By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1When Beneteau introduced their new Oceanis 46.1, they were inspired by the fact that their previous Oceanis 45 was one of Beneteau’s best sellers and the new 46.1 had to be a clearly superior boat. The Oceanis range is about space and comfort for cruising while still delivering strong performance.

The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

The Oceanis 46.1, designed by Pascal Conq (Naval Architect) and Nauta Design (Deck and Interior Design), confirms the success of the new generation of Oceanis yachts. The judging panel stressed the yacht’s high performance and the incredible responsiveness at the helm.

We had the pleasure of reviewing the boat this past summer at the North American introduction in Newport, R.I., joining a group of international yachting journalists for the event. Also on display was Beneteau’s Oceanis 51.1 that had been introduced the previous season.

 

SalonEspecially with the light interior finish and upholstery, the salon is spacious and inviting.

The Oceanis 51.1 introduced a new design with a stepped hull shape that carries all the way forward to the bow, adding interior volume and at the same time, increasing performance. These same attributes were applied to the new Oceanis 46.1, to very good effect. The design gives a desirable compromise between being easy to drive and adding interior space at the bed level for impressive interior accommodations.

At the Stern
More on the interior in a moment but first, we will cover the exterior features starting at the transom. The test boat had an electrically activated drop-down transom with two steps making it easy to board from the dock or for swimming. The test boat had classic strip teak decking throughout the transom, cockpit and deck areas. It’s handsome, durable and easy on the feet.

Teak decking continues on the port and starboard helm seats and our test boat had a surprise; the extra long starboard helm seat actually was hinged and could swing out over the swim platform (when deployed). Lift the top and you discover the optional propane BBQ!

Another appreciated feature is the fuel filler panel that lifts by the portside wheel so that when you fill up, the diesel fuel can’t spill on the teak.

 
Forward MasterThe forward master is a luxurious cabin that many owners will want but the Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 is offered in several different layouts to suit differing needs.


The cockpit is a top feature on the Oceanis 46.1 with abundant seating in a deck design that is larger than other yachts of similar length. The large cockpit table features storage spaces in the top and it cleverly houses the life raft with an aft end deployment.

The cockpit table leaves lift to accommodate up to eight people for dinner.

Designed to be accessible and easy to use, the Oceanis 46.1 provides increased safety for all crew. With internal diagonal shrouds and verticals on the hull side, the split rigging frees a considerable amount of space for movement on deck. Equipped as standard with an in-mast furling system and a self-tailing jib, all the halyards and sheets lead back to two Harken electric winches on either side of the helm station.

So, since all the lines run aft under covers to the winches by the helm, this keeps the side decks clear and in turn, the design accommodates lounge spaces on the coach roof on either side of the companionway. Elegant reclining sun loungers there can also be relocated to the foredeck. The test boat was fitted with a dodger and sun shade that adds comfort.

Master ShowerA feature of the three cabin layout is the port side separate shower for the forward cabin.

Other features of the cockpit area include port and starboard mesh sheet bags that keep the lines dry and out of the way. You can easily hose the salt out of the lines. We appreciated the floor sections at the helm that lift and block up to provide level standing while sailing heeled over.

Helm
The test boat featured a twin rudder system with carbon fibre wheels that gives you greater control under sail. B&G electronics are featured with MFDs and the autopilot on the pedestals and wind speed indicator on the bulkhead by the engine controls. In addition to these main features, the different rigging plans and wide range of options mean that each sailing yacht can be customized to suit its owner’s ambitions.

Starboard CabinIn the three cabin layout, this is the starboard side aft cabin. The queen berth has good headroom and the battery switches are conveniently located here.

Underway
The Oceanis 46.1 delivers sparkling performance. The group of journalists onboard that day commented that the boat pointed well and maintained a heading. It proved to be very stable and I found it easy to steer and to hold a course. The Carbonnautica carbon fibre wheels are cool and comfortable on your hands. With the wind at 6.6 knots, we were getting 5.7 kn of boat speed. We got up to 10 knots earlier in the light to moderate winds of a building thermal.

As part of a new offering, Beneteau has partnered with North Sails to offer a 3Di Nordic Sail package and our test boat was so equipped. The Oceanis 46.1 is standard with in-mast furling and the main is big and powerful with the North Sails 3Di package and has vertical buttons to allow for more roach. The Genoa is bigger than the jib so it has more power.

Day HeadThe test boat had a day head with shower located to starboard of the companionway.

With several other keel boats enjoying the day in Newport, we consistently seemed to have more boat speed as we tacked around the bay overtaking the other boats. Two North Sail staffers were onboard to demonstrate and the performance was quite impressive. Also, The deck layout is impressive too with flat expanses of teak decking for sure footing as you move to the foredeck and the Oceanis 46.1 features a big bow sprit to fly a large spinnaker. An anchor chute and a Quick brand power windlass are included and there is deck access to the sail locker.

GalleyThis shows the well organized and roomy galley with features like the overhead lockers, top loading freezer and gimbaled stove. The cabinetry is designed for bracing points and the counters have fiddles.

Interior
The main cabin is down five steps and it’s spacious and bright with large hull side windows that provide breath-taking views of the horizon while cabin windows and hatches bring in more light again. The test boat was finished in the brushed light oak interior while mahogany is also available. The 57 hp Yanmar diesel with saildrive is under the companionway stairs, easily accessible. An optional 80 hp unit is offered.

To port is the very well-equipped galley with two-burner stove and gimballed oven, dual stainless steel sinks under covers, top-loading freezer, refrigerator and plenty of storage for pots, dishes and cutlery. A bottle rack and counter are beside the companionway designed to provide useful bracing points when underway.

 

ChartThis is more than just a navigation station with a comfortable lounge seat, lots of daylight, space for personal electronics and storage.

Ahead of the galley is a comfortable settee where you could relax and read, and the chart table is ahead of that making use of the same seat. The test boat included a place for the VHF radio, a large TV on the bulkhead and stereo system speakers as well as places for personal electronics.

Opposite is the generously-sized dinette that can accommodate six for gracious dining, has storage underneath and can increase sleeping accommodations as well.

Our Oceanis 46.1 test boat was the three cabin layout where the forward master state room has a separate toilet compartment and shower compartment - the only 46 on the market with this feature. The main cabin has twin deck hatches overhead, generous storage and a queen berth. The two cabins in the stern feature queen berths and all include climate control, hull side windows and opening portholes. The starboard side cabin also houses the battery controls and gets a private door to the day head.

BowThis is more than just a navigation station with a comfortable lounge seat, lots of daylight, space for personal electronics and storage.

Several other layouts are available and Beneteau offers a significant amount of customization when you order your Oceanis 46.1 but one thing is always the same; the strong performance is built in!

SPECIFICATIONS

Length overall: 14,60 m / 47’11’’
Hull length: 13,65 m / 44’9’’
L.W.L: 13,24 m / 43’5’’
Hull beam: 4,50 m / 14’9’’
Deep draught (cast iron): 2,35 m / 7’9’’
Deep ballast weight: 2,735 kg / 6,028 lbs
Shallow draught (cast iron): 1,75 m / 5’9’’
Shallow ballast weight: 3,061 kg / 6,746 lbs
Draught performance (cast iron/lead): 2,65 m / 8’8’’
Ballast weight performance: 2,576 kg / 5,678 lbs
Air draught Mast 2 cross tree levels: 20,31 m / 66’8’’
Air draught Mast Performance 3 cross tree levels: 21,31 m / 69’11’’
Light displacement (EC): 10 597 kg / 23 356 lbs
Fuel capacity (standard): 200 L / 53 US Gal
Freshwater capacity (standard): 370 L / 98 US Gal
Engine power (standard): 57 CV / 57 HP
Furling mainsail: 44,50 mÇ / 479 sq/ft
Selftacking jib: 44,1 mÇ / 441 sq/ft
Classical mainsail (optional): 54 mÇ / 581 sq/ft
Genoa - 105% (optional): 58 mÇ / 624 sq/ft
Code 0: 102 mÇ / 1,098 sq/ft
Asymmetric spinnaker: 152 mÇ / 1,636 sq/ft
Base price is $313,000 USD, as tested $450,000 USD

Boat supplied by and price quoted by: Beneteau America, www.beneteau.com

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