Watch our short video of the Flyer 6 Series from Beneteau, and you’ll notice that the series includes the SPORTdeck, SUNdeck and SPACEdeck models, all of which share the same 20-foot hull—but differ in deck layout, since each one is for different intended uses. These boats, being introduced in Europe now, will have their launch in the U.S. set for 2015.
All three versions of this new trailerable boat share Beneteau’s Airstep hull with a very convex, flared bow that funnels air into channels which run to the stern, where a recessed pad traps the air to decrease drag, The boats are wide with a maximum beam of 8’ 3” and the beam is carried far forward so there’s plenty of buoyancy and space on the forward deck. At the waterline, the hull narrows quickly to a deep V with a fine entry. The aft end of the injection-molded hull is flatter, which adds lift and stability.
As we tested the three boats in open water off the coast of Palma de Mallorca, they felt light and responsive, coming up to plane at 16 knots and turning easily and sharply even in a three-foot wind chop. Power was provided by 175 hp Suzuki outboards, which can be upgraded to 200 hp.
Think of the SPORTdeck as a bowrider and tow boat. The bow has two side-by-side sun lounges which house stowage compartments large enough to hold wakeboards, tow ropes and vests.
A walkthrough windshield in the middle leads to a traditional cockpit. The full helm is to starboard and features a dark-colored comprehensive dash including engine controls, a compass, and a Lowrance multi-function display. To port is a companion seat (which, like the helm seat, swivels 360 degrees) and aft is an additional bench with a walk-over to port for water access via an integrated swim ladder. An overhead tower holds boards and skis and a bow-to-stern sun shade is available as is a privacy tent over the bow where people can change or use the optional head.
The SUNdeck was created for sun worshippers. The entire bow is one large, cushion-covered sun pad. The helm has been moved to the center and there are individual or bench seats available for the driver and a companion. To port is a walk-through from the bow and to starboard is a stowage area with integrated cupholders. Aft is another bench seat, behind which a tow bar can be installed.
Beneteau took advantage of the covered bow and created a full cabin below, complete with bedding (two singles or one double can be created) an MSD, and plenty of stowage for things you want to keep dry or secure. This is a model that two people could easily overnight on while anchored in a secluded lake cove.
And finally there’s the SPACEdeck, which resembles a center console fishing boat. The bow has a chain locker and an optional windlass and bow roller all the way forward. Two cleats will help secure the anchor rode and there are bow railings for handholds on both sides. Three seats with stowage underneath (two outboard and one built in just ahead of the center console helm pod) fill up the rest of the open bow area.
|Displacement||2,865 – 3,020 lbs|
|Fuel capacity||45 gal.|
|Water capacity||13 gal.|
Again, the helm is centerline with a small windshield protecting the dash. You can walk from the bow aft on either port or starboard side and sit at the helm in two individual seats, a single bench seat or even a leaning post. An additional bench seat is all the way aft with room for a rack of rod holders just behind. This model is all about open space and room for activities like fishing.
A variety of options are available for all three models including a full Bimini, a towing tower, an electric windlass, a rod holder rack, a manual marine MSD, a leaning post, and a tent/changing area. Tankage is the same across the board with 13 gallons of water and 45 gallons of fuel. That’s not bad for a small boat, and will allow you to ski all day and have enough water to clean up a bit and get ready to spend an evening aboard.
If one is good, three must be better. Beneteau has been a smart builder for decades. By leveraging one hull for three uses, the builder has created an entry-level family vessel that manages to keep costs low but still offers add-on amenities that allow for personalization. With this concept, they may have struck gold—and we look forward to the American market’s reaction next year.