I got lucky—I was the first journalist to sail hull number one of the Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 62 (replacing the Oceanis 60 as the flagship of the fleet) off the coast of Les Sables d’Olonne in western France. Then I got lucky again after the 62 arrived in the U.S., and I joined her delivery crew from Annapolis, Maryland to Newport, Rhode Island for a 450-mile downwind journey. This extended time aboard showed me the way the boat is intended to be used, something you can’t get from an afternoon test. And while I couldn't film during the trip, we did have the chance to shoot this quick First Look Video in Annapolis.
The longer name, which now includes the word “Yacht”, signals the beginning of a new line for Beneteau for models 60 feet and longer. There’s nothing small about this boat, from her large swim platform aft to her immense bowsprit forward, and from her 9’6” draft to her 90’ tall rig. Despite her dimensions, I learned she can be managed by a couple quite easily due to her sophisticated equipment and manageable sail plan.
On Deck and Rigging
A massive stainless-steel bowsprit dominates the foredeck and holds the anchor well away from the plumb bow, to minimize inevitable hull dings. The sprit also serves as the attachment point for the optional Code 0 (almost 2,600 square feet) that cut a half day off our East Coast motorsail. The bowspirit is a great place to stand in calm conditions and get a view of the expanse of deck between you and the helmsman.
The tapered 9/10 fractional rig supports 1,959 square feet of sail area between the 105% genoa and the in-mast furling main. The Sparcraft rig is deck-stepped and has triple aft-swept spreaders. All the lines are led aft to four electric Harken winches on the cockpit coaming near the helms. Taking the genoa in and out, raising the mainsail, and reefing is all done with toggles on the command consoles at the twin helms. Push-button sailing, all the way.
A forward crew cabin, accessible via the foredeck, is optional and includes a stainless-steel ladder, over/under bunks, a sink and a head. For those who wish to have a crewed yacht, here is a dedicated space to house them.
Walking back from the bow, I counted eight retractable cleats that won’t snag sheets–a nice feature. Also nice is the composite arch that works as an anchor point for an enormous dodger as well as holding the mainsheet. Like other Beneteaus, the 62 has no traveler, leaving one piece of sailing complexity out of the equation. Particularly impressive are the 30” high lifelines that are an absolute necessity on an offshore vessel.
Now for a bit of wow-factor: Beneteau really dialed in the electric swim platform aft. Twin staircases, port and starboard, lead down to the teak beach from the cockpit. These are not mere ladders but real, easy-to-maneuver stairs that anyone will be able to navigate. The drop-down transom is enormous and is a perfect playground with easy access to the water or tender. It lowers below the waterline at the aft end to help launch and retrieve the Williams 2.85 jet boat that lives in the garage.
The working portion of the cockpit has twin helm stations on composite consoles, both port and starboard. The stations are comprehensively equipped with Carbonutica wheels and B&G Zeus 12” multifunction displays (upgradable to 16” NSO B&G units). Also on the consoles are features that make it easy to manage a yacht so large. Quick bow and stern thruster toggles can move her entire length sideways, and anchoring is easy even for a single-hander, with the remote windlass control.
Sightlines are good forward, especially when steering while seated on the side deck. To assist the helmsman there are sheet bags to clean up the spaghetti of cockpit lines, a compass at each wheel, two cupholders built into the transom and a foot brace at each station so the driver can stay put even when heeling. Handholds on the consoles and transom are valuable when switching from wheel to wheel on a boat with a 17’ 6” beam.
The social cockpit is a mirror image with two U-shaped settees wrapping around a table on each side. The electric tables accommodate eight for dinner and can be lowered to make two giant beds. One thing that could be improved here is that the cupholders are hidden beneath a wing of each table, and are unusable when the table is down and in lounge-mode. Installing them along the inboard edge would make them available at all times. That said, the 62 is quite lounge-worthy. With a double sunpad on the bow, two pads alongside the companionway (under the dodger), the cockpit pads, and the full beam sun lounge aft, 10 people can relax or sun themselves at the same time.
The amount of light in the saloon can’t be beat with plentiful overhead hatches, skylights and three large hull windows on either side. Pierreangelo Adreani is responsible for the interior aesthetics, which work well for both user ergonomics and ease-of-build for Beneteau. Adreani is a minimalist, so the 62 is all about clean lines, smooth surfaces, and hidden functionality. When all is covered and stowed, you can hardly tell there’s a full working galley aboard.
Six steps lead down from the cockpit at a gentle 45-degree angle with handrails on both sides, which will be a lifesaver when the boat is on her ear. To port is a very large dinette with a settee so wide, you can sleep on it even underway.
To starboard is the straight-line galley, separated from the saloon by a console that holds a pop-up flatscreen TV and a bar. A long railing was added to the length of the galley counter to help steady the cook. One thing that is a bit of a challenge is washing dishes on a starboard tack when the boat is heeling. The TV console makes a great foot-brace, but it stops just short of the sink so there’s little to hang onto when using both hands to wash. A fully-equipped galley includes a microwave, a three-burner stove/oven combination, top and side-loading refrigeration, an icemaker, a wine cooler, a dishwasher, and twin sinks.
The master stateroom is forward. The dogleg corridor that leads into it provides extra privacy so you can’t see into the cabin from the saloon. Surely, that will be appreciated by owners when there are guests aboard. The suite has a centerline berth and an en suite head with a separate shower stall. Immediately inside the entrance to the right is an area that can be configured as a desk, a short sofa, or a chest of drawers, as the owner chooses.
Two identical guest cabins with slightly varying en suite heads are aft. Beneteau added unique transom hatches to each cabin, meant to introduce light and air. The jury’s still out on whether this feature will work, since I expect most guests to pile luggage and other items on the long counters that lead back to the hatches.
The starboard cabin has a door to the engine room that provides access to the back of the diesel as well as to the front of the genset. It’s nearly a full-sized opening and it provides better access than on most sailboats I’ve seen.
Coming out of the river at Les Sables-d’Olonne, we were met with a three to four foot Atlantic chop and 15 to 20 knots of true wind. At 55 degrees apparent wind angle (AWA) in 16 knots of true wind, we cruised along at eight knots. That jumped up to 10.2 knots when we eased off to a beam reach.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the wind we were expecting for the delivery petered out so we motorsailed most of the way, with just a few blissful minutes completely under sail. When we did sail, it was at around 10 knots. While motoring at 2,000 RPM we made 10.5 knots for most of the 48 hours, and that was nowhere near wide-open-throttle on the 160 HP Yanmar diesel. Tankage includes 264 gallons of fuel in three tanks, so our 450 miles barely made a dent in the fuel supply.
The base price of the 62 is $890,000 and as tested, it will be closer to $1.2 million. That may sound high but orders are already up in the double digits and that’s with just one boat making the rounds of U.S. boat shows and another touring Europe. Not bad. It seems that Beneteau got this model dialed in so well, even the price “works.”
Other Choices: The Oyster 625 offers a similarly sized option with a 2,000 square foot triple-spreader rig. A smaller option would be the Hanse 575.
For more information, visit Beneteau.
See Oceanis Yacht 62 listings.
|Draft (shoal/deep)||7'7"/ 9'6"|
|Sail Area||1,959 sq. ft.|
|Fuel capacity||264 gal.|
|Water capacity||280 gal.|