THE OCEANIS Yacht 62 created waves when it came onto the market two years ago, rapidly becoming 2017’s European Luxury Cruiser of the Year, as voted by an expert panel of testers.

Since then Beneteau’s flagship has gone from strength to strength around the world. At a base price of €729,200 ex tax, it is a hefty investment in any terms, but considering what it offers compared with other marques, some much more expensive and ‘arguably’ prestigious, the Oceanis Yacht delivers real value as a ‘go anywhere’ taste of the superyacht sailing world, writes Yachting Life boat test editor Andi Robertson.

It set a new trend, melding ideas and influences from luxury motor yacht interiors with a powerful, efficient modern wedge shaped hull from Berret Racoupeau. Italian stylist Pierreangelo Andreani, who works on many of the Beneteau Groupe’s motor boats collaborated on the incredible, light, open but very pragmatic interior. The ambience inside is modern, understated but retaining classic references which ensures the appeal is universal across the different continents on which it will sail.

I sailed the boat again last Autumn from Beneteau’s base at Port Ginestre by Barcelona and it remains a firm favourite. Once again, if you consider the value offering, this size and type of luxury cruiser should be benchmarked against the lifestyle and opportunity it brings, measured against property in the different areas you will cruise to. It will be, in essence, your Mediterranean villa, your country cottage, your luxury Caribbean house, all in one, depending on the season and your aspirations.

The most memorable features, other than the amazing interior, are the drop down transom which houses a proper little stern garage with an easily launched and recovered Williams jet tender, and there are access steps on either side. There is an external cooking and entertaining area at the transom area. It has acres of flat deck space for sunbathing, an easy welcoming companionway and the owner’s cabin is a peaceful, private oasis which, again, offers superyacht living at a fraction of the price. The offset access doors to the big forecabin are subtly hidden from view by a lateral mini passage which offers extra cupboard space.

LARGE HULL WINDOWS

The owner’s cabin forward enjoys a wide panorama thanks to the large hull windows which run the length of the boat, fully camouflaged by the wide black hull strip. The double aft cabins complement the styling and space of the forecabin perfectly while the main living space offers sumptuous seating for chilling out or indeed with ample space to entertain dinner guests of an evening.

The cockpit layout is safe, large and completely adaptable. The big, main space is entirely clutter free as all ropes are in the working area aft of the twin wheels. There are two tables which drop flush with the seating to present an enclosed, more private sunbathing area. So too, access all the way through the cockpit is perfect with good hand and footholds for safe sailing in a seaway. The wrapround coamings will ensure guests stay dry and warm. The helm seats either side of the transom open with a finger’s pressure thanks to the hydraulic rams.

The cockpit is all on one level. Below the port side seat between the main cockpit and the aft working area there is a small fridge. And then in the middle of the aft cockpit is a galley which rises out of a locker to allow a little al fresco cooking, with a hob and sink, again the influence of the motor yacht here is welcome.

As an aside, there is a certain appeal in this boat to motorboaters who might have decided to switch to sail power, as is happening in small numbers around the world.

Main sail controls all come to hand within a metre or two of the helm’s position, powered by two sets of beefy Harken electric winches and that does mean that in spite of the significant loads most of the key manoeuvres and trimming can be done short handed, including control of the cabin top winches. The two helm stations replicate the controls on either side, including bow and stern thrusters so the boat can be berthed and manoeuvred from either station, or of course remotely from the deck. Instruments are from B&G with a full package of matching chart plotters.

The sidedecks are wide with a decent, proper full length gunwhale. Up at the front is the option of a crew cabin which has two berths with a separate heads.

The chunky stainless bowsprit is neatly done, retaining the anchor underneath and providing a tack eye for the Code Zero and/or A-sails.

With the mainsheet arch and windscreen and sprayhoods almost all of the cockpit can be enclosed for those who might want protection in northern Europe, correspondingly in hot climes any combination of biminis and suns shades are possible.

Access down the 45° staircase into the yacht is perfect with good stainless handrails either side, at this size and price it may indeed be owners not in their first flush of youth, or indeed less agile guests, and so this really is a key asset.

To port is an excellent nav station which is generously proportioned with a contemporary, executive feel. There’s a massive dining area and a linear galley to starboard. As you would expect there is a separate wine ‘cellar’, or a dedicated fridge. But there are loads of storage drawers, cupboards, front opening fridges and worktop space meaning more than one person can work in the prep and cooking when larger scale meals are being cooked. There is an excellent full length leather handrail. Again, there is plenty of sink space and a good dishwasher.

Under sail there is loads of usable, easily controlled power set on the 9/10th Sparcraft rig. Typical set up is a little 105% overlapping jib but mostly we rolled out the Code Zero, all 2,600sq.ft, and it was our ‘go to’ workhorse sail for the day.

In less than 10 knots of wind and in flat seas we made between 6.5 and 7.0 knots of boat speed. The polars suggest in 15 knots of breeze 10 knots is a comfortable, efficient cruising speed.

Sadly, as seems to be the case too often, we did not really get a chance to stretch the legs of the Oceanis Yacht 62, but for the size she is, handling was easy and the boat tracked positively in the little afternoon Mediterranean chop.

Overall it is a really comprehensive package which is well thought out, full of lux touches and details which add up to a really desirable yacht.