Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-)
(w/ 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6)

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The Beneteau GT 44 is one of the few cruisers this size which is powered by twin Volvo Penta D6 370-hp diesels driving through sterndrive lower units. Beneteau has done that to maximize speed and fuel efficiency, in addition to creating the space for larger accommodations. Not only that, but the GT 44 also has the patented Air Step hull for even more efficiency.

Specifications

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) Specifications
Length Overall 44' 2''
13.46 m
Dry Weight 22,430 lbs.
10,174 kg
Beam 13'
3.96 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 3' 5''
1.04 m
Fuel Cap 212 gal.
803 L
Deadrise/Transom N/A Water Cap 106 gal.
401 L
Max Headroom 6' 7''
1.92 m
Bridge Clearance N/A
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) Engine options
Std. Power 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6
Tested Power 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6
Opt. Power Not Available

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) Captain's Report

by Capt. Steve

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

Notice the high rails that far exceed ABYC standards for safety. Dual hull side windows add huge amounts of natural light to the fore and aft staterooms.

Handling

I've tested a lot of boats in this class, and because of that I've come to expect some characteristics with each boat. However, when operating this Gran Turismo 44, things were a bit different than expected, and for the better. For example, when heading towards a 2' (.6 m) wake, instead of backing off the power and taking the wave nice and gently, I kept the power on and braced for an impact. Only that impact never came. The 44 carved right through with ease and gave a pleasant re-entry.

Approaching the wave from the backside, showed that the 44 really tracks well with no tendency to stuff the bow, or wander off course. Beam seas were even better. While I expected a rolling, and therefore nauseating (for the guests anyway) to encounter, the 44 tended to stay fairly level and maintain both lateral and longitudinal stability quite well.

All this tells of a boat that has great cruising qualities that you and your guests will truly appreciate when heading off to the horizon. And this boat was certainly made for doing just that. So let's take a look at how far you can go and how long it will take to get there.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

The 44 has a nice gentle bank angle in the turns and I found her turning performance to be excellent thanks in part to the Air Step hull design.

Performance

Our Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 had a LOA of 44' 2" (13.46 m), a beam of 13' (3.96 m), and draws only 3' 5" (1.04 m) of water. With an empty weight of 22,430 lbs. (10,174 kg), full fuel and three people onboard, we had a test weight of 22,311 lbs. (10,120 kg).

With a pair of 370-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesels powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 33 kts at 3450 rpm. At that speed we were burning 39.9 gph (151 lph) for a range of 158 nm. Best cruise was found at 3000 rpm and 27.2 kts. There we had a fuel burn of 27 gph (102.28 lph) for a range of 192 nm.

(If you want to see how many miles you can get per gallon, just click on the "Test Report" tab at the top of this page.)

Even more impressive was the acceleration. I measured a time to plane of only 5.9 seconds and we reached 30 mph in just 14 seconds. Of course, all this has a lot to do with the Air Step hull.

Beneteau GT 44

The stern of the GT 44 easily becomes the favored place to hang out. Note the easy-to-use swim ladder.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

While this garage is clearly in boat show mode, you can get an idea of how deep and wide the compartment is. Notice the flip-out rollers at the transom for handling and stowing a small tender in this space.

Air Step

Air Step is a patented hull design from Beneteau that injects air under the running surface to reduce friction. We've seen this before with stepped hulls, but unlike a stepped hull, Air Step introduces the air from above the waterline, and injects it on the centerline of the bottom a little more than halfway back from the bow. As the boat moves forward a vacuum is pulled, thus drawing air under the hull. That air breaks up the "stickiness" of laminar flow along the bottom and results in faster speeds and less work for the engine.

During our tests for the GT 44 we encountered no bad habits due to this Air Step. For example, the Air Step hull does not exhibit the tendency to skip, or fall off the turn, and the 44 stays much more in control without bleeding off speed, even in a hard turn that would slow most boats down.

I've already touched on how well the 44 penetrates waves, but there is also a noticeable difference in how she responds to the waves. Where others in class will be porpoising and bouncing all, the 44 seems to remain much more stable and manageable.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

The engines are easily accessed under a deck hatch in the tender garage. I found plenty of room for daily checks and routine maintenance.

Entertaining Layout

Beneteau's version of the express cruiser offers an entertainment venue that allows for bringing a lot of people onboard in style. The aft cockpit is essentially a living area that eliminates the need for going below for anything short of a visit to the head. A large U-shaped settee, capable of seating 6 comfortably, lies to port with a table that is expandable for dining and raises and lowers depending on how you wish to use it. Fully lowered it serves as a base for sunpad cushions. Underneath, on our test boat, were two 4-person life rafts. An optional entertainment center lies to starboard with a sink, grill, and either a refrigerator or icemaker.

Beneteau GT 44

Main deck of the GT 44 which features the raised helm station with detached companion seating for two. The table aft opens up to serve 6-7 people for lunch or dinner.

A fixed sunpad lies just aft, and beneath is a tender garage capable of holding an 8' (2.4 m) RIB with the outboard still attached. I've seen similar garages in larger boats that require you to remove the outboard for the boat to fit in the garage. The tender is hauled into place with a winch, and rollers flip-out from the swim platform allowing the tender to roll aboard without dragging and harming the teak deck. At the floor of the garage is an access door for the engine compartment.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

This wide-angle view shows that 6 people can comfortably sit at the table on the after deck. The table can be lowered to create a large sun pad. Note the on-deck mini-galley behind the table with electric grill and stainless steel sink.

Helm

I liked the helm layout as it had a 12" (30.5 cm) widescreen nav display in the center surrounded by a cluster of analog gauges for both engines, including my favorite, the rudder (outdrive) angle indicator. Engine and sterndrive joystick controls were mounted on a panel to the right and both fell right to my hand quite naturally. Abaft of the controls was a covered compartment housing the fuel and engine shutoffs.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

Both the table and the helm area are on raised platforms for improved sightlines through the many windows surrounding the cockpit. We like the double-wide companion seat on the centerline which means as many as three people can be facing forward while underway.

To port is a double-wide observer's seat, and there is access to walk around it. This is a nice feature as your guests will have a comfortable center-mounted seat to enjoy the ride from, and you have another two sets of eyes watching the water.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

The thick overhead eyebrows, wide mullions, and high instrument panel are all a slight concern for visibility. Aboard all hardtop express cruisers of this type extra care must always be taken to clear the area behind the boat before making turns.

Visibility was slightly limited at the sides because of the overhead coming down quite low, and because of the thick windshield mullions to the sides. I had to do a bit of head bobbing to ensure that no small boats were in the blind spots. To be fair, I was doing a lot of maneuvering so there was plenty of opportunity for other boats to wander into the area unseen. Normal cruising will not be this way but it's still important to note the few areas of concern regarding visibility. Opening windows to the two sides of the helm deck were a blessing on our hot test day.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

Here we have a swivel bucket seat with flip-up bolster. The controls are perfectly positioned and fell quite naturally right where my hand falls. The opening side windows offer a lot of flow through ventilation.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

Here is a view through the huge sunroof. Notice the round skylight and smoked glass above the companionway. This allows light into the salon and cabin below without the sunpad at the bow blocking anything. A brilliant design.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

Our test boat offered a 12" (30.5 cm) nav panel surrounded by analog gauges for both engines. You can see the EVC displays on both sides. We would lower the panel.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

A double side companion seat offers two more sets of eyes looking ahead. Good design makes it easy to get in and out from either side.

The hardtop is standard, and anyone familiar with my reports knows how I feel about hardtops (I love them) and the benefit of having the windshields come all the way up (no distortion from plastic windows). I measured 6' 4" (1.92 m) of headroom in the cockpit. A button on the helm panel opens the massive sunroof allowing you to not only enjoy the fresh air, but to disperse any concerns about greenhouse effect from the copious amounts of glass surrounding you. The 8,000 BTU air conditioning is optional.

Beneteau GT 44

The accommodations deck of the GT 44: note that both heads have separate shower stalls, extensive hanging locker storage in the forward cabin, and location of the yacht's tender in the garage over the engine room.

Beneteau GT 44

The companionway below is well designed: the electrical panel at left is handy both topside and below, the stair treads have groves at the edge for better footing, there is a hand rail for the full distance, stairs curve inward to create more room in the galley.

Below Decks

One of the unique design features of the 44 is the amount of glass in the companionway that allows so much light to enter the salon below. All of this is behind the windshield which means that the sunpad on the foredeck is not blocking light from hatches to the salon below. It's a design feature I like very much and I wouldn't be surprised to see if this Beneteau method gets copied on American express boats in the near future.

Once below, the area is open and brightly lit. A galley lies to port with 6' 7" (2.0 m) of headroom, and more storage than I've seen on larger boats. Beneteau provides a double basin sink, two burner stove, and surprisingly, a large 218 L refrigerator.

The salon to starboard has an L-shaped seat that holds five, and converts to a berth as needed.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

View of salon looking forward to the VIP stateroom. A -- Goose-neck faucet to make washing dishes practical; B -- Deep cabinet; C -- Raised glass for style and to eliminate stain rings on wood; D --Location for flat screen TV; E -- Skylight; F -- Attractive cabinets hinged at top.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

View of salon looking aft toward the master stateroom. We like the curves in the companionway bulkhead (A) and rounded corners in the door frame (B) and on the dinette skirt (C).

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

An opening portlight allows ventilation when cooking. Notice the stand-up refrigerator/freezer and two burner stove top with sea rails. Light colors on cabinets, counter top and bulkhead stain reflect light and make the spaces appear larger and brighter.

Accommodations

Two private staterooms lie to both ends of the salon. Forward is the VIP with the same high headroom from the salon continuing into this room. Two hull side windows provide light along with the overhead hatch, and at the aft end of the windows are opening portlights. An ensuite head has two entrances allowing it to be used as a day head.

The master is full beam and has an overhead with varying geometry with the highest section being over a lounger to port. This couch makes a wonderful place to both start and end the day with a great view from just above the surface of the water. The headroom drops at the foot of the berth so be prepared to duck to access the starboard side. The master features a private ensuite head with separate shower stall.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

This wide-angle view of the master stateroom shows the lounger at right, the bench seat at left and the recessed deck at the foot of the bed to maximize headroom.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

Looking forward toward the salon we see two steps up to the master head through the door on the starboard side.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

Inside we find and on-counter sink and separate stall shower. With the toilet outboard two people can use this head at the same time when rushing to get ready for a night ashore.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44

This is the forward VIP. Notice how the hulls side windows with translucent shades add privacy and design to the functionality of natural light. Opening portlights are just behind. All staterooms have LED reading lights on goosenecks. This is important as LEDs don't generate the heat that halogens do thus eliminating a fire hazard. Note the indirect lighting in the valances port and starboard.

Options

The Beneteau Group is pretty good as putting together options as packages and there are two packages for the 44. First up is the "Dynamic" package consisting of the sterndrive joystick, the aft garage launching ramp and winch, a foredeck sunpad, and a 42 L cockpit refrigerator.

The "Ambition" package adds the following to the Dynamic package… a 22" (55.9 cm) flatscreen in the salon, a cockpit grill, a 12" (30.5 cm) widescreen nav display at the helm, Volvo Penta's EVC display, and a depth gauge with water temp.

Additional options to consider are the combined electronics pack with a VHF, 4 kW radar, and autopilot. If you leave off the joystick, then a bow thruster would be a nice addition. Of course if you cruise in warmer climates, a genset and air conditioning should be considered.

Beneteau did a great job mixing cruising with comfortable amenities and wrapping it all up in a boat that has superior handling characteristics to any other in class, in my opinion. This was a boat that became more enjoyable the longer I spent onboard. I can only imagine how enjoyable this boat would be when spending the weekend onboard, especially if I get to spend the nights in the master stateroom with that great view from the couch.

Beneteau GT 44

With a single seat for the skipper and a double wide companion seat three people can be facing forward in the GT 44.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) is 37.9 mph (61 kph), burning 39.89 gallons per hour (gph) or 150.98 liters per hour (lph).

  • Best cruise for the Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) is 31.3 mph (50.4 kph), and the boat gets 1.16 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.49 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 221 miles (355.67 kilometers).

  • Tested power is 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.


Standard and Optional Equipment

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Marine Electronics
Autopilot Optional
GPS/Chart Optional
Systems
Air Cond./Heat Optional
Battery Charger/Converter Standard
CD Stereo Standard
Head: Fixed Standard
Shore Power Standard
TV/DVD Optional
Water Heater Standard
Windlass Standard
Galley
Icemaker Optional
Microwave Standard
Refrigerator Standard
Stove Standard
Exterior Features
Hardtop Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Wet bar Standard
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Bow Thruster Optional
Generator Optional

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) Warranty

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.

Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) Price

Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 (2014-) Price
Pricing Range $524,800.00 - $582,729.00
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.


Test Results   (Printer Friendly Page)

Test Power: 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6
  Range  
RPM MPH Knots Total GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM   KM    KPH    LPH    KPL   dBA
600 5.0 4.3 0.6 9.0 7.8 1717 1493 2763 8.00 2.08 3.83 68
1000 7.3 6.3 2.0 3.6 3.1 683 594 1099 11.70 7.72 1.52 70
1300 9.2 8.0 3.9 2.3 2.0 447 388 719 14.80 14.88 0.99 84
1500 10.3 9.0 5.6 1.9 1.6 354 308 570 16.60 21.01 0.79 86
1800 11.3 9.8 10.6 1.1 0.9 203 177 327 18.20 40.01 0.45 87
2000 14.6 12.7 14.5 1.0 0.9 191 166 307 23.50 55.00 0.43 89
2300 17.9 15.6 17.4 1.0 0.9 196 170 315 28.80 65.98 0.44 90
2500 23.7 20.6 21.4 1.1 1.0 211 183 340 38.10 81.01 0.47 94
2800 28.4 24.7 25.6 1.1 1.0 211 187 340 45.70 96.98 0.47 94
3000 31.3 27.2 27.0 1.2 1.0 221 192 356 50.40 102.28 0.49 96
3300 35.8 31.1 35.3 1.0 0.9 193 168 311 57.60 133.55 0.43 97
3450 37.9 33.0 39.9 1.0 0.8 181 158 291 61.00 151.00 0.40 97

All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation.

Performance Chart

Performance Chart

Test Conditions

Test Power: 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6
Time To Plane 5.9 sec.
0 to 30 14.0 sec.
Test Power 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6
Transmission N/A
Ratio N/A
Props N/A
Load 3 persons, full fuel, full water, 50 lbs. gear
Climate 87 deg.; 67% humidity; wind: 0-5 mph; seas; calm