There is always a huge list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘desirables’ when choosing a secondhand boat. But right at the top of everyone’s list, written in big red letters, is ‘budget’. Can I afford to buy it? And crucially, can I afford to run it?

Those concerns, particularly the latter, are perhaps even more crucial if you’re running the boat commercially, where every penny spent on repairs and maintenance comes directly off the bottom line, yet you still need a fast and attractive vessel.

So it was interesting to discover that Pure Latitude, a boat-share club based at Port Hamble in Southampton, has run a Beneteau Antares 30 for many years as part of its five-strong fleet of motor boats shared by a membership that pay an annual fee to access a range of craft that includes a fast RIB through to an aft cabin steel river cruiser on the Thames.

“Running costs was one of the key reasons for choosing the Antares 30,” Martin Gray, owner of Pure Latitude, tells me. “Our boats are used regularly, clock higher than typical hours and have to be fully maintained. We don’t have the luxury of not fixing something until the end of the season, it all has to work. And the great thing with the Antares 30 is that it’s such a simple drive system, just a single engine, which is a solid reliable Volvo Penta D6 connected to a conventional shaft drive, so no expensive and complicated sterndrive to service and maintain.”

When Beneteau launched the Antares 30 at the Paris Boat Show in 2009 it was fitted with a Yanmar 6LY3 380hp engine, the company only switching to the Volvo Penta D6 370 when Yanmar stopped producing the 6LY3. At launch, it was something of a unique proposition.

Read the full report in the October 2018 edition of MBY.

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