French builder Beneteau has been busy revamping their entire line of sailboats including the top end of the Oceanis line, known as Oceanis Yachts. The latest introduction, the Oceanis Yacht 60, is also their flagship, a from-scratch hull with a few familiar features.
Although some of this new Biscontini-designed hull pays tribute to the previous Oceanis Yacht 54, the forward sections are broader with more flare, creating greater interior volume. The cockpit resembles the 54’s, with walk-around space aft of the helm seats and twin L-shaped settees ahead. Two hi/lo tables on either side open for dining or lower electrically to form matching sunbeds. The dinghy garage holds a Williams Jet Tender 280 or any dinghy up to 9 feet 6 inches, and it’s similar to the arrangement on the preceding 62, which this design replaces.
Twin Carbon Nautica wheels are suspended from superyacht-style binnacles that are integrated into the aft ends of the settees. Electric Harken winches are within easy reach of the wheels, or they can be operated with the push of a button on the binnacle. A nice hardtop bimini with a soft, manually retracted sunroof protects the cockpit in its entirety.
Tall stanchions with high lifelines run the perimeter of the deck, which is reassuring to see on an offshore vessel, but the placement of the liferaft under the cockpit sole close to the companionway means the crew will have to shove this lifesaving device a good distance to launch it off the transom. The side decks are wide and clear, and there’s a double sunpad on the bow just ahead of the mast.
Below, the Oceanis 60 also borrows elements from other brands and designs. Like the 62, she has a dedicated nav station with a bucket seat. This time, it’s to starboard. The galley is forward and split, a concept introduced by Dufour a few years back. The sink and stove are to starboard, and plenty of refrigeration space is to port with countertop space on both sides.
The galley’s placement helps multiple cooks work together and provides a privacy buffer between the salon and the master stateroom forward. However, its layout also makes it hard to cook or wash dishes while on a starboard tack, and it’s a long way to go (especially when heeling) with a cup of hot coffee when headed to the cockpit.
One baffling item: An island locker has been added to the middle of the salon. It breaks up the long traverse and provides storage as well as a handhold, but it’s an odd feature jutting out in the middle between the settees.
The master suite layout is a nod to the styling on much larger yachts with an array of four overhead hatches and a bed that’s inverted and offset to starboard. The bunk is hidden from view from the rest of the boat and adds to the owner’s privacy.
The Oceanis Yacht 60 is available with three to four cabins and three to four heads. There are two choices of wood finish—a lighter oak, as on our test boat, and a darker walnut. The three-cabin version will target private ownership, and the four will go to charter, although if the previous 62 is any indicator, the 60 is likely to sell almost exclusively to private buyers.
The Oceanis Yacht 60 is offered with a choice of a self-tacking jib or a 105% genoa, and with a standard rig or the performance version, which adds 5 feet to the mast and 20% to the upwind sail area. We tested the latter on Biscayne Bay near Miami in 10-12 knots of true breeze. With 11 knots of wind, we sailed 7.6 knots at 60 degrees apparent wind angle (AWA) with the overlapping genoa. Once we raised the screecher, we bumped up to 9.8 knots on a beam reach and held that up to 70 degrees AWA.
The helm was finger light, and the twin rudders tracked beautifully regardless of the angle of heel. She felt light and agile, cutting through the light chop. Per company representatives, only 10% of buyers are expected to take a traditional mainsail on the V-boom, while 90% opt for in-mast furling. Also, only 20% are expected to have a professional captain, because this large boat can be managed by two without much trouble.
With the 150-hp Yanmar diesel, the Oceanis Yacht 60 has plenty of power. We topped out at 3,600 rpm and 10 knots of boat speed and settled into a comfortable cruise at 2,500 rpm and 8.8 knots. A tunnel bow thruster and a drop-down stern thruster by SidePower made easy work of fitting this big boat into a tight slip.
The Oceanis Yacht 60 is shorter, has lower freeboard, and is more than 10,000 pounds lighter than the preceding 62, but it offers the same livability and exceptional performance. It’s built on a semi-custom basis and comes with two to three days of owner training upon delivery. It also features Beneteau’s proprietary digital switching system called Ship Control and the Seanapps remote monitoring, geofencing, and maintenance alert app.
A premium design, the Oceanis Yacht 60 is fun to sail even in light winds. Its target clientele, which includes discerning couples who like upmarket living and a good turn of speed, won’t be disappointed.
LOA/LWL 62’ 2” / 55’ 9”
Beam 17’ 5”
Draft 7’ 3” / 8’ 9”
Displacement 47,840 lbs
Sail Area 1,636 sq ft (std)
Power 150 hp (shaft)
Designer BiscontiniYacht Design
Builder Beneteau, beneteau.com
Price as tested $1.9 million
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