The latest model from the .1 range coming from Beneteau is their diva called Oceanis 51.1. This baby replaces the model Oceanis 48. Some significant novelties are visible at the first sight, such as recognizable tout lines and stepped hull. The newcomer is designed by renowned Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design, while interior and deck design are signed by Nauta Design.
Beneteau Oceanis 51.1 comes in three versions. The racer traditionally bears the name “First”, the cruiser is named “Comfort”, while the simplest version, the daysailer comes as “Easy”. The names for three versions imply the sailing style of the customers. They differ in rigging, draft, mast size and interior, but share the same new hull chined over one third of its length, Z-Spar triple spreader and deck-stepped rig.
The “First” line is fitted with carbon or aluminum mast that is five feet longer than the standard, and has up to 35 % additional sail area in hi-tech materials. Its lead bulb keel drafting 2.8 m contributes the “speedy” performance by reducing weight and hydrodynamic drag. To complete this sailing style, there are composite steering wheels, hydraulic backstay, upgraded winches and deck hardware, as well as the boomsprit.
Unlike the fast “First”, the “Easy” line’s equipment is extremely simplified. It comes with selftacking jib and in-mast furling mainsail, making sailing quite EASY even for a single-handed crew.
The name “Comfort” implies the major emphasis of this model. The arch for the mainsheet attachment point, so recognizable for the .1 line, gives the extra space in the cockpit. The sunbeds are positioned on the either side of the companionway, while the outdoor grill swinging out from the aft bench is there to complete lounging character of the cockpit. The aft is designed as an electrical platform that makes a perfect swimming platform or the space for the grill-master when lowered.
The three stairs that appear when the platform is lowered make the access to the cockpit quite elegant. The cockpit table is going to be adored by hedonists because it hides a mighty refrigerator, leaving enough space for the liferaft as well. The way to the spacious bow sunbathing pad is quite safe thanks to taller lifelines as usual. There is a composite sprit on the bow not only elongating the hull, but also holding the anchor far enough from the hull, protecting it from being hit during anchoring maneuvers.
Speaking of maneuvers, twin helm stations are designed in order to simplify skipper’s duties. Therefore, all sheets and sail-handling commands are positioned on hand, but not without objections. It was impossible to see what the sail was doing when grinding on the previous Beneteau models. On Oceanis 51.1, the grinder is supposed to face front when grinding, but I am not sure if the designers succeeded in their intention. Furthermore, the engine and bowthruster commands, as well as the throttle handle, are positioned very low by the skipper’s ankles which makes maneuvers very interesting, if you know what I mean.
It is needless to say that the interior is designed with much more care than the helm station. After all, Oceanis 51.1 is designed to be comfortable to her guests, while the crew is used to tough life anyway.
The interior layout comes in some 700 options in terms of customization range. Again, the emphasis is given to the natural light, elegance, ergonomics and, above all, comfort. The U-shaped galley with a number of appliances is positioned to port, while vast lounge area including a sofa and massive dining table are positioned to starboard.
Skipper’s chart table follows the galley to front. There is a double bedroom in the bow with a separate bathroom. The owner’s model includes an ensuite shower room and toilet, and a 1.6 m wide island bed. Quite impressive, isn’t it? Playing with a number of customizations, one can choose the interior layout up to five rooms and four heads, following their style of spending holidays or giving this baby a purpose.
Speaking about general technical data, it is worth to know that Oceanis 51.1 is 15.94 m long overall, takes as much as 200 L of diesel and 440 L of fresh water, while the top engine power should not exceed 80 HP. Instead of conclusion, one might say it is about the continuous story of comfort and elegance presented by a renowned French boatbuilder.
I wish you calm seas, fair winds and a strong mast!