Review: Beneteau Oceanis 35

By: Kevin Green, Photography by: Kevin Green

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

Beneteau Oceanis 35 underway Beneteau Oceanis 35 underway
Beneteau Oceanis 35 deck Beneteau Oceanis 35 deck
Beneteau Oceanis 35 sails Beneteau Oceanis 35 sails
Beneteau Oceanis 35 storage Beneteau Oceanis 35 storage
Deck layout Beneteau Oceanis 35 Deck layout Beneteau Oceanis 35
Kitchenette in Beneteau Oceanis 35 Kitchenette in Beneteau Oceanis 35
Port view of Beneteau Oceanis 35 Port view of Beneteau Oceanis 35
Wheel on Beneteau Oceanis 35 Wheel on Beneteau Oceanis 35
Deck plan layout on Beneteau Oceanis 35 Deck plan layout on Beneteau Oceanis 35

A good entry-level cruiser, the Beneteau Oceanis 35 is an innovative sailing yacht with a versatile interior and enough sail options for twilight racing.

The Beneteau Oceanis 35 boasts hard chines, full bows, twin rudders and that signature mainsheet arch from older sibling, the award winning Oceanis 38. The Beneteau Oceanis 35 really is a smaller version of the Oceanis 38 in nearly every way, so most comments apply to both yachts.

Also smaller on the Beneteau Oceanis is the price: $221,000 versus $248,000 for its larger sibling. As with the Oceanis 38, three layouts are offered: the stripped-out open-plan Daysailer; the Weekender with up to three cabins; and the fully fitted-out Cruiser.

Apart from cost savings, weight is also a varying factor in this new Beneteau Oceanis 35, and worth remembering when performance is wanted.

 

Beneteau Oceanis 35

Beneteau Oceanis 35

With limited further development of the cruiser-racer First range, Beneteau is enhancing the performance of the Oceanis, as sailing manager Thomas Gaillard explains: "Our hulls are getting lighter with infusion technology, the masts are further back in the boat and we now offer comprehensive Performance Packs."

In terms of performance the 33ft (10.1m) Beneteau Oceanis 35 obviously has a strong emphasis on cruising than racing, but it does come with a versatile sail plan, including a Code 0 for fast running ­which I used to push the boat hard with designer Pascal Conq in our sea trial.

You only need look at Hamilton Island Race Week and other international regattas where growing numbers in the cruising divisions reflect a more utilitarian way of enjoying competition, therefore Beneteau is supplying a growing need with the Beneteau Oceanis 35.

The builder’s modular build concept allows upgrades to the Beneteau Oceanis 35 for items such as stove/oven to the Daysailer or a cabin conversion to the Weekender, so these versatile boats can change to your requirements.

 

DIY interior

Beneteau Oceanis 35 saloon

For this Beneteau Oceanis 35 review, I sailed two versions of the Beneteau Oceanis 35 boats: the first was the Weekender (hull #20) with NSW dealer Graham Raspass and the second was the Cruiser (hull #25) in Spain.

The Weekender open-plan layout is created by removal of the forward bulkhead but is fully fitted-out otherwise. For about Euro 500 and 30 minutes effort, privacy can be restored to the bow and includes a doorway.

The cockpit feels as sizeable as the Beneteau Oceanis 38 and the dominant feature is the GRP arch which ensures the main track is out of harm’s way on family daysails.

Deep and wide cockpit seats with optional teak cladding felt comfortable and the layout functional, with primary Harken 46 winches near the helm while the mainsheet and halyards are controlled by two Harken 35s (one is standard) on the coachroof. The arch allows a large sprayhood to be fitted, with a recess in the coachroof to secure it.

Beneteau Oceanis 35 cockpit

So, combined with a deep cockpit, the Beneteau Oceanis 35 is sturdy enough for those offshore forays and is Category A rated for six persons. Significant windage is the downside for all this volume and protection but creates a sheltered space at anchor where you can fold down the swimplatform (with liferaft locker behind); and there’s even an optional swimming pool which is ideal for children or stinger season.

The twin wheels and pedastals are located well outboard, while the lift-up bench seats are an option worth having for relaxed steering. For the newbie sailor a tunnel thruster is available in addition to the standard 20hp saildrive, giving plenty of confidence manoeuvring in tight marina berths.

At the wheel pedastals my only real complaint was the location of the B&G wind instruments (and possible plotter location) at knee height, requiring your hand to go between the spokes of the Lewmar wheels; while the throttle was also awkwardly located at waist level.

 

Clean decks

Beneteau Oceanis 35 layout

Moving around deck proved fairly easy when I took the Beneteau Oceanis 35 out to sea, thanks to outboard shrouds, flush Lewmar hatches and coachroof handrails, and there is plenty of space forward for relaxing or anchoring.

A good anchor system includes double bowrollers, vertical 1000W Quick windlass (an option worth having) and a deep chain locker to avoid jamming. For mooring there’s sizeable cleating all-round including midships. The teak toerail does its job and the non-slip GRP decks passed my walkthrough test at sea.

Our Australian review boat had a simple sailplan with Facnor headsail furler for the genoa and Elvstrom Dacron sails bent on, while the overseas boat was pushed hard in a solid breeze with a Code 0. The Sparcraft deck-stepped alloy rig can have a fixed or pulley-adjustable backstay.

For shorthanded sailing a self-tacker can be fitted and even in-mast furling; or to speed things up a Code 0 and asymmetrical. Conventional slab reefing on the main is fine on this size boat, as it can be handled fairly easily with the lazyjacks and sailbag.

 

Saloon

Beneteau Oceanis 35 interior

The open-plan layout of the Weekender version, combined with the relatively large rectangular portlights (curtains are fitted) creates a very airy interior dominated by the centralised mast compression post above the keel, which means the rig is nearly in line with the yacht’s centre of effort.

The three-cabin layout (with open-plan bed forward) felt spacious throughout as there’s lots of internal volume (1.9m headroom, only 5cm less than the 38), with copious beam aft. The longitudinal starboard galley comes with a two-burner EMO stove/oven, deep sink and 130lt fridge, while opposite the U-shaped dinette affords sea-level views for the six seated, plus a moveable stool. Sharing the aft bench the skipper lacks a backrest at the navigation table, but it’s an effective workspace with overhead lockers and bulkheads for additional screens.

The Longchamp roll-out cases hook-up inside the cabins and are ideal for the busy modern owner.

Upgrades to the Beneteau Oceanis 35 are available, as the modular concept allows the addition of, say, a full stove/oven to the Daysailer or a cabin conversion to the Weekender. So these boats can change as family needs evolve.

 

Performance

Beneteau Oceanis 35 on the water

Casting off from Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club with Vicsail Sydney boss Graham Raspass and Shane Crookshanks aboard we motored out on a glassy Pittwater, the Beneteau Oceanis 35 managing a respectable 8.3kts as the 29hp Yanmar saildrive upgrade reached 3500rpm.

With the breeze filling we easily hoisted the mainsail, thanks to all halyards running into the cockpit. Shane dealt with the mainsheet on the coachroof, while at the helm I pulled the genoa sheet to unfurl it and send us on our way. This functional and relatively simple arrangement should suit all kinds of sailors including novices, ideal for an entry-level cruiser.

The light breeze was a tough test of the beamy Beneteau Oceanis 35 but the hull showed itself to be slippery and nimble, managing 4.5kts in only 6.5kts of wind at 40 degrees, albeit on a flat sea. As the pressure increased to 7.4kts we managed 6.2kts, good for this category of cruiser. When tacking in the light conditions the rudders didn’t seem to be an impediment, and at the helm there was enough feel to make steering worthwhile.

Fast forward to hull #25 of the Beneteau Oceanis 35 and another sea – the Mediterranean and the factory sail team with Conq and Gaillard calling the shots for our spinnaker run.

Beneteau Oceanis 35 sails

With a 12 to 14kt breeze building off Palma our bow was aimed at mainland Spain as the spinnaker was unsocked. The previously docile Beneteau Oceanis 35 came alive and accelerated from 5 to 7.7kts, running at about 170 degrees. We were flying, althought the disturbed wake meant the fixed prop was dragging down our top speed.

Taking the helm, I noticed the twin rudders ensured the wheels never felt overloaded. As the harbour entrance neared, the sock slid over the spinnaker and the running rigging ran without snag; proving that the Beneteau Oceanis 35 is a very well-mannered and versatile cruising boat. 

 

HIGHS

• Moveable interior

• Spacious cockpit

• Practical deck layout

 

LOWS

• Pedestal instrument access

• Main hatch saloon-style doors

 

Beneteau Beneteau Oceanis 35 specs

Beneteau Oceanis 35 price: $221,770

Priced from

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Infused GRP

TYPE Keelboat

LENGTH 9.99m overall; 9.97m hull; 9.7m waterline

BEAM 3.72m

WEIGHT 5207kg (light ship)

DRAFT 1.15m lifting keel; 1.45m shallow; 1.85m deep

 

CAPACITIES

FUEL 130lt

WATER 130lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Yanmar 29 saildrive

TYPE Diesel saildrive

RATED HP 29

 

SAILS

MAINSAIL 27.5m²

GENOA 26.72m² (102 per cent)

ASYMMETRIC 83.45m²

CODE 0 50.9m²

JIB 25.5m²

 

SUPPLIED BY

Vicsail Sydney

d’Albora Marina, New Beach Road,

Rushcutters Bay, NSW, 2011

Phone (02) 9327 2088

Web vicsailsydney.com.au; beneteau.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #469, on sale September 3, 2015. Why not subscribe today?

 


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