Midwest Debut, The Exciting New 41.1
Beneteau Oceanis 41.1
2016 January 25
By ROBERT H. PERRY
Options abound in this updated cruiser
Here is a handsome new design from the Finot-Conq design group and built by Beneteau. It looks to me like Finot-Conq designed the hull and rig and Nauta Design is responsible for the interior. In the two-dimensional profile the boat is a bit stubby looking but in the 3-D renderings the look is surprisingly sleek. Maybe it’s the acute angles chosen for the rendering, but it is attractive.
The hull is very beamy with an L/B of 2.96. Notice that we are consistently seeing L/Bs below 3 these days. My definition of “moderate beam” at 3.45 may be in need of revision soon. The beamier the boat, the more accommodations you can cram into it, and apparently that is working for many builders. Note also the lack of overhangs which is another way of maxing out the usable interior volume for a given LOA. I estimated the DWL and came up with a D/L of 166 based on the brochure’s “light displacement.” Not sure what that means other than the fact that if you buy one of these it will weigh more than that. You can choose from a 7-foot 2-inch draft or a 5-foot 7-inch draft. There is one rudder. With the beam carried aft like this once again, I would have thought two rudders would have worked better. There is a chine aft on this design “making her remarkably habitable” according to the brochure.
There are four layout options with seemingly infinite finish options. The middle of the boat—galley, settees, navigation station and head—remain the same in all configurations. The sleeping arrangements in the ends change. You can have two double cabins aft, or one cabin with storage space. Forward, you can have a centerline double berth or an off-center double with an additional head in the cabin. My preference would be the centerline double forward, one aft double berth and one head. That layout works quite well for me, as I like the additional storage opportunities and see no need for an additional head on this boat.
This rig strikes me as unusual in that the mast is quite far aft. The brochure identifies this as an improvement in sail handling, but sometimes I wonder if the mast isn’t placed where it will do the least harm to the accommodation plan. Certainly there is some latitude in mast placement. But with a boat with a stern this wide, one rudder and the mast well aft of the leading edge of the keel, I’d worry about weather helm. I would need to test sail this boat to be sure. The SA/D is 20.33 using the brochure’s sail area figure. The jib is self-tacking on a recessed track.
The deck plan features a huge cockpit and a fold down transom to make a giant swim platform. The twin wheels open up the cockpit and put the helmsman outboard where he can see the sails, or the dock, easily. The mainsheet is on an arch, further cleaning up the cockpit and keeping sightlines clear. Whether underway or relaxing at anchor, the cockpit should be comfortable for several people to enjoy.
This would make a comfortable cruising boat and there are enough options in the layout to ensure one would work for you.
LOA 40’9”; LWL 39’4”; Beam 13’9”; Draft 7’2”, (shoal) 5’7”; Displ. 19,345 lbs.; Sail area 916 sq. ft.; Fuel 53 gal.; Water 63 gal.or Optional 87.; SA/D 20.33; D/L 166; L/B 2.96