Hallandale, Florida, United States
New arrival 2012 Beneteau GT 44!
The Beneteau GT 44 is one of the few cruisers this size which is powered by twin Volvo Penta D6 370-hp diesels driving through sterndrive lower units. Beneteau has done this to maximize speed and fuel efficiency while creating the space for larger accommodations. Not only that, but the GT 44 also has the patented Air Step hull for even more efficiency.
She is equipped with two private staterooms, two heads, and a fantastic galley and salon layout. The exterior deck is very accommodating for entertaining, and the forward bow area is perfect for sunbathing and taking in the views. This 2012 is now available and easy to see in North Miami.
• Diesel Volvo Engines w/Joy Stick Control (1196 Hrs.)
• Volvo 1,000 Hour service completed
• Onan 7.5 KW Generator
• Retractable Sun Roof
• Tender Garage
• Raymarine Electronics including Radar, Chart plotter, & Autopilot
• Two Stateroom Two Head Layout
• Teak Cockpit
• Air-Step Hull for Better Fuel Efficiency
WILL ACCEPT CLEAN TRADES!
The Beneteau Gran Turismo 44 had a LOA of 44' 2" (13.46 m), a beam of 13' (3.96 m), and draws only 3' 5" (1.04 m) of water. With an empty weight of 22,430 lbs. (10,174 kg), full fuel and three people onboard, we had a test weight of 22,311 lbs. (10,120 kg). With a pair of 370-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesels powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 33 kts at 3450 rpm. At that speed we were burning 39.9 gph (151 lph) for a range of 158 nm. Best cruise was found at 3000 rpm and 27.2 kts. There we had a fuel burn of 27 gph (102.28 lph) for a range of 192 nm. (If you want to see how many miles you can get per gallon, just click on the "Test Report" tab at the top of this page.) Even more impressive was the acceleration. I measured a time to plane of only 5.9 seconds and we reached 30 mph in just 14 seconds. Of course, all this has a lot to do with the Air Step hull.
The Air Step Hull is a patented hull design from Beneteau that injects air under the running surface to reduce friction. We've seen this before with stepped hulls, but unlike a stepped hull, Air Step introduces the air from above the waterline, and injects it on the centerline of the bottom a little more than halfway back from the bow. As the boat moves forward a vacuum is pulled, thus drawing air under the hull. That air brakes up the "stickiness" of laminar flow along the bottom and results in faster speeds and less work for the engine. During our tests for the Gran Turismo 44 we encountered no bad habits due to this Air Step. For example, the Air Step hull does not exhibit the tendency to skip, or fall off the turn, and the Gran Turismo 44 stays much more in control without bleeding off speed, even in a hard turn that would slow most boats down. I've already touched on how well the Gran Turismo 44 penetrates waves, but there is also a noticeable difference in how she responds to the waves. Where others in class will be porpoising and bouncing all, the Gran Turismo 44 seems to remain much more stable and manageable.
Beneteau's version of the express cruiser offers an entertainment venue that allows for bringing a lot of people onboard in style. The aft cockpit is essentially a living area that eliminates the need for going below for anything short of a visit to the head. A large U-shaped settee, capable of seating 6 comfortably, lies to port with a table that is expandable for dining and raises and lowers depending on how you wish to use it. Fully lowered it serves as a base for sun pad cushions. A fixed sun pad lies just aft, and beneath is a tender garage capable of holding an 8' (2.4 m) RIB with the outboard still attached. I've seen similar garages in larger boats that require you to remove the outboard for the boat to fit in the garage. The tender is hauled into place with a winch, and rollers flip-out from the swim platform allowing the tender to roll aboard without dragging and harming the teak deck. At the floor of the garage is an access door for the engine compartment.
The helm layout has a 12" (30.5 cm) widescreen nav display in the center surrounded by a cluster of analog gauges for both engines, including my favorite, the rudder (outdrive) angle indicator. Engine and sterndrive joystick controls were mounted on a panel to the right, and both fell right to my hand quite naturally. Abaft of the controls was a covered compartment housing the fuel and engine shutoffs. To port is a double-wide observer's seat, and there is access to walk around it. This is a nice feature as your guests will have a comfortable center-mounted seat to enjoy the ride from, and you have another two sets of eyes watching the water.
One of the unique design features of the Gran Turismo 44 is the amount of glass in the companionway that allows so much light to enter the salon below. All of this is behind the windshield which means that the sun pad on the foredeck is not blocking light from hatches to the salon below. It's a design feature I like very much, and I wouldn't be surprised to see if this Beneteau method gets copied on American Express boats in the near future. Once below, the area is open and brightly lit. A galley lies to port with 6' 7" (2.0 m) of headroom, and more storage than I've seen on larger boats. Beneteau provides a double basin sink, two burner stoves, and surprisingly, a large 218 L refrigerator. The salon to starboard has an L-shaped seat that holds five and converts to a berth as needed.
Two private staterooms lie to both ends of the salon. Forward is the VIP with the same high headroom from the salon continuing into this room. Two hull side windows provide light along with the overhead hatch, and at the aft end of the windows are opening portlights. An ensuite head has two entrances allowing it to be used as a day head. The master is full beam and has an overhead with varying geometry with the highest section being over a lounger to port. This couch makes a wonderful place to both start and end the day with a great view from just above the surface of the water. The headroom drops at the foot of the berth so be prepared to duck to access the starboard side. The master features a private ensuite head with separate shower stall.
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