Beneteau 46

June 2009 By John Kretschmer Boats and Gear

This sleek cruiser is an almost perfect blend of style and performance
The Beneteau 46 is a near ideal blend of performance, comfort and user friendliness. The 46 continues Beneteau’s sleek new look with a rakish deck design that somehow seems low slung while at the same time allows for large portlights that flood the interior with natural light. This design, like others in the Beneteau Series, is the result of a combination of talents. Naval architects Jean Berrret and Oliver Racoupeau designed the hull and deck while the Italian firm of Nauta Design is responsible for the interior layout and styling.
I really like the concept and the execution of the performance cruisers that make up the “Beneteau Series.” Ranging from 31 feet to 49 feet, these boats combine capable, sweet sailing hull shapes and spacious interiors. The 46, which actually has an LOA of 47 feet, 3 inches, just may be the perfect length for an all-around performance cruiser. It is big enough to be very fast and has enough heft to have a nice ride in a seaway and yet can still be easily handled by a couple. The interior is comfortable for living aboard for long periods of time, and although the systems are serious, they’re not overwhelming to maintain. And, it’s a Beneteau, meaning that it is well made and backed up by the largest sailboat company in the world.

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