SEA TRIALS: When Beneteau set out to secure a share of the ever-evolving boat buying community, the company made a firm commitment not to woo the market with vessels designed to be all things to all people. A production strategy based on efficiency and volume suggested something else, namely that the key to satisfying a diverse group of consumers lay in targeting its many facets with as many choices - all of them up to date, sophisticated and, of course different. The comfortable, easy-to-handle, go-anywhere cruising angle is all wrapped up in Beneteau's Oceanis line, a genteel series of 35 to 51 foot cruisers the first of which debuted around 1985. At that time it made sense to blend adept sailing characteristics, a refined finish and a high-volume interior in an attractive seagoing package, especially on the heels of an era in which the IOR had sought to glorify boats that were skittish to drive, uncomfortable to live on and in many cases unsafe to take offshore.
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