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Beneteau Oceanis 37.1

2023 September 1

A comfy cruiser with loads of interior space has options to suit many

Beneteau is certainly the big name in production boats today. It has a lot of practice providing boats that serve a wide range of buyers. Part of the company’s success is its pursuit of interior volume and performance. These two targets are very often at odds with each other. The fastest boats are not known for interior volume for good reasons. The boats with the roomiest interiors are seldom known for their speed. Let’s take a look how naval architect Marc Lombard and interior designer Nauta Design reconcile these two elements.

The sailplan rendering carefully plays down the amount of freeboard in the 37.1. This is also helped by a low chine forward about 12 inches above then DWL at the stem and slowly rising to about 19.29 inches at the transom. Why would you slope the chine like that? I’ll tell you what I think. Using that chine forward to add a sharp flare to the forward sections right at the chine allows for more volume above the chine. It’s a bit hard to explain. It’s a feature you see frequently in cruising catamaran designs. 

You can keep the BWL reasonably narrow while recapturing beam and volume above the chine. Note in plan view how beamy this bow is. This will make the V-berth area roomier. Aft the chine rises and that flare is faired out. Raising the chine puts it where it will do the most for increasing beam and volume where the top of the quarter berth is. 

Given the D/L of 151 and the L/B of 2.81 I’m not sure this chine helps performance, however it does help with usable interior volume with minimal effect on performance. I like the look of chines. They can accent the lines of the hull when carefully placed. There are twin rudders. You can choose from a deep-draft keel drawing 6 feet 11 inches or a shoal-draft keel drawing 5 feet 4 inches.


As we look at these three interior options keep in mind this is a 36-foot boat. LOA is 39 feet 2 inches but length on deck is 36 feet 1 inch. This is a lot of interior volume. 

The options involve how many heads you want and how many double berths you want. If you go with two double berths the aft double is huge and the head is aft. If you go with three double berths you can have one head aft or by angling the forward double and making it slightly smaller you can have a head aft and a head forward. All three of the interiors share the same main cabin and galley. 

The galley runs straight down the starboard side. This will work but it’s not the best galley if you go offshore. But, to make the rest of the layout work your galley options are very limited. What I don’t care for is having the entire crew dining all to port. There is no room to spread out after dinner unless you go on deck. But again this basic layout makes the three large double berth cabins possible.  As my pal Special Ed would say, “It’s always something, never nothing.”

This is a handsome boat. I like the profile and the contours of the cabintrunk. Note how far aft the mast is. There is 27 degrees of spreader sweep. That’s a lot. When the boat falls off the wind the mainsail will impale on the spreaders pretty quickly. Better to heat the boat up, pull the apparent wind forward and enjoy a power reach. Your downwind VMG will be improved. 

I see no mainsheet traveler. I presume there will be a mainsheet bridle and mainsail twist will be controlled by the vang. The cockpit is big and pushed aft as far as possible. The transom hinges down to form a broad swim step. Twin wheels leave the stern wide open. A cockpit center console makes a good dining table and storage box. The SA/D is 18.85.

This boat will certainly be a big hit in the charter business. I suspect that was the target from the start.

LOA 39’2”; LWL 35’6”; Beam 12’10”; Draft deep 6’11”, shoal 5’4”; Displ. 15,128 lb.; Ballast deep draft 3,967 lb., shoal draft 4,342 lb.;  Sail area 646 sq. ft.; Fuel 34 gal.; Water 94 gal.; D/L 151; L/B 39.2; SA/D 18.5