Beneteau, the French builder known more in North America for its sailboats, continues to promote its powerboat line on this side of the Atlantic with the launch of the Barracuda 9. The 29-footer is the first outboard-powered boat (twin 225-hp Yamaha 4-strokes or a single to 350 hp) Beneteau has ever offered in North America.
Designed as a crossover cruising/fishing boat, the Barracuda features a wheelhouse with 6-foot, 6-inch headroom and opening doors to port and starboard. There are fold-up tables, and a head and V-berth are below. Galley equipment includes a standard refrigerator and a single-burner stove. The self-bailing cockpit has a hot-water shower, and a flybridge is optional.
“I love its practicality. The enclosed [wheelhouse] extends the season,” says Kevin Fraser, a broker with Cape Yachts of South Dartmouth, Mass., the first North American dealer to take on the Barracuda line. “Beneteau is taking a center console-sized boat and turning it into an overnight cruiser.”
Side decks allow access all around the wheelhouse to the open bow area and cockpit, and there’s ample seating fore and aft. For anglers, the boat fulfills the mission of a center console and walkaround. The generous freeboard appeals to families with young children, Fraser says. Options include a forward hammock-style sunpad, sliding windows, a sunroof for air circulation, a generator and a 12,000-Btu Cruisair air conditioner.
The hull features Beneteau’s patented Air Step design, which channels air beneath the center of the hull for reduced drag and fuel consumption, quicker acceleration and enhanced maneuverability, according to the company. An August sea trial off South Dartmouth confirmed the boat’s quick time to plane — less than 4 seconds with three aboard — and maneuverability. With twin outboards, she cruised easily at 45 mph in calm seas.
Beneteau is launching the 23-foot Barracuda 7 in Europe this fall. “It’s our intention to quickly bring her to the North American market, where enclosed center-console boats are starting to gain much traction,” Laurent Fabre, vice president of sales and marketing for Beneteau Powerboats Division, says in a press release.
LOA: 28 feet, 10 inches
BEAM: 9 feet, 9 inches
DRAFT: 2 feet
DISPLACEMENT: 7,052 pounds
HULL TYPE: Beneteau Air Step
POWER: twin 225-hp 4-strokes
TOP SPEED: 45 mph
TANKAGE: 106 gallons fuel, 26 gallons water
CONTACT: Beneteau Powerboats, Annapolis, Md., (410) 990-0270.
November 2012 issue
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