The new Oceanis 30.1 is the little sister to all of the boats in the Oceanis line but in particular it is most closely related to the 46.1 and 40.1. All three bear a strong next-generation family resemblance, with plumb bows, sawed-off transoms with large fold down swim platforms and a hard chine that runs the length of the hull.
It is one thing for the designers and engineers at Beneteau to create cruising boats at 40 and 46 feet that have everything a couple or family needs for long vacations on the water or living aboard. But its something else all together to achieve this in a 30 footer. Yet, somehow, that is exactly what they have done.
The 30.1 has a hull that is just under 30 feet long and a beam that is just under 10 feet, although that beam runs all the way aft so there is a lot of space in the cockpit and in the after sections for living and storage space. Also, the hull has a flat under the water profile so there is not a lot of volume below the waterline and this is even more apparent since the hulls narrow quite a lot below the hard chines. This shape is fast and easily driven; it is the chine that adds volume and thus interior living space.
Under the water, there are three keel options. Those who sail in deep water and want to maximize sailing performance will go for the deep bulb keel; this will also add to stability and to keeping the boat upright and sailing fast with no one on the rail. For those who live in shoal cruising grounds, you can opt for the shallow keel version. And for those who want to trailer the boat, you can have it with a keel-centerboard that also lets you explore very shallow coves and anchorages. At 8,000 pounds, the 30.1 can be trailered behind a larger SUV or pickup truck.
The cockpit uses the maximum beam well and feels spacious. You can have either a tiller to drive the twin rudders or twin wheels. I like both options but I suspect most buyers will opt for the wheels since so few modern cruisers grew up sailing dinghies. Plus the twin wheels open a clear pathway to the stern and fold-down swim platform. The cockpit table has folding leaves and will fit four adults for al fresco meals.
With a dodger over the companionway, you’ll have plenty of protection from the wind and weather. Beside the companionway, there are dedicated places molded into the cabin sides for a multifunction display and sailing instruments. The halyards, control lines and mainsheet all lead through a line stopper to a winch on the portside of the companionway. There is a huge cockpit locker to starboard where you can store all of your fenders, docking lines, downwind sails and other water toys. This is a feature you rarely find on a 30-footer.
The rig is somewhat unusual as it has a masthead forestay, single fractional swept-back side stays and no backstay. This allows for a large headsail that sheets inside the stays and a high roach, square top mainsail. The 30.1 has a lot of working sail area and is designed to perform well in light and moderate breezes that you often find during summer coastal cruising. With no traveler and a rigid vang, you control the shape of mainsail primarily by using the vang to flatten or ease sail shape. No doubt the 30.1 will be fast and a lot of fun to sail. A tabernackle system can be an option for the mast step, which will allow you to lower the mast for trailering.
There is a small bowsprit forward with the anchor roller mounted at an angle on top of it. The sprit is designed to tack down an asymmetrical spinnaker or a reacher. With the 30.1’s flat underwater profile, she should be a screamer with a chute and a bit of breeze downwind.
The living space down below will surprise you when you first climb down the companionway steps. The L-shaped galley is right there to port with a single sink, a top-loading fridge and a two burner stove and oven. Just aft of the galley through a door is the after cabin which has a huge double berth tucked under the cockpit. It is very unusual to see a quarter cabin like this in a 30-footer and makes the boat unique.
The salon has a centerline table with drop leaves and bench settees on both sides. The settee are long and wide enough to be single berths when you have extra guests aboard. There is an optional chart table at the aft end of the starboard settee that folds away against the bulkhead when not in use. Above is the electrical panel and a place to mount radios or a satphone.
The forward cabin has a V-berth that seems very wide because the bed has been pushed right out to the hull. Plus, the hull form is very full in the forward sections and that not only gives the 30.1 extra buoyancy and stability but also creates more space for the double berth.
The head is across from the galley and has the head facing forward. While this was probably done to make the best use of the space allowed, it is interesting to note that many veteran offshore sailors prefer this arrangement since it is easier to sit down and brace yourself when the boat is heeled over facing forward than it is facing sideways.
The 30.1 comes with a small Yanmar engine that fits under the cockpit and companionway steps. It is easily accessible from the front and the sides for routine maintenance.
The boats can be had with either a teak veneer or a light colored oak style veneer and both look attractive. The large cabin-side and hull windows will bring a lot of natural light into the interior and with the white overheads, the 30.1 will have a warm, bright quite yacht-style feel.
The tankage is ample for a boat of this size with 34 gallons of fuel and 42 gallons of water. Under power at five knots she will have a range of almost 500 miles. For those who want independence from shower facilities either a rain catcher or a watermaker will augment the water supply
The Oceanis 30.1 is a surprising and very complete little cruising boat that will make a great starter boat for a young family. But it also will make a perfect last boat for experienced sailors who are downsizing from a larger more complicated cruiser. In every way, the 30.1 is a proper little yacht.