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Group Beneteau has announced it will enter the expedition market with Project E, a new line of displacement yachts set to launch next year. As the French boatbuilder’s first true expedition vessels for owners with the intention of long-range passagemaking, Project E will offer two models to start: a 62-footer and a 73-footer.

With construction set for Beneteau’s Italian yard in Montefalcone, design is courtesy of a collaboration with Massimo Gino of Nauta Design and Amedeo Migalino, who also designed the Swift Trawler line. According to Beneteau’s Motoryacht Marketing Coordinator Robert Chaffer, the name Project E reflects the design’s emphasis on expedition capability, special experiences, extra internal space and efficiency in operation and fuel usage. The interior is said to feature space, light and private living areas. The design brief called for a “terrace to the sea,” Chaffer says, resulting in a large flybridge, swim platform and aft cockpit area, which can be fully enclosed or open to the outdoors.

Set to launch first, the 62-foot model (dubbed the E1) will accommodate six to eight guests plus crew and has a 16.5-foot beam. The 73-footer (E2), scheduled to launch later next year, will accommodate eight guests and four crewmembers. According to the builder, the internal volume will be comparable to an 85-footer.

At a cruising speed of 8 knots, range of the E1 is estimated at 900 miles, while the E2 will offer a range of 1,400 miles at a 10-knot cruise. Powered by MAN diesels, both models will have top speeds up to 20 knots, sea conditions permitting, when time is of the essence.

The official launch is expected at the Düsseldorf show in January 2021.