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Some sharp oceangoing features on this proven design, including a centre cockpit and a manageable sail plan, make this Beneteau a true classic.




Our review boat, Margarita II, is an early Oceanis 57 that’s a popular cruiser for ocean events such as the ARC Rally thanks to its sheltered cockpit, acres of deck space and a vast aft stateroom. Meanwhile, all of this comes in an affordable package, thanks to Beneteau's mass-production capabilities. Designed by Bruce Farr in collaboration with Francois Chalain, Beneteau's chief designer, the Oceanis 57 was aimed at bluewater cruisers who may be short-handed, so it launched with various options for sail trim and powered handling. Other pluses include large tankage, upgraded ground tackle, a big spray dodger with a semi-enclosed steering station that also allows for a spacious entertaining area in the cockpit.



The raised centre cockpit gives room for a huge owner's stateroom aft, and there's two doubles forward — all with ensuites (plus a single aft bunk). The stateroom has a queen-size island bed, bench seating and surrounding lockers. Natural light comes from large skylights and, most usefully for the skipper, aft-facing windows that open to allow breezes through.  The 57 has the superyacht-style saloon layout: a galley sits in the port quarter and boasts a front-opening fridge/freezer, four-burner gas stove and a dishwasher. The gleaming saloon, designed by the famous Franck Darnet, is finished in quality cherry wood and includes sturdy handholds for moving about at sea. Over on starboard at the companionway base is the chart table that's large enough to take full-sized admiralty paper charts (though it also has a Raymarine chartplotter and Coursemaster autopilot). Nearby, the Yanmar diesel is housed in a large engine house that's accessible on three sides.



Controlling the sail area of a vessel this size can be a handful, so it's most beneficial to short-handed crews that Margarita II comes with in-mast furling and an electric winch. The mainsheet and track is at the far end of the boom (making it ideal for good control and putting a twist on the mainsail) which frees up the cockpit. The genoa is on a furler and the Oceanis 57 can also fly a cruising chute off the bow. All lines come back to the sheltered centre cockpit, which has high coamings to safely protect crew and children. Here, thereare two sets of winches for sheets and halyards near the single helm. Underfoot, the teak-laid deck is ideal for both hot and cold climates, while the vast transom area allows sunbathing and access to the opening swim platform. The other essential is anchoring gear and this boat comes with a sizeable Lofrans vertical windlass and capstan.



This review boat has the shoal draft wing keel (6.8m), ideal for inland waters like Lake Macquarie where it's based. The navy-blue hull has had a recent anti-foul (June 2018) and professional detailing. Construction is a monolithic hull with and balsa-cored deck for insulation. Rigidity comes from a hull liner that is bonded and laminated in to provide structural integrity. Ballast on the shoal-draft model is 7.7t, roughly 10 per cent more than with the deep keel. The rudder is a balanced spade, positioned well aft for best steering control and the stock and bearings combine composite glass and stainless steel. Margarita II is clearly ready for the upcoming season where the wide Pacific horizons await.


SPECIFICATIONS Beneteau Oceanis 57

Year: 2004

Price: $545,000

Location: Lake Macquarie NSW Australia

Length - 17.38m

Beam 4.98m

Draft 2.1m

Hull/deck material: fibreglass

Displacement: 21.5t

Keel / Ballast: Lead Wing (7,711kg)

Fuel: 1,000L in three tanks, with transfer pump between tanks

Water: 1,000L

Engine: Yanmar four cylinder 160 HP diesel with three blade feathering propeller

Other: Bow Thruster and 9.5 KVA generator

Designer: Farr Yacht Design

Builder: Beneteau Yachts France 


Check out the full feature in issue #506 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest boat news, reviews and travel inspiration. 



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