By Sam Jefferson
Boats keep getting wider and wider they say, yet the new Beneteau 46.1 has identical beam to her predecessor. What is different is that the beam is carried a lot further forward – at least above the waterline – meaning that by the time you get to amidships, she’s some 50cm wider. That in turn means masses more internal volume. This is an important factor for Beneteau because unlike many manufacturers (it would seem!), this is a boatbuilder that is far more than a vanity project. Beneteau has to turn a profit and to do that, they need to turn out serious numbers of yachts. To make those numbers, they have to build a yacht that works both for the charter market and for private clients. That is at the heart of Beneteau’s ethos and it can sometimes be a tricky tightrope to walk.