Photo Credit Billy Black
The Beneteau Oceanis 35 — a sister ship to the company’s Oceanis 38, introduced last year — a boat with an unusual but incredibly well-imagined and executed interior plan from Nauta Design. It was so well done, actually, that it earned the boat top honors as the best Midsize Cruiser for 2015.
“This is a very interesting boat,” said Murphy. “The interior, I think, is great. The floor plan in the main saloon is completely open with no forward bulkhead, which is very unusual, but it works. They offer the boat in three stages, so you can buy it as a daysailer with no galley whatsoever, and then up through two more levels, as a weekender or a full-on cruiser. We were on so many other boats this year, many of them in the mid-40-foot range and larger, and my notes over and over again say the Oceanis 35 compares favorably with them.
“There are just so many little things that add up,” he continued. “For instance, on this 35-footer, there’s a separate head with a completely separate shower room. The aft cabin is a wonderful space. Those are always a challenge, to get that space to actually work under the complex curves of the cockpit sole, but they nailed it. In the main cabin, there are windows in the hull, which you see on more and more boats. I liked sitting down there when we were sailing, with the light coming in, watching the shoreline and the water pass by. I reviewed a 58-footer recently with the same features, and the view on the Oceanis 35 was exactly the same. I think that’s quite a nice thing.”
“The target market, I think, is the millennial generation, the kids who played with Transformer toys,” said Schrader. “They’ll have a number of different things to do with the interior here; it’s really very clever. The Lewmar steering package was very smooth, and the mechanical installations were good. The cockpit was huge, thanks to a wide, wide transom. It’s a lot of boat in 35 feet. They also offer a seven-year hull and structural warranty, three years on equipment, and all the warranty work goes directly through Beneteau.”
That final point sealed Schrader’s vote, and ultimately, those of his fellow judges too.
“I like a company that stands behind what it makes,” he said.