This eight-metre by Bénéteau is surprisingly liveable, while boasting brilliant performance figures
OUTBOARD MOTORS ARE GETTING INCREA-SINGLY POWERFUL,but they are also tending to get lighter and to use less fuel. In other words, as machines they are becoming increasingly efficient, and are used by boats that are getting bigger. The firm that is riding this technological wave best is Bénéteau, which provides a significant choice of boats in which the power unit is not relegated to the engine room, but is there to be seen on the transom. A good example is the new Antares 9 OB, a boat with a hull that is just over eight metres long and three wide, that completes the top end of the French firm’s outboard range, following theAntares 6, 7 and 8.
If we get larger still, Bénéteau uses EFB power with the 30and 36, which are ten andeleven metres long respectively, but it is clear that the two worlds are getting closer and closer to one another. The boat that we tried out brings together the best of Bénéteau’s experience in building small, family boats at a reasonable price and in which every centimetre is exploited to its full.
There are two cabins below decks, of a size that is more than decent: the bed in the one in the bows splits open so that it can be quickly changed from a 200 cm-wide double into two singles (the maximum heightis 174 cm); and the one in the stern, with the 140 cm-wide bunk positioned sideways (and here the maximum height is 178 cm at the entrance and 76 over the mattress).
Overall these volumes and areas are surprisingly substantial, especially if we then bear in mind that the layout also includes a bathroom, a dinette that can be changed into a third bed area and a small kitchenette. The cockpit also features the capacity to change uses, and has three different configurations: completely clear, which is ideal for fishing; for eating with the central table and four chairs; or with a large sun lounger (which is in addition to the one in the bows).
We tested the boat on a day with rough sea, with waves just over a metre high and an annoying Libeccio wind. In the stern we had the maximum power that can be installed, 294kW, in this case provided by two Suzuki DF 200s. Despite not having perfect conditions, the top speed that we managed to reach was 37 knots, using all of the 6000-rpm available, and getting quite closeto the 40 knots that the yard says can be reached on flat water.
The boat proved itself to be extremely agile and reactive, as can be expected from this kind of power, but I also liked the overall feeling of solidity that the Antares gives – so there wasn’t a lot of vibration even when we found ourselves jumping on the waves. I very much liked how practical the steering position is, and the fact that there is a comfortable way through to the starboard gangway from it. And I appreciated the good size of theretractable top in the roof, which ensures that there is light and air when temperatures increase in the summer.
The best performance provided by the Antares 9 OBand the two Suzuki engines can be found at 4000 rpm, when – going at just over twenty knots – the two Japanese engines only require 2.5 litres a mile of fuel, so thirty litres an hour. That is definitely an interesting figure for what could be considered economy cruising speed, it is just a shame that the boat’s standard fitting is with two fuel tanks of 200 litres each, which means that you only get 160 nautical miles range.
It thus becomes practically obligatory to add the optional extra of extending it to 250 miles by fitting two 300-litre tanks. A good alternative, for fast cruising speed, is at around thirty knots and at 5000 revs: fuel consumption increases at that rate, but is still within a reasonable range: 85 litres an hour, which means 2.8 l itres per mile.
BÉNÉTEAU ANTARES 9 OB
PROJECT Bénéteau Powerboats
HULL LOA 8,25 m • Maximum beam (close/open) 2,99 m • Draft 0,9 m • Ligh mass displacement – 4.340 kg • Fuel tank volumes 400 l • Water tank volume 160 l
MAIN PROPULSION 2 Suzuki DF 200 • Outlet mechanical power 200 kW (148hp) • Number of cylinders 6 • Bore & Stroke 95 x 85 mm • Total swept volume 3.6 l • Maximal rotational speed 6.000/min • Weight 264 kg
EC CERTIFICATION CAT B/6 C/10
PRICE 61,110Ä (Excl.VAT) bare boat. Suzuki DF 200 starting from 19,900€
SUZUKI DF200 Engine Type DOHC 4 stroke • 4 cylinders in line •Displacement 2867 cc • Bore x stroke 97mm x97mm • Full throttle operating range 5000/min -6000/min • Fuel delivery system Multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection
•Alternator 12V – 44A • Electric start system •Fuel unleaded petrol • Oil pan capacity 8 l
Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, Francia
(Bénéteau Antares 9 OB, unrivalled – Barchemagazine.com – Luglio 2019)