- Large forward entertaining area with adjustable backrest and bimini top
- Access gate at the helm station and a large walkway for safe maneuvering
- Social cockpit with a large L-shape lounge converting to a sunbathing area
- Fully outfitted galley for cruising
- Flip-down gunwale swim platform
- Large forward master stateroom with island berth and ensuite shower
- Guest stateroom with double and twin berths
- Extensive glazing for natural light and ventilation
- Outboard engines with walk-around access
Antares is, on average, the 15-brightest star in the night sky, and the brightest object in the constellation of Scorpius. So perhaps it’s fitting that Beneteau’s latest outboard-powered model, the Antares 11, carries this name. This sporty cruiser is all about bright, open spaces and playtime in the sunshine, from weekend getaways to longer cruises including the Great Loop.
At 36 feet, 4 inches LOA, the yacht is the flagship of Beneteau’s outboard-powered Antares lineup. The first Antares models launched years ago in Europe and have steadily made their way into the North American market in the last several years. “The Antares range is over 40 years old and is popular for its weekending abilities,” says Don Smith, Beneteau’s outboard boats sales manager. “The mission of the Antares 11 is to bridge that weekender [gap] to a full cruiser with increased size, range and amenities. The focus is on innovation, comfort and space utilization.”
One thing Beneteau did in that space utilization department—thanks to the extra room created by using outboards versus inboards—was create a big cockpit. Protected by an extended hardtop with an optional canvas-covered sunroof, it has an L-shape lounge set around a teak table. To starboard is a flip-down gunwale/topside panel that creates extra deck space and provides easy access to the water. A fun-in-the-sun feature on the other end of the boat is the two-person foredeck lounge, which is protected by a low-slung bimini top. Both the seatbacks and the bimini top fold away flush to the deck when not in use.
The cockpit is connected to the main salon through a set of sliding doors that, when opened, create a single-level entertaining space. Surrounded by large panes of glass with two opening hatches above and a pair of fixed glass windows, the main salon has 360-degree views and is well-lit and ventilated throughout. The galley is to starboard with a two-burner stove, sink, refrigerator and optional microwave. An L-shape lounge with a dining table is across from it, to port. The helm, to starboard abaft the single-pane windshield, has excellent fore and aft visibility and easy access to the side deck through a wide sliding door.
Steps lead down to the two-stateroom living quarters, where Beneteau continues to play with light. A common landing area provides access to both staterooms. The master stateroom is forward with an island berth that appears to float atop the water outside, thanks to hullside glass on both sides. The full-beam guest stateroom also has plenty of natural light through hullside windows. The head with enclosed shower is accessible to the master stateroom, with an additional door providing guest access. An overhead hatch in the main stateroom and opening ports in the hullside glass enhance ventilation.
Though twin 250-hp Mercury FourStroke outboards are standard, Beneteau expects most North American boats to be equipped with twin 300-hp Mercury FourStrokes. Performance figures were not available at press time. The boat rides on a modified-vee hull with a sharp entry that slices easily through a chop and a flared bow that keeps spray down.
“We see the Antares 11 serving boaters who are moving up from a dayboat or a smaller weekender and want to enjoy the cruising lifestyle,” Smith says. “We also see boaters looking to downsize from a larger cruiser who want similar amenities but in a simpler platform to captain and maintain.”
According to the builder, trawler-profile buyers are seeing it and liking what they see, even with the outboards. One might see these popping up on the Great Loop. It’s a coastal cruiser for those who appreciate the practicality of a trawler, but who aren’t ready to commit to a trawler-type design.
LOA: 36ft. 7in.
Beam: 11ft. 2in.
Draft: 4ft. 3in. (engines down)
Displacement: 13,451 lbs.
Fuel: 212 gal.
Water: 53 gal.
Power: 2x 250-hp Mercury FourStroke
Gary Reich reporting courtesy of our sister publication Soundings Magazine.