Beneteau does not mince words when it comes to what the Sense 46 has been designed to do. She is to provide a sense of "well-being second to none on a sailing monohull with which you can sail around the world." She is designed to be "simple and seaworthy at the same time," and in fact the two usually travel in tandem when it comes to sailing. Finally, says Beneteau, by bringing control of the boat aft to the helm "you can always sail the Sense 46 with a limited crew."
The Sense 46 is not the first vessel Beneteau has built with her configuration. She is the fourth boat in the Sense series, the others being 43, 50, and 55. All four of these boats are similar which means that the 46 design concept has already been tested all over the world in different sizes. (For an in-depth Captain's Report on the Sense 55, click here.)
The hull shape of the Sense 46 has been inspired by the current generation of fast offshore racers which have battled each other in some of the most arduous sailing conditions in the world. These designs which the Sense 46 emulates are known for being downwind flyers and remarkably able to windward.
Low Heel Angle.
Going along with her hull shape and broad beam (14'6"/4.43 m) is the fact that she is designed to sail with only a 10-to-12-degree angle of heel. Heeling her more just slows her down and makes her uncomfortable for family and friends. This is the "genius" aspect of the Sense 46 -- keeping her comfortable means she is sailing on her lines and going as fast as she can. Indeed, it is not unusual for a powerboat to roll 20 degrees or more in a seaway. Sailboats are nearly always more comfortable offshore when the going gets sloppy.
She displaces 27,123 lbs. (12,303 kgs.) dry, in her lightweight, deep (7'1"/2.15 m) keel mode. In that configuration she has a ballast/displacement ratio of just 28%, something made possible because of her form stability. With her shallow keel (6'1"/1.85 m) she carries 8,554 lbs. (3,880 kgs.) of cast iron in her keel for a dry ballast/displacement ratio of about 30%. This light displacement makes her easier to push on most points of sail which means she can go faster in light breezes. Downwind, in a fresh breeze, she can go very fast, indeed.
By having twin rudders at a V angle, the helmsman is assured to have control even in conditions when the boat is overpowered. This also makes the boat easier to steer down wind and under power.
In a sailboat all hands live on deck and in the Sense 46 everyone will have a comfortable place to sit securely in the cockpit. With a U-shaped dinette to starboard and a bench seat to port, eight people can comfortably sit in the cockpit area and four more can sit on the twin helm seats. This is as much seating as in most 70' conventionally-designed sailboats.
Easy to Sail.
Everything about the Sense 46 has been designed to make her easy to sail. All of the sail controls for both the headsail and the main (except the topping lift) have been brought back to the cockpit where they are stopped by cam cleats forward of the boat's two secondary winches. A roller furling headsail and a fully-battened main with lazy jacks and a lazy bag make sail-handling quick and easy. Roller furling main is an option. Add the optional power winches and even small children can control the sails.
Large, Bright Saloon and Galley.
With portlights, skylights and windows on five sides of the main inside living area, ambient light makes the saloon a cheery place to be. The galley runs along the entire port side of this space making it easy for two people to work there at the same time and provides lots of much-needed counter space. A thoughtful "island" provides the cook support on a port tack and also contains fold-out seating at the dining table.
Pod Drive Power.
The Sense 46 is equipped with a Yanmar 75-hp sail drive engine with pod and three-blade prop. This engine provides a lot of power and when coupled with the optional "Dock-and-Go" joystick system with bow thruster, docking becomes a non-issue.
The master stateroom is in the bow and has a double bed and an en suite head with separate shower stall. The guest stateroom is to port and has a double bed which takes up the full width of the cabin. It has a large wash basin and separate shower. Its toilet is across the passage way and serves double duty as the day head. This is a clever use of space and function. We would ask Beneteau if it is possible to fit two bunks in this cabin, rather than the double. While it may not be popular for the charter crowd its versatility in more appropriately handling guests is obvious.
Beneteau’s expertise for more than one hundred and thirty years has been in the manufacturing of very well designed and built sail and power boats that have well above average handling characteristics at an affordable price. Since most boaters sail relatively close to home in coastal areas, we feel the Sense series is a perfectly suited and well equipped for this mission.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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