Should we issue health warnings for boat tests?
Regarding your review of the Beneteau Oceanis 41.1m (Jul 16), who the heck buys for charter use a boat with a draught of over 9ft? I can see the point for a racing or even a sporty boat, but for a family cruiser? If I had a cynical cast of mind I might think the only use for this configuration is for journalistic testing purposes.
In a similar vein the boat reviewed had conventional slab reefing when most will be supplied with heavy, roller furling mainsails. It had the performance pack to boot and what looked like pretty expensive sails.
I guess you have to test what is made available to you but a boat with a huge club-footed keel, a draught of 5ft 7in, bow thruster, standard sails and rig would be a very different proposition, almost a different boat.
I still enjoy the reviews but a health warning might well be attached to some of the conclusions reached. Brian Bird
Chris Beeson replies: With groundings in mind, there’s no danger of charter companies buying the deep keel version, nor would the performance pack improve a family charter in any way. However, you can only test what’s provided and point out which option boxes have been ticked, and Graham did.
Boat test journalists can be hard to impress so boatbuilders tend to supply boats with lots of go-faster kit