Beneteau boats – a very serious player in the world of recreational boating. Originally founded in 1884 in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie in the Bay of Biscay, the last 140 years have seen it become a global leader in both sailboats and powerboats – and the modern Beneteau boats fleet reflects that. Even if you exclude the company’s 19 sailing models, it still oversees a range comprising 26 boats across five product lines from 20 to 62 feet in length. And as a central brand of the Beneteau Group, with building facilities in both France and America, it clearly has a lot of natural advantages. After all, it is perfectly positioned to leverage large-scale industrial efficiencies and proven quality assurance protocols. With a broader portfolio of names that now includes Jeanneau, Prestige, Lagoon, Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft, Scarab and Monte Carlo Yachts, it is also able to introduce new models on a seasonal basis that tap into (and in some cases, influence) the latest global trends. In short, whether you favour day boating, watersports, fishing, weekending, sailing or cruising, Beneteau is better able to service your needs than almost any other boating brand out there.
Line 1: Beneteau Flyer
The original Beneteau Flyer has been around since the 1980s. But ever since its new-generation revamp in 2004 (and its clever reintroduction in 2013) the modern Flyer line has made the entry point to the Beneteau fleet brilliantly accessible. For the first time, the Flyer range brought to market an outboard range with a selection of alternative deck layouts on a single hull. The SPORTdeck used a modified bow rider layout for maximum seating; the SPACEdeck used open walkways from bow to stern for maximum versatility; and the SUNdeck used a raised, cushion-lined bow with a cabin underneath for easy weekending. Today, just the SPACEdeck and SUNdeck options remain but you can still pick either option on hulls at six, seven, eight or nine metres in length. And you can also now opt for the Flyer 10 – an award-winning 40-knot plaything with an 11-person cockpit, a huge lounge-friendly bow deck and comfortable cruising accommodation for up to four.
Line 2: Beneteau Antares
The Antares line has also been around for a very long time. But again, after around 50 years and four generations of Beneteau boats, plus scores of incremental developments along the way, the current incarnation feels very keenly attuned to modern boating appetites. As you would expect, the inboard power has given way to outboard propulsion, the size has increased and the style has come on in a big way. But happily, the underlying principles that always defined the Beneteau Antares remain broadly intact. This is a classic pilothouse boat that brings together the traits of a cruiser and those of a fisher with an extra dose of recreational sophistication. There are now seven models at five hull lengths from six to 11 metres – but such is the calibre of the latest line that the flagship model can even be specced with authentic big boat luxuries like a fly deck and a fold-down bulwark.
Line 3: Beneteau Gran Turismo
The Gran Turismo line is all about luxurious cruisers. It comprises four models – the 32, 36, 41 and 45 – and they each come with the distinctive two-part Gran Turismo hull windows, raked coupe-style hardtops and cruise-friendly inboard options. In a bid to wring as much day boating potential out of the design as possible, the entry-level 32 uses the same outstanding deck layout as the Flyer 10 and yet it still comes with very serviceable four-berth accommodation. And at the top end, the 45 includes two cabins, two heads, plus a generous lower deck lounge and galley. It also provides some very neatly integrated inside and outside spaces alongside the kind of 35-knot performance you would expect of this talented product line.
Line 4: Beneteau Swift Trawler
Introduced in 2003, Beneteau’s popular Swift Trawler designs have always been about safe, practical, long-distance cruising with lots of internal space – and the modern line is no different. It features a set of flared semi-displacement hulls at 35, 41 and 48 feet, each with upright trawler style superstructures and large flybridges. However, there’s also a non-fly Sedan option at 41 feet and, in the wake of the Swift Trawler’s extraordinary success, Beneteau has also introduced a new fleet flagship in the form of the Grand Trawler 62. Equipped with a displacement hull to further improve range and efficiency, it features sleeping for six to eight people, as well as generous crew accommodation and one of the largest flybridges you will see at this length. It also comes with a galley that can be completely enclosed for guest privacy and a dramatic midships owner’s suite that makes great use of the big 16-foot beam.
Beneteau yachts for sale: pre-owned highlights
With such a large and varied fleet, it’s not difficult to find a really good pre-owned Beneteau at a tempting price on the used boat market. But if you want the joy of a really versatile modern Beneteau, a four-year-old Flyer 8.8 SUNdeck is a very effective option. It offers big walk-around decks, a flexible cockpit with fold-down seating and wet bar, four-berth sleeping capacity and plenty of style and performance too. For something equally modern but even better suited to cruising, a 2019 Antares 8 is a brilliant family companion for weekends away. And if you want to reduce the price while also uprating the handling, an early inboard-powered Antares is also a great used buy.
Although it’s not built any more, Beneteau’s Barracuda line also merits a place on the pre-owned shortlist. Launched in the early 2000s, these cleverly designed sports fishers feel like the ultimate meeting point for Beneteau’s heritage in both compact sporting platforms and practical everyday fishing boats. Their job is to deliver the best possible range of talents from a single hull and whether you opt for one of the original boats or for a modern incarnation like the Barracuda 7 from 2012 or a recent flagship Barracuda 9 from 2015 onwards, it’s a very satisfying multi-purpose leisure boat.
A safe, comfortable, and ingenious boat designed for the high seas. The many qualities and the size of the Beneteau Swift Trawler 35 will tempt you to go on a long cruise. The Swift Trawler 35 has strong harmonious lines making you feel reassuringly safe, and this quality is repeated in the design and fit out choices. Protected by either a Bimini or a soft top, the Swift Trawler 35’s flybridge has a comfortable living space with a sea view. *
Take a look at Argo Yachting’s current listing for a 2021 Beneteau Swift Trawler 35 at £359,500 tax paid and view the walk-through film:
Loyal to spirit of this earlier generation and in the tradition of the 41.1, the Beneteau Oceanis 35.1 sailing yacht combine performance and comfort at sea. The Oceanis 35.1 interiors have been rethought and their exteriors redesigned, delivering significant developments and offering a choice of four versions in all. The chined hull by the architects Finot-Conq stands for comfort and good balance under sail, making a particularly noteworthy entry into the market for this size of boat. With twin rudders, masts positioned further aft and optimized sail plans, the two hulls deliver excellent performance and offer incredible stability underway. *
Take a look at Argo Yachting’s current listing for a 2019 Beneteau Oceanis 35.1 sailing yacht at £194,950 tax paid:
*Descriptions courtesy of the Beneteau boats website.