The new Oceanis Yacht 60 from Beneteau is a stylish and bluewater friendly new flagship model for the French yard

Beneteau’s new flagship, the Oceanis Yacht 60, is the yard’s third model to come out of the collaboration with Lorenzo Argento and Roberto Biscontini that started with the First Yacht 53 three years ago. Their brief for the company’s third generation yacht of this size was to create a sturdy and stylish bluewater friendly vessel with a very high standard of interior finish, including plenty of solid wood joinery.

“They have given us a new way of working and a new perspective,” Beneteau’s Valentin Moreau tells me, “so this boat is very different to the smaller models in the Oceanis range and to the Oceanis Yacht 62 it replaces.”

The design philosophy follows on from that of the First Yachts 53 and the Oceanis Yachts 54, which share the same hull design. The new Oceanis Yacht 60 has proportionately slightly fuller forward sections shape, but it’s by no means extreme in that respect. As with the smaller models, whose hull was originally developed as a performance cruiser, Biscontini opted for a transom with lots of flare and low waterline beam, rather than wide stern sections with marked chines. At the same time, there is more rocker in the aft sections below the waterline.

The combined effect is to reduce wetted surface area to an extent that will markedly boost light airs performance, at the expense of a very small loss of speed when power reaching or in marginal surfing conditions.

Exterior styling is very similar to the Oceanis Yacht 54, including the standard mainsheet arch, low freeboard, low profile coach roof and a hint of reverse sheer. Yet, although hull length is 70cm less than the old 62-footer, overall interior volume remains the same and there’s more space in the owner’s suite. This was achieved in part through abandoning a completely level cabin sole throughout the boat, which wastes a lot of volume below the floor. Instead, there’s a modest step down from the saloon to the forward galley and to the aft cabins, which therefore retain good headroom despite the reduced freeboard.

These changes helped save a whopping five tonnes of weight, yet the sail area remains very similar to that of the previous model. Together with the reduced wetted service area this will transform the sailing experience.

Near level walk around deck layouts have become de rigour for many of today’s new yachts. In this case there are only two 7cm high steps between the transom and the bow, one alongside the guest cockpit and the other near the mast.

However the need for any deck work is kept to a minimum thanks to fitting Harken’s Unwind winching system as standard. This uses electric winches to both wind in and to ease a line, which means the trim of mainsail and jib can be completely controlled from the consoles at each helm station.

Much thought has gone into the ergonomics of these, with a conscious effort to ensure drivers feel protected. The steering positions are therefore inboard of a substantial coaming and benefit from large helm seats with high backrests. The 1.1 m diameter of the wheels are larger than average, but it’s still possible to reach the two pairs of coaming mounted electric winches if necessary.

Argento has also stamped his clean minimalist style on the interior, where attention to detail includes concealed lighting and switches. The saloon is full width, with lots of overhead hatches for natural light and ventilation. A big L-shaped navigation centre, with a leather designer swivelling chair, is clearly aimed at those who work from home while on board. This will be Beneteau’s first model with a full width forward galley. It offers plenty of space and was designed to maximise both stowage volumes and worktop space.

The forward owners cabin occupies a third of the length of the interior, with privacy and soundproofing prioritised. The en suite is therefore at the back of this area, against the main bulkhead, while the bed faces forward, which means it can’t be seen when the door to the galley/saloon is open. It’s a novel layout, but has obvious appeal and also provides more stowage space than conventional arrangements.

This model boat also comes with Beneteau’s Ship Control system, which has been rolled out across all models, as standard. This allows all aspects of the boat to be managed from an app or MFDs when on board, and also from home thanks to the on-board mobile data connection. It’s also available for retrofitting to existing craft.

The first Oceanis 60 is scheduled to be launched in Les Sables d’Olonne in July this year, in advance of a public launch at the Cannes boat show in September. Pricing won’t be released until then.

Oceanis Yacht 60 specifications:

LOA: 18.8m 61ft 8in
Hull length: 17.64m 57ft 1in
Beam: 5.3m 17ft 5in
Draught: (std keel) 2.65m 8ft 4in
Displacement: 21,500kg 37,400lb
Price: TBA

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