The Beneteau Oceanis 38.1 uses the hull of the Oceanis 38 that was introduced in late 2013 and was originally offered in cruiser, weekender and daysailer variants. The latter had a striking open loft-style arrangement that looked stunning – the boat appeared much larger than the raw dimensions suggest – and it was cost effective to produce. However, it was also lacking in practicalities, which the new model addresses, albeit in a more conservative fashion. Take a look at the First Look video we shot at the recent London Boat Show below.


The new interior is offered in three options, all of which benefit from plenty of natural light thanks to generous overhead hatches and coachroof windows, along with four large hull windows. All versions have the same double doors in the main bulkhead that help open the spacious forecabin up to the saloon. There’s a choice of two mirror image double aft cabins, or one larger cabin, plus a sumptuous separate shower stall and additional stowage accessed from on deck.

All models have two options for the galley – either an shallow L-shape arrangement on the port side aft of the saloon, or a long linear alternative on the starboard side of the saloon area. The latter option also offers a separate navigation station, along with a more conventional saloon with settees each side.

Beneteau Oceanis 38.1 layout diagrams

Layout options include two or three cabins and either a long linear galley or a smaller L-shape one.

Deck layout and performance

On deck the Oceanis 38.1 offers exactly what we’ve come to expect of a boat like this. The impressively large cockpit has twin wheels and a substantial central table that also serves to divide up what could otherwise feel like a wide open area when the boat is well heeled. There’s also an eight foot wide fold-down bathing platform.

The optional mainsheet arch keeps the tackle well clear of anyone in the cockpit, although it’s not fitted with a traveller as standard. It also acts as support for both a sprayhood and bimini. Other rigging options that are sure to prove popular are the integrated double bow roller / sprit for the asymmetric spinnaker and removable inner forestay to take a heavy weather jib.

The hull shape has a broad transom with clearly defined chines and twin rudders. Three keel options are offered, including a deep draught T-bulb, a shoal fin and a pivoted centreboard that swings into a shallow stub keel.

Other models to consider

Beneteau’s Oceanis range currently covers eight models from 31 to 60 feet. The closest models to the 38.1 in both concept and size are the recently launched 35.1 and 41.1.

There’s plenty of choice in this part of the market, including Jeanneau’s Sun Odyssey 389  and the slightly smaller Bavaria Cruiser 37. At a slightly higher price point are the Hanse 385 and Marlow Legend 37.

For more information, visit, read our review of the original Oceanis 38 or see our First Look Video of that boat.

Beneteau Oceanis 38.1 specifications

Overall length 11.50m
Hull length 11.13m
Waterline length 10.72m
Beam 3.99m
Light displacement 6,850kg
Draught 2.08m or 1.64m
Lifting keel draught 1.26-2.40m
Deep keel ballast 1,790kg
Shallow keel ballast 2,060kg
Lifting keel version ballast 2,393kg
Mainsail 32.7sq m
Furling mainsail 30sq m
Genoa (103%) 33sq m
Asymmetrical spinnaker 114sq m
Code Zero 65sq m
Self-tacking jib 25 sq m
Air draught 16.55m
Fresh water 130 litres (standard)
Fresh water optional 200 litres
Fuel capacity 130 litres
Engine power 30hp

Written by: Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes has more than 70,000 miles of offshore cruising and racing experience, in waters ranging from the North Sea to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn. He writes about all aspects of boat ownership and marine travel, including destinations, seamanship and maintenance, as well as undertaking regular new boat and gear tests. He currently sails around 5,000 miles per year and in the past couple of seasons has cruised from the UK to the Azores, as well as winning his class in the 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also owns two yachts, one based in the Mediterranean and the other in the UK.