|Max Headroom||N/A||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.|
|Std. Power||2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta D6 IPS600 diesel|
|Tested Power||2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600|
The Gran Turismo 49 has a LOA of 51'7" (15.72 m) with a 14’ 0” (4.27 m) beam. We think she is appropriate for a family, two cruising couples, or perhaps a retired couple thinking about cruising in style.
The Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 is designed as an express cruiser that provides an open and airy layout with multiple gathering areas for family and friends, while maintaining a sleek and elegant profile with luxury appointments inside. She’s offered in either a two or three stateroom layout and is powered exclusively with Volvo Penta IPS600 drives for ease of docking and positive control in all conditions offshore.
• Optional 2 Cabin + 2 Heads (with Separate Showers) or 3 Cabins + 2 Heads. We always appreciate when a builder offers options, and here it’s mainly in the accommodations layout. With the third stateroom, we gain a twin berth stateroom but lose the lower seating area. But with two more dinettes on the main deck that’s little concern.
• Volvo D6 IPS600 2 x 435-hp Diesels. This of course provides joystick functionality for close-quarters handling. It also allows us to have a second “docking station” located aft in the cockpit which we found quite useful during our test.
The Gran Turismo 49 was powered by twin Volvo Penta 435-hp IPS600s during our test.
• 13.5 kW Generator. Without a doubt, the Gran Turismo 49 is a boat meant to be away from the dock and any tethers to shoreside power. For that reason, a generator is provided as standard equipment.
• Max Power Bow Thruster. Even with IPS, Beneteau knows and understands that sometimes even more precision -- or faster response -- is required (or wanted even if it is not "required") of a boat when coming into a close situation.
A tight Mediterranean moor situation is a good example of this, as usually there is literally no more extra room on each side of the boat than the thickness of two fenders. For that reason, a bow thruster is optional so that the bow can be moved independent of the whole boat rotating, as would be the situation with the IPS joystick.
• Optional Hydraulic Swim Platform. It takes a lot to add this to a boat and that’s why we’re happy to see that Beneteau has gone to the trouble to add it to the options list -- and at a reasonable price.
• Full Beam Master Stateroom. While none of the staterooms are considered small or cramped, this is especially true of the master as it spans the full 14’ (4.27 m) beam.
The high rails that continue far back only enhance the sleek profile. The large hull side windows are in the master stateroom.
When approaching the Gran Turismo 49 from the dock, it is apparent that her high freeboard and general hull design will provide a dry, comfortable ride for the crew, in most conditions.
Even in the breezy/choppy conditions we encountered there was minimal overspray on the windshield, decking, and even in the cockpit which is well protected by the 49's superstructure.
We tested the Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 express on a blustery 15-knot day in the mouth of Buzzards Bay.
As tested the Gran Turismo 49 weighed 34,735 lbs. (15,788 kgs.), is 51'7" (15.72 m) LOA, with a beam of 14'0" (4.27 m). She was powered by twin Volvo Penta 435-hp IPS600s. Winds were 15-18 knots and seas 2' to 3'.
WOT and Best Cruise. We found the Gran Turismo 49 to be remarkable in that her WOT speed and best cruising were the same -- i.e. WOT at 3400 rpm where she went 32.2 mph/28.0 knots, burning 38 gph for a range of 262 statute miles or 228 nautical miles.
The Gran Turismo 49’s time to plane was in 6 seconds and she got to 0 to 20 mph in 8.3 seconds.
Under normal mid range cruising distances we would probably run the boat at 2500 rpm going 17.8 mph/15.4 knots and burning 22.5 gph. When on a long trip when time was not an object but enjoying the scenery was, we'd probably motor along at 1500 rpm going 10.3 mph/ 8.9 knots and burning just 5.8 gph. Also, if we were having the boat delivered, we would specify to the delivery crew to run at this speed.
Her time to plane was just 6 seconds and time to 20 mph was 8.3 seconds. The bow rise was 8 to 9-degrees getting on plane.
We found that the Gran Turismo 49 was responsive to the helm controls at all times. The twin pod drives provided a fairly tight turning radius, with a minimal roll into the turns. The operator and the crew did not have to grab on to something as the big boat came about in a tight turn.
In Head Seas. While handling the boat in 2’ to 3' choppy seas on test day, the hull easily cut through the waves in all points of sail. When powering into a head sea she provided a comfortable ride in spite of the fact that when her hull landed on a wave at speed a large dose of spray shot high into the air behind us. Upon re-entry, there was a bit of jarring at times, as one might expect when going at 25 knots into square ones.
The boat easily maintained her heading and speed with plenty of horsepower to keep moving along on course with authority at all times.
According to our test captain, despite choppy seas of 2’ to 3', the Gran Turismo 49’s hull easily went through the waves.
In a following sea she performed just as well when approaching from the backside of a wave, without getting out of shape in the stern. This was true not only at WOT speed but also at displacement speeds.
Docking the Gran Turismo 49 with the IPS joystick -- as everyone says -- is easy, but that doesn’t mean that it still does not take some experience to get the hang of it when Mediterranean mooring or getting into a tight slip with adverse current. One key to its operation is to be patient. In the IPS Joystick's normal "Docking" setting of 1100 rpm, it may take a little time for the boat to swing around and get lined up with the slip or mooring space. Operators need to be patient.
Going at 25 knots into a 15 knot breeze allowed us to test this boat's ride and overall handling in the kind of conditions we like to find.
Slow and Steady. But most boaters we know aren't particularly patient, especially when docking. Perhaps that is why Volvo Penta added a "High Speed" docking setting that has the engines running as fast as 1500 rpm. We recommend that setting only when fighting a strong side current, not to speed up the process for normal docking.
Bow Thruster. It is for that reason that Beneteau makes a bow thruster optional equipment. This allows the captain to use the joystick to get the major work done of twisting the boat in position, but then he can easily -- and quickly -- fine to the entry with a couple of nudges on the bow thruster stick. Our veteran captain used it when docking the Gran Turismo 49 without the slightest embarrassment. "Don't be too proud to use a bow thruster," he said later, "if you've got one."
Our captain reported that the boat provided the operator with excellent response to input, a high and dry ride, and an overall enjoyable experience.
Features Inspection by Function
With so much to offer in terms of amenities and well-thought out design schemes, the Gran Turismo 49 is certainly a feature-rich boat. Let’s take a look at some of what she has to offer by function.
At the bow, the sun lovers will be finding a home on the optional doublewide sun pad just ahead of the windshield. It includes an adjustable backrest for conversion to a chaise. There are two rails to the sides and drink holders. It measures 7’7” x 6’7” (2.3 m x 2 m).
There is plenty of space up on the bow for sunbathing.
Aft Deck and Swim Platform
The aft deck measures 9'3" (2.81 m) wide x 7'4" (2.24 m) fore-and-aft and features solid wood decking and an Alpi wood table that is on an electrically actuated lift that raises it to dining position, and lowers to sun pad level. A settee seats 6 and there's room for deck chairs for two to three more. An optional entertainment center with sink, grill and icemaker is forward and to port. In the deck is a hatch leading to the engine compartment for daily engine checks. Under the seats is storage that holds two life rafts.
When dining in the fresh air, enjoying cocktails, or just relaxing, the aft deck is a popular place to gather. The table electrically lowers to form a sun pad.
The swim platform can either be fixed or hydraulically lowered to form a beach or accommodate a PWC. The tender garage is standard and is big enough to accommodate an 8' (2.4 m) RIB with the outboard attached.
With the hydraulically actuated swim platform a private beach is just a push of a button away. It also makes great sense when a PWC is added.
There is room for a tender in the garage by a winch, and it rides on rollers that recess into the platform.
The port engine cannot be accessed from the inside access to the engine room because of the tender garage is right on top of the engines. (Remember, all boats are a compromise.) For that reason Beneteau has installed this hatch in the garage so that the inboard sides of both engines can be reached as well as the outboard side of the port engine. One solution is to completely eliminate the garage decking and put rails here for the tender.
The optional passerelle stows neatly in the stair riser leading to the cockpit. We like this arrangement because when it is not in use, it is out of sight.
Main Deck Salon
Because of the raised lip of the door (a CE requirement) the clearance is 6'0" (1.82 m), a minor in convenience for a few people that will keep the salon dry in adverse conditions. Note the bright, airy feel of the salon.
This sofa is upholstered in designer fabric and the table is as versatile as it is good looking. The windows are all low enough to provide good sightlines to the horizon... an important feature for land-based guests.
As one walks into the salon from the aft deck the head room is 6'4" (1.93 m). This living space features U-shaped seating on a raised platform to port. A table offers versatility in that it rises to dining height or lowers to cocktail table height at the push of a button. It also slides in and out to ease getting behind the table to sit. We could stand behind the table and then after sitting, slide it into dining position... very convenient. And naturally, it folds out as desired.
I would like to see a locking feature added to the table, to prevent it from sliding back and forth while operating the boat in a seaway. To starboard is a credenza with storage cabinets below, and a retractable 36” (91 cm) optional flatscreen TV.
Clearly luxury is the continuing theme, as Beneteau offers a choice of interior upholstery colors and materials. Choose from over 30 upholstery colors and materials.
While we can certainly cook on deck with the optional cockpit grill, more involved meals can be prepared at the formal galley down below. This galley is centrally located in the accommodations deck and it's well laid out, and allows for some innovations. Headroom is 6’6” (1.98 m).
The roomy galley has a lot of innovations, including this wire storage shelf that reveals a second one when the first is pulled out. A two-burner ceramic stove is just to the left. Decking can be either Piemont or Milano oak laminated floors. The cabinets are offered in White-lacquered (standard) or cream-lacquered units.
Under the sink are the trash bins (plural), which show Beneteau's thoughts on recycling. Just to the left is a clever storage area that consists of wire shelving to optimize the available space. When one is pulled out, another falls into place, in effect doubling the storage capacity.
There is a full sized 270 L refrigerator/freezer behind wood paneled doors, and just next to the fridge is a narrow set of cabinets with pull out storage that recesses into the cabinet housing. This makes for a galley with as much storage as on much larger yachts we've tested. This galley was even fitted with an optional dishwasher, just under the silverware drawer.
Lower Deck Salon
This sofa and table is replaced with a third stateroom if desired, and considering the amount of seating and dining space above decks, it's a fair trade.
Dinette or Third Stateroom. The model we tested had the optional third stateroom, located across from the galley, with berths. There’s storage above and behind the cabinet doors, and just below to either side of the opening portlight window. Since there's seating on the helm deck and the aft cockpit, few would argue against the merits of losing this lower seating in favor of this twin berth stateroom. The space could also be turned into an office.
Washer/Dryer. There's storage under the companionway stairs, and this space will accommodate a combo washer/dryer. This is also the location of the air conditioning pumps, which makes more sense than putting them under a berth where they'll keep everyone awake.
The Finer Things. Another feature is that all interior décor is harmonious throughout the Gran Turismo 49. For example, the Alpi Walnut joinery compliments the Piemont Oak laminated floors in the wheelhouse, galley and heads… while the owner's shower floor is covered in teak. There’s also a pleasing blend with the ivory-colored fitted carpet under the wheelhouse table, in the lower saloon (2 cabin layout) and in the cabins.
Notice the wide open companionway that allows so much natural light from the helm deck to reach the lower deck. The door to the master is to the left of the stairs.
The Gran Turismo 49 comes in two accommodation versions. A two or three stateroom layout is offered, both with two heads.
The headboard has differing textures and notice the step up to the recliner. The varying geometry to the overhead can also be seen. The bed is queen size.
The mid stateroom is clearly the master. It's full beam with good headroom ranging from 5’3” (1.6 m) increasing to 7’1” (2.16 m). A lounger is to port with a wonderful view out the hull side windows and it's on an elevated platform 10" (2.4 cm) above the main deck.
To the front and starboard side, the headroom drops and that's where we'd like to see a padded overhead as, yes, we did smack our noggin on it, but rest assured it only happens once. Considering the geometry of the deck above, and the fact that we’re not exactly going to be having a dance contest in this stateroom, we think it’s a fair tradeoff.
I can't imagine a better way to start, or end the day than by looking out this hull side window at the waterfront. It was an amazingly comfortable seat. Notice the opening portlight at the top.
This storage is on the starboard side of the full beam master and I would like to see Beneteau accommodate a vanity in either of these three opening compartments by simply adding a mirror to the lid.
The master has an ensuite head with a very high overhead at 7'7" (2.3 m). There's a separate shower stall with a seat, and we like that Beneteau places the sinks to the top of the counter rather than recessed into the counters. It just provides more space for storage below and, of course, it is the latest style in yacht heads.
Forward VIP Stateroom
The forward stateroom has an island queen berth, with storage all around. There's natural light coming in from elongated hull side windows with opening portlights just behind. An overhead hatch adds to the natural light. Headroom is 6’5” (1.95 m). The berth measures 6’7” x 5’3” (2 m x 1.6 m). Carpeting comes standard in Ivory but Mocha can be selected. Two drawers provide storage under the berth.
Clever Head. On the starboard side there's private access to the head though the shower. We have never seen this done before -- but why not? It provides the only way to have both a separate shower stall and a private entrance for the VIP guests. Headroom is 6’6” (1.98 m). The VacuFlush toilet leads to a 40-gallon (151 L) holding tank.
A second access allows this head to double as a day head. Interestingly enough, this head has more storage capacity than many staterooms we've seen. The acrylic shower doors in both heads are curved and attractive.
The VIP consists of an island queen (63"/1.60 m wide) berth with storage all around.
Accessing the side decks is a simple affair thanks to the grab handle at the aft end of the hardtop. Once on deck, a second grab handle runs along the hardtop, and by the time that rail ends, the side rails are at 30" (76.2 cm) high, which exceeds ABYC standards.
There is a raised toe rail that does a good job of keeping feet in the center of the deck. At the working end of the bow, the deck slopes downward just a bit, while the rail stays level. This has the effect of increasing the rail height to 35" (89 cm) once we reach the ground tackle.
Anyone who is familiar with our videos knows how we feel about not having that aft grab handle to ease access to the side deck. Here it's in just the right position. The handle on the side of the cabin carries well forward and the height of the side rails exceed ABYC standards.
Fully forward there are two hatches that lead to the standard windlass, and there’s access to reach under the windlass to manage any tangles that may occur. A nice touch is that the foredeck is covered in solid wood.
The helm really has it all, and the ergonomics are spot-on perfect, with everything falling right to the hand in a natural position. Our captain reported…"It was almost as if Beneteau had me positioned in the mock-up and used my hands to place the wheel and controls."
Beneteau has taken non-glare panels to another level with a leather and suede panel housing the electronics packages. We think the look is outstanding. The side windows are a blessing on a hot day, allowing air to flow across the cabin, but we'd also like to see the addition of opening forward vents at the bottom of the windshield to allow air to flow through better while underway.
The electronics are angled right to the operators eyes and visibility is only marginally hampered from the mullions. Simrad electronics are not standard on the boat.
From an ergonomics standpoint, Beneteau really nailed it with the Gran Turismo 49. Everything falls perfectly to the hands, and few builders get this right. Again, Beneteau is using Simrad electronics.
Stand-Up Helm. The good news about the Gran Turismo 49 is that the captain can stand at the helm with the sun roof closed and not have to bend over to see out the forward windshield. The only downside was the hardtop had "eyebrows" that came down a little too much on the side windows for our taste.
In addition, the forward window mullions were rather thick, something that surprised us as there is no flying bridge to support. The result produces blind spots that naturally causes some ducking and bobbing to ensure that a small boat isn't lurking in one of the blind spots. This is a complaint that we have about many hardtop express cruisers, and it seems to be one of the compromises of the breed. And of course, as with any hardtop, when making turns to port, the overhead came down into the line of sight.
Every boat is a compromise and the big one on the Gran Turismo 49 we tested was in the engine room -- a place where many owners rarely visit (but they should). The optional tender garage is directly above the two diesel engines and that is the rub. While it is easy to get to the outboard side of the starboard engine where there is adequate head room and width, it is not easy for a 6', 200-lb man (1.82 m, 90.9 kgs.) to get beyond that point to the other engine. Forward of the starboard engine is 2'9" (.83 m) of crawl space head room that is 13" (32.8 cm) wide.
The Gran Turismo 49’s engine room has 2’9’’ (.83 m) of crawlspace forward of the starboard engine.
Happily there is a solution to this obstacle. The floor in the garage is a fiberglass panel that comes out. By removing the tender and the floor of the garage, the tops of the engines can be reached and a dedicated person can get out board of the port engine. Another solution is not to choose this option.
More Solutions. And there are other solutions as well. One is to do away with the fiberglass garage structure altogether and put rails over the engine to hold the tender on a small cradle. Another solution is to abandon the concept of a tender garage altogether and mount the tender on the optional hydraulic swim platform. As noted above, this platform is reasonably priced and it is the solution we prefer. A Weaver device can always be mounted to a fixed platform to handle a tender, and this is the least expensive option of all.
The Gran Turismo line has been with us for a few years now and has made a well-established foothold both in Europe and in the U.S. The Gran Turismo 49 is a well thought-out design, and we’re happy to see that Beneteau's trademark cost-effective use of materials is ever present throughout this express cruiser.
Make no mistake about it, the Gran Turismo 49 is a big boat. One need only walk along her hull sides at a floating dock to grasp the size of this yacht. Her freeboard runs from just under 7' (2.13 m) at the bow to 7'3" (2.20 m) amidships. This not only keeps her dry and seaworthy in sloppy conditions, but it also gives her the robust head room below that we reported on above.
With a choice of interior layouts, we think that virtually any family -- or couple -- can find an appropriate configuration of their boating lifestyle.
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
= Standard = Optional
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Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
|Pricing Range||$732,100.00 - $900,000.00|
|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.|