As Beneteau celebrates its 140th anniversary this year, the French shipyard flexed its muscles with a stunning line-up of 22 yachts at Boot Dusseldorf. The world’s biggest indoor boat show marked the Germany debut of the Antares 12, following its world premiere at the Cannes Yachting Festival last September and its US bow at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in late October.
The new flagship of Beneteau’s weekender line has been gaining attention for several reasons, not least because its overall length of 13m makes it 2m or well over 6ft longer than the former series-flagship, the Antares 11, which was the range’s first model to offer the option of a flybridge.
Featuring an overall length of 42ft 7in and a beam of 12ft 5in, the Antares 12 is only available with a flybridge. Furthermore, its size and design mean it’s starting to move into Swift Trawler territory.
The Antares 12 is a world away from the smaller Antares models, whose sizes are more in line with the series’ first generation of boats in the 1970s, which were designed by Andre Beneteau, grandson of company founder Benjamin Beneteau and brother of ‘Madame’ Annette Roux.
For starters, the Antares 12 standard edition comes with twin 400hp Mercury Verado V10s, a first for this class of yacht, according to Beneteau, and which offer 200hp more total power than on the Antares 11.
In fact, the Antares 12 can even fit three outboards, so owners have the option of upgrading to triple 300hp Mercury Verado V8s offering a whopping 900hp.
The skipper can drive from either the saloon or the flybridge, while technology includes the option of a Seakeeper gyro and Groupe Beneteau’s Seanapps system, which keeps owners connected to their boat.
RAISING POWER, OUTDOOR SPACE
Like the Antares 11, the Antares 12 is notable for its drop-down bulwark to starboard, which descends at the push of a button and presents a waterside balcony that has an integrated ladder and neatly links the cockpit to the sea.
In the raised position, the bulwark contains a small side door that can be used for boarding. Guests can also access the boat (or water) from an aft door on the starboard side that allows access to and from the transoms either side of the engines.
The Antares 12 is almost a foot wider than the 11 and you notice this when boarding the covered cockpit, where a long L-shaped sofa wraps around the aft end and port side. The adjustable table can be folded out for alfresco dining, or lowered and covered with cushions to create a large sunpad.
Cockpit stairs on the starboard side lead to the large flybridge, which Beneteau has described as ‘best in class’.
The upper deck is among the most notable differences to the Antares 11 Fly, as it has a full-sized J shaped dinette on the port side of the staircase. On the starboard side, just forward of the steps, is a wet bar – not present on the 11 Fly – that contains a grill and refrigerator.
Forward is a wide helm seat with a Garmin screen, while companion seating to port includes a bench sofa and forward cushions, with the backrest able to be folded forward and down to fill in the space and create a sunpad. The whole flybridge can be covered by a bimini.
The foredeck is accessed by a well-protected, starboard side deck including a couple of steps by the helm. It’s another fun outdoor zone and has a three-man integrated sunpad with an adjustable backrest.
Furthermore, the forward section can fold up and aft to create a forward-facing sofa, while a small table can even be set up. Again, a sunshade can be erected to provide protection.
ELEVATED INTERIOR STYLE
There are two ways to access the interior, most obviously from the cockpit, where there are three glass doors. The middle door and the port door can slide to the right, and the centreline hallway starts with a disguised hatch to access hidden storage below.
There’s a bit of a ‘wow’ factor as you enter the saloon, which has good headroom and lots of natural light from big windows including sliding windows to port. Whereas the Antares 11 has an aft-facing L-shaped sofa, the 12 has a full C-shaped sofa. Each end has an adjustable backrest, so the aft end can become a cockpit-facing sofa and the forward end can double as companion seating.
The height-adjustable, foldable table can enlarge to offer dining for six or more people. When needed, the table can be lowered and covered with cushions to create an extra bed for one or two people, meaning the yacht offers accommodation for up to eight guests.
The galley occupies most of the starboard side and starts aft with large fridge-freezer drawers under a countertop, with various boat controls on the panel above.
The central galley is dedicated to cooking with a cooktop, convection microwave oven and cutlery drawer, while forward is the sink, bin and storage, with drawers further forward. There are also plenty of overhead cupboards, plus a large, shallow storage area for plates and glasses forward of the sofa. The galley has its own added attraction for guests, as it’s also home to the retractable television.
The helm seat is adjustable and has comfortable access to the controls and two Garmin screens, plus also the side deck through a 5ft-high sliding door.
Inside, central stairs lead down to the lower deck, where a hallway accesses three guest cabins. Beneteau points out that the Antares 12 is the first in its class to have three cabins that include two with en-suite bathrooms.
The master suite in the bow is spacious and bright due to long hull windows, a forward window and a skylight. There are cupboards on both sides, lockers above each hull window and lots of storage space under the bed.
The master has its own en-suite bathroom, as does the VIP cabin to port, where twin beds can be converted to a double.
A modular third room to starboard can be arranged as a double berth or a single berth with the second mattress set up as a sofa backrest. This means it can also work as a day room for children or even storage. Beneteau even offers a fridge in this room.
Beneteau hasn’t only increased the size of the Antares flagship. It has elevated the finish and flexibility of the outdoor areas, while fleshing out an interior that reveals a growing emphasis on storage inspired by the Swift Trawler line. All this increases the amount of time you can spend on board and on the Antares 12, that’s only a good thing.
This article was first published on yachtstyle.co
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