Speed and comfort
By Andy Adams
What perfect timing! Beneteau is has just announced their new Antares 11 model for North America and I think it will be exactly what many people are looking for.
The boat business has simply taken off during 2020, spurred on by the social distancing requirements of the global battle with COVID-19. In many regards, this situation has brought a lot of families closer because there are few options for travel and recreation. I suspect that many families have rediscovered the joys of being together, going places and doing things. A boat is a perfect solution and for many families , the Antares 11 will be a great solution now, and an investment that can provide years and years of enjoyment.
The Beneteau group builds an extensive line of both power and sailboats and because it’s the world’s largest boat builder, the company has attracted a simply brilliant design team. Borrowing some of the design innovations from the sailing world where people need to make the most of the available space, and where they are living on board for extended periods of time, the Antares 11 makes the most of its generous 36’4” length and 11’6” beam with features rarely found on power boats from other builders in this size range.
This gives a clear picture of the main deck accommodations with the galley, port side dinette and also the cockpit seating beyond.
Overall, the Antares 11 is a proper cabin cruiser with a double master cabin in the bow, and then a full beam aft cabin as a separate second sleeping space. The boat is also equipped with a fully enclosed private head with separate shower for everyone’s comfort.
The clever design of the main deck is all on one level with an expanse of living space connected by a flat floor all the way from the helm in the saloon to the cockpit, separated only by the glass bulkhead doors. This significantly increases the size of the living area and in keeping with modern trends in home design, the galley in the Antares is on this main deck level stretching along the starboard side.
This brings food, refreshments, and the chef all together with the rest of the guests in a delightful living space.
The handsome lines of the Antares 11 include a cabin roof that sweeps all the way back to cover the cockpit area providing shelter from the weather and the sun. An available electric canvas roof section can make this enclosure even more enjoyable . Also, this design could accommodate equipment or toys like SUPs to be carried.
On the other hand, it’s nice to have separate areas or somebody can escape to read a book or just relax in the sun. The Antares 11 has made the best use of the bow area with the sun pad seating that accommodates reclining backs for reading or enjoying a beverage, and for added comfort, a Bimini convertible roof can reduce the sun exposure to more manageable levels.
Making it even easier to access the bow, Beneteau has designed the Antares 11 with an asymmetrical deck layout which includes a wider walkway on the starboard side along with raised deck sides and numerous well placed hand rails for safety and convenience. The boat is available with classic, real teak strip decking all the way from the swim platform to the bow throughout the side decks in cockpit.
Teak decking is common on sailboats because it provides a secure surface for walking around the boat and it can be cool and comfortable even in the sun. We think it lends a timeless classic look to this otherwise very modern boat.
One of the things that opens the door to this innovative and very efficient layout are the twin Mercury Verado 300hp outboard engines. Powerful but light weight and mounted out of the way between the swim platforms, almost the entire interior is left for living space except for the tanks and a few mechanical systems that are housed under the cockpit sole. No interior space is lost to big inboard engines.
The Mercury Verados are very user-friendly as well, with simple and intuitive controls , auto-trimming and power-assisted steering. This is part of the engine systems that provide joystick docking and the Antares 11 also has na optional bow thruster making the boat especially easy to handle around the docks.
Another effect of the COVID-19 situation is that it has encouraged people to get into boating for the first time and this boat has the equipment to make that a simple and enjoyable transition.
We mentioned the asymmetrical deck layout with the wider side on starboard. The designers also gave the Antares 11 the excellent feature of a side door by the helm. When docking, just slide the door open to better communicate with the others on board, or to easily get around the boat yourself.
In addition to the cabin side door, Beneteau has given the Antares 11 a boarding door in the deck right beside the driver and the cabin door making it easier to step out onto a high pier or carry things into the cabin.
A third special feature on the starboard side is a large section of the hull side that can open out and down to greatly increase the size of the cockpit floor while creating a wonderful “terrace to the sea” experience.
More than anything, the cabin is very bright and spacious-feeling thanks to the large glass areas all around. The windshield is a single large curved pane for excellent outward vision when running but the saloon will help everyone to feel comfortable.
On the starboard side is the galley concealed under an elegant dark glass cover. Lift that to reveal the stainless-steel sink and two burner stove. The glass lid becomes a convenient and easy-to-clean backsplash. Under the counters you find a refrigerator, a microwave and then, below the helm seat is a drawer for pots and pans with a bottle rack below that. A drawer and cupboard are by the glass aft bulkhead and Beneteau installed a TV in that corner of the saloon.
The TV is across from the dinette seating on the port side. This has family seating space around a table with fold-out leaves. The port side banquette continues into the cockpit and wraps around across the transom and a dining table can mount outside for dining. Without it, the versatile seating and storage space becomes a lounge.
The forward cabin is nicely fi nished and spacious.
Forward is the double master cabin with sweeping hull-side windows and an overhead escape hatch for light and ventilation. Overhead storage and a huge bin under the berth give you plenty of room for all your things and the lid has LED lighting around the perimeter. There is also a hanging locker.
The head is to port and includes a separate shower stall, MSD and a vessel sink in the vanity. There is room for towels underneath that and curtains are included for the hull side windows ; the shower section has an opening porthole.
Aft of that is the mid-cabin with a queen-sized berth mounted athwartships and a single berth on the starboard side mounted fore and aft that would be perfect for a child. There is a hanging locker and more storage for smaller items in the bulkhead. Port and starboard side glass bring in lots of light and there are opening portholes for cross ventilation.
HELM AND PERFORMANCE
On top of having excellent sightlines, the helm has the very desirable feature of an opening side door and also a boarding door to the starboard walkway
The helm is by the side door and hull side gate as we mentioned earlier and it’s a compact but well-organized control centre with a seat that includes a flip-up bolster for driving standing , the dual throttle controls are on the side and with the thruster controls on the opposite side. The view out is excellent. A large display screen can show navigation, engine functions, and a host of other information plus a smaller display for each engine ensures you know what’s happening.
Regrettably, we were not able to drive the Antares 11 in person, but Mercury supplied their performance data from rigging the boat and the numbers are pretty impressive!
Add to that the value Beneteau delvers in all their boats and you may have found your new happy place!
6,000 46.2 MAX
Length overall: 36’4” / 11.08 m
Beam: 11’6” / 3.51 m
Light Displacement: 12.613 / 5,723 kg
Fuel capacity: 2 x 106 gal / 2 x 400 L
Fresh water capacity: 53 gal / 200 L
Price plus delivery: $344,965.00 MSRP US Dollars
Boat and pricing provided by: Beneteau America, www.beneteau.com