02-Beneteau-Project-E

The Swift Trawler semidisplacement series from Beneteau has been a huge success for the French behemoth—over 1,500 have been built since the line launched a decade back. With a range from 30 to 50 feet, the boats offer safety, comfort, a fine turn of speed and long-range capabilities in a package that can be handled by a cruising couple.

Looking to build on what they’ve accomplished with the Swift Trawlers, Beneteau announced an all-new line of displacement vessels at Boot Dusseldorf. The first two, a 62- and 73-footer both eclipse the largest offerings to date that carry the Beneteau moniker.

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The builder collaborated with naval architect Amedeo Migali at MICAD—who has penned vessels for Beneteau’s Gran Turismo and Swift Trawler lines as well as their bespoke Monte Carlo Yachts—to capture the UX that Beneteau Motoryacht Marketing Coordinator Robert Chaffer shared as a Venn diagram of simple luxury, comfort and space and, somewhat surprising, slow speeds. Research has shown that their customers’ average speeds while at cruise is slower than expected. “With a new decade, new thinking is necessary,” Chaffer said, with the Project E line sitting at the intersection of these ideas.

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The displacement hulls benefit from over 300 hours of computer modeling with the goal of burning, on average, 35 percent less fuel than a comparable planing hull. “[Project E] offers maximum efficiency for a displacement hull, with less power,” Chaffer told me, “but with engines that give you reassurance of proper capability if you need it.” Case in point: The 62 will be matched to 730-hp MAN diesels (with optional MAN i6-800s) reportedly good for a 900 nm range at 8 knots, with top speeds hovering around 20 knots. On the 73-footer, engine options from MAN are the big, 16.2-liter V8 pushing out 1,000 or 1,200 horses apiece for an impressive 1,400 nm range at 10 knots and a top end that matches her smaller sibling.

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Noted superyacht design house Nauta Yachts drew exteriors and living spaces that veer from anything in the builder’s portfolio. Judging from the renderings, both have truly massive flybridges, with the 73’s clocking in at 430 square feet. The brief also calls for what Chaffer referred to as the “terrace to the sea,” a highly functional and spacious swim platform and aft cockpit area that can be closed off or completely open to the water—the intermingling of safety and style.

While the smaller of the two calls for a three-stateroom layout (all en suite, with room for crew), the 73’s raised pilothouse design puts the owner’s cabin in the catbird seat, forward on the main deck along with three guest cabins belowdecks; headroom here will average an NBA-friendly 6 feet, 6 inches. Chaffer tells me they expect the larger of the two to be crewed vessels and the designers paid close attention to crew circulation, with dedicated passageways so that teams can go about their work unimpeded and unseen (the galley can be completely enclosed as well). “The layout captures superyacht space routing in 73-footer,” Chaffer said.

Both 62- and 73-footers are to be built at the Montefalcone yard—sharing space with their luxe sister company Monte Carlo Yachts. Chaffer expects the 62 to premier in one year at Dusseldorf 2021, with the 73 to follow some time later.

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