Since their introduction in the 1980s, Beneteau’s much-loved Flyer has done a great deal to force its way into the public consciousness. There was the stylish Pininfarina-influenced F1 model; the Flyer 660, which won ‘Boat of the Year’; the Flyer 750 WA, which was the first to use the AirStep hull; and the Flyer Series 5, famous for its appearance in the Deauville-Menton ski races. And now, 30 years on, the Paris Boat Show has witnessed the introduction of three new Flyer models, each based on the same six-metre platform…

See for yourself with a first-look video by Alex Smith.

Beneteau New Flyer concept

Any of the three new versions of the Beneteau Flyer 6 should be capable of hitting 40 knots.


The first of them (the Sundeck) makes the most of its proportions with a beam-forward sunpad, a central bench that converts into two single berths or one double and a small cabin with an optional marine toilet. As its name suggests, the second model (the Spacedeck) aims for lots of uncluttered space, with a completely open deck, wider side passages, a foldaway aft bench and an open pulpit. And the third model (the Sportdeck) uses a bowrider-style layout with very even weight distribution and an optional wakeboard tower.


Carving curves

As regards the driving dynamics, the designers (Patrick Tableau, Tanguy Le Bihan and Rémi Laval-Jeantet) have apparently rethought the hull to put stability and grip firmly at the top of the list. A heavily tapered V-shaped stem is designed to pass serenely through the swells and the hull’s three pronounced lateral curves are positioned to maintain effective traction in the turn. And with the top-end 200hp outboard on the transom (and only 80kg between the three models), the new boat ought to hit 40 knots, whichever configuration you choose.

Certainly in the past, I have considered the style, space and agility of the Flyer to be nullified by the firm ride and the apparent inability of the much-hyped Airstep to generate any meaningful results – but if Beneteau’s claims for this new hull ring true, the new Flyer 6 could be just the fresh lease of life this iconic powerboat needs.


Beneteau Flyer 6 Sundeck, Spacedeck and Sportdeck: Specifications

LOA: 6.22m
Beam: 2.52m
Weight: 1,290-1,370kg
Max power: 200hp
Fuel capacity: 170 litres

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Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.