Advanced hull technology delivers one fine flying fish

By: Alan Jones

It isn’t often you see a sub-30-foot boat draw more attention than the multi-million-dollar yachts surrounding it at a big boat show, but the new outboard-powered Beneteau Barracuda 9 Fly has done just that at a couple of recent shows. When the name Beneteau comes up, the first thing that pops into most people’s head is sailboats, such as the Oceanis Series 48, which won a National Marine Manufacturers Association Innovation Award at last year’s Miami International Boat Show. I was a judge on that panel and can attest we were blown away by its numerous clever features, including an electric drop-down transom that vastly increases cockpit space and water accessibility when at anchor.

What I didn’t know at the time is that 60 percent of the boats Beneteau builds are actually powerboats, sold mainly in Europe, that channel the same spirit of innovation and forward thinking that go into the sailboats. Delving into the company history, I discovered Beneteau’s experience with powerboats goes back to 1910, when the company founder released the vainqueur des jaloux or “conqueror of the jealous.” The takeaway? The company’s had a little practice at this motorboat thing.

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