Boat Review: Beneteau Oceanis 60

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A flagship in the truest sense of the word

A flagship in the truest sense of the word

The new flagship of Beneteau’s ever-expanding range, the Oceanis 60 is a development of the Oceanis 58. She sports an aft deck and a tender garage with an electric fold-down transom and swim platform to enclose it. Beyond that, the Oceanis 60 is simply a spectacular boat, well suited to passagemaking, a boisterous daysail or lounging about on the hook on a sunny day.

CONSTRUCTION

The hull is a solid polyester laminate with an internal sub-frame hull liner bonded in place to stiffen and support the floor and internal structure. The deck is balsa cored, and is bonded and screwed to the hull. The joint is then capped with a teak toerail running the length of the deck.

The aluminum three-spreader mast from Seldén is supported by discontinuous rod shrouds and stays. The keel is cast-iron with a molded bulb, and is available in both shoal and deep drafts.

There’s just a touch of overhang to the bow, which in concert with the boat’s combination anchor roller/bowsprit, will help keep the hook away from the stem when weighing anchor. The overhang forward is offset by an attractive reverse transom—a refreshing contrast to the plumb bows and transoms found on many Euro-cruisers these days.

Belowdecks our test boat boasted the optional high-gloss Alpi interior, which like every high-gloss finish attracts fingerprints as quick as a “wet paint” sign. Sans fingerprints, however, it looked great.
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ON DECK

While the differences between the 58 and 60 are small, the single-level extended cockpit adds a feeling of grandeur. It also puts plenty of distance between the working and lounging parts of the cockpit forward and aft. There are a pair of hatches in the aft deck to access the tender in its dedicated garage, which makes for a handy place to stow fenders and docklines.

A pair of stainless-steel wheels are linked to the boat’s large single rudder via a Goiot steering system. Above the substantial molded wheel pedestals are a pair of equally substantial instrument pods with plenty of room to house a B&G Zeus 7in chartplotter, which comes standard, as well as wind, speed and depth instrumentation.

The starboard pod also houses the Oceanis 60’s engine controls, while controls for the primary electric Harken 70ST winches are immediately outboard on either side, within easy reach of the helm seats. Each of these seats is configured in an “L” shape, so you’ll have a comfy place to sit no matter what your heel angle.

Forward of each wheel is a handy step for getting up and out of the cockpit onto the side decks. Beneath each step there is also a sizable rope bin for tucking away halyards, the mainsheet and reefing lines. The lines are led through the top of the cockpit coaming outboard of the cockpit seat, back to a bank of clutches to port and starboard, then on to a pair of Harken 46ST secondaries.

Although these smaller winches can’t be reached from the wheel, it takes only a tap on the autopilot and a step forward for the helmsperson to handle them as well.

A teak cockpit sole comes standard, and you have the option of specifying teak on the deck and cabintrunk as well. The trademark Beneteau cockpit arch not only anchors the mainsheet, but also supports the aft end of the dodger and has a pair of handholds to help crew leaving the cockpit to go forward.

The genoa tracks and chainplates are inboard, close alongside the cabintrunk, leaving the side decks clear of obstructions. The stainless steel “dolphin nose” bowsprit includes a tack eye for a Code 0 or asymmetric spinnaker.

Seating abounds in the spacious saloon

Seating abounds in the spacious saloon

ACCOMMODATIONS

Instead of washboards, there’s a neat electric aluminum shutter to close off the companionway. Large steps with leather-bound handrails running down either side make entering the saloon a snap, even underway. The J-shaped galley to port has a pair of stainless steel sinks and plenty of counter space. Although a gas stove comes standard, an all-electric galley, with a Force 10 electric stove, a Sharp microwave and a Electrolux dishwasher is also available.
Aft of the galley is a large quarter cabin with an ensuite shower and head, while the starboard quarter cabin has a “scissor” berth that can be arranged as either a double berth or two singles. There is also a handy combination desk and dressing table.

To starboard of the companionway is a large 4ft 6in-wide chart table. Forward of that is the dinette table, with a large question-mark-shaped bench and seat. An island seat inboard provides yet more place settings, and the table itself can be rotated by pulling a short chain underneath.

The forward bulkhead on our test boat was covered in the same white PVC material as the headliner, which—with the aid of the hull ports, cabintrunk windows and a bank of three flush hatches aft of the mast—gave the saloon a bright and spacious feel. A 32in television screen can be mounted on a retractable mechanism at the forward end of the saloon, or a bigger screen can be mounted on the bulkhead. Opposite the dinette table is a deceptively squishy settee and an electric retractable liquor cabinet.

Forward is the master stateroom, with the head and shower to starboard and a combination desk and dressing table to port. Padded panels surround the head of the 5ft 9in island berth, and there’s good wardrobe space to port with a handy shoe cabinet underneath. All three head compartments have separate shower stalls, and electric-flush toilets are available as an option. The optional crew cabin in the forepeak is accessed through a foredeck hatch. Otherwise, this space serves as a sail locker.

01-SAILPLAN-Profil_OC60-8397

UNDER SAIL

The Bay of Palma off Mallorca, Spain, provided a beautiful backdrop for our test in a near perfect 13 to 15 knot breeze with bright sunshine. Our test boat’s 9/10ths fractional rig was equipped with Incidences laminate sails on an in-mast furler and a Facnor drum furler on the bow.

Even with its shallow keel and in-mast main, the Oceanis 60 clicked off a sprightly 6 knots with an apparent wind of 12 to 14 knots about 35 degrees off the bow. The boat’s large high-aspect rudder confidently steered her through the eye of the wind on each tack, and when we eased sheets and bore away to between 50 to 60 degrees apparent our boatspeed quickly popped up to 8.6 knots.

Sitting to the side of the helm gives the best view of the telltales forward and keeps the genoa winch controls within reach. Each of the helm seats can easily accommodate two, so there’s no excuse for not having someone keep you company when doing your trick at the wheel(s). The mainsheet comes down to the starboard secondary winch.

UNDER POWER

At 1,500 rpm the Oceanis 60’s 140hp Volkswagen diesel engine with shaft drive and a three-bladed feathering Max Prop pushed her along at 6.4 knots. At 2,000 rpm the boat made 7.8 knots in the flat confines of the harbor. There were no surprises during our close-quarters maneuvering in the marina. The controls for the bow thruster are on the starboard helm console.

CONCLUSION

The Beneteau Oceanis 60’s vast cockpit makes her ideal for cruising in warm waters, where the decision whether to swim, shower or sunbathe should be the hardest of the day. The boat’s saloon is also light, comfortable and spacious with good ventilation—again perfect for exploring places like the BVI. With her performance under sail, the boat makes for a good all-round cruiser and is packed with practical features at a competitive price.

beneteauusa.com

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October 2015

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