The Beneteau Oceanis 55 is a versatile cruising boat in a perfect size range to be both large enough to sleep 10 people and be easy to sail short-handed. The builder calls her a "custom" boat, and while we wouldn't go that far, she does have five different interior layouts, three keel depths to choose from, and over 61 options, so owners can zero-in on exactly what they want. She is powered by a 1,431 sq. ft. (133 sq. m) sail plan, plus a Yanmar 75-hp diesel with pod drive. Beneteau's popular "Dock & Go" system is an option which includes a bow thruster and autopilot.
5 layout plans
3 keel designs
CE category "A"
Wide beam and form stability
Clever interior design
8 hull portlights plus many skylights
Alpi mahogany interior
Beneteau Oceanis 55 (2013-) Specifications
55' 1'' 16.78 m
52' 6'' 15.99 m
Shallow Ballast Weight
10,932 lbs. 4,980 kg
49' 9'' 15.16 m
Deep Ballast Weight
9,676 lbs. 4,390 kg
16' 3'' 4.96 m
106 gal 400 L
Draft (Deep Keel)
7' 3'' 2.20 m (max)
96 gal. 364 L
Shallow Draft (Shallow Keel)
5' 11'' 1.80 m
Air Draught (max)
78' 5'' 23.90 m
721 sq ft 67.01 m²
Genoa (105 %)
775 sq ft 72.03 m²
6' 6'' 1.98 m
2153 sq ft 200.09 m²
36,807 lbs. 16,700 kg
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.
The Beneteau Oceanis 55 has an LOA of 55'1" (16.78 m), a beam of 16'3" (4.96 m) and three different possible drafts from 4'9" to 7'3" (1.45 m to 2.20 m). Her displacement, light, is 36,807 lbs. (16,700 kgs.)
The Mission of the Oceanis 55
The Oceanis 55 is designed for cruising in all of the different permeations it might take. For example, by having three different keel depths available, the boat can be used nearly anywhere on earth. With her five layouts available, she can be used by a family for weekend cruising, for charter work, club rendezvous, or long-distance voyaging. By having nearly all of her sail controls brought back to the aft end of her cockpit she is easy to sail short-handed work -- or, even single-handed.
Sailing on a reach it is comfortable to stand to windward and watch the sail shape and the Windex on the mast head at the same time.
5 Layout Plans. Few boats of any size offer so many different configurations.
3 Keel Designs. The Oceanis 55 comes with three keels, each with a different draft and weight. All are cast iron.
Twin Wheels. Twin wheels come standard to make boat handling easy, more fun and comfortable.
"Dock & Go" Optional. Beneteau's popular "Dock & Go" joystick system uses a pod drive in the stern and a bow thruster managed by a software controller that translates the movements of a joystick into digital commands for fool-proof docking.
CE Category "A." The Oceanis 55 has a CE rating of "A" when carrying 12 or fewer people.
Wide Beam and Form Stability. The state-of-the-art lines of the vessel have been drawn by Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design in France. The hull shape is good to windward and fast downwind in a blow.
The Oceanis 55 has 8 portlights in the hull. Note the hard chine aft.
●Innovative Interior Design. The interior design is by Nauta Design, which has paid particular attention to making this boat feel cozy inside and quite versatile. All interior bulkhead surfaces are covered in Alpi wood or in designer fabrics.
●8 Hull Portlights Plus Many Skylights. Getting light below is a major objective of the designers and to that end they have designed in 8 portlights in addition to side windows in the trunk cabin, three deck hatches forward, and numerous sky lights both large and small on top of the coach roof.
●Electrically-Controlled Transom. The vessel's transom opens fully, allowing it to turn into a swim platform. Its decking is made of natural wood and has a stainless steel ladder with wood treads.
●Alpi Mahogany Interior. The joiner work inside is all Alpi mahogany. The cabin sole is parquet laminated wood.
●Sails Included. A roller furling headsail with UV protective strip and a fully battened mainsail with lazy jacks and lazy bag is standard equipment.
The table on the centerline of the cockpit has leaves that open up port and starboard for lunch and also provide a good place to plant a foot when seated to windward.
The advantage of having two wheels is so the skipper can sit to windward or leeward or alternate as conditions or whim dictates.
In many respects the cockpit is remarkably conventional for a Beneteau. However, the builder has run virtually all of the controlling lines for the sails, including the mainsail sheet, below deck and through the cockpit combings to jam cleats just forward of the secondary self-tailing winches. These jam cleats and winches are placed just forward of the port and starboard wheels making it handy for the skipper to get to, when sailing short-handed. These jam cleats and winches are also equally handy for crew seating or kneeling in the cockpit.
The mainsheet blocks are affixed to the top of the arch ("A") and then run forward to the mast, through an "organizer," then back through dedicated tubes in the coach roof to the jam cleats ("D") on the cockpit coaming. The self-tailing secondary winches ("E") handle the main sheet as well as the halyards, downhauls, etc. that are all run through the jam cleats. The jib sheet runs through a car on a track forward on deck, then back to the turning blocks ("B"), then to the primary winches ("C").
This view of the transom shows the cutout that electrically swings down creating a swim platform. The stainless steel swim ladder has wood treads.
This image shows the expansive use of Alpi mahogany in the salon and galley.
Thanks to the prodigious beam of the Oceanis 55, there is plenty of room in the vessel for three to five sleeping cabins, and with two to four heads. That means the boat can sleep up to 10 people in private cabins. The settee also makes into a double bed to sleep two more.
Virtually any family should find the Oceanis 55 large enough. Cruising sailors who like to have other couples around will have room for another couple and their kids as well -- or how about five couples?
The settee With the addition of two stools the table can seat eight people for dinner. The aft end of the settee is double wide and also serves as a seat for the nav station.
Headroom in the salon is 6'6" (1.91 m).
The starboard side settee can be used for lounging and cocktails or a four-course dinner. Leaves on the table fold out to serve eight.
The galley has a two-burner stove top and oven. There is a 100 L top-loading icebox in the corner of the counter. A front loading 12 V electric refrigerator has a 130 L capacity. Beneteau has utilized all available space in the standard galley module for storage of dishes, pans and food containers.
The galley module stays the same size no matter which of the layouts are selected and simply moves forward or aft depending on which of the layouts is selected.
An adjustable sofa is placed on the port side opposite of the settee in the primary three-cabin layout. However, in the other four configurations this sofa is shrunk into a love seat. Remarkably, this is the only reduction in utility that is made to accommodate as many as five cabins and four heads in the 55.
The deck plan is an interesting mix of the conventional with the innovative concept of getting controls off the top of the coach roof. Note the placement of port and starboard sun pads outboard of the companionway. This is unusual and will be welcome when at anchor.
The Iron Jib + "Dock & Go"
A Yanmar 75-hp diesel with three-bladed prop drives the 55 through a pod drive, a concept that has been around a long time in the sailing world and used to be called a "sail drive." This engine in concert with an electric bow thruster allows the boat to be controlled with the optional "Dock & Go" system through a joystick in the cockpit.
A Vessel Management Unit (VMU) has the software that converts the movement of the joystick and the input from a gps to digital commands for the thruster motor, and transmission and engine. Our test of the system installed in the Sense 55 proved the system to be responsive, accurate and easy to use.
We have not tested the Oceanis 55, but our test of the Sense 55 with the same propulsion system gave us a great deal of confidence in this engine which can easily push the boat at 8 to 9 knots.
Some of the best cruising grounds in the world are where the water is relatively shallow. Moreover, by their very nature, the harbors, rivers and waterways where marinas, waterfront houses and docks are located are often shallow. As a result, Beneteau is offering three keel depths so that every owner can still be able to go nearly wherever wanted.
The U-shaped galley has drawers for pots and pans, cabinets for dishes, glassware and containers. The stove uses propane.
The "Very Shallow Draft" keel is 4'9" (1.45 m) deep and weighs 11,677 lbs. (5,298 kgs). The merely "shallow" draft keel draws 5'11" (1.80 m) and weighs 10,932 lbs. (4,960 kgs.) The "deep" draft keel draws 7'3" and weighs just 9,323 lbs. (4,230 kgs.) All three keels are made out of cast iron.
Remember that the Oceanis 55 gets much of her stability from its bottom shape and wide beam with hard chines. This design has the advantage of saving weight as well as making the boat a down-wind flyer.
The Oceanis 55's teak beach is large and inviting. Children will like it as much as their parents.
The Oceanis 55 is designed in accordance with European Directives and CE requirements, according to Beneteau. The builder uses infused polyester and balsa core in both the hull and the deck. The hull-to-deck joint is screwed, chemically bonded and banded with a 1" thick piece of wood molding.
The keel is affixed to the hull with stainless steel bolts going through a stainless steel plate in the bilge.
Standing and running rigging are all made of conventional materials.
The 5 Accommodation Plans
#1. This plan is the standard 3-cabin, 2 head layout. The advantages of it are that the master stateroom in the bow is of maximum size and the salon seating is the greatest of all five layouts because of the full-size sofa to port.
#2. This plan is essentially the same as #1 with the addition of a head in the port quarter cabin. In this case both the aft heads have access doors allowing them both to be used as day heads. Note that the sofa to port has shrunk.
#3. Now we are into the first 4-cabin layout, and again the boat has two heads. The advantage of this layout is that eight people are accommodated in privacy without minimizing the owner's stateroom.
#4. In this layout Beneteau has created four private staterooms, each with their own wet head -- except the starboard quarter cabin which has a separate shower stall. In some cases this might become the owner's stateroom because of the shower stall, but also because of its proximity to the companionway and the nav station.
#5. Five cabins and three heads sleeps 10 people each in their own cabin. Two more can sleep on the settee in a pinch.
A view of the Oceanis 55 master stateroom looking forward. We like the book cases over the portlights and the storage bins in the hull sides.
Looking aft from the head of the bed in the master, the sink and shower stall are visible at left. The water closet is to the right.
We think from a sailing standpoint the advantage of the Oceanis 55 is that she can be easily sailed by one or two people. Performance-oriented sailors can choose any number of sail options to make the boat faster off the wind. From a living aboard standpoint the five layout options speak for themselves.
Finally, we think the Oceanis 55 is well laid out for cockpit dining or cocktail parties. Ladies will like the two sun pads placed so close to the cockpit. Everyone will enjoy the swim platform, which we think is the coolest thing on the boat.
The Oceanis 55 keeps the guests in her cockpit comfortable no matter what the point of sail.
Steaming along off the wind is a time to relax and enjoy the virtues of a well found vessel and of the friends aboard.
At day's end when the sails have been furled and the anchor is down it is exhilarating to walk the decks and take comfort knowing that both the vessel and her skipper performed well.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Beneteau Oceanis 55 (2013-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
Boats More Than 30 Feet
= Standard = Optional
Beneteau Oceanis 55 (2013-) Warranty
Beneteau Oceanis 55 (2013-) 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!
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