The Beneteau Oceanis 34.1 is a scrappy new model that offers a spacious and well-designed interior and a versatile deck, making it a thoughtful choice in a size range that is often overlooked. Designed by Marc Lombard and with an interior by Nauta, this cruiser is the latest addition to the seventh generation of Beneteau’s Oceanis line.
The 34.1 replaces the 35.1 and features a flared bow and hard chines that run stem to stern, providing more volume forward in the owner’s stateroom. The boat is available in a two-stateroom, one-head version, making it ideal for sailors who want occasional guests but not a crowd. The aft double-berth stateroom is located to starboard of the companionway. Forward, the L-shaped galley has a two-burner propane stove and oven, refrigeration, and a stainless-steel sink, while the head is opposite, with a separate stall shower aft. The shower compartment and stowage area can be converted into an additional stateroom, if desired.
In the saloon, a drop-leaf table is the central feature, flanked by two settees that can both double as berths for additional friends and family. The aft end of the port settee drops down to make room for a fold-down nav station adjacent to the boat’s electrical panel. The V-berth can be closed off for privacy or left open to enhance the sense of space below.
On the exterior, the deck is well-designed, with twin wheels and fold-up helm seats allowing for easy passage from the drop-down swim platform past the cockpit table to the companionway. The table can seat six for meals with its leaves up, and the benches on either side are long enough for a person to stretch out.
The 34.1 comes with several different packages and configurations, including a base boat priced at $192,000. This includes a traditional main, self-tacking jib, single halyard/sheet winch on the cabin top, and a 21 hp Yanmar diesel and saildrive. The boat in Miami had the optional 106 percent genoa, upwind and downwind packages, a bowsprit set up to fly a code zero off-wind sail, a second electric cabin-top winch for hoisting the main, and winches at either helm to handle the genoa sheets. The genoa sheets were led to adjustable friction rings instead of fairlead tracks and cars, providing greater control over the headsail. However, the mainsheet could have been led aft as well.
The 34.1 offers three keel options: a shallow (4-foot-11-inch) cast-iron foil, a deep (6-foot-7-inch) fin, and a “performance draft” hydraulic retractable keel that draws 4 feet, 1 inch up and 8 feet, 4 inches down. Both the traditional mast and optional in-mast-furling spar have an air draft of 51 feet, 1 inch, making them suitable for trips up and down the Intracoastal Waterway. The traditional mast has no backstay, and a square-top main is an option.
Under sail, the 34.1 handles like a sports car on a mountain road, with twin rudders providing good control and feedback, and excellent visibility forward from either helm. In 10 knots of breeze, we beat upwind at just under 6 knots, and saw the GPS speed jump to 7.8 knots when we bore off to a beam reach. Adding a code zero and spinnaker would make for a lot of fun on a long reach home. Overall, the 34.1 is a versatile sailing vessel with a spacious interior and well-designed deck layout. The Beneteau Oceanis 34.1 is a versatile option for sailors looking for a boat that can handle a range of conditions, from light winds to heavy seas.
Designed by renowned naval architect Marc Lombard, the 34.1 features a modern hull shape with a flared bow and hard chines that improve performance and increase interior volume. The interior, designed by Nauta, is thoughtfully laid out and makes efficient use of space.
The boat we sailed in Miami was the two-stateroom, one-head version, which is ideal for a couple or small family. The aft stateroom provides a comfortable double berth, while the forward V-berth is roomy and private. The L-shaped galley is functional and well-equipped with a two-burner propane stove and oven, refrigeration, and a stainless-steel sink.
The central feature of the saloon is a drop-leaf table surrounded by two settees that can be converted into additional berths for guests. The port settee also drops down to create a fold-down nav station adjacent to the boat’s electrical panel. Throughout the interior, large windows and hatches provide ample natural light and ventilation.
On deck, the 34.1 features a well-thought-out layout that makes it easy to move around and handle the boat in all conditions. Twin wheels and fold-up helm seats allow for easy access to the drop-down swim platform, while the cockpit table can seat six for meals with its leaves up.
The boat comes with several different packages and configurations, including a shallow or deep keel and a traditional or in-mast-furling spar. Our test boat had the optional 106 percent genoa and upwind and downwind packages, which added a bowsprit and winches at either helm to handle the genoa sheets.
Under sail, the 34.1 was a joy to handle. The twin rudders provided excellent control and feedback, while the visibility from either helm was superb. In moderate conditions, we achieved impressive speeds upwind and on a beam reach, and the boat was stable and responsive throughout.
Overall, the Beneteau Oceanis 34.1 is an excellent choice for sailors who value performance, comfort, and versatility. With a range of options and configurations, it can be tailored to suit a wide range of sailing styles and preferences.