Very Versatile Cruiser
Combining innovation and functionality, the customisable Oceanis 38 should win plenty of admirers in Asia...
VERSATILITY IS A GOOD FACET to have in many things, so it's unsurprising that the Beneteau Oceanis 38 has it in abundance with no less than three versions of the same hull available – a major reason for its 2014 European Family Cruiser Yacht of the Year award presented at the Boot Düsseldorf show.
The traditionalists can choose the fully fitted Cruiser interior, while those with occasional regatta ambitions may opt for the lighter-weight and cheaper Daysailer. Then there is the three-cabin Weekender that has only the basics, but here again there's versatility because you can retrofit the modular components as required.
This review boat was a Cruiser version with forward bulkhead removed – for 500 Euros and 30 minutes of effort, it can be installed and includes a normal doorway. Marketing product development manager Thomas Gaillard says that sales so far have been 70 percent for the Cruiser, 29 percent to the Weekender and only 1 percent for the fully stripped-out Daysailer.
Eric Chan at Simpson Marine in Hong Kong says the first Oceanis 38 has been delivered there and he expects more orders, as 40ft cruisers are popular right now in the region.
Apart from cost savings that mean this boat could entice first-time buyers, weight is also a variable factor in the Oceanis 38. This was a major part of the design remit, says designer Pascal Conq as we sit on board in Mallorca talking about his latest creation. “The design was quite challenging because of the different versions, and the 500kg weight difference changes the waterline, so there were a lot of calculations,” Conq explains.
To read all of this article pick up a copy of the 2014 Jul/Aug issue of Asia-Pacific Boating magazine, or buy it online from www.magzter.com