Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 1

Beneteau Oceanis 45 - It’s a big wrap! (Part II)

by John Curnow on 6 Jul 2012
That chine very visible as Champagne glides along Pittwater. - Oceanis 45 John Curnow ©
In Part I, we got to look at some of the details about the European Sailboat of the Year, the new Beneteau Oceanis 45. Now, in Part II, we get to meet her owner and find out if this new vessel was the match for his family’s requirements.

Champagne, the vessel, is owned by Chris Barlow and his previously non-sailing wife, Ren. Chris is very gracious, humorous, helpful and genuinely interested in his sailing. He’s also smart, for he very wisely gave Ren the naming rights to their new craft. He’s been a member at his local yacht club for five years and found that now was the time to get themselves a new craft, as the kids have all got to the right age. ‘We’d been looking at a couple of older 43’s and then we saw this one.

'A wonderful experience in its entirety. I’ve always wanted to own a Beneteau and honestly, never thought the experience of buying one and getting to know it would be such a joy! Really, it has been so good, that I just want to go ahead and buy another one. If only you could get that experience with other significant acquisitions in your life, like the car or house. It’s been everything you expect and more. In terms of investment and expectation is it an over and above experience’, said a thoroughly delighted Chris.

‘We had a look at this very vessel in February and then worked the out the deal from there. It really suits our family, as we have four kids, aged from five years to 18. As you can imagine, we needed a bit of size to accommodate them all and we comfortably fit in, with the larger aft cabins being good for all the gang. The day head is plenty large enough and with 570 litres on board, we can even arrange showers’, said Chris of the amenities.


‘Champagne performs a lot better than its Oceanis predecessors and accelerates a lot quicker too, which makes it a great all round package’, commented Chris. During our test sail it was a flukey day, offering 60-degree shifts and velocity changes anywhere from 2 to 12 knots.

‘It seems like Beneteau took the Oceanis 58 and then kept most of the areas proportionally the same with the new 45. The cockpit is an integral component of any vessel such as this, and the table is the right size and the seating not all together that much smaller. It’s a clear and simple operation of the rear door and it is really good for kids with access and swimming, as well as very handy for MOB, which we have proven time and time again during our drills. As you are coming around, it can be coming down, so that when you get there, you’re all set to go and retrieve them, without the need for a halyard.’

‘Our first coastal trip was terrific. We had all sorts of weather and up to 30 knots of breeze, which we managed to turn into 14 knots of boat speed, with 3.5m seas about as large as it got’, said Chris of the first leg of their journey towards Hamilton Island. The distinctive targa bar has certainly helped the sheeting angle for the main and with the canting blocks, there is no need for traveller. However, some grab handles for getting past may be good and they could also double up as steps to get on top to access the boom and boom bag. This would be very handy, indeed.

‘I do most of the sailing myself when it’s the family out on a Sunday afternoon. Others get involved, but often I do the tacks with the autohelm taking care of the rudder the rudder and me doing the sheets. It is really great and easy from that perspective. We have surprised a few souls when the crew’s on board and we’re doing some racing around the sticks, but she does need a bit of squirt to be happiest, otherwise the smaller craft are getting away. Anywhere up from 10 knots and we get going, however’, said a proud Chris.


‘I sailed dinghies with Dad when I was young, then had a Columbia 27 for years, which was good for getting to know the local waters and all the necessary items. We then had a hiatus from sailing, whilst the kids all came along. For the last two years we’ve been looking to get into something of our own and with the way the dollar was at the time, this vessel was very attractive.

'The new Oceanis style craft sail very differently to the old ones and with this new Oceanis 45, we felt we were making no compromises. It may have 25% more expensive than an Oceanis 43, but it was all value from our point of view. You know, Ren was quick to go for this craft, whereas I think I would have had to a bit of sales job to get the 43 over the line. Certainly this craft has made it really easy to get the family back in to boating and they love being involved.

'From my wife’s point of view, this particular vessel was the way to go and she chose the name as a way of making her mark. She will be making her first trip in open water when she joins us to take the boat on our next leg,' Chris explained.


'Now when is it ever not time for some Champagne Sailing, you could ask? Yes it does happen. Sometimes you have to go far, or endure some heinous conditions, but it is there. Well, with the Oceanis 45, you wont have to either look too far or put yourself through an onerous process.


Other features:
'Now a lot of the lazarette space is not immediately visible for the terrific new transom door/ swim platform that traverses nearly the whole stern. It works well from the push button controls on the port helm and an optional remote would be cool for when you get back to the boat after being at lunch.

'Equally, the standard Simrad displays are good enough for the task too. If you really want, you can plug and play the new B&G colour head units, but that’s up to you. The chartplotter not only swivels, but also displays a delightful myriad of information from all the necessary goodies to what’s up on your iPod and that is awesome news.'






Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Barz Optics - FloatersKilwell - 6Schaefer 2016 660x82