Antares is, on average, the fifteenth-brightest star in the night sky, and the brightest object in the constellation of Scorpius. So perhaps it’s fitting that Beneteau’s latest outboard-powered model—the Antares 11—carries this name. This sporty outboard cruiser is all about bright, open spaces and playtime in the sunshine.
The Antares 11 is the flagship of Beneteau’s outboard-powered Antares lineup at 36 feet, 4 inches LOA. The first Antares models launched years ago in Europe and have steadily made their way into the North American market over the last several years. “The Antares range is over 40 years old and is popular for its weekending abilities,” says Don Smith, Beneteau’s outboard boats sales manager. “The mission of the Antares 11 is to bridge that weekender [gap] to a full cruiser with increased size, range and amenities. The focus is on innovation, comfort and space utilization.”
One thing Beneteau did in that space utilization department—thanks to the extra room created by using outboards versus inboards—was create a big aft cockpit area. Protected by an extended hardtop with an optional canvas-covered sunroof, it features an L-shaped lounge set around a teak table. To starboard is a flip-down gunwale/topside panel that creates extra deck space and provides easy access to the water. A fun-in-the-sun feature on the other end of the boat is the two-person foredeck lounge, which is protected by a low-slung Bimini. Both the seatbacks and the Bimini fold away flush to the deck when not in use.
The aft cockpit is connected to the main salon through a set of sliding doors that, when opened, create a single-level entertaining space. Surrounded by large panes of glass and lit from above by two opening hatches and a pair of fixed glass windows, the main salon has 360-degree views and is well-lit and ventilated throughout. The starboard galley is nicely equipped for cruising with a two-burner stove, sink, refrigerator and optional microwave. An L-shaped lounge with dining table lies across from it, to port. The helm, to starboard behind the single-pane windshield, has excellent fore and aft visibility and easy access to the side deck through a wide sliding door.
Steps lead down to the two-stateroom living quarters, where Beneteau continues to play with light. A common landing area provides access to both staterooms. The forward master stateroom with island berth appears to float atop the water outside, thanks to hullside glass on both sides. A full-beam guest stateroom is also well lit with hullside glass. The head with enclosed shower is accessible to the master stateroom, with an additional door providing guest access. An overhead hatch in the main stateroom and opening ports in the hullside glass enhance ventilation.
Though twin 250-hp Mercury 4-stroke outboards are standard, Beneteau expects most North American boats will be equipped with twin 300-hp Mercury 4-strokes. Performance figures were not available at press time. The boat rides on a modified-V hull with a sharp entry that slices easily through a chop and a flared bow that keeps spray down.
“We see the Antares 11 serving boaters who are moving up from a dayboat or a smaller weekender and want to enjoy the cruising lifestyle,” Smith says. “We also see boaters looking to downsize from a larger cruiser who want similar amenities but in a simpler platform to captain and maintain. The Antares 11 is powered by outboard engines which is the propulsion of choice in today’s boating marketplace.”