Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 62
The new French flagship is drawing crowds on every shore
Hull number one of Beneteau’s new Oceanis Yachts line is out of the mold and already across the Atlantic. The word “Yacht” has been added to the name to designate Oceanis models 60 feet and over and it’s a fresh focus from the French builder. This newly created segment introduces an extra touch of luxury and a bit of customizing flexibility to sailboats that are nipping at the heels of superyachts.
The 62 is sleek, her profile accented by a black hull stripe that hides a dozen dark windows. This trompe l’oeil effect is an illusion that hides a bit of her height. (She towered well over my head as I stood on the dock in Les Sables d’Olonne, France.) But although the hull is high, the coachroof is well integrated and low so she doesn’t look tiered or overly tall.
Berret Racoupeau drew this model from scratch to signal Beneteau’s departure from building strictly production boats and their desire to reach a newer target audience. Piereangelo Andreani (who has worked extensively on Beneteau’s powerboats) added a bit of design flair as well and the model will appeal to those wishing to customize their vessel to suit their tastes and lifestyles.
Rigging, Deck & Cockpit The tapered 9/10 fractional Sparcraft mast is deck-stepped and has a towering air draft of 90 feet. With the 105 percent genoa, the total sail area with the in-mast furling main is 1,959 square feet. A 2,600-square-foot code zero is optional but it comes in handy. It attaches to the integrated stainless steel bowsprit, a large but unobtrusive appendage that holds the anchor nicely away from the plumb bow. The code zero is a tremendously powerful down wind sail that makes sure that the 62 barreling along can’t be missed.
On the other end of the vast deck is the dropdown transom that is well executed for two main reasons. First, it opens electrically to form an enormous swim platform, which drops below the waterline at the aft end. The angle helps launch and load the tender, a Williams 2.85 jet boat, that tucks neatly into the garage with the help of a Quick electric winch. It may be inflated or deflated with the integrated electric pump. The second nice feature is the twin staircases, port and starboard, that connect the teak beach to the cockpit. These are easy to ascend or descend and kudos to Beneteau for eschewing the normal ladder that is hard to negotiate, especially for kids or older folks.
Up on deck, the space aft of the companionway divides into the working and lounging cockpits. Aft are twin helm stations on composite consoles. These superyacht-style command pods hold Carbonautica wheels, toggles for the bow and stern thrusters, a remote control for the 24-volt windlass on the bow, and B&G Zeus 12-inch MFDs (upgradable to 16-inch NSO B&G MFDs).
The social cockpit is forward with a U-shaped settee on either side wrapping around a high/low electric table. With the tables lowered, these become lounges, separated by a walkthrough to the companionway. In lounge mode, they are irresistible to those wishing to relax the day away. Of course, there are other sunpads aboard including a double on the bow, two under the dodger and a long flat expanse along the transom. Ten could easily kick back with a book simultaneously, but then who would drive?
Back at the transom, an electrically activated galley module with a grill, sink, prep station and pop-up light is hidden below the transom deck under the aft sunpad. The chef can cook and serve those in the cockpit by moving only a few steps fore and aft.
Like on other Beneteau models, there is no traveller and the mainsheet connects to the composite arch. Walking back from the bow, I noticed eight retractable cleats that won’t snag sheets. A forward crew cabin, accessible via the foredeck, is optional but owner/operators will most likely store fenders and lines here.
Interior An open floor-plan below has a portside L-shaped lounge with a high/low electric table and an inboard facing settee amidships. The forward-facing navigation desk is to port and close to the companionway for easy communication with the cockpit. The large L-shaped desk has integrated laptop space inside, USB rather than the old 12-volt plugs and a third B&G MFD.
Across and to starboard is the straight-line galley, separated from the saloon by a console that holds a pop-up flatscreen TV and a bottle rack. This large kitchen may be outfitted with a bevy of amenities including a three-burner Eno stove/oven combination, a microwave, Vitrifrigo top and side-loading refrigeration, an Isotherm icemaker, a Dometic wine cooler, an Edesta dishwasher and twin sinks. Some of these are standard features and others are options, and most are completely hidden so it’s hard to find even a suggestion of a functional galley when all is put away. This new aesthetic is accented with grey Corian counters, white lacquer lockers and mahogany or oak Alpi wood cabinetry and it all looks very clean.
The master stateroom is forward and benefits from the dogleg entry that adds a bit of privacy. To reach the suite, you go via a foyer and a winding corridor that has a place for the optional washer/dryer combo and a large pantry. The master suite includes a centreline bed, several hanging lockers and an en suite head with separate shower stall. To starboard of the entrance is a customizable area, which can be configured as a chest of drawers, a desk or a short sofa. There is nearly seven feet of headroom at the foot of the bed and the whole suite is light and bright due to the twin opening overhead hatches and the rectangular hull windows that let you see out right from your pillow.
Guest accommodations are in twin aft cabins with en suite heads. The starboard cabin has an interior door for access to the Onan 11.5-kW genset as well as to the back of the Yanmar main engine. (Access to the front of the diesel is via the companionway steps—a gently angled six-step staircase with good railings along both sides.)
There are two small transom hatches that provide light and air to the aft cabins and with the cabin doors open, they are visible all the way from the saloon. It’s a nice effect but I wonder how this will work when guests pile luggage back into those corners, potentially obscuring these hatches and blocking the air that could come from them.
The interior luxury touches are by Piereangelo Andreani who adheres strictly to the new minimalist trend. The 62 is all about clean lines, smooth surfaces and hidden functionality. Choices of surface colours, woods and fabrics are a given, but other modifications, like that settee/desk in the master also serve to customize the vessel. This enhanced level of personalization of the onboard experience will be key to appealing to the discerning target market.
Under Way I was fortunate in that I got to sail this new flagship twice—once in France and then again on the East Coast of the U.S. on an overnight passage. Although we motorsailed most of the way on the delivery, I could tell that the Oceanis Yacht 62 isn’t shaken by much. Even with a following sea, her transom didn’t slew around much and when we did get her under sail, it was pure bliss.
Switches to furl and unfurl the headsail on the Facnor furler are on the helm consoles and this makes it easy to singlehand even a boat as large as this. In our brief trial in France we sailed 10.2 knots in 16 knots of true wind at 60 degrees apparent wind angle. We motorsailed at 10.5 knots from Annapolis to Newport with the engine at just 2,000 RPM, way short of wide-open throttle. I expect she will do 13 knots under sail in the right conditions.
With side thrusters both bow and stern, the Oceanis Yacht 62 is quite manoeuverable and doesn’t feel at all intimidating despite the vast expanse of deck ahead of the helmsman. (The only thing we could hear during our two-day delivery was the exhaust because the Yanmar 160-horsepower diesel and the generator are whisper quiet.)
Concluding Remarks Although the official launch of the Oceanis Yacht 62 in the Americas was the boat show in Annapolis, she made a splash in Newport, just four weeks earlier. Visible from the docks, the new flagship was kept just out of reach on a mooring, visited only by a lucky few with appointments. It was the proper tease of a luxe new model.
Hull #2 of the design is now making the rounds of European boat shows while the first hull is sure to garner attention as she tours North America.