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Apr 9, 2020

Beneteau Oceanis 30As boat builders clamber to create ever-bigger platforms for ever-more generous budgets, the entry-level cruiser has become an elusive animal. Sure, if you want to daysail, there are plenty of small open boats from which to choose, but if you want a freshly built pocket cruiser, you’re in for a long search.

Enter Groupe Beneteau, which identified this gap in the market and set about creating the Oceanis 30.1, an adorable little cruiser that resembles her larger siblings in all but length and price. With all she offers, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call her a mini yacht

Beneteau Oceanis 30 InteriorGenerous Interior
It’s safe to say that if your dad suddenly found himself inside the Oceanis 30.1, he’d never guess that she’s only 31 feet LOA. Interiors of pocket cruisers of old weren’t known for their spaciousness or their liveability and that’s where this design really shines. 

The standard (and only) layout includes a master stateroom in the V-berth and a guest cabin aft to port. Both cabins have doors (a split double version for the truncated forward cabin) and both have hanging lockers. The forward bed is wide but somewhat short so taller sailors may opt to sleep aft

Under Sail
With a D/L ratio of 171, the Oceanis 30.1 is considered a light displacement design and that’s perfect for everyday sailors who often struggle with fleeting breezes. The real power behind this rig is the square top mainsail that takes advantage of there being no backstay and that’s the way to go over an in-mast main. Instead of the optional overlapping genoa, a more versatile sail plan would include the self-tacking jib and a Code 0for downwind sailing. With that setup, this slippery little boat can be singlehanded and given that she displaces well under 10,000 pounds, she’ll be moving in light winds when others are forced to motor. The Oceanis 30.1carries a category B rating, which makes her good for coastal hopping. Although there will be those who will club race, her real comfort zone will be as a near-shore explorer for a couple with occasional guests or a small family.

To read the full review of this new boat, be sure to read Canadian Yachting magazine’s May issue. You can subscribe to the print and digital versions here.