The flagship of the Beneteau Antares range of sedans shows
a solid open water pedigree
By John Wooldridge
SAFE AND SOUND: Wide side decks, plus high safety
rails that extend aft to the cockpit steps, make movement
on deck more secure.
On a beautiful sunlit Chesapeake afternoon, I began my evaluation
of the Antares 13.80 cruiser by taking a walka comfortable
walk from the cockpit aft along side decks wide enough to
let me stride purposefully and quickly forward to cast off
the bow lines. Given the growing number of designs that sacrifice
workable, safely walkable side decks for wide-beam deckhouses
that leave little or no footing along the sides, this was
a most refreshing way to begin a test ride.
Glen Winter, a dealer for Beneteaus power and sailing
yachts, bumped the throttles into forward and the Antares
moved quickly out of the slip. I walked aft across the foredeck
and down the side decks, also with great assurance, because
this boat had optional teak planking on those decks. The precisely
laid planking, which is standard in the aft cockpit, on the
coamings and is also used as treads on the stairway to the
flying bridge, was carefully bedded and sanded perfectly smooth.
I couldnt help admiring the craftsmanship, particularly
the way in which the planks gradually angled inward around
the curved walls of the curved foredeck cabin topvery
nice work indeed.
Glancing forward, I noticed our bow closing quickly with
a boat on the opposite side of the narrow fairway. But Winter
shifted the starboard throttle aft and added a burst of bow
thruster, swinging the nose more forcefully into the wind
that was now coming across our beam from right to left. Traditionalists
will argue otherwise, but it is my firm belief that every
yacht should have a bow thruster as standard equipmentas
this one does.
When you stop and think about it, a yacht that is easily
maneuverable in tight quarters and laid out for safe and easy
movement on deckwith very stout double safety rails
running from the bow to the steps leading down into the aft
cockpit, and with well placed grabrails to steady your passage
down the stepsis the very definition of a well-found
cruiser. Those rails extend up the flying bridge stairs, and
completely encircle three sides of the bridge, including the
sunpad on the after end of the bridge deck overhang. If youre
worried about guests or children moving around up top while
under way, simply unlatch and close the long hatch to port
to cover the stairway access port. Very sensible, to my way
LIVING WELL: The saloons lustrous wood
and sumptuous leather are a pleasure to experience,
top. Theres room for the whole family on the flying
Although the upper helm is set to port, the helmsmans
chair is very near the centerline, giving excellent views
all around. The console is large enough to house vital instruments
with room left over portside of the sport-type wheel to mount
a multifunction radar/chart plotter. The bench seat to port
wraps around behind the helm, ending in a console complete
with a small freshwater sink; storage beneath that will accept
an optional fridge to minimize those trips below for drinks.
Better yet, the bench is long enough to double as a sun pad,
in case your mate wants to hang out but has had enough navigation
duties for one day.
Handling under way is straightforward and predictable, although
I was very surprised to discover that, even in the last 150
rpm, I still experienced a surge of acceleration when I advanced
the throttles. The Antares 13.80 turns smoothly with only
a slight bank inward. Its substantial flare, more typical
of a Carolina sportfisherman than a cruiser, should keep the
foredeck and side decks very dry in all but the worst conditions.
At a cruising speed of 24 knots, this yacht should have a
range of approximately 270 nautical miles with a 10 percent
fuel reserve, based on Beneteaus data guidelines.
Operating the Antares 13.80 from the flying bridge will be
the first option for most owners, but Beneteaus designers
and engineers included a lower helm station for those days
when the family is willing and ready but the weather is less
so. Equipped with a double helm bench and a larger console
for a wider range of instruments, the lower helm is situated
well forward for optimal visibility through large glass windows
and sliding side windows. With the wooden blinds raised and
the fabric curtain tied back, the helmsmans visibility
is outstanding in all directions, save for one small angle
where the flying bridge stairs are supported. Even then, its
easy to look around by stepping across the cabin and looking
Sumptuous leather, flawless woodwork and gleaming stainless
steel blend visually in the main saloon, creating a luxurious
living environment that is at once modern and traditional.
Lockers and doors are fitted with great care, opening smoothly
to reveal, among other things, dedicated liquor storage, a
below-the-counter refrigerator, and space forward that will
accept an optional microwave. The gas stove, supplied from
a ventilated locker in the aft cockpit, is located near the
portside sliding window for optional ventilation, and is also
equipped with a glass cover that flips up to form a spatter
screen. The saloons hardwood soles are satin finished,
notched to accept thin rubber strips that run the length of
the cabin on four-inch centers, and protrude above the floor
to provide good non-slip protection.
Two staterooms tuck up under the forward end of the saloon
sole on the accommodations level, both with privacy doors
and beautiful wood bulkheadsfit for guests and family
members alike. They also have outstanding headroom and a comfortable
seat for dressing, plus twin beds that convert easily with
a filler into long double berths. The day head to port serves
both cabins. A large island double is the focal point of the
master stateroom in the bow, which includes two hanging lockers
(as opposed to the single lockers in the other staterooms),
two dressing stations and an en suite head compartment with
a cylindrical Plexiglas shower door.
Theres a lot to like about the Antares 13.80 from Beneteau,
a company thats been building powerboats in France since
1908 but is better known in this country for its line of popular
sailboats. Dont let that stop you from examining this
comfortable, well-found yacht more closely. Its designed
and built for the rugged open waters of the Bay of Biscay,
so it should handle your local waters and the distant ports
you want to explore with great aplomb.
Contact: Beneteau USA, (843) 629-5300; http://www.beneteauusa.com/.
Transom Deadrise: 15 degrees
Displ. (light): 26,235 lb.
Fuel: 396 gal.
Water: 169 gal.
Black Water: 23 gal.
Naval Architect: Patrick Tableau
Exterior Styling: Beneteau
Interior Design: Beneteau
Engines as Tested: 2x 480 hp Volvo TAMD
75 EDC diesels
Optional Power: 2x 525 hp Volvos
Gear Reduction: 1.77:1
Props: 26" x 35", 4-blade bronze
Generator: 1x 7.0 kW Kohler
Engine Controls: Volvo Electronic
Base Price (w/test power): $464,152
Price as Tested: $550,000