Just Launched: Little Big Boat

Author:
Publish date:

Peter Nielsen looks at Beneteau’s latest entry-level boat and a new cruiser from Tartan

Group Beneteau’s commitment to entry-level boats has been reaffirmed over the last year with the assimilation of the sporty Seascape line of pocket cruisers and the introduction of Jeanneau’s zippy little 319 (reviewed in the February issue). The just-announced Oceanis 30.1 is the latest example of this trend.

If you like the modern production-boat design aesthetic, with its high topsides, squared-off ends and protuberant sprit, you’ll find this a pretty boat—but she’s not for the traditionalists. Design features like twin rudders, hull chines and a generous beam that maxes out just aft of amidships and is carried back to a fat stern are par for the performance-cruiser course these days. Nevertheless, this Finot-Conq design is a much more mainstream boat than her recently discontinued predecessor, the Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed First 30, and she promises to have plenty of horsepower too. Hull shapes like this love to get up and go on a reach.

The fractional rig has no backstay and carries a big square-topped main and a small self-tacking jib (in-mast furling and 105 percent genoa are options); for light air and offwind work you’ll want to fly an A-sail or Code 0 tacked down to the tip of the fiberglass sprit. To maximize the boat’s appeal Beneteau offers a choice of four keels—two variations on the centerboard/swing keel theme, and deep- or shoal-draft fin keels. This is one of the smallest boats yet to come standard with twin helms, although the tiller option will probably win its share of fans.

Belowdecks, the boat is the proverbial quart in a pint jar; headroom is an impressive 6ft 6in amidships and over 6ft everywhere else, and there is a large double cabin at each end. The large heads/shower and L-shaped galley look well laid out, and there’s even a small nav desk. This looks to me like another winner for Groupe B.

First shown at the Newport, Rhode Island boat show last September, the Tartan 395 is one of the first new models from the Ohio builder in several years. Though it bears a strong family resemblance to the long-lived Tartan 4000, a glance at the spec sheet reveals that this new boat is slimmer and lighter.

Designer Tim Jackett’s stamp is unmistakable; since the mid-2000s most new Tartans have shared the same overall aesthetic along with a host of commonsense features like the Park Avenue boom and double headsail rig (aka Cruise Control Rig), and a choice of three keel options. This is a sailor’s boat, with the deck and cockpit layouts owing nothing to styling fads and everything to safe, efficient ergonomics. You don’t get the huge cockpit seen in some other boats of this size, but you’ll feel secure in all weathers.

The accommodations are finished in light maple, which makes for a cheerful, airy feel. Jackett resisted the temptation to cram in two heads, which are overkill on a boat this size, instead of devoting space to stowage and a forward-facing chart table. There are two large staterooms and the saloon settees can also be used for sleeping. Tartan reported a half-dozen units sold immediately after the fall shows, a good start for a new model in this day and age. 

CONTACTS

Beneteau beneteau.com

Tartan Yachts tartanyachts.com

March 2019

Related

Moored-at-Molinere-Point_©-Michaela-Urban

Cruising: Exploring Grenada

For years, I’d been wanting to visit Grenada. There are many things that fascinated me about this island: its rugged, mountainous interior, its rainforests and waterfalls, and the fact that it’s less traveled than some other Caribbean sailing destinations. My photographer ...read more

Lead

The Importance of Shore Support on Passage

Much has been said and written about preparing your vessel for an offshore passage, but few think about the importance of having good shoreside support set up before heading out to sea. Almost all offshore racing teams have sophisticated onshore support teams providing them with ...read more

191203_JR_AUCKWORLDS_359559_5434

Racing: the Olympic Gold Standard

If there was a moment that gave the US Sailing Team hope to break a major Olympic medal dry spell, it was the first day of the 49er FX worlds in New Zealand last December. Paris Henken and Anna Tobias had a rough 18th in race one, then banged out two bullets and a fifth to lead ...read more

noaa

A Farewell to Paper Charts

It’s goodbye to the paper chart, at least those produced by NOAA. The agency’s Office of Coast Survey is soliciting comments on plans to completely phase out the production of paper charts and associated products within five years. Its tighter focus on ENCs (electronic ...read more

shutterstock_538143214-2048x

A Round Trip Panama Canal Transit

Our driver, Dracula, has a thick slack body, and his head leans heavily to the right. One eye wanders and looks only up and left. The other is covered with an opaque membrane. His ungainly body is covered with a loose, soiled shirt and pants. It is a hot day in March 2007, and ...read more

outremer_LEAD

Patrick Le Quement and Multihull Design

If you Google the name Patrick Le Quément you’ll come up with some 194,000 hits, most attesting to the Frenchman’s long and successful career designing automobiles. Ford’s iconic (in Britain) Sierra? That’s one of his—at first nicknamed “the jellymold” by detractors, it went on ...read more

Bali

Boat Review: Bali 5.4

In the few years since the Bali brand appeared as an offshoot of the Catana line of catamarans, it has grown rapidly. The original models are popular bareboat charter vessels in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and the new Bali 5.4, the largest of the line, moves the company ...read more