Built for distance: Beneteau Grand Trawler 62
A 2022 European Powerboat of the Year winner, the Grand Trawler 62 is designed for long cruises in comfort, with Beneteau’s new flagship offering a remarkable range of over 1,000nm, highly practical indoor and outdoor areas plus a plethora of storage space. And the best bit? Asia is welcoming hull four.
Words: John Higginson Photos: Jerome Kelagopian & Nicolas Claris
The Grand Trawler 62 features naval architecture by Italy’s MICAD
When Asia’s first Grand Trawler 62 arrives in Hong Kong through regional dealer Simpson Marine, it will mark the regional debut of Beneteau’s largest powerboat to date and the pioneer of a new range of passage makers that build on the spectacular success of the brand’s Swift Trawler line.
Selling points include a whopping range of 1,045nm and 235 cubic metres of volume that includes masses of storage space. The 62-footer with an almost 18ft beam represents a large leap in size among Beneteau’s trawler-style models and even includes a multifunctional crew area, yet it’s still geared towards hands-on owners. It’s solid, seaworthy, durable, practical and functional. Let’s just say it’s the kind of boat that also has grabrails on the inside.
While there’s nothing sleek and sexy about any of those qualities, at more than twice the price of the new Swift Trawler 48, the Grand Trawler 62 is pitched at a sector of owners used to affording the good things in life. As such, the interior reflects a notable upgrade in finish and detailing, although nothing that’s going to break easily.
“Beneteau’s aim is for the Grand Trawler 62 to be the best-value proposition in the market,” says Robert Chaffer, Product Manager for Beneteau’s two Trawler lines and Gran Turismo range. “It hasn’t sacrificed common sense for bling. It has a calming quality, a quiet layer of luxury on top of the practicality.”
The Grand Trawler 62 is the product of almost two decades of development since Beneteau launched the Swift Trawler line in 2003. With 1,300 units produced so far, the series dominates a sector of economic, long-range flybridge motor yachts designed for extensive cruising, where the focus is as much on the journey as the destination.
Although the 48 is now the biggest Swift Trawler, former models included the 52, which spanned almost 56ft overall and was succeeded by the 50, a model only recently discontinued.
The aft ‘terrace to the sea’ provides seating overlooking the hydraulic platform
Recognising the growing appeal of high-volume yachts in the 50-100ft sector, Groupe Beneteau had announced the development of Grand Trawler at Boot Dusseldorf 2020 under the codename Project E, before the 62’s launch last year gave trawler-style boat lovers a new flagship to aspire to.
“From 30-50ft, Swift Trawler has been incredibly successful. It outsells all the rivals by four to one, so we’ve built up a huge following of owners who gather in rendezvous events and owner’s clubs,” says Chaffer, who has worked in the industry for over three decades including as a yacht designer.
The cockpit has a sea-facing sofa and foldable table
“We could see the trawler market becoming more popular and more owners wanting to cruise longer distances, with an increase in space and facilities. Potential Grand Trawler clients obviously include Swift Trawler owners wanting to move up in size, although the owner of hull one previously owned a Lagoon.”
Typically, Swift Trawler owners are experienced, hands-on boaters, many spending several months a year at sea or even living on their boat.
“Swift Trawler owners have a minimum of 15-20 years’ of boating experience. They’ve come from sailing, powerboats, catamarans, and they’ve probably had five to six boats, so by the time they come to Swift Trawler, they know what they want in a boat and how they want to use it,” Chaffer says.
The forward flybridge includes a staircase to the interior and sunpad ahead of the helm
“The Grand Trawler 62 is built on feedback from these owners, and we’ve poured all of that experience into this boat. Everything we’ve learnt from Swift Trawler since the first model was launched in 2003 is in the foundations of the Grand Trawler 62.”
RANGE AND STORAGE
The two priorities in the design of the Grand Trawler 62 were range and storage, essential to owners wanting to spend long periods onboard and cruise extensively.
The helm station is by the starboard side door
Having analysed the use of Swift Trawler boats, Beneteau concluded that 75-80 per cent cruised between 8-12 knots, so worked with Italy’s MICAD on naval architecture to produce a displacement hull that has outperformed initial predictions at nine knots, achieving 1,045nm with 10 per cent of fuel still in the tank.
That’s more than enough to cruise from Hong Kong down past the Philippines to Kota Kinabalu, or from Singapore to Bali, although should there be a need for speed, the yacht can reach 20 knots with its twin 730hp MAN engines.
“It’s a great passage maker,” Chaffer says. “This is a big increase in range even for Swift Trawler owners. They like long cruising and now they can consider bigger journeys, which was the feedback we had.”
The bed in the master suite exemplifies the emphasis on storage
Research also highlighted that the most common request from Swift Trawler owners was storage, storage and more storage. A tour of the Grand Trawler 62 reveals that for every flat surface, there’s often storage space underneath, above or behind.
ENJOYING THE ELEMENTS
Italian studio Nauta Design – brought in to upgrade Lagoon’s interiors over a decade ago – handled the exterior and interior of the Grand Trawler 62, which starts aft with a ‘terrace to the sea’ that recalls the ‘terrace on the sea’ introduced on the Lagoon 55 sailing cat launched last year.
The cockpit seating faces through and over a transparent pushpit
With the emphasis on views of the water and scenery instead of the saloon doors, the cockpit has an aft-facing sofa and foldable table facing a transparent pushpit and sliding side gates. Full-width steps provide a comfortable waterside seating area and lead down to a hydraulic platform that can carry a tender, although there’s also the option to store a RIB or toys on the aft flybridge.
To port, a gull-wing hatch allows access to a multi-functional area that can include a washing machine as well as toilet and shower rooms. All can potentially be used by owners and guests, as each is separate from the cross-bunk cabin to starboard, which could be used for crew or how the owner wishes.
The foredeck features a double sunpad and sofa, each with adjustable backrests
Symmetrical side decks that start with teak-slat ‘fashion plates’ lead to the foredeck, which has a connected double sunpad and sofa, both with adjustable backrests, drinks holders and plenty of space either side for books, snacks or even towels if more people want to lie down. The area can also be sheltered by a bimini.
However, the prime outdoor area is the stunning 365sqft flybridge, one of the largest in its class and accessible from either the starboard side of the cockpit or internally from behind the helm.
On the flybridge, a C-shaped sofa faces an inward-facing wet bar
To port is a folding table and a C-shaped sofa that adjoins a forward-facing L-shaped sofa, while starboard is an inward-facing wet bar with Kenyon grill, twin-seat helm and a forward sunpad. The aft area is clear by default and has the option of a crane.
The interior by Nauta Design features bulkheads and cabinetwork in walnut or waxed light oak as standard, providing a light, relaxing atmosphere.
The saloon has a C-shaped sofa and either a sideboard (below) or two-seat sofa to starboard
The saloon has a grabrail overhead and a C-shaped sofa to port that can face either a two-seat sofa or a sideboard with drawers and shelves to starboard, where options include a retractable 50-inch TV, drawer fridge and wine cooler.
On starboard side, the first step up to the dining area is flanked by drawers to starboard and to port by a handrail above a purpose-built servery unit housing Villeroy & Boch glasses, crockery and cutlery.
The dining area sits close to a purpose-built servery unit
A further step up is the dinette, which has an L-shaped sofa and a tabletop that can even slide over the sofa when not in use or to create more hallway space while cruising, for example. For meals, up to four folding dining chairs can be used to round out the seating and can also be used outside, such as in the aft cockpit.
Beside the dinette is an enclosed galley with windows facing the dinette and saloon. The galley can be closed off with an optional sliding door, while to port it benefits from a side-deck door that provides air flow and ventilation.
The galley benefits from a portside door
The galley’s aft side facing the saloon is stacked with shelves, storage, work surfaces and, to port, a sink plus a trash receptacle that can be retrieved from the side deck, a nice safety buffer in the case of spillages. Forward is a full-height, 255-litre fridge-freezer, while beside the side door is a four-burner induction hob above a 40-litre multi-function microwave oven and wine rack.
The raised helm station, past the stairs to the flybridge, is another key hub and occupies most of the forward area, where it’s protected by a reverse-angle, one-piece central windscreen. Two comfortable leather seats face a large wheel and a wide leather console that features up to three 16-inch Raymarine screens and can even be completely raised up on hinges to allow access to the circuitry.
The helm station is accompanied by a daybed
Integrated software includes Groupe Beneteau’s own Seanapps and Ship Control programmes. Port side of the helm is Chaffer’s favourite space on board, a sofa-cum-daybed that offers a relaxing nook to nestle in whether the boat’s cruising or not. To starboard is a side door and a curved staircase down to the lower deck, which is available with three or four guest cabins.
CABINS AND CUPBOARDS
As seen on the hull for Hong Kong, the three-cabin layout features a 150sqft full-beam master suite midships with a forward-facing double flanked by bedside cabinets.
The master suite with the luxury package
A stylish desk-cum-vanity-table is to port, while the starboard side features storage space and the option of a 50-inch TV on the bulkhead. Forward is an elegant en-suite bathroom with Corian worksurface, Villeroy & Boch washbasin, electric toilet and walk-in shower cubicle with rain shower.
In the four-cabin layout, the bedroom area would be used for two identical cabins that would share the bathroom. The guest cabin with en-suite is to port, while the VIP is in the bow and features an angled 2m-long bed facing the en-suite bathroom on the starboard side, which has similar finishes and features to the master en-suite.
The VIP suite in the bow has an angled bed
Like the rest of the boat, the bedrooms and bathrooms have plenty of storage, with the master suite featuring half-height hanging cupboards in all four corners. In addition, the top of the double beds in both the master and VIP can be lifted to reveal masses of storage space underneath, ideal for suitcases, towels, bedding and other non-daily essentials.
The hull we toured had the model’s luxury package, which includes an upgrade in lighting, leather tops and louvered panelling on doors. They’re all nice touches and reflective of the efforts Beneteau is making to provide the premium materials and detailing that owners often appreciate when buying yachts of this size.
The aft cross-bunk cabin can be used for crew or guests
However, the Grand Trawler 62 is not about luxury. Beneteau’s biggest powerboat to date is about taking the Swift Trawler range’s emphasis on multi-functionality, practicality, space, storage and fuel efficiency to a new level. It achieves all that and makes you excited to see what’s coming next.
The conglomerate is initially introducing the technology on Beneteau, Jeanneau and Prestige models.