The new cruising sailboat from Beneteau introduces a new look to the Oceanis Range

Inspiration is not always intuitive. The first model in the seventh (and latest) generation of Beneteau’s Oceanis cruising yachts, the new 51.1, owes its distinctive hull form not to the world of luxury sailboats but to an all-carbon, hard-chined rocket ship, the Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed Rambler 88.
The result is a distinctive, and I think good-looking, change to a product line that’s now entering its third decade. But while Rambler in race mode is a stripped-out shell that requires a full squad of race-hardened deck apes to sail, the creature comforts abound on the 51.1, from its plumb bow to the push-button fold-down swim-platform transom, and by design, it’s a sailboat that’s meant to be cruised by a couple, with occasional friends and family.