Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Impression-Sailing the New Beneteau 31

Sailing the New Beneteau 31

Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to sail one of Beneteau's newest models, the Beneteau 31. With an LWL of just under 29 foot, she proved to be quick, responsive yet steady while retaining the creature comforts of boats much larger than her. The boat I sailed had the standard 5'11" draft, battened classic mainsail and 105% roller furling genoa (all standard from Beneteau USA). Under motor-she was powered by a 20hp Yanmar 3YM30 diesel engine.
There were five of us aboard that afternoon. We left Burnham Harbor in Chicago with a 10-15 knot breeze from the east, and a beautiful-blue cloudless sky. After only taking about 35 seconds to hoist the main, we bore off to port and headed for the Chicago light house (an historic landmark built on the outer seawall of Monroe Harbor in Downtown Chicago). We moved along nicely in the 12 knot breeze, and headed out between the break wall entrance and the lighthouse. All the while doing so with ease and gracefulness. The thing I liked most about the boat at this point was how well she tracked up wind, with what I'd call a modest 'slot'. I thought that she will be very easy for the beginner, and a joy to sail for the seasoned sailor as well. We put her through her paces while sailing up wind, reaching, down wind sailing and motoring in over a period of a few hours. She was just as easy to dock as she was to sail, and I will look forward to going out on her again!

Sail Magazine just completed a review of the new Beneteau 31 and you can read it here. We have hull #22 in-stock. Call us to visit this great sailing boat. Take advantage of our Thanksgiving Fall Deals. These are our best prices of the year. Call us for details.