Beneteau took a good look at the basics when designing the new Oceanis 37. The result is a sociable, solid performing cruising yacht, says Andi Robertson
SOMETIMES it is necessary to re-examine a concept, or part of a concept to make a step change in the right direction. The Beneteau team behind the Océanis range did just that for the new 37 and 31 which we sailed in light winds at the Beneteau media product launch which took place in February in Monaco.
While sometimes subtle refinements and a few clever ideas are enough to move forward with a new model within a range of cruising yachts, with the Océanis 37 it was a back to basics look at the working areas of the boat. It is this that sets the new Finot Conq design apart from its rivals.
Interior comforts are a given, but it was the cockpit area which the Beneteau revisited from the basics. They took the desire to maximise safe seating space in the cockpit as perhaps the key element of the boat’s designed layout and ergonomics. 
Overall we’d concur with France’s Voile magazine that, for its size and purpose, the Océanis is a boat of the year for 2008. For cruising, and even the odd local race, you’d love to do West Highland Week, or say, Round Mull, in real comfort, in the Océanis 37.