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At first, Beneteau’s Gran Turismo 38 resembles every other hardtop express cruiser of similar size, but look closer and you'll find some cool differences: First, the GT 38 has round opening ports in her hull, along with large windows amidships and forward – a nice mix of traditional and modern. Her side decks are asymmetrical, giving her designers more leeway in creating the layout. Her helm is on the centerline, not tucked against the side of the pilothouse. And she even has an easy chair in the cockpit.

Key Features

  • Volvo Penta Sterndrive Joystick available
  • Technology Air Step
  • Self-bailing cockpit
  • Cockpit cupboard with sink, foldaway tap
  • 8 persons saloon convertible to sun deck
  • Natural solid wood cockpit table
  • Space for cased life-raft
  • Cockpit shower with mixer tap
  • Beaker stands and glove box
  • Access through a gate with safety catch
  • Solid wood sun platform, folding bathing ladder
  • Hand rail on rear table
Length Overall 40' 5''
12.32 m
Beam 12' 2''
3.71 m
Dry Weight 16,199 lbs.
7,348 kg
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 3' 5''
1.04 m
- Draft Up N/A
- Draft Down N/A
- Air Draft N/A
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom 6' 4''
1.92 m
Bridge Clearance N/A
Weight Capacity N/A
Person Capacity N/A
Fuel Capacity 172 gal.
651 L
Water Capacity 53 gal.
201 L
Length on Trailer N/A
Height on Trailer N/A
Trailer Weight N/A
Total Weight
(Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

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 Not Available
Tested Power 2 x 300-hp Volvo Penta D4
Opt. Power 2 x 260-hp Volvo Penta D4
2 x 300-hp Volvo Penta D4

By Captain Steve Larivee

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
With the Beneteau colors flying from the staff, the GT 38 cuts a sharp profile during our tests on the French Riviera.

Distinguishing Features

We think the GT 38 is a noteworthy boat for a number of reasons. While she may look similar to many other express hardtops in class, there are some important differences.

Air Step Hull.

First, is her Air Step Hull which we think gives her demonstrably better performance than the same hull without this design. Our testing has shown that the step is not just something that helps the boat at WOT, but also at all planing speeds.

Diesel sterndrive.

In the US there are not many 38-footers on the market with diesel power, fewer still that drive sterndrive lower units. This is an efficient combination, giving the owner the economy and range of diesel engines, and the efficiency of dual prop pod drives.

In Beneteau's application, the joystick is standard.

Centerline Helm.

There are a number of advantages to a centerline helm and the GT 38 takes advantage of them. First, three people can sit facing forward. Second, obviously, the skipper is equidistant from each side of the boat making docking a bit easier on one side. Third, there is no fore-and-aft bench seat with people being forced to sit sideways while underway.

Centerline Access to Mid-cabin.

We can think of only a few boats that have centerline access to the mid-cabin in class. This, combined with the engines shoved all the way back to the transom means that this full-beam cabin can have large twin berths running fore-and-aft. If a double is wanted, simply insert a small platform and sleep athwartships.

Natural Light Below.

More and more builders of express boats are discovering techniques of getting more sunlight below. This is an important attribute and it is done on the GT 38 better than on most other boats in class.

A "Step" in the Right Direction

The GT 38 was built with the patented Air Step hull from Beneteau. I've tested a large number of boats in this class and have come to expect the performance parameters to be within a certain window and I'm rarely off. The GT 38 was one of those exceptions. My expectations went out the window as everything I anticipated from the 38's performance was off -- and for the better!

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
Air is drawn down through tubes to the two exit points in the boat's keel and then washed across the stern of the boat as it travels forward.

Acceleration was the first thing I noticed a difference in. The Air Step hull really showed itself with the 38's quick acceleration. I measured only 5.4 seconds to plane. This is in a boat with a test weight of over 18,000 lbs. (8,181 kgs.) and a 12'2" (3.71 m) beam. The Gran Turismo 38 was getting on plane within a second of a 4,000 lb. (1,814 kgs.) sportboat with an 8'6" (2.59 m) beam!

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
Swept back grooves in the bottom and ridges at the chines trap air under the aft section of the hull to reduce friction and drag.

20 mph came and went in 7.6 seconds, and we accelerated through 30 mph in 12.3 seconds. Again, all of this performance is just a shade off the marks set by average sportboats. If the driver wants to pull wakeboarders behind this boat, they'll have the time of their lives! (To see a demonstration of this remarkable design, see's video on the Beneteau Air Step...

No Pounding

Running back and forth across wakes showed a marked improvement in the way the 38 penetrates waves compared to others in class. We tended to slice through the waves until reaching the center of the hull, and then continued in a slightly elevated angle catching air underneath. Coming around across our wake just had us gently bouncing over the waves and continuing on course with none of that aggravating back and forth in the heel angle that one would normally expect on a deep-V with a sharp keel. After crossing, a big wake re-entry was gentle and uncharacteristically smooth. Both with contacting the wave, and coming back down, I was braced for the hull to pound, but it never came. The entire action was smooth and gentle.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
Looking forward at the bottom of an Air Step hull we can see the two large holes in the keel through which air is drawn under the boat.

Agile Turning

Turns were another area where this boat handled differently -- and more sprightly -- than most conventional express cruisers. At full speed, I cranked the wheel hard over and we simply entered a 5-degree bank and nearly pivoted around with no grab or slide. It seemed as if the combination of the sterndrives aft and the Air Step together moved the stern around with unusual alacrity. To get a better idea of what I am talking about, be sure to pay close attention in the performance video where we show the GT 38 turning and one will see what I mean. Steering is very responsive with 2-1/2 turns from lock-to-lock so if the driver tends to operate in an area, as I do, that is inevitably plagued with pot buoys then they'll find comfort in the quick handling characteristics of the Gran Turismo 38.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
This profile drawing of the GT 38 graphically shows how far back the two sterndrive lower units are located. Also, note the Air Step region on the aft third of the hull, just abaft the notch in the keel.

Sterndrive Power for Performance

The second aspect of the boat leading to optimum performance is the fact that it is driven not by conventional inboard drives or even pods, but rather by sterndrive lower units. Because the drives are so far aft and the Volvo Penta Duoprop drives are horizontal to the surface of the water, the standard D4 300-hp diesels can deliver efficient propulsion to the 16,464-lb. (7,470-kg.), dry, boat. Bear in mind that Beneteau's objective is not to produce the fastest boat possible, which would mean putting in high-horsepower fuel-guzzling engines, but rather to power the boat in such a way that it can have a good turn of speed at best cruise where most people run their boats most of the time, and be fuel-efficient.With an empty weight of 16,199 lbs. (7,348 kgs.), full fuel, and 3 people onboard, we had a test weight of just over 18,000 lbs. (8,181 kgs.). With the twin 300-hp Volvo Penta D4 diesel engines turning DP outdrives, we reached a top speed of 34.7 kts at 3500 rpm. At that speed we were burning 39.7 gph for a range of 181 nautical miles with a 10% reserve. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 28.7 kts, where we had a 21.3 gph fuel burn and a range of 208 nautical miles with a 10% reserve. When we compare the GT 38 to other boats in class with both gas and diesel engines we find that the GT 38 compares favorably with both and in some cases, actually goes faster than similar boats with larger gas engines.

In virtually every case we checked, the GT 38 out-performed other diesel-powered boats in class with comparable power.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
The Gran Turismo 38's main deck showing the cockpit and bridge deck.

Deck Layout

The swim platform measures 4'6'' x 9'x 6'' (1.37 m x 2.90 m). Our test boat had the optional passerelle installed. Just below was a camera feeding into the helm display. Access to the cockpit is via a small step to the starboard.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
Here's a clever alternative to handrails on the overhead -- grooved hand holds in the roof. It looks a lot better too.

The side decks were quite easy to access thanks to two steps from the cockpit and a very conveniently located handrail mounted to the aft end of the hardtop. There are no rails along the hardtop, but there is a molded-in groove that serves the purpose of keeping one secure in conjunction with the 25" (63.5 cm) high side rails.


At the bow, is a large sun pad that measures 6' (1.8 m). There are no rails to the sides but there are drink holders. Non-skid covers the entire deck. At the bow, a Lewmar windlass is concealed under a hatch. There's an opening to the side of the windlass that allows the boater to reach in and deal with any tangles that may occur in the rode. A remote control for the windlass is mounted in this opening, but it's quite a long reach in. I had to kneel on the deck, and swing my arm far down to reach it, which due to the non-skid was a bit uncomfortable for my knees since I was wearing shorts. I'd rather see foot controls installed on the foredeck.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
Pull up two director’s chairs and one can seat eight for dinner.


The cockpit certainly isn't lacking seating on the 38. Large U-shaped seating is to port with a wood table in the center. The table folds to provide more room and exposes a grab handle in this position. Opened up, it is large enough for dining at the settee or the lounger to starboard. The table is a high-low so it easily converts into a sun lounge and an option is available to electrically actuate raising and lowering the table. The table is mounted to a hatch leading to the engine compartment. The aft facing lounger is immediately to starboard and is fixed in the chaise position. Ahead and to port is an entertainment center with a sink as standard. Our test boat was equipped with the optional grill and cockpit refrigerator, and I wouldn't want my 38 equipped any other way.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
The center-mounted helm is laid out with an impressive array of analog gauges, and Volvo Penta EVC displays. To the right are the digital engine controls, and the sterndrive joystick. Notice the large cubbies underneath the panel. The skylight to the right leads to the head below.
Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
With a double wide helm seat and a third observer's seat, there'll be plenty of eyes looking ahead while the 38 is underway. This is a very unusual set-up and we like it.
Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
The overhead is rather thick and as such, drops down slightly into my line of sight out the sides. I had standing headroom with the sunroof in the closed position, a rare feature in Euro-designed boats, but when standing visibility was somewhat impeded by the forward frame supporting the coach roof. It is best to drive this boat sitting.
Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
Opening side windows were a big help in adding ventilation.


The helm is elevated 9" (22.9 cm) off the bridge deck in order to create extra headroom below in the mid-cabin. Standing next to the helm I have good visibility through the large forward windshield, but standing behind the helm I'm looking at the sunroof frame. At cruise the bow was roughly 5-degrees high which improved forward visibility, so this is the time to be standing behind the helm. Otherwise take a seat. If the boater does choose to stand, they'll notice a departure from most Euro-designed boats in that there is 6' 3" (1.9 m) of standing headroom behind the helm with the sunroof in the closed position.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
With a single piece 1/4" (10.2 cm) thick safety glass windshield, there's great visibility directly forward. Notice the large sun pad on the bow and the high safety rails carry well aft.

Our test boat had the optional Simrad display which was dwarfed by the space in the panel. Up to a 15" (38 cm) display will fit if desired but the Simrad is the only model currently offered by Beneteau. However, this is an option and one is free to install whatever they'd like. An autopilot and radar are also offered as optional, and since I cruise in all sorts of weather, I'd consider both on my 38.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
The accommodations deck of the Gran Turismo 38.

Below Decks

As we proceed down below, I notice that Beneteau did a great job of adding natural light to the cabin with a massive piece of smoked glass just ahead of the helm console. At left of the companionway is the ship's electrical panel and stereo with a leather wrapped stainless grab handle. Immediately I noticed that there's plenty of storage in the salon, including a shelf behind the settee for quickly tossing items in, like a good book. There's an L-shaped settee with a high-low table, an option calls for making the table electrically actuated.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
There's a double burner stove, but I'd like to see sea-rails to hold the cookware in place. The microwave is above and fridge is below the stove. The door to the right (aft) is the head. Behind Captain Steve is the door to the forward cabin.
Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
I measured 6'3" (1.9 m) of headroom up to this large elongated skylight that floods the salon with natural light. Rarely do we see a boat that has a skylight this large while also allowing for a sun pad on the bow. This skylight is between the windshield and helm.

Across from the dinette is the galley with the usual cast of appliances. A gas stove is connected to a hookup in the cockpit and the microwave and fridge are concealed behind cabinets above and below. A single basin sink is next to a counter that nicely accommodates a drying dish rack as it is beveled and drains into the sink.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
The dinette, opposite the galley, has a small table that will convert the L-lounge into a berth. Joinery is either Alpi Walnut or mahogany, with beige leather-texture vinyl coverings overhead and a parquet sole. There is room for a TV, but it's optional.

There's a wet head just abaft the galley with natural light above, and an opening portlight to the side adds ventilation.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
The owner's cabin has the typical centerline "island" berth. The hatch overhead is fitted with a blind for those who like to sleep late. There is 6' 3" (1.90 m) of headroom here, at least where one can stand, and space for another TV, also optional.

Berth Right

At the forward end of the salon is a privacy door, not just a curtain, to the forward stateroom. One thing that continually impresses me about Beneteau is the simple fact that I never have to look for a light switch. Just as in one's house, all switches are right inside the doorway, so the boater will never have to search in a dark cabin for a way to turn the lights on, and they are all "hot-wired" so they won't have to search for the breaker in the dark either. Why this simple concept escapes so many builders is a mystery to me.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
Drawers under the berth provide lots of stowage for bed linens and so forth. One can't have too much stowage space on a boat, and Beneteau makes use of every cubbyhole.

The forward berth is an island queen accessible only from the front. Two elongated hullside windows and two opening portlights add natural light and ventilation, and there's also an overhead hatch for light, ventilation and egress. I noted the usual cast of storage compartments with one additional… a drawer recessed into the step to starboard.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
This is probably the largest mid-ship guest cabin that one will find on a 38-footer. The cabin is full beam and the twin beds run fore and aft. There is standing headroom at the entrance. Look at the space between the berths.
Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
For those who want to snuggle up at night, simply lay out a double bed athwartships. Note the standing headroom in the upper left corner of the picture.

Abaft the salon/galley is another stateroom behind a privacy door, this time with twin berths convertible to a queen. I noted good standing headroom but if the boater sits on the berth to the right, which is the portside, then watch one's head. The deck above comes down at this point and I knocked my noggin, but if it happens to someone, relax… it only happens once. As this cabin is geared more towards two people, there's increased storage space in the form of shelves in cabinets under the portlights.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
Two can sit comfortably side-by-side on the double helm seat; the woman in grey could be sitting on a single seat to starboard, but apparently she chooses to stand to help drive. (Some guys have all the luck.) The sliding sunroof allows all three to maintain their tans.


The Beneteau GT 38 is certainly a slick-looking yacht, with lots of innovative features that we like: the extended hardtop, the big on-deck dinette, the centerline helm and large mid-ship cabin made possible by the sterndrive engines and the centerline helm. When we compare the 38’s basic specs with other boats in class we find that her beam of 12’2’’ (3.71 m) is in the middle of the pack, and her displacement of 16,464 lbs. (7,470 kgs.) is on the low side of the middle range. Her max headroom of 6’4’’ (1.92 m) is a bit less than American-built boats and both her water and fuel tankage are the lowest in class.This is not unusual as European boats typically have smaller tanks. Consumers should keep in mind that diesel-powered boats have greater range than gas-powered boats and that lugging around unneeded fuel burns extra fuel needlessly. The GT 38 should cruise in the high 20-knot range for about 10 hours with 10% reserve.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 38
An enclosed deckhouse makes a boat usable even in less-than-perfect weather – but on a nice day, we want some sun! No problem with the GT 38's electric sunroof. The forward sun pad sits securely in a recessed pocket, with drink holders port and starboard.

Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Beneteau Gran Turismo 38 (2012-) is 39.9 mph (64.2 kph), burning 29.7 gallons per hour (gph) or 112.41 liters per hour (lph).
  • Best cruise for the Beneteau Gran Turismo 38 (2012-) is 33.0 mph (53.1 kph), and the boat gets 1.5 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.64 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 239 miles (384.63 kilometers).
  • Tested power is 2 x 300-hp Volvo Penta D4.

Marine Electronics

Radar Optional
VHF Radio Optional


Air Cond./Heat Optional
Battery Charger/Converter Standard
Head: Fixed Standard
Shore Power Standard
TV/DVD Optional
Water Heater Standard
Windlass Standard


Microwave Standard
Refrigerator Standard
Stove Optional

Exterior Features

Hardtop Standard
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Transom Shower Standard
Wet bar Optional

Boats More Than 30 Feet

Generator Optional


Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!


Pricing Range: $352,600.00-$422,249.00

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 - Change Measurement Unit

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
600 5.4 4.7 1.8 3.0 2.6 460 400 71
1000 7.6 6.6 1.9 4.0 3.5 615 535 71
1250 9.0 7.8 2.9 3.1 2.7 487 415 74
1500 10.2 8.9 5.5 1.9 1.6 287 250 75
1750 11.6 10.1 10.0 1.2 1.0 180 156 85
2000 14.2 12.3 11.6 1.2 1.1 189 164 82
2250 19.9 17.3 14.2 1.4 1.2 217 189 81
2500 24.0 20.8 15.6 1.5 1.3 238 207 83
2750 28.4 24.7 18.5 1.5 1.3 237 206 83
3000 33.0 28.7 21.3 1.5 1.3 239 208 83
3250 36.4 31.7 25.0 1.5 1.3 225 196 84
3500 39.9 34.7 29.7 1.3 1.2 208 181 86
600 400 740 8.70 6.81 1.28 71
1000 535 990 12.20 7.19 1.70 71
1250 415 784 14.50 10.98 1.32 74
1500 250 462 16.40 20.82 0.81 75
1750 156 290 18.70 37.85 0.51 85
2000 164 304 22.90 43.91 0.51 82
2250 189 349 32.00 53.75 0.60 81
2500 207 383 38.60 59.05 0.64 83
2750 206 381 45.70 70.03 0.64 83
3000 208 385 53.10 80.63 0.64 83
3250 196 362 58.60 94.64 0.64 84
3500 181 335 64.20 112.43 0.55 86

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. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.