An impressive balance of deck space and interior comfort
With the emphasis on dayboat cruising the Bénéteau Antarès 7 features a sociably large U-shaped seating layout with a sturdy twin legged cockpit table.
If you do fancy a bit of fishing you can flip down the aft bench seat for a decent angling area complete with rod holders.
The overhang of the wheelhouse roof offers good protection to the cockpit around the interior doorway and access to the 6in side decks is by two small steps to both port and starboard.
At the helm a comparatively small console works well, accommodating all the necessary instruments, with a proper space to fit a plotter and a ‘bits’ tray to the left of the steering column.
To port is a tidy wet-bar area with a sink and storage unit with the option of being able to add a gas hob and fridge should you wish.
Step down into the saloon and you will find a sociable circular sofa able to fit five at a push, which also converts into a 6ft long double if necessary.
We had lots of fun on the A7, punching through a Force 4 with ease with very few slams or rattles.
You feel safe and in control as this tough little boat goes about its business, the steering remaining solid and assured whether you are out in the rough or smooth.
Tested in April 2008
Bénéteau is sharp on design, offering a cockpit that can be left clean or dressed to impress plus it stomps along beautifully in the chop.