm is excellent while the versatile companion seating means the party can all enjoy the view forward as you blast along to your favourite anchorage or waterside cafe.”

The Beneteau designers have refined their Air Step technology in the past year to perform even better than before, as explained by Beneteau during their press session at the Miami boat show in February. Air Step technology is the incorporation of a hydrodynamic forward and aft hull design that allows the Gran Turismo 40 to operate at planing speeds on a "cushion" of air. Air is sucked under the boat from forward vents on the chines, directing it toward the keel area where it spreads across the aft planning sections. This reduces water adhesion to the hull, reducing friction and making the boat easier to push. The result is reduced fuel consumption, increased maximum speed, and more nimble handling.
Owners will love the performance of this big boat – it responds like a sport boat and can carry your family and friends to their destination in jig time. Top speeds are well over 40 mph.

At the helm, the centre-mounted steering wheel and controls make it easier to hold a true course, or to see when docking, plus you have the convenience of the joystick docking with the twin Volvo Penta D6 DuoProp drives. These high-tech 370 hp diesels deliver efficiency and performance at the most attractive price.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 40 - DinetteThe wrapped steering wheel tilts and is small and sporty with all the controls near at hand. There's also some sweeping and very elegant looking wood trim that runs edge to edge adding a touch of tradition to what is otherwise a very modern boat. The huge Simrad MFD screen and separate screen for the Volvo Penta engine data give, you everything you need–this is a very clean and simple looking helm. It's a strikingly modern approach and yet, we still appreciate the proper compass that's mounted directly ahead of the wheel.

Other great features include the double helm seat with a flip-up bolster that adjusts for reach, then there is a single side-mounted bucket seat by the VHF radio which could be the navigator’s position.

There is a footrest for everybody and a handy tray below the dashboard for all your loose items. Making it even more comfortable, there is an Isotherm bridge air-conditioning system that is a separate unit from the cabin A/C and a simply enormous single articulated windshield wiper keeps the view forward clear of rain and spray.

Beneteau Gran Tursmo 40 - Master StateroomCovering long distances will be easy for the helmsman. The huge areas of glass give excellent outward vision and with that big sunroof open, it's wind in the face good times boating.
Because the very dramatic lines bring the windshield header down fairly low, when the sunroof is closed, the boat has a more enclosed feeling. Most people will want that roof open all the time.

From the transom to the windshield is all one open living space – very much in keeping with the way so many people are now using their boats.
The cockpit is for entertaining–you could seat 10 or even a dozen people and there's lots of flat floor for standing and walking around safely. The huge electrically operated roof combines with electrically lowering side glass to make this like an open runabout for those beautiful sunny days.
We love the rich two-tone beige upholstery and the way the builder has wrapped the stainless steel handrails. This is more attractive and gives a more comfortable grip than just bare stainless steel.

The test boat had attractive teak flooring from the swim platform, into the cockpit. It is elegant and comfortable, especially for barefoot days. It runs all the way forward to the cabin companionway so the boat will be easy to clean out after a day at the beach.

Another great feature of the Gran Turismo 40 is the optional electrically operated platform lift. This is very neatly designed and great for swimming, but also for launching and retrieving a dinghy if you want to set it up for that.  Beneteau includes a freshwater wash down system because the GT 40 was designed for saltwater. 
Beneteau Gran Turismo 40 - Electric GrillBuilt into the transom is an electric grill and sink so that you can barbecue out in the fresh air. Continuing the outdoor enjoyment, there are bottle and glass racks on the port side with a refrigerator, so staying hydrated is always quick and convenient. The cockpit seating also includes a reclining section for relaxing.

On the exterior, the side decks seemed a fair size for this boat, but given the performance, it is best to slow down or stop to go forward to the reclining sun lounges on the forward deck. Luckily, there are lots of edges to grab on the coach roof when working your way forward. There is a big anchor locker and power windlass for easy mooring so the bow will be an important living area for most owners.

For below decks accommodation, first you head down the companionway through a dramatic curving glass hatch that brings in lots of natural light. The steps are very wide and in the companionway are well-placed handholds as well as the ship’s electrical panels with the controls for the twin air conditioning systems.

At the foot of the stairs is the L-shaped dinette with seating for four around a fixed table and there is abundant storage space under the seats and in the overhead lockers. Three opening portholes in the salon combined with the overhead glass and a big bulkhead mirror, keep the cabin well ventilated as well as bright and airy.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 40 - Double helm seatAlthough the above decks cooking facilities and refrigeration will meet many needs, there is still a lower galley on the starboard side with glossy finish doors, white composite countertops, two burner Kenyon stove and more.

Two overhead lockers, a Waeco refrigerator, two drawers and a big self-closing trash locker under the sink make this an efficient food prep area.  There's also a spice rack on the side.
The head is high with easily 6'6" headroom in most of it. Beneteau equipped the Gran Turismo 40 with a vessel sink, mirrors with medicine cabinets below, an opening porthole and storage under the vanity. A nice feature is the clear plexiglass ceiling above the wet head compartment to bring in daylight. The shower also has a teak floor.

For sleeping accommodations, the aft cabin enjoys a 6 foot walk-in height with a step down. The aft cabin runs full beam with opening portholes inside the larger hull-side glazing to provide surprisingly good natural lighting in this area. There are side bins and storage lockers and you can make this up as a huge double berth or two singles. There are lights and air conditioning for added comfort.

The Master stateroom is forward with a shaped Queen berth, two opening portholes in larger hull-side glazing, plus an overhead deck hatch makes this a very bright cabin. Port and starboard hanging lockers with 3 drawers under the berth accommodate plenty of clothes. Everywhere the Gran Turismo 40 features a very clean, contemporary finish.
Overall, the new Gran Turismo 40 is ideal for the way people want to enjoy their boating experiences with family and friends!
 
Specifications:
 
ENGINES
Twin Volvo Penta D6 370 hp diesel with Duoprop sterndrives and joystick docking.
 
Performance Data
RPM MPH
600 5.0
1,000 7.8
1,500 10.2
2,000 15.0
2,500 27.2
3,000 35.0
3,500 42.2
3,620 44.2
 
Length Overall: 12,67 m/41’7’’
Beam: 3,87 m/12’8’’
Displacement:7,935 kg/17,489 lbs
Fuel capacity:
2x325 L/2x 86 US gal
Fresh water capacity:
200 L/53 US gal
Max Engine Power (Hp):
2 x 273 kW - 2 x 370 CV/HP
Price as tested:
 
Test boat and pricing supplied by Beneteau, www.beneteau.com
 
Photo Captions
Photo 1 - The Gran Turismo 40 is fast and stylish! Photo credit: Beneteau
Photo 2 - This is taken from the starboard side galley looking aft and to port over the dinette showing the overhead glazing and open and companion way. Photo credit: Beneteau
Photo 3 - The master stateroom forward, enjoys plenty of daylight through the overhead hatch and hull-side glazing. Photo credit: Beneteau
Photo 4 - The GT 40 offers a transom-mounted electric grill and sink accessed from the swim platform. As an option, the platform has an electric lift for easier swimming or launching a dinghy. Credit Beneteau - Jim Raycroft
Photo 5 - The double helm seat and separate companion seat let everyone look forward and enjoy the breezes with the sliding roof open. Photo credit: Beneteau