Here She stands in the roadstead of the Monaco Yacht Club and dark waters hide her hull, but it is not possible to hide her aristocratic origins. Here it is – the new Oceains from Madame Roux (Madame – this is how the owner of the Beneteau shipyard in France is called).
Most of the charter yacht market already belongs to this shipyard, which created the Oceanis 31, which aims to compete in the private yacht segment. The previous development strategy of the new line has worked well for yachts from 35 and feet and now Beneteau expects to be successful in the new segment of the market.
The new Oceanis 31 is the last (ninth) updated boat in the fourth generation of the Oceanis series. The yacht is identical to its older sisters in style, comfort and performance.
With Raymarine electronics and EXCLUSIVE package the yacht costs 66,298 Euros. It’s up to 25% more off the base price, but the Oceanis series isn’t geared towards slot machine players either.
Oceanis 31 under sail
Our test took place in 6-9 knot winds and light waves. Let’s go. We started with a 45-degree side-haul and gained three knots. As soon as we stepped down a bit, the speed quickly increased to 4.5 knots. The intensified wave knocks the wind out of the sails and the speed again drops to 3.
The yacht is well equipped with sails, and a sufficiently long waterline for the length of the hull suggests that in stronger winds the boat can show good speed. In cruise mode, the yacht goes 4.7-5.7 knots and holds its course well thanks to the shape of the hull and skeg. Also note the excellent steering response – again thanks to the rudder blade shape and the cable routing system.
On the bow of the yacht there is a bow roller for the anchor with a hole for attaching the tack angle of the gennaker. The luff is 105% genoa 3 cm below the open gallery and sometimes you will have to “straighten the skirt” on sharp courses. Dussi wood handrails are installed on the roof of the cabin.
There are no ducks installed along the sides in the center of the boat, and therefore, when installing sprints, it is tempting to use shrouds. All halyards and sheets are concentrated in the cockpit. The cockpit deck is covered with irocco. It should be noted that the cockpit is quite wide and 4 people are quite calmly placed around a folding table, which is attached to the binnacle.
The cockpit locker is a deep safe that needs to be laid flat to keep all the contents accessible. The helm station is superbly equipped and both staysail winches are close at hand. In the transom, there is a passage to the aft beach, on which there is a swim ladder, a hatch for access to the steering gear.
As you might have guessed from the story of the dussi and irokko tree, the Beneteau shipyard is actively stopping the purchase of teak, as its supply from Burma becomes unpredictable. The interior is made by the Italian firm Alpi from 0.7 mm thick mahogany, bleached and painted in the desired color and glued in 2 layers. The veneer is then cut to the shape of the laminate, creating a more than convincing pinhead-thick finish.
This technology is more expensive than that used in the production of conventional teak plywood, but since the new technology involves bleaching plywood, the selection of wood color becomes much easier, and in general, this technology is much more environmentally friendly.
The interior of the yacht is airy, spacious, pleasing to the eye and very comfortable. The ceiling is formed from panels glued to the ceiling. The saloon is quite spacious for a boat of this size, with a ceiling height near the gangway of 187 cm and 182 cm under the front bulkhead. But for this waste you have to pay for the size of the cabin. Four people can sit quietly at the table in the cabin, five will sit in a little cramped space, with views from the windows at the level of the boat hull.
To all this is added a fold-out sofa on the starboard side, which serves as a nautical berth and a seat for the navigator’s table. Small opening hatches are mounted on the roof of the cabin in the windows. It should also be noted the large number of conveniently located handles, as well as the pillers around which the table is located.
The galley ceiling is 186 cm high and the table top is at a comfortable height. The stove with two burners and an oven is very well located, but the gas switch is located behind the stove and because of this it is impossible to get to it quickly. There is also a deep fridge and a two-section sink in the galley. A drawer for a waste basket is installed under the sink.
The galley ventilation is well done and there is also a separate light. The chart table is full size, which is unusual for a yacht of this size. There is a shower next to the chart table. The hold is well accessed. A hatch is provided for access to the engine. The only thing that is not entirely clear is why the porthole is located above the chart table, and not in the toilet.
The aft cabin is equipped with shelves, and there is a fuel tank and battery under the sofa. The fact that the pillers are located in the center of the wardroom suggests that it is most likely impossible to stand in full height in the forward cabin. The locker in the forward cabin is pretty good, with a drinking water tank under the bunk.
The yacht is powered by a 20 horsepower Yanmar engine. Our test boat was equipped with a non-standard 3-blade propeller, providing a cruising speed of 5.9 knots at 2500 rpm, at maximum speed the yacht develops 7.2 knots. The soundproofing is well done, but the sound of the engine is clearly audible in the cockpit and the vibration is noticeably noticeable compared to sailing. The yacht turns rather quickly; no effort is transferred to the steering wheel when maneuvering back.
Airframe Oceanis 31
The body is made of single-layer fiberglass with a thickness of 8 mm. above the waterline and up to 20 mm. at the keel. The inner set is glued into the hull, distributing the weight of the mast, keel and rudder, ensuring the boat is resistant to bending.
The deck is made of fiberglass filled with balsa and glued – screwed to the hull, which is hidden by the bulwark. A cast iron keel (optionally with a 1.3m shallow keel) is bolted to the hull with mounting plates, and the rudder stock is also steel.
Very comfortable helm station, excellent storage for a life raft, good galley.
Small forward cabin, Alpi’s interior lacks authenticity.
There is no doubt about the success of the Oceanis line, the 40 was Beneteau’s fastest selling boat with an amazing 541 hulls in 1.5 years. Hope for the Oceanis 31 is indeed very high with 275 hulls built this year and 350 orders in 2009. The boat is very beautiful. The design is thought out to the smallest detail. The technical performance and ease of handling are also very good and you don’t have to be a world-class yachtsman to squeeze everything out of the yacht.
The cockpit is safe and well laid out, with a crew of one or two people sufficient to operate, and the idea of a life raft locker is great. The interior of the boat is bright, modern, with a large saloon and a spacious aft cabin. The bow cabin is a berth suitable for children.