Countdown to Cannes Yachting Festival 2021: Beneteau GT45

The world’s largest boatbuilder knows a thing or two about hardtop sports cruisers, and the new Beneteau GT45 is a distillation of much hard-won wisdom in this fiercely competitive sector.

All the accepted design tropes so crucial to economic high-volume production are there, from the huge saloon windows and the ‘Pershing curve’ of the superstructure (does anyone call it that any more?), to the gigantic sunroof, the metallic grey ‘fashion plates’ affixed to the sides (even Beneteau puts them in quotes) and the extensively glazed topsides.

The broadest possible appeal is also assured by a choice of IPS or sterndrive propulsion coupled to, of course, Volvo engines.

Exceptionally spacious down below in standard form, the Beneteau GT45 has a big midships owner’s suite and an equally appealing VIP cabin in the bows, which has scissor berths that easily convert to singles or a double, plus ensuite access to the day head.

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If needs must, however, you can also specify a third twin-bunk cabin amidships, at the cost of that rather nice secluded lower seating area.

Up on deck there is a large U-shaped dinette sheltered beneath that hardtop – or not, if you open the sunroof – along with a bar and a flat-screen TV.

The aft bulkhead and its door are completely glazed, so whether you have retreated indoors to enjoy the aircon or the heating, you still get to feel you’re on an open boat. The three-seat helm is also a sociable spot.

With its easily-driven, stepped, medium-V hull, the Beneteau GT45 promises to live up to its name and provide a lively driving experience.

If the visceral pleasures of taking the helm of a fast boat aren’t high-tech enough for you, there’s also an app to give you touchscreen control of everything from the music system to the bilge pumps. Just don’t drop your phone over the side.

Beneteau GT45 specification

LOA: 48ft 6in (14.8m)
Beam: 13ft 9in (4.2m)
Engines: Twin Volvo 380hp sterndrive or 440hp IPS
Top speed: TBC
Starting price: TBC