Boats that change to adapt to the people sailing them have the potential to please a diverse group of yachties. A daysailer doesn’t need three double bed cabins, a fishing boat doesn’t need a lot of seats while a taxi boat doesn’t need a galley. Innovative yacht builders now offer the opportunity of customising production series yachts to suit individual needs. In some yachts, lay-out can even be changed for different sailing trips.
- Adaptable interiors in the Beneteau Oceanis 38 and 35 sailboats respond to changing needs of sailors.
- The outboard-driven motor yachts of the Flyer range, also from the Beneteau yard, are likewise offered in a variety of deck lay-outs and interior options.
- The hybrid motor-powered yacht Ethos E-30 is a versatile platform that changes into any type of boat for use by professional captains and crews or sport fishermen and day cruisers.
All of these variations on the same hull platform allow yachting enthusiasts to fit their boats to their own specific use and style.
The Oceanis 35 and 38, presented in 2014, are the first sailing yachts to feature an adaptable interior. The daysailer has a lightweight open lay-out, with a roomy open forepeak bed, a large settee in the cabin, a toilet but no galley. An upgrade to allow for luxury during a longer stay aboard comes with the weekender version, featuring a double aft cabin, a galley and a large toilet space with a separate shower space behind it.
The third configuration is the cruiser version, in which the forepeak is closed to form a separate two-person cabin and in the rear of the yacht are two double cabins. The shower has to be a bit smaller to allow for that.
In northern Europe, we sell more of the cruiser versions, whereas our clients feel more attracted to the daysailer or weekender version in southern European areas,
reveals Beneteau manager of product development Thomas Gaillard in an interview. “The same goes for the northern and southern parts of the United States. The big level of personalisation helps to fit the Oceanis yachts to the different wishes of recreational sailors anywhere.”
Skipper Ruijgrok of the Netherlands bought a Beneteau Flyer 7.7 SUNdeck, powered by a 300 horsepower outboard engine, in February 2015. “I mainly cruise the water of the Markermeer, the big central lake in the Netherlands,” he reveals.
I chose this boat because I wanted a multi-functional boat of a modern design.
Of course, before buying, I took good notice of the different deck lay-outs and options. The SUNdeck version is best for me, because up to ten people can relax on the sun bed at the forepeak, while there is a double bed underneath that allows me to sleep on board during longer trips. Additionally, I had the T-top installed to have shade over the helm station and to be able to bring water skis and a wakeboard.”
“The Ethos E30 was originally developed for professional use,” Leopold Rodriquez assures. He is the managing director of Up Yacht, the company that sells the 9-metre modular boat in Europe, which was developed in Italy at Azure Embark. “Economic operation was a key factor. The hybrid propulsion assures long-range operation at low fuel consumption. Solar panels on the cabin roof can keep batteries charged to extend the possibilities and range for totally electric cruising.”
The boat can be adapted to all kinds of use: as a water taxi, as a fishing boat, a base for diving. The interior and deck lay-out is totally modular.
An owner can change the configuration from a divers’ vessel to a water taxi with only an electrical screwdriver in half an hour.
Rodriquez remarks: “It is the perfect boat for recreational skippers that want to use their boats for different purposes. Because installing cabin and deck elements is so easy, you can always have the ideal boat for any type of use.”
Although the yacht is still to be presented at boat shows, already nine hulls have been built. As the yacht is easily adaptable for many purposes, the Ethos brand is also planning to offer membership use. Skippers do not buy a boat, but lease a right to use one, which is eased thanks to the adaptable deck lay-out of this boat.