Because the Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 is made to be free: Beneteau defines the target group as families and cruising sailors who also like to go on long trips. But “the Baltic Sea is almost too small for that”, says Lars Reisberg from Enjoy Yachting, who provides us with the sailing yacht.
After leaving with engine power – with the larger 80 HP engine, which reaches almost seven knots at 2,000 rpm – we go to the first reef. After all, there are up to 25 knots of wind, in gusts even more than 30, so no sunshine cruise. It soon turns out that the prevailing conditions are too easy for our Beneteau.
Even with a simply cut Dacron sail, the ship’s potential is impressive. With the optional furling mast, we quickly adapted the sail area to the prevailing conditions.
As standard, the Beneteau is supplied with a self-tacking jib. Our test yacht is equipped with an overlapping furling genoa. An up to 116 percent overlapping genoa is possible because the lower shrouds are located on the cabin superstructure. As an extra you will also need laterally mounted bulkhead rails. This opens the passage to the bow, which is good for safety.
For additional sails such as gennaker or code zero, a bowsprit can also be mounted as an extra. The shipyard offers additional tuning for this purpose: the range of products on offer includes an approximately one metre longer carbon mast with hydraulically adjustable backstay and high-quality laminate sails with 28 percent more sail area and overlapping genoa. Higher quality deck equipment and a deep keel with lead bomb are also on offer.
Halyards and sheets are accessible from the double steering position. So the yacht is easy to handle even with a small crew. Directly in front of the steering wheels are the stowage pockets – with a fixed lid they hold the lines. Folding platforms provide the helmsman with a secure position.
The cockpit is huge: it can comfortably accommodate up to eight people. In addition, there is plenty of space for sunbathing in the harbour or at anchor – on the cabin roof on both sides of the companionway and next to the companionway. If the boat is on the way, the sailors can lean against the large cockpit table.
The striking chine edges, which extend all the way to the bow, give the hull a high degree of form stability. The boat can therefore be designed much lighter. Thanks to this weight saving, she steers so agile that we hardly notice any difference
Thanks to the twin rudder, the Oceanis 46.1 is easy to steer, even with large heel. There is no danger of loosing control, because at least one of the two rudders always shows full effect. However, because the two rudder blades are each small, the feedback for the helmsman is less noticeable than with a single large blade.
Up to nine knots speed
Stoically, our ship pushes through the Baltic Sea even in more heavy conditions now and with waves up to one meter high. We do not reach the hull speed of almost nine knots because of the strongly reefed main. But at least on deeper courses we are still up to seven knots fast. It’s fascinating what can be achieved with the new hulls due to their shape and performance.
With the Oceanis 46.1, Beneteau has designed a family yacht which, with the appropriate fittings, is also very well suited as a charter boat. A balanced mixture of large volume, a certain elegance and – with the appropriate upgrade – very good sailing performance, she appeals to a wide audience. The sales figures so far have already proven it.
How much for the fun? The already well-equipped basic version starts at 268,000 euros. That is a pleasingly good price/performance ratio. Our test ship, has a price tag of 422,000 euros. The transport, rigging and antifouling are included.
Technical data Beneteau Oceanis 46.1
Length over all: 14.60 m
hull length: 13.65 m
width: 4.50 m
Draft: 1.75 m / 2.35 m / 2.65 m
Weight: 10.597 kg
Sail area: 112 sqm
Engine: 57 or 80 HP