Beneteau Ocea­nis 41.1

The Ocea­nis 41.1 is Beneteau’s per­for­mance ver­sion of the 41 – the com­pany’s more mod­est 12.4m model. The .1 ex­ten­sion doesn’t sound like much, but the dis­tinc­tion pro­vides plenty of ex­tra zip.

Boating NZ - - Con­tents - BY ROGER MILLS

A Point of Dif­fer­ence: an up­graded ver­sion of the stan­dard 41, the Ocea­nis 41.1 is a much zip­pier lady.

Sold to its new owner in Tau­ranga, the 41.1’s de­liv­ery trip from Auck­land en­coun­tered 25-knot nor-east­er­lies and, with well-reefed sails, recorded a com­fort­able cruise speed of 10 knots. I was keen to see how the Finot-conq de­sign mea­sured up in more mod­er­ate sail­ing con­di­tions on Tau­ranga har­bour.

Board­ing the yacht is an easy step onto the elec­tri­cally-ac­ti­vated rear plat­form. This can be low­ered with a handy re­mote-con­trol fob (great when your arms are full of pro­vi­sions) or from on board.

The bow thruster helped with mak­ing the tight turn out of the ma­rina. Not strictly nec­es­sary in the light wind we had, but I could see its ad­van­tages when ma­noeu­vring in stronger cross­winds, and cer­tainly help­ful when lin­ing the yacht up to re­verse into the ma­rina at the end of the day.

My im­me­di­ate im­pres­sion is of space. It starts with the large, roomy cock­pit, ac­cessed be­tween the twin com­pos­ite steer­ing wheels. The fold­ing leaf ta­ble – on a fixed cen­tral is­land – ex­pands into a gen­er­ous plat­form for cock­pit meals. The leaves could have done with re­tain­ing clips as they swung out when heeled – a small tweak to fix on a brand-new boat.

But the yacht’s most no­tice­able de­sign fea­ture is the cen­tral arch over the cock­pit. It has numer­ous roles: it’s an at­tach­ment point for the dodger and bi­mini, and also of­fers good lo­ca­tions for grab rails.

Im­por­tantly though, it pro­vides a solid an­chor point for the main­sheet, and al­lows the boom to be sheeted well aft, thereby do­ing away with the need for a deck

or cock­pit trav­eller. This en­hances the yacht’s clean lines and vi­sion from the cock­pit.

One of the cock­pit’s best fea­tures is its bi­mini. It extends across the boat’s full width, of­fer­ing max­i­mum pro­tec­tion from the sun. Zip-in pan­els can com­pletely en­close the cock­pit, trans­form­ing it into a large, user­friendly area in in­clement weather.

At the rear of the cock­pit you’ll find size­able lock­ers ac­cessed through floor hatches, as well as good stor­age un­der the cock­pit seats.

LET’S GO

The Ocea­nis 41.1 dif­fers from her stan­dard sis­ter (re­viewed in Boat­ing New Zealand’s Oc­to­ber 2016 is­sue) in three ar­eas – rig, sails and equip­ment.

The mast’s a me­tre longer and the larger

My im­me­di­ate im­pres­sion is of space.

sails are made of a high-per­for­mance fab­ric. Add to that the two-way main­sheet sys­tem, Dy­form stand­ing rig­ging and a cas­cad­ing back­stay, and it’s easy to see the dif­fer­ence. This boat also had a new self-tack­ing head­sail, a lit­tle smaller than the stan­dard over­lap­ping head­sail.

This self-tacker car­ries an in­ter­est­ing sheet­ing ar­range­ment. The sheet runs ver­ti­cally to a sheave up the mast, and then down in­side the mast, out the base and back to the cock­pit. This al­lows the head­sail to find its own an­gle when sheeted in hard on the wind and pro­motes de­cent point­ing.

Crank­ing power’s sup­plied by four Harken winches, in­clud­ing an elec­tric one for the main hal­yard. It’s a twospeed model and makes fast work of rais­ing the main. Two pri­mary winches – sta­tioned just for­ward of the helm – are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble, and with the two-way main­sheet sys­tem trim­ming the main is easy. The self-tacker’s sheet comes back to a winch on the coach roof. A sec­ond set of cock­pit winches would be handy for se­ri­ous rac­ers tweak­ing a code zero.

With sails set and clear of the shal­lows, I took the helm for the beat up­wind, past the moored ships. A nice, pos­i­tive helm – the Ocea­nis tracks nicely. She heeled a lit­tle in the gusts and ac­cel­er­ated quickly with the slight­ly­loaded helm. From the wind­ward wheel the view of the head­sail wool­lies is great.

This yacht’s fit­ted with a B&G display at each helm, pre­sent­ing all the sail­ing and nav­i­ga­tion data. Eas­ily vis­i­ble in the di­rect sun­light, they told me we were do­ing 6.9 knots in 11.3 knots of true wind (about 18 knots ap­par­ent). With no sheet ad­just­ments needed, tack­ing was the essence of sim­plic­ity.

Reach­ing back to base we eased the sheets, slip­ping along nicely. But down­wind, against the cur­rent we were short of ap­par­ent wind and our SOG dropped con­sid­er­ably. A good time to try out the en­gine – a 45hp

Yan­mar with a three-bladed prop on a sail drive. En­gine noise was quiet, and push­ing the throt­tle for­ward took us to eight knots of boat speed.

LAY­OUT

The Ocea­nis has a slight chine down the hull’s sides, and it of­fers two ben­e­fits: more in­ter­nal space, and ex­tra sta­bil­ity by pro­vid­ing a wider hull for the length.

There are four lay­out op­tions: two and/or three cab­ins with one or two heads. This one’s the three-cabin/one head ver­sion. In­side, the yacht feels larger than a 40-footer, and the for­ward dou­ble cabin, in par­tic­u­lar, is a de­light.

A great fea­ture is the ease of ac­cess from the cock­pit into the sa­loon with curved steps de­scend­ing at 45 de­grees: safe to use on a healthy an­gle of heel with good grab rails on the side.

Bright and airy, the sa­loon ben­e­fits from plenty of light pour­ing in through deck hatches and large hull win­dows. The hull win­dows are par­tic­u­larly good when seated – they of­fer a great view of the out­side sur­round­ings.

The gal­ley is to port in a L-shaped con­fig­u­ra­tion – and it has

ex­cel­lent head­room. I’m 1.96m and I didn’t have to stoop. A rare treat on a boat this size.

A two-burner stain­less steel hob and gas oven caters for cook­ing, and the fridge/freezer has good ac­cess via a top lid and a side door. The freezer com­part­ment is 10 litres, the fridge 190 litres.

A cen­tral is­land, sin­gle-leaf ta­ble with a twoseater set­tee op­po­site takes cen­tre stage in the sa­loon, with a small nav sta­tion lo­cated for­ward to port – big enough for stor­ing pa­per charts and plot­ting equip­ment.

De­scend­ing the stairs, the head’s to star­board. Gen­er­ously-sized, it has a sep­a­rate shower area. Two dou­ble quar­ter berths en­joy natural light through hull win­dows and the tinted win­dows from the cock­pit. They’re fit­ted with con­ve­nient­ly­lo­cated USB out­lets (be­low the light switches) for charg­ing elec­tronic de­vices.

The for­ward cabin is sep­a­rated by a dou­ble open­ing door. It pro­vides for a large dou­ble berth with enough width for sleep­ing with your head to the bow.

In­te­rior dé­cor and fin­ish is very pleas­ing with great at­ten­tion to de­tail. This would of course be ex­pected from a Beneteau gen­er­a­tion 6 de­sign, with the out­side and in­te­rior de­sign com­pleted by Nauta De­sign.

The boat’s sup­plied with two 115Ah (am­phour) house bat­ter­ies and a 110Ah start­ing bat­tery as stan­dard. This yacht has an ad­di­tional bat­tery for the bow thruster.

The en­gine’s al­ter­na­tor should be fine for keep­ing th­ese bat­ter­ies topped up, but those keen on off­shore cruis­ing might add wind or so­lar power to re­duce charg­ing times. The large bi­mini area is an ob­vi­ous spot for fit­ting flex­i­ble so­lar pan­els.

She’s cer­tainly a per­former. Her larger sail area trans­lates into snappy ac­cel­er­a­tion and it all de­liv­ers de­cent cruis­ing speeds for cover­ing the ground ef­fort­lessly.

With the large arch, spa­cious cock­pit and ex­cel­lent vis­i­bil­ity, she’s a well-fin­ished, thought­fully-de­signed yacht. She han­dles nicely and is set up to sail either short­handed with a self-tacker, or with an ex­tended crew for set­ting ex­tra sails.

The 41.1 in this review in­cludes a num­ber of add-ons, such as bow thruster and elec­tron­ics pack­age. BNZ

ABOVE A spa­cious, ver­sa­tile lay­out – equally suited to all-night poker ses­sions or el­e­gant din­ing. BE­LOW Well-ap­pointed and de­signed for prag­ma­tism – the 41.1’s in­te­rior is light and airy.

RIGHT Hal­yards and reef­ing lines ter­mi­nate at a deck-top winch. The full-width, fold-down board­ing plat­form will be ap­pre­ci­ated by swim­mers and divers.

OP­PO­SITE The cock­pit ta­ble has twin leaves. Plenty of sheethandling room while they’re folded away.

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