Having kick-started the Oceanis Yacht series with the former 62, Beneteau followed up in 2020 with the Oceanis Yacht 54, the ‘Yacht’ designation differentiating the top-of-the-range offshore cruiser models from the rest of the Oceanis series, now ranging from the 30.1 to the 51.1.
During a test sail off Barcelona, we were seduced by the 54’s performance and manoeuvrability, which make it suitable for a family or a short-handed crew — the same thing a lot of the time.
The Oceanis Yacht 60 we discovered at the Cannes Yachting Festival last September is different because of its even more elegant silhouette. Its size and the lines of the rigid bimini cap give it a more imposing stature, more modern, racier, while early sales to Taiwan by Simpson Marine indicate its suitability for Asian waters and popularity among regional sailors.
Like its smaller sister, the hull design of the Oceanis Yacht 60 is from the drawing board of Italian Roberto Biscontini, who also designed the First 53, the biggest model in the First range.
Beyond the pure performance, the balance under sail of these boats when under way creates a freedom for the yachtsman in the sense that one can achieve superb average speeds without being a great racer or even without pushing it, while your companions enjoy a comfortable ride.
The moderate angle of heel on all points of sail gives the impression of safety and serenity, which is what a ‘yacht’ is all about. But what else is needed to achieve this coveted status?
A Delightful Central Cockpit
As you step aboard, via a hydraulic gangway, the wide deck gives a natural ease of movement, helped by very accomplished ergonomics.
Lorenzo Argento, the Italian interior and exterior designer, has created modular relaxation areas that can be used in any situation. Under the rigid bimini, whose soft top can be retracted to enjoy either the sun or the stars, a central cockpit has been designed to provide easy circulation.
On either side of a main aisle, two tables can seat 10 people for dining or can be lowered at the touch of a button to become a lounger. Two further sun loungers are installed in this space under the retractable roof, while there are two more forward of the mast.
A beautiful aft deck completes the ‘relaxation’ areas, which avoid any mixing with the sailing zones. The sailing equipment is all grouped together at the helm stations so there’s no need to let go of the wheel for setting, trimming or reducing sail. Note that moving from one end of the deck to the other is accomplished without having to step over any coaming.
With stairs leading from the bathing platform and well-hidden steps on the side decks, moving around is simple and safe, even for the shortest of distances, giving the feeling of being in a flush-deck space.
Interior of High Standing
This ease of movement is confirmed by the gentle, wide companionway leading down to a very spacious interior, which includes a saloon, dining area and central galley across the width of the boat. The three en-suite and bathrooms are located at the ends of the boat.
The interior can be fitted out in walnut for a very intimate atmosphere or in oak, for a brighter effect, while the layout has been designed to make every move smooth and easy.
During our visit aboard, there must have been a dozen of us — including Argento — in the saloon, and no one was in each other’s way. The semi-circular chart table and its bucket seat allow the owner to enjoy life on board with friends.
The full-width galley, separated into two zones, has comprehensive work areas and equipment. On one side, there are plus-sized refrigeration facilities and on the other, the cooking and serving station bring the culinary possibilities closer to what you’d find ashore.
Each cabin has its own bathroom with separate shower. A door from the saloon transforms one of the aft cabin bathrooms into a toilet for day guests.
The owner’s suite forward is very spacious and bright, with four hatches in the deck. Its forward-facing island bed is forward of the en-suite bathroom and away from prying eyes, reinforcing the private aspect of the yacht, while the storage space includes a full wardrobe.
Equipment That Makes a Yacht
These living areas and storage spaces — except for the wine cellar, which is a touch on the small side — contribute to the comfort expected on a larger boat. Nevertheless, it’s because of the sum of the equipment, the standard of finish, and the coherence of the whole that one recognises a real ‘yacht’.
Beneteau has also provided an exhaustive list of options to set up your Oceanis Yacht 60 according to your expectations and sailing programme, all in accordance with the brand’s Premium service, which accompanies you through the moment of handover.
Judging by this model, nothing is missing to create a comfortable onboard experience. Air conditioning, multimedia, quality upholstery and bedding, high-end blinds, a dishwasher and a washing machine provide almost every comfort you could wish for and most of what you need.
On the technical side, the Ship Control and Seanapps systems allow the skipper and/or owner to manage the onboard equipment both onboard and from a smartphone, improving safety and reducing concerns. The choice of in-mast furling — the AST system developed in association with Harken — eliminates the effort involved in tacking and trimming the sails, and limits heeling.
This, combined with the bow and stern thrusters that assist with port manoeuvres, are all part of the ‘easy sailing’ concept that the brand has been promoting for many years to encourage access to boating for even novice sailors.
And because every detail is important, the garage allows you to effortlessly launch and recover a 2.8m RIB with an electric winch. There’s even a skipper/hostess cabin in the forepeak, yet another feature that shows all bases are covered and is another boost to its popularity in Asia.
This article first appeared on Yacht Style.
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