Beneteau 37.1: A Midsize Cruiser With Flair

Beneteau’s Oceanis 37.1, a featured nominee for Cruising World’s 2024 Boat of the Year Award, sails well with a shorthanded crew, making it a great option for a family, or a cruising couple who would like to host guests.
Oceanis 37.1
The Oceanis 37.1, the last model designed by Mark Lombard before his passing, rounds out Beneteau’s Oceanis line. Beneteau Group America

With the launch of its newest model, the Oceanis 37.1, French boatbuilder Beneteau has completed the seventh generation of its venerable Oceanis line, a popular range of cruising sailboats that was first introduced in 1986.

Designed by the Mark Lombard Yacht Design Group, the 37.1 lies at the center of a lineup of six boats that range in size from 30 to 52 feet. It was one of the last projects Lombard worked on before he passed away in 2023. It replaces the quite successful Oceanis 38.1, of which more than 750 were built.

At first glance, compared with the 38.1, the 37.1 has much more pronounced chines running from stem to stern, just above its waterline, and beam that’s carried farther forward as well. The result is increased interior volume, particularly toward the bow. The coachroof on the 37.1 is lower profile compared with that of the 38.1, a look shared across the seventh-generation line along with plum bows and sterns, and bowsprits for flying reaching sails and spinnakers.

Lombard is known for designing boats with slippery bottoms, and the 37.1 is no exception. Reaching in 10 to 12 knots of wind with a code zero set, the boat lopes along in the mid-7-knot range, with occasional sprints to 8 knots or more in any gusts. Closehauled, the 110 percent genoa—an optional headsail—has plenty of power, yet is still easily handled when tacking. The boat comes standard with a self-tacking jib.

Boat of the Year judges on the 37.1
The 2024 Cruising World Boat of the Year judges putting the 37.1 to the test on the Chesapeake Bay following the Annapolis Boat Show in October. Walter Cooper

The 37.1 is set up well for a shorthanded crew, with sheets for both main and genoa leading back to winches adjacent to the twin wheels. Halyards are the only sail-control lines that lead to the cabin top. Twin rudders provide plenty of control when the boat heels, and the steering is light and lively even when the ride gets gusty. The double-spreader rig has no backstays, making a square-top main possible for the performance-minded sailor. A traditional main and an in-mast furling sail are also options.

Oceanis 37.1 cockpit
The cockpit on the Oceanis 37.1 is set up well for both entertaining and for sailing. Beneteau Group America

The 37.1’s cockpit is roomy, with a fiberglass and wood drop-leaf table on the centerline. At anchor, it’s a great place to entertain; underway, the table provides a brace when heeled. Iroko, a sustainable wood, replaces teak on the cabin sole.

Below, the interior is practical and bright, thanks to ports in the hull and cabin top. There are a couple of layout options available. Standard, which will work well for a cruising couple with occasional guests or a small family, is two cabins—one forward and the other aft, to port. In this design, there is a single head compartment to starboard at the foot of the companionway, with a spacious shower aft. Farther astern is a large storage locker accessible either through the shower or the cockpit seat above. For an owner who needs more bunks, the large shower and locker can be replaced with a second cabin aft. A second head can also be added in the forward cabin by skewing the bunk to starboard and eliminating a large hanging locker that’s located to port.

three-cabin interior
The three-cabin interior layout option for the Oceanis 37.1 Beneteau Group America

In all versions, a large dinette is to port in the salon with an in-line galley to starboard.

With a base price of $260,000, an owner can load the boat with options or keep things simple. A well-equipped boat, ready to sail away in North America, will run right around $370,000. All in all, for a buyer looking for a new boat that will be a comfortable retreat and that sails well, the Oceanis 37.1 is well worth a look.

For more information about the Oceanis 37.1, visit