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New Beneteau boats have pivoting steering

Beneteau says its new cruisers, the 323 and 373, feature bigger interiors, improved performance and a new patented pivoting steering wheel.

Both boats feature a spacious cockpit and raised deck over the saloon, which incorporates large panoramic overhead deck lights for ample light below. Deck layouts for single-handing, roomy and well-lit saloons, galleys with ample storage, and heads with stall showers are some of the cruising comforts Beneteau has included.

The new pivoting steering wheel on the 323 and 373 was designed by Jean Berret and the Beneteau design team. It incorporates a latch release that allows it to rotate 90 degrees, aligning it with the boat’s centerline and making it easier to walk from the helm to the companionway.

“We are extremely excited about the introduction of the new Beneteau 323 and Beneteau 373, and the new pivoting wheel system that they offer,” says Wayne Burdick, president of Beneteau USA. “This is a remarkable innovation in steering technologies and customer comfort never seen before in the sailing industry.”

Designed by Groupe Finot, the 323 has an overall length of 32 feet, 10 inches and a beam of 10 feet, 8 inches. With a standard keel, it draws 4 feet, 9 inches; an optional retractable keel is available. Auxiliary power is from an 18-hp Yanmar. The company says the 323 has a long list of standard equipment and is priced in the mid-$90,000s.

The new 373 is a classic yacht available in two- or three-cabin layouts, according to Beneteau. Designed by Berret/Racoupeau, it has an overall length of 36 feet, 11 inches, a beam of 12 feet, 4 inches, and a standard draft of 4 feet, 11 inches. Auxiliary power is from a 27-hp Yanmar. The 373 is priced in the mid-$140,000s, according to Beneteau.

Beneteau USA, Marion, S.C. Phone: (843) 629-5300.

— JoAnn W. Goddard

Corsair Foiler 2200

Trailerable trimaran builder Corsair Marine has begun production of its new Foiler 2200 center console power catamaran.

The Foiler uses an aluminum hydrofoil designed by Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering of Huntington Beach, Calif., designers of Steve Fossett’s record-setting 125-foot sailing catamaran Cheyenne. Located between the hulls about two-thirds of the way from the bow to the stern, the hydrofoil is shaped like an inverted T and spans the tunnel from the bottom of one hull to the bottom of the other. The hydrofoil and hulls work together for better performance, ride and handling, according to Corsair, and create a dryer ride and less wake. The company says the hydrofoil lifts the hull clear of chop and reduces drag.

“The ride is just miles better than any monohull in a chop,” says Corsair Marine owner Paul Koch.

Corsair uses the same foam-core sandwich construction as in its sailing trimarans, which it has been building since 1985. The trailerable Foiler displaces 2,920 pounds with a pair of Honda 90-hp outboards. It can accommodate optional power up to 260 hp from single or twin outboards, according to Corsair.

The cat tops out at more than 50 mph, according to Koch. “It is very fast, smooth and stable, and leans into [turns],” he says, explaining that the Foiler’s asymmetrical hulls account for that turning characteristic, uncommon for a catamaran. Base price with standard 90-hp engines is $62,510.

Corsair Marine, Chula Vista, Calif. Phone: (619) 585-3005.

— Michael Hauenstein