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Beneteau 31

2008 October 30
If smaller boats appeal to you and you are looking for a boat to cruise the local bays with your family this Beneteau designed by Finot/ Conq might provide the answer.

It's a compact and beamy hull. The L/B is quite low at 2.75. The ends are short and the stern is very wide. This is clearly a boat designed with volume in mind and getting the most out of LOA. The D/L of this design is 172 and there is very little rocker to the hull profile. The prop shaft is captured in a fairing to avoid the need of a prop strut. The entry shows a bit of hollow and the stern is very full. There is lots of stability in that full broad stern but there is no doubt that a lot of the stern will dig in as this boat heels and you could suck up some white water at the transom. Two cast iron keels are available, one drawing 6 feet, 1 inch, and the other 205 pounds heavier drawing 4 feet, 5 inches. I don't think anyone would consider this a hull designed for speed but Finot has a good reputation for designing fast boats that goes back well over 30 years.

This layout extends pretty much the entire length of the boat with a little saved to carve in a swim platform aft. The V-berths are pushed as far forward as possible and cut away on the starboard side so there is room to stand in this area. I'm not sure if that starboard berth is a short berth or the port side berth is a long one. Using a trusty "tick strip" it appears that the port berth is long but I'm not sure why they did that. I might have considered another locker to port instead of the extra long berth. The saloon is pretty spacious for a small boat with an L-shaped settee to port and a drop-leaf table. The galley is small but certainly adequate. The head to starboard appears large. The aft "stateroom" has a big, athwartships double berth but very little room to stand and put on your pants. I am always amazed at the beautiful job Beneteau does with its interior finish work and detailing. This interior is "fruit-tree stained ALPI." I'm not sure what that is but it sure looks good in the pictures.

The cockpit is big and the stern seat opens up for easy access to the swim platform. There is a well in the foredeck for the ground tackle. The cabintrunk looks boxy in the 2D drawings but this is the best way to optimize interior volume and at the same time max out the clear deck space. The 3D renderings show a very nice looking boat with some interesting mold details.

The rig is the standard fractional type with only single spreaders on a deck-stepped mast. The spreaders are swept 25 degrees. The SA/D is 17.2.

This is a lot of boat in less than 32 feet.

LOA 31'8"; LOD 30'6"; LWL 28'6"; Beam 11'1"; Draft 6'1" (standard), 4'5" (shoal); Displacement 8,933 lbs.; Ballast 2,207; Sail area 463 sq. ft.; SA/D 17.2; D/L 172; L/B 2.75; Auxiliary Yanmar 20-hp; Fuel 34 gals.; Water 34 gals.

Beneteau USA, 1313 West Hwy 76, Marion, SC 29571, (843) 629-5300, www.beneteauusa.com.

OBE: $109,000
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