Beneteau Sense 43: Bold and Revolutionary
First unveiled at last fall's U.S. Sailboat Show, the Sense line and its optional break-through steering system became the talk of the dock. Boat review from our August 2011 issue.
The layout below is open and light, thanks to the fact that even when you’re seated at the table, which is to starboard in the saloon, you can easily see out the ports, as you might in a deck-saloon design. An amidships island provides additional seating and a convenient place to hide a drop-down flat-screen television. A galley with all the expected gear and plenty of storage space is located to port at the foot of the companionway.
Forward of the saloon, a head with separate shower is to starboard and opposite a cabin with a double Pullman berth. The owner’s cabin is all the way forward and has two hanging lockers flanking a very luxurious queen-size berth.
The 43 I sailed had a conventional 54-horsepower Yanmar engine and saildrive; at that time, the Dock & Go system was only available with the larger 75-horsepower Yanmar employed on the Sense 50, but the system is now available as an option on the 43. Motoring, our speed hovered around 7.5 knots at 2,400 rpm; we gained another knot or so wide open at 3,000 rpm. Backing, I found the boat a little sluggish turning to starboard, but the Dock & Go will address that. My one quibble was that the panel to check engine fluids, stationed in the starboard cockpit locker, wasn’t easily accessible, a small complaint given the many good points that the 43 brings to the dock.
Sitting below while others did the sailing, I found the motion pleasant, the cabin airy, and the view spectacular. At a time when builders are eager to coax newcomers aboard, I couldn’t help but think that the Sense 43 makes a very good first impression.
LOA: 43’ 4” (13.20 m.)
LWL: 42’ 0” (12.80 m.)
Beam: 14’ 1” (4.28 m.)
Draft (deep): 6’ 7” (2.0 m.)
(shoal): 5’ 5” (1.65 m.)
Sail Area (100%): 847 sq. ft. (78.7 sq. m.)
Ballast (deep): 5,841 lb. (2,650 kg.)
(shoal): 6,436 lb. (2,920 kg.)
Displacement: 22,194 lb. (10,070 kg.)
Ballast/D (deep): .16
Water: 178 gal. (675 l.)
Fuel: 116 gal. (40 l.)
Holding: 21 gal. (80 l.)
Mast Height: 61’ 11” (18.88 m.)
Engine: 54-horsepower Yanmar/saildrive
Designer: Berret Racoupeau/Nauta Design