Beneteau Oceanis 50
When Beneteau’s brass decided it was due time to launch the fifth generation of long-range cruising boats in the company’s popular Oceanis line, they did so at the upper echelon of the fleet, with a powerful 58-footer and the new Beneteau Oceanis 50, which debuted in Miami last winter and was in Annapolis last October. The focal point for the 50 (and the 58, as well), which replaces a former 49-footer in the builder’s collection, is the sweeping fixed arch just forward of the cockpit.
Stylish and contemporary in appearance, the arch is also strong and useful, providing a solid framework for a dodger and a bimini—which, when in place, effectively open up the living area down below by sheltering the wide, generously sized companionway—as well as the fixed point for the mainsheet block and tackle that’s rigged conveniently nearby at the end of the boom (for trimming, the sheet itself is ultimately led aft to the cockpit). Compared with the old 49, the standard mast is a tad shorter (and “bridge friendly” for the Intracoastal Waterway), but the boom has been extended, contributing to the whopping working sail area of over 1,100 square feet. To control it all, a furling main is standard on the double-spreader Seldén fractional rig; a traditional mainsail is optional.
Though the Oceanis 50 employs the same hull as its predecessor, the lean, clean deck is new and adds to the “makeover” theme that’s consistent throughout the yacht. With a pair of elongated “eyebrow” ports that flow nicely with the no-nonsense lines of the low-profile deckhouse, a near plumb bow, and an almost razor-sharp sheer line, the 50 is a very modern, purposeful-looking design. Stainless-steel handrails abound, there’s plenty of light and ventilation
via a plethora of portholes, deck panels, and hatches, and there’s a massive forward sail locker just aft of the vertical anchor windlass.
Two keels are available on the Oceanis 50, which is built in the United States at Beneteau’s South Carolina facility: a shoal-draft version drawing 5 feet 9 inches and a deep-draft model that draws nearly 7 feet. The latter, coupled with an optional 67-foot spar, will be a formidable combination for those seeking swift and efficient offshore passages.
There are choices to be made in the interior plan, too, the furnishings for which are now rendered in easy-on-the-eyes Alpi mahogany and highlighted by LED internal lighting; LEDs are also used for the navigation lights. Owners can opt for the double-cabin version, with a spacious stern stateroom, or a triple-cabin model, with twin doubles aft and the owner’s suite stationed in the bow; both come with two heads. That decision will probably depend on whether you’re sailing off as a couple or bringing your next generation along for the journey.
Specs: Beneteau Oceanis 50
LOA 49′ 6″ (15.1 m.)
LWL 43′ 8″ (13.3 m.)
Beam 14′ 9″ (4.5 m.)
Draft (deep/standard) 6′ 11″/5′ 9″ (2.1/1.7 m.)
Sail Area 1,188 sq. ft. (110 sq. m.)
Ballast 9,480 lb. (4,300 kg.)
Displacement 27,454 lb. (12,453 kg.)
Water 149 gal. (564 l.)
Fuel 62 gal. (235 l.)
Holding (two tanks) 42 gal. (160 l.)
Mast Height 63′ 6″ (19.4 m.)
Engine 76-hp. diesel
Designer Berret Racoupeau
Interior Nauta Design
To read more Cruising World reviews of Beneteau sailboats, click here. To visit Beneteau America’s website, click here.