The smallest of the entire line – the Oceanis 31 has a fighting character. At 20 knots of wind it proves to be an excellent sailor, easy and pleasant to navigate. Its temperament is similar to that of the racing First, but with a super comfortable interior and cockpit.
Let me introduce you baby Oceanis 31! Like all boats in this line, this is a pure cruiser with no racing ambition. But the era of clumsy and heavy buildings is a thing of the past. Today, the Oceanis yachts are seaworthy sailboats, with good sailing performance and easy handling. The Oceanis 31 bears obvious external similarities to the 37 and 34, all three yachts were designed by Finot / Conq Associes.
The hull has a very modern waterline outline (thin at the bow and wide and stable at the stern) and a high freeboard, allowing for more interior space. The deckhouse roof is quite massive, but not too high.
The result is a compact and elegant silhouette. The design is traditional for the Beneteau shipyard – a polyester hull, reinforced with structural buttresses at the base of the mast, guypoints, keel and rudder blade. The deck is made like a fiberglass and balsa sandwich. Aluminum spar, high boom that allows you to move in the cockpit without fear of damaging your head.
The fastening of the shrouds near the side helps to avoid undue pressure on the mast. The yacht does not have a large genoa, the surface of the mainsail is larger than the surface of a twisted genoa. Installed 20 hp Yanmar engine quite enough to maneuver and move against waves and wind.
Beneteau offers to choose a draft – 1.30 m or 1.80 m.
In a calm sea we were sailing at a speed of 6.8 knots at 3000 rpm on the engine, if we spin up to 3 700 the speed does not increase much, we achieved 7.4 knots. The quality of noise insulation leaves many questions, it would be very nice to reduce the noise level. The Oceanis 31 comes in two versions with a short 1.30 m and a long 1.80 m keel. For a test drive, the shipyard provided us with a yacht with a long keel and a folding three-blade propeller.
And the very first sailing with a wind of 7-8 knots impressed us – Oceanis 31 is by no means a slow-speed boat. The log showed 4 knots, and when we put on the spinnaker, we accelerated to 5.3. If you put racing sails on this boat, increase the asymmetrical spinnaker and fit a bowprinter, as on small Firsts, then the driving performance can be significantly improved.
The next day, excitement arose, a steady wind of 20 knots blew. With a crew of 5, the Oceanis sails beautifully under all sails, steering effortlessly and effortlessly. Going against the waves with a heading of 50 degrees to the real wind at a speed of over 6 knots. When turning, the yacht accelerated to 7.5 knots. GPS is showing 8.6 knots under the spinnaker. And at the same time, there is still something to squeeze out of the boat!
However, the Oceanis 31 is designed as a cruiser for a family or two childless couples. If it is a fast boat, so much the better, but the main criterion for judging is still interior comfort. Let’s start with the deck. An impressive stainless steel roller, followed by a self-draining locker, windlass and ducks.
Everything looks reliable and ready for heavy use. An opening is provided in the rail so that the genoa skirt does not cling to the rail. Protopchiny, perhaps, is narrow, since the wheelhouse is quite large, their width at deck level is only 37 cm.
The cockpit accommodates the steering wheel and instrument console. Here you can accommodate in four or five, sitting on different sides. The steering wheel has a diameter of 92 cm, so it does not obstruct passage to the stern. From the helmsman’s seat all instruments are perfectly visible if you sit on a comfortable seat on the bank along the side. But, if you sit in the middle, then the roof of the wheelhouse slightly interferes with the view ahead. The stern can has a gas shock absorber, so access to the bathing platform is easy and safe.
All the fittings are of very decent quality: two winches (32 Harken) for the jib sheets. The helmsman can easily reach them. The second pair of winches is located on the roof of the wheelhouse, behind the shoulder of the boom sheet.
For a sailboat just 31 feet long, the interior volume looks impressive. The overall height in the saloon reaches 1.80 m. On the port side there is an L-shaped galley, behind which is the entrance to the aft cabin. The bed in the aft cabin is installed across the hull.
By no means an ideal solution when it comes to crossings in bad weather. But how many yachtsmen do you know who go on a cruise with night crossings in any weather on 31 feet? So this is a perfectly normal cabin, with a 1.69m wide bed.
There is enough space for placing things. There is one interesting option that is extremely useful for those who will operate a yacht in the Mediterranean Sea or in the tropics – 2 additional opening hatches.
On the starboard side, there is a rather modest navigator’s table facing the sofa along the side. On the starboard side there is a toilet room with a holding tank (80 liters) and a mixer for a hot shower. Five of us can sleep on the yacht if the table is laid out in the cabin.
There are many shelves on both sides, but they are open, so in the event of strong rolling, your things may end up in the cabin. If you raise the floorboards, the buttress becomes visible. There are also pipes and cables laid under the floor. The stock is also provided.
The forward cabin is slightly smaller than the aft cabin, but also comfortable. Wardrobes and lockers are plentiful, and the bed can be extended down the middle. There is a large wardrobe on the starboard side.
The Oceanis 31 can definitely be considered a success for Beneteau. Good performance and comfort, all combined in a compact yet elegant yacht. The very attractive price will undoubtedly make this boat popular with cruise yachting enthusiasts. Despite the fact that the yacht is not large, it is assigned category B for 6 people. And we consider it to be seaworthy enough to sail the Mediterranean.
Oceanis 31 specifications:
Architects: Finot / Conq Associes
Hull length: 9.30 m.
Length at the waterline: 8.69 m.
Width: 3.39 m.
Draft: 1.30 m. Or 1.80 m.
Mainsail: 24.60 sq.m.
Jib: 22.80 sq.m.
Engine: 20 HP
Fresh water: 130 l.
Fuel 130 liters.
Small and not so great advantages of Oceanis 31
1. Cockpit locker through which you can reach the steering. This is a clear safety benefit.
2. Hatches above the banks in the cockpit. It is very practical if you need to convey some things without going inside.
3. A new generation of sliding sunroof. Saves space and allows you to safely descend steps.
4. Curved steps and multiple handrails make it easy to move around inside the boat.
5. Extra large 2.10 mx 1.69 m bed in aft cabin
6.L-shaped galley – just like big yachts, Two-burner stove, 2 sinks, large refrigerator
7. Surprisingly large washroom for a 31 foot
8. The headroom in the forward cabin is 1.83 m, only one centimeter lower than when entering the saloon. The bed is 34 cm wide at the legs and 1.50 m at the heads with a length of 2.03 m.
9. The table in the salon measuring 84 x 44 cm has a 34 cm fold-out part. Five of us can sit behind him.
10. The size of the chart table is 69 x 44 cm.
Source: Nautiques Magazine, October 2008