New horizons

Beneteau’s highly-anticipated Oceanis 51.1 has premiered at Cannes, promising new standards in comfort and performance.

Photography by Beneteau

26 September 2017


The crowd’s excitement was palpable at the reveal of the first of the French yard’s new-generation Oceanis range at Cannes Yachting Festival.

The 51.1 can be configured in three very different models – the Smart Cruiser, Comfort Cruiser, or Fast Cruiser.

Breaking it down further, there are four different interior layouts, five rigging plans, three different keel types, and an amazing 150 available options out of 700 possible combinations.

It’s the first project developed under the supervision of Beneteau’s new global marketing director, Gianguido Girotti, and it’s his informed input that’s resulted in the sleek craft incorporating racing values into the boat’s core DNA.

Features include a chined hull, flared top sides and stylish deck plan options. The layout is also incredibly versatile, offering the opportunity for each buyer to stamp their personal style on their yacht.


As the exclusive NSW Beneteau dealers, Flagstaff Marine’s Graham Raspass and Micah Lane were at Cannes for the launch. They were amongst the first to step aboard and are excited about showing her to the Australian market.

“We are really excited the about the impact the 51.1 will have on the Australian market, it’s a perfect yacht for our waters,” said Raspass, impressed with the level of customisation. “A unique set-up for the buyer is the biggest feature. All the creature comforts are available across the range, with the ability to add extras where you see fit.”

The new hull design increases the interior volume, which is also boosted thanks to the U-shaped galley.

“The wider beam allows owners to maximise the space of the cabins,” Raspass explained. “In particular the main cabin, which has a double berth usually found in 60 footers.”

“Similar to the Rambler 88, the chined hull on these boats has allowed for greater width to sit above the waterline, so that performance is not compromised.”

There is the option to have the boat rigged as a performance cruiser with carbon rig and deep keel, with a lead bulb that allows weight reduction and better hydrodynamic resistance.

“You can set up your boat to make it as fast and racy as you need, with taller masts and deeper keels, and you can add racing electronics to all the models,” advised Raspass.

Ease of sail handling is also a big focus, hence in-mast furling, a self-tailing jib and the routing of all halyards and sheets back to two sets of winches at each of the helm stations. Meanwhile, the Dock & Go system takes the stress out of navigating marina.

The 51.1’s cockpit is also a stand-out. Two large L shaped lounges are arrayed around a high quality modular table. Sunpads with cup holders stretch either side of the companionway. An in-built grill, and spacious open swim platform with drop-down transom complete what is an outstanding cruising yacht.

Flagstaff Marine in Sydney has already sold two Oceanis 51.1s to clients who came along to the launch. Both yachts will be based in Sydney, the first a First Line Performance version arriving just in time to be on display at the 2018 Sydney International Boat Show.

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