Reporting from the 2022 Southampton Boat Show, MBY's Alex Smith takes us on a full tour of the Beneteau Antares 8, which recently went into full production following its 2021 soft launch.
Beneteau is calling its new Antares 8 “the ultimate family weekender” – and while that might be stretching credibility a bit, it certainly does a great job of catering for a wide range of fishing, weekending and day boating applications.
For instance, while the stern bench is positioned way aft to make the most of the cockpit, it can be shunted forward on deck runners so you can trim the engine right out.
There’s also a fold-down port bench, an optional aft-facing seat with coolbox and a starboard side gate as standard, which makes access to the pontoon much simpler.
The wide aft swim platforms sit flush with the deck for easy movement into the cockpit. And the starboard walkway has been widened for better access to the sunbathing area at the bow.
As a lynchpin in Beneteau’s Weekender range, the new boat also comes in two versions: Cruising, which prioritises social seating; and Fishing, which augments the boat’s sports fisher underpinnings with all the rod holders, working spaces and storage boxes you could want.
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In the offset pilothouse, a port dinette features a clever reversing co-pilot seat that drops down to the level of the table to create a dining space for up to five and room for up to nine passengers underway.
And down below, there’s ample room for a diagonal double bed, a separate heads and shower compartment and some enormous storage spaces.
With prices starting at £106,000 inc VAT, the ultra-flexible Beneteau Antares 8 delivers an impressive range of talents for the money.
Beneteau Antares 8 specifications
LOA: 27ft 0in (8.23m)
Beam: 9ft 1in (2.76m)
Engines: Single 200-250hp outboard
Top speed: 35 knots
Starting price: £106,000 (inc. VAT)