2011 Best Boats Innovation Award: Beneteau Sense 50

In many ways, the Beneteau Sense 50 was the hit of the Annapolis boat show. The 50-foot performance cruiser with modern Euro styling was tied off in a small square basin just a few feet longer than the boat. Every hour on the hour her crew cast off the dock lines and spun the boat in its own length, stopping every 90 degrees to drive directly sideways up to the dock. It did so with ease, even in
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
screenshotbeneteau

In many ways, the Beneteau Sense 50 was the hit of the Annapolis boat show. The 50-foot performance cruiser with modern Euro styling was tied off in a small square basin just a few feet longer than the boat. Every hour on the hour her crew cast off the dock lines and spun the boat in its own length, stopping every 90 degrees to drive directly sideways up to the dock. It did so with ease, even in a brisk wind. The performance never failed to draw a round of applause from the watching crowd.

The technology that makes this possible is Beneteau’s new Dock & Go system, comprised of a powerful bow thruster coupled to a rotating sail drive that spins through 360 degrees in less than a second. An autopilot supplies positioning, heading and rate-of-turn information. The system is controlled with a simple joystick. It takes sophisticated software and some complicated machinery to translate joystick movements into commands that simultaneously rotate the sail drive and power it and the bow thruster to smoothly move the boat in any direction. But from the operator’s perspective it is very easy to use.

This kind of technology has been available in the powerboat world for several years now, and as such is well tested and proven. But this is the first time we’ve seen it on a sailboat. The Beneteau system is a joint effort of Groupe Beneteau and ZF, an automotive giant and major manufacturer of marine transmissions. At one stroke, Beneteau has taken the stress out of docking in difficult and tight quarters. It is a considerable achievement. As of 2011, the system will be offered on all larger Beneteaus and Jeanneaus. For more information, visit beneteauusa.com

SPECS

LOA: 49ft. 2in

LWL: 49ft. 2in

BEAM: 15ft 11in

DRAFT: 5ft 6in

DISPLACEMENT: 31,195

SAIL AREA: 1,313 sq ft

Related

Headsail

Ask Sail: Silencing A Rattling Headsail

Q: Our Pearson 26 has a 110-percent jib that tends to rattle very noisily at the top hank. We only bought the old boat recently, but it must have been happening for a long time, since there’s a deep groove worn inside that bronze hank. The jib has an unusually large and wide ...read more

Alerion2048x

Alerion Yachts 33, the 90 Minute Get Away

Easy to sail, luxurious, and swift; the Alerion 33 is the solution to your busy life. The intuitive, simple rig design, easy set-up, and put-away mean there’s no need to wait for crew to enjoy a weekend, a day, or an hour out sailing. Her beauty and comfort are evident in the ...read more

anchor

Know how: Ground Tackle

Your ground tackle is like a relationship—the more you care for it, the longer it will last. So, how do you enhance the relationship? First up, think of the accommodations—a damp, salt-rich, often warm environment, just the kind of thing to encourage corrosion. What can be done? ...read more

DSC_7522

Boat Review: Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

The Beneteau sailboat line has long represented a kind of continuum, both in terms of the many models the company is offering at any given moment and over time. This does not, however, in any way diminish the quality of its individual boats. Just the opposite. Case in point: the ...read more

shutterstock_1016585167

Cruising: Memories Made by People You Meet

Steve greeted my boyfriend, Phillip, and me as soon as we tied Plaintiff’s Rest, our 1985 Niagara 35, up to his dock on one of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. He was tall, cheerful and clad in a hodge-podge of clothes one might wear to paint a house: oversized, grungy and old. ...read more

_98A7540

Cruising: Dogs Afloat

We dog owners understand the general expectations of ourselves in public places, like picking up after Fido and keeping him on a leash. There are, however, certain places where additional unspoken rules or expectations may apply—as in harbors or marinas. If you sail with your ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Log the glass  A week ago I set out after breakfast on a 50-mile passage. The day’s forecast via the internet was for 14-18 knots. It never happened, and I spent the entire trip adjusting my genoa ...read more