Boating journalist Lisa MacFarlane shares a few reasons why you should spend the warmer months aboard the 2017 Beneteau Oceanis 45.
Welcome aboard the thoughtfully designed 2017 Beneteau Oceanis 45. This sexy sailboat always stands out at the dock, with lovely teak decks and a sleek, minimalist shape that jump-starts our design-driven hearts. In 2012, she won Yacht of the Year in the Family Cruiser category, and continues to be an incredibly popular model.
She’s an excellent cruiser; ideal for exploring the Pacific Northwest, as well as having some fun at the helm. On a bluebird day in late February, we rounded Stanley Park in our test boat to be welcomed by 17-knot winds, gusting to 20.
For a local day sail, it doesn’t get much better than when the spray’s flying. We had a blast, starting off with a full main and jib, easily reaching eight to nine knots in English Bay, so we put in a reef for a balanced sail, and still did nine! The twin helms of the 45 allow for great sight lines, which was good because several other yachts and a wind surfer were also ripping along in the waves.
The Oceanis 45 is easy to handle and offers a stable sailing performance with a roomy cockpit for the mates. The rigging on deck is easy to access from the helm, and electronic winches provide the muscle. My saltiest friend aboard, Alex Moret, who has nearly circumnavigated the globe, noted it is well-thought-out and suited for solo sailing.
We agreed the interior of our test boat was pretty sorted. These design elements make the Oceanis 45 extra appealing for cruising:
• Hard chine hull design offers a wide beam, resulting in plenty of space.
• Roomy cockpit with bench seating separated by a large drop-leaf table holds an optional fridge (or enormous ice bucket for the champers).
• Companionway steps are at 45-degree angle, allowing for a more graceful and safe entry to the saloon compared to ladders of yesteryear.
• Four configurations for staterooms are available. (Our boat was the ideal layout with the main stateroom in the bow with its own head, plus two more staterooms aft and a second head including shower.)
• At the press of a button, the fold-down transom transforms into a perfect platform for swimming, lounging and boarding.
With twin steering helms providing safety and ease, there’s a great flow from saloon to transom to tender to dinner ashore. See you on the water.
Naval architect: Pascal Conq of Finot-Conq
Interior design: Nauta Yachts Design
Overall length: 45' 9"/13.94 m
Hull length: 44' 3"/13.50 m
Beam: 14' 9"/4.50 m
Draft: 7' 5"/2.27 m
Engine: 57 hp Yanmar diesel
Base price: $368,695 CAD
Price as tested: $460,000 CAD (includes shipping, commissioning and options)
Available at Grand Yachts Vancouver, 1535 Coal Harbour Quay. 604-687-8943.