Beneteau’s designers tuned in closely to the way we boaters in the US and Canada use our vessels. For serious passagemaking, the company offers its highly successful Swift Trawlers, which Boating has covered. That said, more families prefer boats focused on day trips and weekend cruises. For them, Beneteau offers its Antares line, with boats from 24 feet, 6 inches (7 meters) to this new 36-foot-7-inch (11-meter) model. All Antares models feature outboard power, such as the pair of 300 hp Mercury V-8 Verados that powered our test boat.
Antares models reflect European design themes: sweeping lines, plenty of glass for natural light in both the wheelhouse and hull topsides, and sun pads fore and aft. The Antares 11′s hull shows a two-stage flared bow and a sharp forefoot to cleave seas, while the shape of the flare provides reserve buoyancy for safety in nasty seas and enough forward hull volume for a roomy master cabin. Full-length double chines and a pair of lifting strakes on each side of the bottom damp spray well.
The Antares 11 holds a CE Category B rating for eight people under the European Union’s Recreational Craft Directive design standards for boats operating offshore with winds to 46 mph and seas to 13 feet. That rating shows that the boat can handle the thrust of the powerful Mercury outboards as the 16,000-pound boat lifts onto plane and accelerates. In our test with a light load, the hull was happiest between 4,200 and 4,500 rpm at speeds of 26 to 33 mph. We particularly liked cruising at 4,400 rpm, running with the bow just kissing the water at 30 mph while burning 26 gallons of fuel per hour, giving this boat a conservative range of 220 miles.
Our test day was calm, but the Antares split powerboat wakes, which the hull cut apart as expected, with no spray on the windshield. Even with two families aboard, this rig can cover a lot of water. Drifting broadside to wakes brought an easy motion, thanks to the hull’s reverse chines. The Mercury joystick control made dockside maneuvering easy.
Interior and Accessories
France’s Sarrazin Design created purpose-intent accommodations for swimming, socializing, lounging, picnics, serious cooking, washing and sleeping, like a floating cottage. The bright, airy salon with skylights serves as the nerve center for piloting, cooking and lounging. Grab rails, cup holders and charging ports are strategically placed. The helm is compact and comfortable, with room for a 12- or 16-inch Garmin display that supplies chart, depth and optional radar images ($4,280), along with a Mercury SmartCraft display for engine functions. A convenient door leads to the side deck beside the helm. We determined sightlines at all speeds are clear. The helm chair is comfortable and adjustable. Just aft of it is a starboard galley with a two-ring gas stove, counter with sink, cupboards and a refrigerator. To port is an L-shaped lounge with a table that can drop to form an extra bunk. The back cushion at the forward end of the lounge slides to form a companion seat. An optional television hangs in the aft corner.
Beneteau’s wood cabinetwork, artfully done by Italian firm ALPI, uses veneers from trees felled in sustainably managed forests. Fit-and-finish is top-notch and solid.
The Antares 11′s second social center is the cockpit, with its own L-shaped lounge where the aft side slides back to form a sun pad when at anchor, even with both engines tilted up for swimming off the starboard stern platform and its ladder. Opening the four-panel salon door connects the two spaces at the same level. Meanwhile, the starboard topsides fold down, creating a terrace that expands cockpit space. The sturdy hinge operates manually, with electrical control optional ($2,370). A lockable hatch in the sole provides access to a large lazarette for access to batteries, wiring, plumbing and an optional, remarkably compact Fischer Panda 6.4 kW diesel generator. By the way, Beneteau offers a solar panel for the deckhouse over the cockpit as a way to complement the generator’s output.
The Antares 11′s side decks are asymmetrical—6 to 8 inches wide to port, and 14 to 16 inches wide to starboard—with railings placed strategically along the passage to the foredeck. There is a third social center—a foredeck sun pad—with backs that tilt up for reading. A folding canopy for shade is optional. At the bow, a double anchor locker affords access to chain, rode and windlass. A bow ladder is optional because outboard power allows a skipper to put the Antares 11′s bow onshore for beachcombing.
The roomy forward cabin with an island berth, storage beneath and a hanging locker awaits. The head includes an electric marine toilet and an enclosed shower stall. Beneath the salon is a full-beam guest cabin with both a double bed and a single bunk. The entrance has standing headroom for dressing, but otherwise this cabin is for lying down or reading. It gets plenty of light via hullside glass panels.
Shopping? Check out Jeanneau’s NC1095 ($246,750 with twin Yamaha F300s and Helm Master EX joystick). A tad smaller, it does not have a folding cockpit terrace.
If you’re looking for a versatile dayboat with cruising amenities, look closely at the Antares 11.
How We Tested
- Engines: Twin 300 hp Mercury Verado V-8
- Drive/Props: Outboard/Mercury Eco Enertia 17″ x 17″ 3-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.85:1 Fuel Load: 212 gal. Water on Board: 20 gal. Crew Weight: 540 lb.
- Overall design reflects careful thinking about how families will use the boat.
- Compact diesel generator beneath the cockpit sole is extraordinarily quiet.
- Foldout topside panel creates a terrace that expands the cockpit for socializing.
- Bow offers both an anchor with windlass and a telescoping ladder for beaching, giving this cruiser a dayboat’s versatility.
- Port stern platform and side deck are inaccessible from the aft cockpit.
Pricing and Specs
|$265,060 (with test power and joystick system)
|Twin Mercury, Suzuki or Yamaha outboards to 600 hp total
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Beneteau Powerboats – Annapolis, Maryland; beneteau.com