The first sailing yacht with the index “.1” Beneteau released the updated Oceanis 41, which turned into the Oceanis 41.1 a few years after the release of the Oceanis 41. This version of the cruise yacht came out with some minor bugs and issues corrected. This strategy became so popular that the French shipyard decided to develop this line of refurbished yachts based on the already designed hulls. The sailing yacht Oceanis 51.1 replaces the Oceanis 48 and is a collection of many concepts and original hull design solutions.
The Oceanis 51.1 is the fifth in the .1 range and offers three basic versions: the racing version is called the First, the cruising version is called the Comfort and the daysailer version is called Easy. They target three different market segments in a single case design. A very flexible concept of additional options allows each yacht owner to almost completely customize the boat for himself.
The three versions mean you can quickly determine what purpose you are going to use the yacht for based on your preferences and yacht management style. The differences are mainly in the interior and equipment. All three versions have a mast with three rows of spreaders mounted on deck, differences in mast length and hull draft. The standard mast height from the waterline is 21 m, but it is possible to install an extended mast, which increases the sail area by 35%. The standard draft is 2.30 m, with a shortened keel – 1.85 m and in the racing version the draft is 2.80 m.
The “Easy” version (daysailer) with auto staysail and twisting of the mainsail into the mast makes steering the yacht very simple and easy to handle alone. The Comfort version adds D1 lower shrouds, two more winches, an arch with a boom-sheet assembly, sunbeds on either side of the salon entrance and a cockpit grill. The “First” version offers carbon or aluminum rigging, improved winches and deck equipment, hydraulic sternstay and composite steering wheels.
Rigging stops are located along the sides in the cockpit so that while working with the sails, using the winch, it is possible to simultaneously observe the staysail. This is a very significant improvement over previous Beneteau models, when you were spinning the winch and had no idea what was going on with the sail. The composite bowsprit lengthens the yacht’s hull and also minimizes the impact of the anchor on the hull during setting.
There is no shortage of sunbathing spots here. Two large sun loungers at the entrance to the saloon on the cockpit roof and a large bow deck are perfect for this. The cockpit grill slides out of the can and can be stood on the aft platform to work with. The davit beams can be folded when not needed.
A lot of clever solutions include folding footrests at the helmsman’s seats, a taller handrail and a huge compartment that houses the Fischer Panda generator. For all versions except the racing version, the cockpit table will be a real gift. It not only has large handrails for easy movement in the cockpit, but also footrests to help when heeling, as well as a refrigerator and storage space for a life raft.
A few “what were they just thinking” details
There are also some puzzling solutions on this boat. Compared to the huge cockpit table, the small steering consoles seem disproportionately small. Each holds a 9-inch B&G MFD screen and leaves little space.
Everything else depends on your feet, including engine and electric windlass control, bow thruster and wind sensor repeaters. You will have to bend down each time to control the engine while keeping your eyes on the bow of the yacht while docking.
And also, too little space between the deck necks. On the port deck, the fresh water inlet is located just 4 inches from the wastewater outlet. Dirty water is highly likely to enter fresh water tanks.
All of the above problems are easily solvable. Large steering consoles will allow all the necessary electronic navigation and engine controls and the rest to be placed at a more comfortable height, minor changes in plumbing and a new hole in the deck will allow the necks to be spaced a sufficient distance. Feedback from Beneteau dealers will allow you to quickly fix this situation without any problems.
Life on board
A long voyage aboard the Oceanis 51.1 is nothing like the camping lifestyle. This boat is better equipped than most apartments. There is a version of 5 cabins and 4 toilets, and an additional forward cabin for the crew. Our boat has 3 cabins and 2 toilets. And the owner’s forward cabin is equipped with separate shower and toilet. Symmetrical double cabins are located aft.
The U-shaped galley on the port side is equipped with a two-burner gas stove, refrigerator and many cabinets for storing dishes and food. Thanks to the U-shape in the galley, you can wash dishes and cook on the go at sea, avoiding acrobatic exercises.
The large chart table is located opposite the forward bulkhead in the saloon.
Deck hatches in the saloon and owner’s cabin, together with side windows along the entire length of the hull, make the interior bright and well lit. This is also facilitated by the new light oak finish of the hardware, which gives the texture and appearance of real wood. Mahogany finishes are also available for those who love the darker, traditional aesthetics of yacht interiors.
There are not many handrails installed inside. It certainly looks very nice, but not very practical. The distance from the entrance to the saloon to the bow cabin is great. The lack of handrails is good on boat shows, where they are invisible, but their absence is well felt when blowing at 30 knots on deck. On the other hand, the ladder to the salon is beyond praise. The wide, well-sloped steps are surrounded by sturdy handrails, and it will be very easy for the elderly, children and even pets to get on deck or go down inside.
In the sea
After an amazing sea trial of the Oceanis 41.1, I was looking forward to boarding this latest Beneteau. Alas, the wind gods were not with us that day. The weather prepared for us a light breeze with wind intensifications of only up to 6 knots. But since Beneteau produces very light hulls, it didn’t take too much effort to get the boat going. So even with such a light breeze, we were able to accelerate to 5 knots at 6.5 winds. With a displacement of almost 14 tons, our Oceanis 51.1 was easily accelerated in the slightest wind.
We looked great under Elvstrom’s advanced laminated sails, even when we stood still. Auto staysail and Code 0 are, in my opinion, the best sail option on this yacht. For riders, there are various options for carrying sails in order to be able to squeeze out the maximum speed.
Yanmar engine 80 hp with Saildrive comes as standard, but our yacht was equipped with a 100 hp engine. and on smooth water at 3400 rpm we accelerated to 10.1 knots. Having reduced the speed to 2500 rpm, the speed was 9.7 knots, and even at 1000 rpm we were moving at 6.1 knots. The Dock & Go joystick is easily accessible and links the engine, bow thruster and autopilot. With such a system it is a pleasure to moor in a light breeze.
A 200L fuel tank is standard, which is great for the racing version, but not quite suitable for long cruises. That is why it is possible to double the fuel supply on board. Standard fresh water tank 440 l, additional 330 l can be added. and you get a total of 770 liters. fresh water on board. With such a margin, everyone will have enough splashing in the shower.
Lots of options
Rumor has it that the name for the revamped .1 line sprang up on a napkin when Beneteau’s creativity may not have been at its peak. But in any case, this update is definitely noteworthy with notable improvements and innovations.
The first version of the revamped Oceanis 51.1 sailing yacht, led by new Marketing Director Gianguido Girotti, is almost entirely based on the options available to the yacht. Four interior layouts, five sailing plans, three keel styles and a choice of over 150 options create around 700 options for this yacht. I suggest starting with the simplest and most basic options, and then everything will fall into place.