It is by far the most important new release in Beneteau's most important program. And that is probably one of the reasons why the world market leader waited a long time to present the Oceanis 40.1. The twelve-meter yacht, which is to set standards in terms of volume, living comfort and variability, will be launched on the market this summer - as the fourth and foreseeable most popular model in the current cruising boat series.
The "handwriting" of the new Oceanis series has become familiar. Since the premiere of the Oceanis 51.1 two and a half years ago, the strong kinking of the hull in the foredeck has become a distinguishing feature - as has the elongated, relatively flat cabin superstructure and the large cockpit. All of this also distinguishes the 40.1, although here more compromises were necessary between sheer aesthetics and practical utility.
The new one replaces the previous Oceanis 41.1, whose hull was almost identical in length and width, but a far less exhausted use of space. It may also make the 38.1 obsolete. Because from the owner's version with two chambers and a huge walk-in storage space on port aft to the charter ship with four cabins and two bathrooms, it offers a variety of this size that is not offered anywhere else. One could even go so far as to say that it is many boats in one.
Photo gallery: First pictures of the new Oceanis 40.1
In addition to four different cabin layouts (see photo gallery), owners of the new Oceanis 40.1 can also choose between three rigs, three keels and two types of wood for the expansion - in addition to seven (!) Different equipment packages and other individual extras.
Like the Oceanis 46.1 and 51.1, the standard version has a furling mainsail and self-tacking jib, which keeps the operating effort low, but so does the sail load rating. Here, the 40.1 is based on the lower end of what is common today in cruising boats.
With a value of 4.1 it offers little sail area measured against the displacement. Even with the higher performance rig and a slightly overlapping genu - both of which are extras subject to a surcharge - it only comes to an average value of 4.4. For comparison: The likewise new BavariC42 has more potential with a sails load rating of 4.5 even in the basic configuration.
Damien Jacob, responsible for the development of sailboats at Beneteau, explains this interpretation: "We deliberately wanted to keep the Oceanis 40.1 easy to handle. We know from our market research that many sailors are beginners on yachts in the range of twelve meters or more have little experience. Therefore, the boat should not overwhelm anyone."
Jacob insists that the 40.1 will still have good sailing characteristics and sufficient power. "With Marc Lombard we have hired one of the top designers who has drawn many highly efficient yachts, including one of the fastest Class 40s today." Lombard is also the architect of the Sun Odyssey 410 from Beneteau's sister shipyard, Jeanneau. The two boats are each their own designs; they just share the same oars and keels.
With a base price of 198,970 euros, the Oceanis 40.1 remains comparatively affordable. It is a good 10,000 euros above the BavariC42. How attractive the debut really is, however, can only be said after a comparison adjusted for the equipment. This will follow shortly in the extensive YACHT test.
It will also be exciting to see whether the new one can build on the successes of her two predecessors. The Oceanis 46.1, presented in 2018, won the European Yacht of the Year Award in the cruising boats category a year ago and the Oceanis 30.1 only in January. A triple would be a first - not just for Beneteau. No shipyard in a row has achieved this.
Read all about the new one tomorrow Oceanis Yacht 54. It is based on the sporty First 53, the hull of which it takes over. However, she is getting a heavily modified deck with a higher cabin structure and a closed aft cockpit - another very interesting addition to the market.