Founded by the Beneteau family in 1884, BENETEAU today shares the history, experience, and passion that have been passed down by generations of boat builders. With nearly 140 years of experience, the Beneteau family is considered to be one of the first families of boat building as well as one of the oldest yards to still be majority owned by the family.
With numerous boat shows being cancelled in different regions of the world as well as other distractions during the current COVID-19 pandemic, it would be understandable if Groupe BENETEAU decided to simply wait to release any new models. However, if history has taught us anything about the France-based manufacturer, it’s that this family is resilient. Evidence of its commitment to powering forward is found in its new models that are being released for the 2021 season and these new boats carry the promise of unique nautical experiences.
“We want to make this crisis an opportunity to rethink our customer relationship and experience, traditionally displayed at boat shows,” explained Gianguido Girotti, deputy general manager, in charge of brand and product strategy. “Since May, we have developed digital tools so you can discover our boats online, take an online detailed presentation on board, or have a live chat with our boat specialists.”
This year, PRESTIGE, JEANNEAU and BENETEAU have released 14 new models, all thought-out and designed to provide maximum comfort on board, space, pleasure on the water and personalization including the all-new Gran Turismo 36.
The new BENETEAU Gran Turismo 36 with her powerful looks and bold lines is one of the most eagerly awaited boats of the year. She is the first boat in her class to combine the kind of handling you would normally expect with a pure sports boat in combination with really comfortable cruising and space. She also offers a wide variety of on-board facilities to enjoy at your leisure.
“It’s a very nice arrangement because it’s a pure entertainment and pure pleasure boat,” said BENETEAU General Manager Luca Brancaleon. “You start aft starboard, entering with a beautiful wet bar very close to the sun pad. And then as you enter you have a nice cockpit under the electric sunroof.”
The forward helm seating layout allows four people to enjoy the thrill of navigation with great comfort in what Brancaleon described as being able to, “share the fun together.” With an electric sunroof the whole area is bathed in natural light. Behind the helm is an incredibly spacious cockpit lounge area with seating for seven people. The aft backrest of the portside U-shaped seat easily transforms into a headrest for the aft-facing sunpad, creating great connectivity to the sea. The sunpad also provides plentiful storage underneath. Opposite the sunpad is the practical innovation of an aft wet bar location that gives the chef great social connection while keeping the barbecue away from the main seating area.
Great Lakes Debut
These key layout features and others have created a buzz in our region as those who boat on the Great Lakes are eager to see in person what the GT36 has to offer. The boat made her debut in the Great Lakes in Kenosha, Wis., back in September and Craig Duchow, the Milwaukee CenterPointe general manager, was pleased with the initial response it received.
“We had several boats available during our event but the majority of the appointments came to see the Gran Turismo 36,” said Duchow. “The GT36 will do very well for owners in our market who like to cruise with their boats because it is first and foremost a great performing hull in both calm and rough water and has excellent fuel efficiency. BENETEAU designs and builds their boats for sea conditions all around the world and the GT36 is no exception.”
CenterPointe Yacht Services, who has a sales office at Southport Marina, has been a BENETEAU dealer since 2013 and Duchow enjoys the many advantages that come from working with this specific manufacturer.
“First, they are the largest recreational boat builder in the world and as a result they have enormous purchasing power and economies of scale to keep prices low and quality high,” explained Duchow. “Second, they have very innovative designs and styling and third, they have a North American management team in the US including marketing, warranty and parts, which is extremely important when you are selling and servicing European-built boats.”
A Closer Look
The Gran Turismo 36 interior takes advantage of the natural light available, thanks to the large hull windows and deck hatches. In addition, the interior space also holds plenty of innovation. The main forward cabin features an island bed with plentiful storage. The aft guest cabin provides a double berth which can be easily converted to form two single berths. Amidships you will find a cozy lounge to port and to starboard forward, a galley fitted with high-quality appliances. Aft of the galley is a fully-equipped bathroom with separate shower cubicle for easy bathing.
“This vessel has two staterooms with doors--very exceptional in this size of boat--and a head compartment with a separate sink/vanity, shower and toilet,” added Duchow. “Also below deck there is an abundance of natural light in every room so there is no need to turn on lights during daylight.”
Initially the GT36 will just be available with sterndrive engines, followed by outboard choices. The sterndrive are twin 300hp diesel engines, while the outboard choices will be 300hp or 350hp dual engines. Depending on your engine choices, she is predicted to reach top speeds of 30 to 35 knots, which will allow you to cruise quite comfortably to your next destination.
At The Helm
The ergonomically designed helm allows for optional joystick and bow thruster in combination with good visibility and large opening side windows, all of which make docking in a busy marina simple. The helm allows up to two 12-inch Garmin MFD screens providing maximum information and functionality for a boat in this class.
When asked which features on the Gran Turismo 36 will be best received in his region, the CenterPointe general manager raved about the layout.
“The GT36 incorporates many desirable features in their spacious cockpit, including a large sunbathing lounge, wet bar with grill and refrigerator, dinette table with seating opposite a comfortable lounge seat,” explained Duchow. “Also, the bow sun lounge is set into the deck giving you a feeling of extra safety while underway. Plus the three-sided enclosure has large windows and a great view from every seat.”
With the Gran Turismo 36, BENETEAU offers the promise of instant thrills and pleasure on the water. As it makes it way to the Great Lakes region it’s clear the new GT36 will be as warmly received as other BENETEAU models have been over the years and could become a firm favorite on our lakes.
For More Information
CenterPointe Yacht Services
Gran Turismo 36 Specifications
Length Overall: 37’ 11 /
Length With Bathing Platform: 40’ 9”
Hull Length: 37’
Beam Overall: 11’ 7”
Hull Beam: 11’ 4”
Draft: 3’ 7”
Air Draft: 13’ 7”
Water Tank: 40 US gals.
Fuel Tank: 2 X 108 US gals.
Max Inboard Power: 2 X 300hp
Max Outboard Power: 2 X 350hp
Naval Architect: BENETEAU Power Boats
Design: Style & Design / Andreani Design
Photos by Julien Gazeau