Running at 20 knots through the tight-spaced 2-footers on Chesapeake Bay, I told my crew to hold on and eased the throttle forward, first to 25 knots, then to 28 knots. At 30 knots, I let the boat find its own groove, Auto Trim and Active Speed Control tending to the twin 250 hp Mercury V-8 FourStroke outboards, and soaked in the experience. Excellent visibility from the elevated helm station made it easy to keep a weather eye.
Depending upon who you ask, we might have been going too fast for comfort given the conditions. But we were going faster and with more comfort than I thought we’d be. The Flyer 9 Sundeck stays on plane at 13 knots, with engines and tabs on full negative trim, while still retaining excellent maneuverability and visibility.
Interior and Accessories
The Flyer 9 Sundeck is inspired by deck boats, with a bow that’s almost as broad as the boat’s maximum beam. Beneteau used the extra space to provide a wide walkway forward that terminates in an expansive sun pad complete with a Bimini for shade—oh, man. There’s great access to the anchor, and room to deploy the hook or tend to lines.
Aft, the self-bailing cockpit boasts a big L-lounge, served by a sleek wood table that converts to another sun lounge ($2,670). There are acres of stowage under the deck, a sink, a refrigerator, an optional cooktop, great access to the transom’s twin swim platforms, and the portside cockpit folds down, creating a sea-view terrace. This overhangs the water and expands the size of the cockpit for entertaining—or just because. Oh, man.
Belowdecks, there are berths for four; two sleep forward and two in the aft cabin. The enclosed head is stylish. The sole is laminated oak, and the cabin is trimmed in Alpi Mat Walnut. The galley houses a sink, fridge and microwave. Oh, man.
Back topside, I’d order the stainless-steel T-top ($8,060) with the Sunworker cockpit shade extension. Put on some kayak or SUP racks, and head out on the water. Oh, man.
How We Tested
- Engines: Twin 250 hp Mercury V-8 FourStrokes
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/Revolution Four 143/4″ x 19″ 4-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.85:1 Fuel Load: 70 gal. Water on Board: 13 gal. Crew Weight: 600 lb.
- Patented Air-Step hull delivers confident ride and handling.
- Sea-view terrace expands the cockpit size, and is rugged and easy to deploy.
- Unique layout affords owners the ability to pursue many activities with little compromise.
- Rod holder drains to the bilge.
- Some aft cabin trim was ill-fitted aboard our prototype.
There are no boats with fore-and-aft sun pads, a cabin that sleeps four, an optional T-top, and an expanding cockpit for less than $200,000 available. One might shop the Four Winns HD8, a hybrid deck boat, which starts at $102,795.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$168,520 (with test power); $148,250 (base)|
|Displacement (approx.):||7,883 lb.|
|Max Cabin Headroom:||6’1″|
|Fuel Capacity:||140 gal.|
|Water Capacity:||26 gal.|
|Available Power:||Single or twin Mercury (plus Honda, Suzuki or Yamaha in Europe) outboards to 500 hp total|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Beneteau Powerboats – Annapolis, Maryland; beneteau.com