Oceanis Yachts 62 – first of a new luxury range from Beneteau
Beneteau goes to a powerboat designer to find a new look for the first of its new range of luxury cruisers. Toby Hodges reports
Note the title ‘Oceanis Yachts’ 62. I missed it at first, assuming this was a new flagship for Beneteau’s traditional Oceanis range. But no, this 62-footer represents the first of a new luxury range of Beneteaus from 53-73ft, which employs an industrial approach to provide an unbeatable end price for a large yacht.
You’ll notice the 62 has a certain Italian flair to it for a French yacht. This is perhaps because Oceanis Yachts’ co-designer and Beneteau’s new sailing director are both Italian. The design and styling was a collaborative approach between Berret Racoupeau and the Italian designer Pierangelo Andreani.
Andreani has been working with Beneteau’s Montecarlo powerboat range for years.
“In order to explore something beyond what we are currently doing, we went to a powerboat designer to find something new,” says Beneteau’s sailing yachts director, Gianguido Girotti (ex Grand Soleil and Dufour).
The bold, dark stripes across the topsides, for instance, are used as both a signature look for the new range and a means to camouflage the many large hull portlights. Together with the wraparound coachroof portlights then, they should provide an astonishing amount of light below decks.
Motor boat influences
It is not only the styling, including the hull stripes and the interior, that borrows ideas from the power side. Note the design of the stern sections. The minimalist three or four-cabin layout leaves room for a vast tender garage, plus a proper practical aft bathing platform that will really extend space on deck.
With the bathing platform lowered, stairwells incorporated into each quarter are exposed. These have an elegant 45° incline similar to those on motor boats, providing easy access to the platform.
The aft section of the platform submerges hydraulically to facilitate the launch and recovery of the tender and the garage can house a 2.85m Williams jet RIB.
The deck design is created for warm weather comfort. There are six sunbathing beds, including two on the flat coachroof, the cockpit is enormous for alfresco living, plus there is a novel rigid bimini option.
Intelligent cost capping
Beneteau’s goal is to keep the price of the Oceanis Yachts 62 under €600,000. It has created a production run in the big boat facility where the Montecarlo motor boats are produced, says Girotti.
This is an industrialised technique aimed at reducing construction time, so that finish quality can be improved for the price.
“We are the biggest experts in the world at doing this with 40-50ft boats,” Girotti explains. “But there was never really an approach for Groupe Beneteau brands to do this with larger yachts before.”
He sees this as the latest evolution of Groupe Beneteau’s large yachts. “We further stretched the good concept of the Bordeaux 60, and squeezed the price down even lower than the Jeanneau 64.”
The Bordeaux 60 was a €1m yacht when it launched in 2008, but has 30 per cent less volume than the Oceanis Yachts 62. The Jeanneau 64 brought the price down by €150,000. “Now, three years later we came up with the third step, one that is another €200,000 cheaper.”
The marketing slogan of Oceanis Yachts is to ‘make the inaccessible accessible’. Girotti explains this as “creating high-end quality with better service”. While Beneteau isn’t about to encourage owners to visit its yard and make custom adjustments to their builds, it will be introducing an element of personal choice to this new range – a touch of luxury.
This means a more serviced-based approach for Oceanis Yachts owners, including direct sea trials. “It’s not just a product, but a service. For the first time for a production yard, we will be putting the yard in front of the customer, not the dealer. We build 850 yachts a year, but will be treating the customer [as if this were] a yard that builds 40-50 boats a year.”
Beneteau will have one location in the Med and one in northern Europe to conduct these handovers, before establishing a ‘flying doctor approach’ for the US and further afield.
The first Oceanis Yachts 62 will launch this spring and undergo two months of extensive sea trials. Her official premiere will be at the Cannes and Annapolis boat shows in the autumn.
Price ex VAT €600,000 (£462,750). www.beneteau.com
LOA 19.07m/64ft 9in
Beam 5.33m/17ft 6in
Draught 2.3-2.9m/7ft 7in-9ft 6in
Sail area 182m2/1,959ft2