Lively to sail, this midsize cruiser serves up comfort at rest. A boat review from our August 2008 issue

Sep 17, 2008
By Jeremy McGeary (More articles by this author)

Billy Black
Groupe Finot fine-tuned this efficient, comfortable sailer.
Twenty-first century technology has changed the relationships among boat buyers, boatbuilders, and boat dealers. Buyers, treating sailboats as a commodity, are comparison shopping on the Web, then, trusting the manufacturer to create a reliable product, dickering through the dealer over the color, the extras, and the price. Builders are refining their processes accordingly.

Indications of this trend are evident in the new cruising sailboats that Beneteau USA announced at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis in October 2006. Beneath the new exterior styling and the svelte interior décor, the latter by high-profile Nauta Design, lie more subtle changes: While revamping the product line, the builder could re-engineer its already trim production line, introducing efficiencies that allow it to offer even more boat for a still, relatively speaking, low price. The counterpoint is some loss of individuality between models. Belowdecks, as above, the three boats Beneteau introduced in 2007, the 43, 40, and 37, bear strong similarities; in some cases, they share components.   READ ARTICLE