It performs well under sail and its deck set-up and interiors are perfect for sailing. With comfort at all times
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Nicolas Claris
I don’t often find myself admiring the interior of a sailing boat. I don’t want to generalise, but let’s just say that the feeling I normally get from them is indifference. I don’t especially appreciate them because I would say the space below the decks is normally wasted. I do have to say that I am a relativist and not an absolutist, so people have their tastes and I don’t dispute their right to them. I often get the feeling that I am in a villa rather than on board a boat.
They are undoubtedly comfortable, but it should always come down to being comfortable when underway. You don’t have to take a spartan approach to be seafaring, but I think that anyone who designs boat interiors must take into account that we are talking about a space that rolls and pitches, and even heels when close hauled. And yet the interiors designed by Lorenzo Argento for Oceanis Yacht 60got me interested. Every design choice has been made taking into account what it is like when underway. They are comfortable to be in, and also very spacious, but always have the approach of making it comfortable while sailing – so the sailing aspect is not an afterthought. The kitchen, for example, is in the bow area of the dinette and is divided into two with the central walkway that gives access to the cabin. There are two U-shaped work surfaces, which are great if you have to cook with the boat at an angle.
THE INTERIORS AND THE DECK, WHICH HAVE BEEN DESIGNED BY LORENZO ARGENTO, PROVIDE ALL OF THE COMFORTS THAT YOU EXPECT ON A 60-FOOTER, WITHOUT EVER FORGETTING THAT WE ARE ON BOARD
A BOAT THAT IS MADE TO BE SAILED.
Anyone who has ever tried cooking while you are sailing against a strong wind knows just how important it is to be able to prop yourself up without using your hands. And the U-shape of the two work kitchen surfaces is perfect for that. The table in the dinette is large, but not huge. It can comfortably take six people, more or less the number you might have on board for a cruise. And it can be lowered and raised electrically, to transform the area into a living space together with the seats of the L-shaped sofa, or into a coffee table.
There is good natural light and ventilation below the decks and a lot of storage space. It is a boat made for long stays on board.
The sleeping area has two layouts, with the option for either three or four cabins. For the latter, the master cabin in the bow is split into two twin cabins, and a further two are located in the stern. The version I tried out was the more owner-focused one, with three cabins. There are also three bathrooms, each of them with separate shower cubicles, and in the owner’s cabin in the bow, I appreciated the berth with the headboard facing forward and the bath area located immediately at the entrance to the cabin, where the beam is greatest. There is a lot of storage space, both in the dinette and in the cabins. You can tell that they have been carefully designed to optimise locker space and to make long stays on board easier. So, Lorenzo Argento has designed the interiors to be used for sailing trips, and long ones. Comfortable, spacious, luminous, well thought out, but not aimed at impressing. On the contrary, they have a lot of substance. In the dinette, there is a map table, which strangely is something that is increasingly missing on boats.
ROBERTO BISCONTINI’S WATERLINES PROVIDE GOOD
PERFORMANCE AT ALL POINTS OF SAIL.
The deck fits in with the area below the decks. The set-up has been designed to be comfortable without affecting how easy the boat is to sail, or the ease of getting around on board. The entire central part of the cockpit, from the companionway hatch right to the stern platform, is a clear walkway that means you can get around unobstructed. There are two tables, both of which can be folded away and raised or lowered electrically. The cockpit is very protected, there is a spray hood, roll-bar and a structure that houses a sliding soft top, which even covers the two helm positions. As well as the seats in the cockpit, going forward of the spray-hood there is room for two chaise longues. Below the cockpit, there is a garage that can take a tender of up to 280 cm and has two entrances: one from the stern platform, and the other from a door located in the cockpit. Here too the layout has been designed to ensure comfort while underway or manoeuvring. All of the winches are electric and the controls have been placed behind the two wheels. You can trim the sails without any problem, either alone or with a skeleton crew. The pod has a lot of buttons. That might feel scary at first, but you get the hang of it after a few minutes. There aren’t just buttons for trimming the sails, but also the one for all of the deck lights and the underwater ones, the mechanism to open the stern platform and even adjusting the height of the table in the cockpit. It is extremely easy to use and everything is at your fingertips.
ALL OF THE RIGGINGS ARE CONTROLLED BY ELECTRIC WINCHES AND THE HELMSMAN HAS THE BUTTONS CLOSE AT HAND. YOU JUST NEED
A SKELETON CREW TO SAIL, OR YOU CAN EVEN DO IT ALONE.
Performance under sail is more than satisfying, indeed fairly unusual for a production cruise boat. With a wind of between ten and twelve knots, the Oceanis Yacht 60 sails very well, and just loses a couple of knots compared with the wind speed. And it does so at all points of sail, from close hauled to a beam reach. The helm is very soft, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t respond well. It is easy to helm, not least because of the sightlines – which are never affected, despite the spray-hood, roll-bar and soft top. You just have to open up the top to always have the mainsail and jib in sight from the helm station. So basically, it has everything you could ask for to sail comfortably, and also enjoyably. The engine is a Yanmar producing 150 horsepower which allows you to do between seven and nine knots, which is an excellent speed for when using the motor.
IT IS VERY EASY TO HANDLE AND ALWAYS SAILS NOT FAR BELOW
WIND SPEED. VERY RESPECTABLE PERFORMANCE
FOR A SIXTY-FOOT CRUISING BOAT.
2 rue du Grand Large
CS 82531 Givrand
85805 Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie Cedex, France
Biscontini Yacht Design (naval architecture) • Lorenzo Argento (interiors and superstructure)
LOA 18.95m • Length 17.60m • LWL 17.00m • Maximum beam 5.25m • Light mass displacement 21,700 kg • Ballast 5,010 kg • Draft 2.66 m • Fuel tank volume 500 l • Water tank volume 860 l • Main sail 77 m2 • Self-tacking Jib 62 m2 • Genoa (105%) 75 m2 • Code 0 125 m2 • Spi 250 m2
Yanmar 4LV150 • Outlet mechanical power 110 kW (150 hp) • Bore&Stroke 92mm x 103,6mm • 4 in-line cylinders • Maximal rotational speed 3500/min • Swept volume 2.75 l • Dry weight 334 kg
914,400 €, Excl. VAT, ex-factory (February 2023)
(Bénéteau Oceanis Yacht 60, those magnificent 60-footers – Barchemagazine.com – February 2023)