The Oceanis family has a younger brother – the sailing yacht Oceanis 31. The new brainchild of the Finot / Conq architectural bureau immediately won a place in the sun. The yacht is distinguished by good driving characteristics, ergonomic and comfortable interior.
This is not the first time Beneteau has commissioned the Finot / Conq duo to design the little Oceanis. The Vendea shipyard is in a real fight for extra inches of living space. The newcomer is 6 cm shorter than its predecessor, but wins 13 (!) Cm in width, which cannot but affect the comfort of the interior space. The dimensions of the Oceanis 31 correspond to the status of a cruise ship.
All proportions and volumes are balanced. When you go out to sea in this boat, you immediately realize that the Oceanis 31 is not at all that lumpy – a 1.80 m keel with a bulb and a long rudder blade provide it with good handling.
From an aesthetic point of view, this 31-foot is not devoid of elegance, and this is difficult to achieve when the overall height on a 9.30 m boat is 1.85 m. There are elongated windows in the wheelhouse, the hull contours are emphasized by a decorative gray stripe and an almond-shaped window in the center of the side. The freeboard is a clear indication of the internal volume.
The teak bulwarks and cans in the cockpit, leather sheathed steering wheel – these finishing touches give this cruiser a complete look. The boat has a large number of very practical details, from the handy spasplot locker in the cockpit to the clever gangway attachment.
In terms of design, Beneteau stays true to its methods: a monolithic hull with reinforcements at the keel, rudder and hull attachments. And also the obligatory buttress in the bottom. The balsa sandwich deck is made using infusion technology, resulting in an excellent combination of lightness, strength and good insulation.
It is this weight distribution that allows the Oceanis 31 to demonstrate one of the best weight / dynamics ratios in its category, despite the relatively low windage, which makes it easier to maneuver.
It is believed that placing the helm in the center of the cockpit on boats of this size is not the best solution. However, as you can see for yourself, this is not the case with the Oceanis 31. Here, due to the reduced diameter, the steering wheel does not encroach on the working space and does not block the passage to the stern platform, moreover, the yacht is very convenient to steer when maneuvering under the engine.
So, the cockpit seemed to us very comfortable, the helmsman’s seat is functional, the visibility is optimal, and the information on the dashboard is easy to read.
The layout is simple and straightforward: a halyard winch on the deckhouse roof on the port side to control the mainsail, two winches for the staysail along the sides, approximately at the helm level, and the boom shoulder strap is located on the deckhouse roof in front of the sliding hatch to the cabin.
The double backstay is not adjustable as standard, but if you purchase the Easy Sail kit (which we recommend) it will include adjustment, as well as quick adjustment of the jib carriages and much more. The mainsail and the staysail have approximately the same windage, the boom is positioned quite high to ensure the safety of movement on the yacht.
The sails are very easy to handle, they go up and down in just a few seconds. The North Sail, offered by the shipyard in good quality, has all the necessary reinforcements, and the mainsail is flat. Even on the short roadstead of Monaco, Oceanis 31 was able to surprise me – quite well planing at 5-7 knots of wind, the yacht instantly revives, one has only to catch the breeze.
The steering wheel is clear and balanced, its diameter is perhaps a little small, you have to reach for it if you sit on board while heeling, but this, no doubt, is compensated by the habitability of the cockpit. Even with strong heel, the boat demonstrates excellent driving characteristics and is easy to handle. I would also recommend installing an asymmetrical spinnaker on this boat. Under the sailing yacht’s sailing yacht from the factory, with a wind of 7 knots, we were sailing at a speed of 4, and it was easy and pleasant to fly the Oceanis.
In short, the impressions of the boat’s handling and balance are the most pleasant. It only remains to add that maneuvering in the marina was also very easy, with a 21 hp engine. allows you to sail at a cruising speed of 6-6.5 knots and a maximum of 7.3 knots.
A yacht only 9.3 meters long, the Oceanis 31 has a cabin height of almost 1.85 meters !!! Italian designers from Nauta, who specialize in luxury large yachts, have created an interior that is warm and elegant. The walls are finished in light pear wood, the floors are acajou non-slip and the fabric sofas.
The salon has good natural light, excellent ventilation, lamps are conveniently located and provide adequate lighting in the dark. The galley is ergonomic and equipped with everything you need, it is ingeniously and originally designed: the double sink faces the aisle. This arrangement allows two people to work in the galley – there is enough space for this.
The volume of the cabin could be envied by 35 feet. The folding table comfortably accommodates 6 people, and if you make room a little, then you can fit in eight. There is a large sofa on the starboard side, which turns into a couch 192 x 70 cm, the L-shaped sofa on the left side is slightly shorter – 175 cm.
Shelves on both sides, and large lockers under the sofas. The height of the ceiling in the toilet is 1.84 cm, which is definitely commendable! As a disadvantage, we would attribute the size of the navigator’s steel, it is not too large, and, in our opinion, is not very conveniently located.
Admiration is caused by the aft cabin, with a huge bed 200 x 220 cm in the entire width of the hull and a porthole in the aft part. The sea view, excellent ventilation and illumination (there is another small porthole at the entrance) are undoubted advantages. There is not much room for things in the cabin – just a locker at the foot of the bed. The bow cabin is slightly smaller, but there, in addition to the bed locker, there are shelves on the sides and in the heads. The bed 205 x 140 cm is also very comfortable.
Specifications of sailing yacht Oceanis 31:
Architects: Finot / Conq Associes
Hull length: 9.30 m.
Hull width: 3.39 m.
Draft: 1.80 m. Or 2.14 m.
Sail area: 47.4 sq.m.
Water / fuel reserve: 130/130 l.
Engine: 21 hp Yanmar
Test conditions Oceanis 31:
Wind: 5 to 15 knots
Duration: 1 day
Source: Bateaux Magazine, July 2008