The most obvious “deja vu” is at the helm of the boat. The 41-foot model proved to be just as responsive to gusts, responsive on the rudder, responsive and steady on course. Both boats often went in pairs, and I dare say: Oceanis 41 was practically not inferior in speed to the longer and, moreover, more power-equipped Oceanis 45.
Surprisingly, both of them were not too noticeably inferior to Sense 55 … However, Pascal Konck – the author of their contours – created a whole galaxy of wonderful yachts. By the way, Monsieur Conck was on board with me and, it seems, was pleased with his own brainchild.
In order not to be unfounded, I will compare some of the characteristics of the new model with the Oceanis 40 yacht, its predecessor, which has long been studied and loved by Russian yachtsmen.
The power-to-weight ratio of the new boat increased from 4.41 to 4.53, and the relative length increased from 5.16 to 5.71. The ability to carry sails has also increased: the width (and with it the stability) has increased from 3.92 to 4.2 m.
Moreover, the width was added exactly where it is most important for speed – aft from the midsection. And the fact that speed is needed not only by racers is understood by a large number of “cruisers”. After all, the higher the speed, the shorter the transition time, which means more time to get acquainted with the local beauty. But the most important thing is that the chances of “escape” from bad weather are higher when receiving a storm forecast. Gennaker (130 m²) dramatically adds agility to the yacht in both light and strong winds.
Thanks to its wide, flat bottom, the Oceanis 41 can float long enough in surf mode. At the same time, setting / cleaning the gennaker does not require well-coordinated work of the tankers, since here the tack angle is attached directly to the forging on the railing, the sail is equipped with a twist, and there is no additional spar (bowsprit or spinnaker pole) at all.
By definition, there are no ideal yachts, and behind every “plus” is a “minus”. So here too: the increased width (especially on the transom) is fraught with a high probability of broaching. The greater the volume in the stern, the worse the vessel behaves on passing waves. Therefore, in such conditions, it may be better not to force the sails and be more careful.
Exterior Oceanis 41: functional aesthetics
How visually the Oceanis 41 differs from its predecessor! Where has the aesthetically verified destruction of the felling just gone? The new boat is dominated by straight chopped lines. But you know, I like it. For on the flat roof of the wheelhouse of the 41st model, mattresses can be laid out (hatches are not an obstacle, they are flush with the deck), a solarium or a children’s playground can be arranged. And on the 40th it is excluded, the “relief” does not allow.
The cockpit arch is not only an expressive element in the overall appearance of the yacht, but also a very practical detail. It contains blocks of the boom-sheet, and there are also convenient handrails, cockpit lampshades, bimini and spray hood are attached. Removing all of this from the cockpit and the deckhouse roof is a great solution. Confuses only the “point” fastening of the boom-sheet – it does not have a shoulder strap. The mainsail “twist” can only be regulated by the boom guy, and in a strong wind it will hardly be able to cope with it properly …
Even at first glance, it is clear that the mast of the new boat is almost in the middle along the length (47% of the bow). The designers reduced the overlap of the mainsail with genoa, and it became easier to work with the overstag with the head sail when turning. This had a good effect on the yacht’s alignment, but there was one negative point, which I will talk about later …
The cockpit is closed on all sides on the go – from the stern it is completely covered by a wide seat. It is well protected from flooding by a passing wave, and its protection significantly increases the psychological comfort of the helmsman. But at the anchorage, the transom leans back almost to the water level, and the seat becomes a bathing platform! The cockpit is not only open, but also expanded by the platform – an extremely pleasant bonus!
I see only two drawbacks: the dependence of the system on electricity (what if the batteries run out?) And the flat, due to compromise use, the helmsman’s seat (on a long tack with a roll, a person will probably suffer). And one more thing: sooner or later, someone will press the drive button, forgetting to unfasten the safety rails that run from the rail fixed on board to the ladder fixed on the transforming part. Or protection from the “fool” is provided?
There are, of course, two steering wheels – today this is the standard even on smaller boats. It is convenient to use the devices, the chartplotter (at the end of the table) turns to the “current” helmsman post. A little puzzled by the engine control knob on the left post (usually it is on the right), but this is a matter of habit. The sheet winches stand so that it is convenient to work with them both from the cockpit and from the steering wheel, but the boom sheet, to my regret, remained at the wheelhouse, however, the winch acquired an electric drive for working with it.
The helmsman’s side seats (on a roll it is more usual here) rise, there you can remove all ends from the deck. There are capacious lockers (fenders, mooring lines) under your feet. The voluminous cockpit coamings have a wide platform at the top and are comfortable to sit on.
The distance between the coamings is 233–250 cm! Therefore, the table installed in the cockpit has a solid cabinet, inside it there is even a refrigerator! On the table is the nest of a table lamp, which French aesthetes have been equipping their yachts with for many years. It looks beautiful, but sooner or later someone will hit …
Instead of a removable fire-board, the entrance to the wheelhouse on the Oceanis 41 is closed with doors, which in the open position are fixed with halyard bags to the wheelhouse.
Salon innovations Oceanis 41
The first of them is an unusually gentle ladder: its slope is 45º! It’s safer and more convenient. Second, portholes are now responsible for natural light, rather than deck hatches. Only one skylight has been left in the ceiling, but there are more windows in the coamings and sides, and their area has increased.
On the move and at anchor, this is a definite plus: you do not need to protect yourself from the scorching sun and you can see what is happening around the yacht. The downside is that fenders and other people’s sides will show off in the side windows in the harbor.
The most notable innovation below is the convertible navigator’s corner. His table moves along the rail along the ship: you can press it against the galley or bulkhead, or you can leave it in the middle. Accordingly, the “stools” move under the table. A rare variation. In the distant passage, the navigator will most likely choose one of the extreme positions (with his face in the direction or his back – as it is convenient for anyone), and in the parking lot, the table can be placed in the middle position and used as a coffee table (computer, for playing chess).
But if from the point of view of parking comfort the solution is wonderful, then from the point of view of the navigator’s work it is very ambiguous. The table is too small even for a card folded in half. Well, the overturned coffee will inevitably flood the entire contents of the navigator’s locker. Night lights are attached to the edges of the navigator’s corner.
It turns out that if the table is in the center, then they are too far from its working surface. The yacht designers clearly believe that the modern navigator is plotting exclusively in a chartplotter. However, my own offshore experience suggests that no one eats at the saloon table during the long passage and that it is there that it is most convenient to work with a paper map.
Opposite the coffee-navigator group – the usual wardroom: a decent-sized table, “covered” on three sides by a soft sofa. If the whole crew dines, four will sit here, and two more will sit at the navigator’s table. A frankly compromise solution, which was forced by the mast pillars located here (if it were not for it, the table could be equipped with a folding fragment).
But the galley table top is not inferior in area to those on other 50-foot. A stove with an oven, a double sink, a decent size refrigerator with top and side loading, drawers with cassettes for dishes, cupboards for utensils – everything is on business. In addition, I personally like the L-shaped configuration of the galley more than the linear one (as in the 3-cabin version of the Oceanis 40), where it is difficult for two to separate, and the pump pedal can injure your leg.
The bathroom is large, light and spacious, with a separate shower cubicle – I really liked it. The only “but”: the French again did not think of screwing a bracket to the ceiling for hanging wet non-rubbers. Here, he suggested, maybe they will be honored.
The owner’s apartment is in the bow. The bed from side to side, right-left – soft backs (on the roll you rest against them), original headrests (or backs, if you like), a large mirror in the collision bulkhead visually expands the space.
A separate charm is the large portholes in the sides: the “below deck” feeling has completely disappeared, and you can view the surroundings right from the bed. Next to the bed is a table with a stool, you can put a laptop or “powder the nose” (dressing table is attached). There are enough wardrobes and shelves to make it look almost like a home.
Aft is the usual pair of guest double cabins. But! The cabins are unequal: on the starboard side, the width of the bed at the head is 156 cm, and on the left – 138 cm (the entrance to the salon is shifted to the left). Well, this is even reasonable, because people are very different in build.
In the aft cabins, there are frankly small cabinets and shelves – clearly a charter option, for short-term stays. But the windows overlooking the cockpit were simply delighted: I got out of my bunk and, without going into the salon, immediately appreciated the situation. By the way, you can’t see the cabin from the cockpit – privacy is respected.
The boat is very spacious and airy inside (large windows plus light upholstery and trim). Electric lighting is LED, decorative background lighting looks great. There are a lot of mirrors, on each hatch there is a mosquito net and a curtain from the sun, on all drawers and doors there are closers or “brakes”. However, push-button latches are not of the best quality, sometimes they jam. There are enough handrails in all rooms (safety!), And where there are none, the edges of the tables are thick and grabbing.
The shipyard offers three interior layout options. In addition to the above, you can choose a 2-cabin layout: instead of the left aft cabin, there will be a large storage room with access both from the cockpit and from the inside. Or you can donate a working area in the bow cabin, replacing it with a second bathroom (charter option).
The most interesting option is the Dock & Go parking system: by manipulating a small joystick, you can turn the yacht in place and even make it move sideways. You can get used to operating the joystick literally in half an hour, mistakes are corrected by light finger movements.
A very worthy replacement for the popular Oceanis 40. The new yacht is more salable, obedient and easy to navigate even with a small crew. The folding transom is extremely functional: the swimming platform does not “bite off” a part of the yacht’s useful length, as usual. The interior has also become generally more comfortable, and the variable chart table allows you to make the salon more convenient for each specific situation.
The yacht has truly outstanding potential and will be loved by many.
Author: Bogdan Parfenyuk