Beneteau 40

This clean and purposeful cruiser won Best Midsize Cruiser in CW's 2008 Boat of the Year contest.

Beneteau

Comfortable and stylish belowdecks and well organized topsides, the Beneteau 40 showed light-air performance on the waters off Annapolis last fall that hinted at good handling in a stiffer breeze and convinced the BOTY judges that this boat was a standout among the Midsize Cruisers.

The 40 is the latest in a line of new production cruisers from Beneteau. Its hull is straight from the drawing boards of Berret Racoupeau and features a fine entry, what BOTY judge Steve Callahan described as broad shoulders, and a fairly beamy transom under a wide cockpit and twin wheels.

Below, the straight-lined, modern interior comes from Nauta, the interior designer for the Beneteau range, which currently starts at 37 feet and includes a 43-footer, a 46-footer, and the 49-foot model that was a BOTY winner in 2007.

The boat the judges sailed in Annapolis was a two-cabin model with roomy aft and V-berth queen bunks, a head with separate shower to starboard at the foot of the companionway, and a compact, functional galley to port. Several opening ports and hatches provide ample ventilation and light, and the luster of the moabi mahogany woodwork is accented by off-white upholstery and panels throughout the saloon, making for airy and cheery surroundings throughout.

A roller-furling headsail and standard in-mast furling main make setting and dousing sails a simple task. Twin wheels provide good visibility of the rig on either tack.

The judges also took note of the positives found in the boat's all-glass hull and Plexus-bonded bulkheads while agreeing that such construction details as the iron keel and stainless-steel keel bolts helped the builder to reach the boat's value-oriented price tag of $180,000-all in all, lots of boat for the buck.

Beneteau 40 Specs

LOA: 39' 10"
LWL: 34' 0"
Beam: 12' 10"
Draft: 6' 3"/ 5' 1"
Sail Area 680
Displacement: 18,210
Water: 95 gal
Fuel: 53 gal
Engine: Yanmar 40 hp
Designer: Berret/Racoupeau
Beneteau
843-629-5307
www.beneteauusa.com

To read more Cruising World reviews of Beneteau sailboats, click here. To visit Beneteau America's website, click here.