The Sea Trial
The sea trial added more valuable insights. On the flybridge, Noyce examined the boat’s mast, a powder-coated aluminum extrusion with a cast gooseneck mounted on a stainless-steel pin and Delrin washers for easy movement. Its heel was seated in a stainless tabernacle for easy lay-down when transiting bridges. An experienced cruiser, Noyce suggested mounting a stout pad eye at the center of the flybridge’s venturi with a double block with jam cleat for single-handed lowering of the mast. He also noted installation of stout pad eyes for securing a dinghy like a 10-foot, rigid-floor inflatable with a 10 to 15 hp outboard.
Out in the Chesapeake, with The Greatest Loop running 17 knots in two- to three-foot seas, I lay in the upper and lower berths of the boat’s small cabin to listen for creaks. Noyce commented that they were well within normal range for a new boat with a hull liner. We opened the forepeak hatch and looked to see if the hull’s forefoot flexed from the force of the bow slicing through the short, choppy seas at speed. It didn’t move at all.
Finally, in the salon, Noyce pointed to the sliding windows on both sides. Beneteau has equipped each with 1½-inch-high Lexan sills to prevent spray from coming inside and damaging the joinery. These are the kinds of details that pay dividends in keeping a boat in good condition throughout ownership.