MAY 1, 2014

Beneteau Oceanis 38

So Much to Choose From: The versatile Beneteau Oceanis 38 can be configured just the way you like it.

by Mark Pillsbury

Billy Black
Under way, the roller-furling slightly overlapped genoa and furling main are easy to handle.

Beneteau has a knack for showing up at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, with cool new ideas — the racy First series pioneered the modern-day hard-chine look, while the Sense line put sailing and living all on one level — and this past fall, they did it again with the Oceanis 38.
At first glance, the 38 fits squarely into the present Oceanis look and lineup of sailboats ranging from 31 to 58 feet: hard chines, considerable beam carried aft from amidships, fold-down transom, twin wheels, and a fiberglass arch over the companionway that serves as an anchor point for the mainsheet and makes a very handy frame from which to hang a dodger.
But look a little closer, especially down below, and you’ll quickly note that with the 38, Beneteau has rewritten the rules of what a production builder can offer by way of choices. The customer can configure the layout according to how the boat will be used today — and then change that layout by adding or taking away things like bunks, tables, the galley, even bulkheads, as needs change over time.
“Your Boat, Your Rules,” was the marketing mantra.
Mark Pillsbury with crew Michael James skippered the new Oceanis 38  out of our St. Pete Office this past April for a USCG Safety video with Stanton Murray & crew Bill Wright skippering a new Oceanis 48.   Look for the new video on the USCG and Cruising World’s websites later this year.