Beneteau Oceanis 350
A sexy performance cruiser with many innovations--some excellent, some troublesome.
Beneteau is the largest builder of sailboats in the world. The French company has made its mark not only in Europe, but in the U.S. as well, opening some years ago a plant in Marion, South Carolina, with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Probably more than any other company, Beneteau also has influenced sailboat styling--the so-called Euro-style, typified by smoked wrap-around windows, scoop transoms with molded-in steps, and lots of curvy interior shapes. The Oceanis 350, built between 1986 and 1993, is a reasonable example of Beneteau's impact on the sailboat market. About 144 were built in the US, more in Europe.