The Oceanis 351 was designed by Jean Berret and Phillipe Briand and produced by Beneteau between 1992 and 1997. Her sleek lines offer fast and efficient sailing and cruising, and her full-length galley and generous sized cabin are sure to prove popular amongst those seeking a genuine live-aboard cruiser for a longer trip.
The Oceanis 351 was designed for blue water cruising and sailing speed, and her bulb keel cuts an easy passage through the waves. Despite more conservative estimates from her manufacturer, she easily reaches an impressive 7 knots in good winds and 10 knots when cruising. She shares her hull with the Beneteau First 35.7, and her maximum waterline length and wide beam make for excellent stability in all weathers. In rough seas and strong winds, the Oceanis 351 has a good solid feel, whether under sail or in port.
The roller-furling main and genoa make for nice easy rigging and this is a yacht that makes for easy and safe light or short-handed sailing. The trademark balsa and fibreglass ‘sandwich deck’, also used on the Groupe Finot Oceanis, gives extra protection without weight. The downside of this light weight is that, when combined with a less powerful engine than some of the more recent Oceanis models, the Oceanis 351 performs less well in light winds. There have also been some reports of problems with blistering, in particular bubbling of the keel finish and rudder, so it is worth looking out for this type of issue when buying an Oceanis 351 second hand.
Below decks, the Oceanis 351 truly comes into her own as yacht that was made for long distance blue water cruising. The salon and galley offer full headroom (1.9m) and there are two equal size aft cabins and a forward owner’s cabin, all of which are generously sized. The galley runs the whole length of the large, U-shaped salon, and even the cockpit is big enough to seat the whole crew (with an icebox under the table to keep everyone happy too). Light and ventilation below decks is also excellent, thanks to the four portholes in the hull and deck. On the whole the accommodation is well set out for longer distance sailing, with plenty of nice touches such as the window above the sink for your resident galley slave to admire the view and the large hanging lockers in the cabins.
The Oceanis 351 makes an excellent choice if you are looking for a genuine ocean-going yacht that has enough accommodation and performance for a longer trip.