With a tough reputation to live up to, how will the new Antares Flagship perform?
The latest Antares 12 is a reincarnation of the original Antares 12 launched some 17 years ago. Reinventing one of their most successful boats is not a bad move for Beneteau, but this new boat will have some big boots to fill. The original Antares 12, initially powered by twin 370hp Volvo D6s on shafts, was a very capable craft with a top speed of just over 30 knots. In 2006, it was offered with a twin 370hp Volvo IPS, which gave it a sportier feel and a few more knots, but the ‘shaftie’ was the better big-sea boat and was favoured by serious offshore skippers.
The Antares 12 has the increasingly popular fold-out bulwark sections.
With either twin 400hp V10 or triple 300hp V8 outboards hanging on the stern, the ‘Antares reborn’ is a different kettle of fish. Its top speed is in the late 30s, so the twin-rigged version will be faster than the previous shaft-driven Antares, and it will be a lot quieter. With three 4.6L Mercury V8s, it will certainly have a faster mid-range power delivery than the twin-engine option, and a top speed of just over 40 knots, but beyond 30 knots it will display more of a thirst than the twin-engine boat. In terms of fuel consumption, two 5.7L V10s will return around 1nmpg at 30 knots, while the triple-V8 version will provide a fuel burn close to, but shy of, 1nmpg. These ‘guesstimations’ I base on the fuel figures I recorded when testing the Wellcraft 355. The Wellcraft had triple Yamaha F300 outboards, displaced 1.5 tonnes less, had slightly less beam and was 2 to 3 feet shorter on the waterline. I have simply given the Wellcraft a 10% margin in improved economy – only a sea trial will discern exactly this boat’s fuel consumption.
The new Antares also has sharp underwater hull lines.
The new Antares also sports the ever-popular fold-out bathing platform on the starboard quarter, as well as having a decent amount of platform space around the outboards, making stern access a breeze. The wheelhouse design is asymmetrical, giving a good-sized side deck on the starboard side, which sits at deck level up to the wheelhouse side door, so single-handed skippers can easily step out. Walking forward, you still have traditionally high Antares guard rails, but if you want to hang fenders on the port side, things are a bit of a squeeze due to the space afforded the side deck on the starboard side. It appears that Beneteau have omitted to fit handrails on the coachroof, which hopefully will be rectified.
In Antares style, it has a generous flybridge.
The foredeck area enjoys a big sun pad, complete with a fold-up forward double recliner seat with its own table. This secluded spot overlooks the bow and its wide anchor locker. The forepeak deck section is recessed, providing legroom for the recliner, while affording anyone accessing the anchor locker the luxury of not having to get down on their knees. The flybridge is a good example of making use of every inch of space. Three or four at a squeeze can face forward, and there’s a wet bar behind the helm seat. On the port side, there is an abundance of seating around a small table, which can convert to sunbathing space with the obligatory insert. This also appears to be the case with the port-side double helm seat. The one downside of the flybridge set-up is the fairly steep steps – OK for adults, but steep for young children. The cockpit is focused on providing shaded al fresco dining with enough room for four to eat comfortably around the table – which opens to the saloon area thanks to the triple-leaf patio door.
Though an outboard boat, it still has credible bathing platform space.
The galley sits on the starboard side of the wheelhouse, butting right up to, and under, the double helm seat. Sensibly, the big double-drawer fridge is at the aft end, providing easy cold-drink access for those outside. The seating area on the port side is fore and aft, facing a folding table that can drop down when required, and with an infill section it creates an ad hoc topside double bed. The double-helm position is elevated, and looking at the tall window line and the fact that there are no ceiling-high storage compartments on each stern quarter, one can suppose that all-round visibility for the helmsman is good.
Below decks there are three sleeping cabins. The master cabin is forward, and as a result of not flaring the bow in the same style as the original Antares 12, it has plenty of internal space. The design provides for a large double bed, two hanging lockers and access on the starboard side to a large en suite with separate shower. This cabin enjoys plenty of natural light thanks to a window line that runs the full length of the cabin, and a small forepeak window facing the bow. Two guest cabins sit amidships, one with two separate beds and the other with a single that can convert to a double. As with the master cabin, the guest accommodation has full-length windows, and very reasonable headroom for cabins located beneath the wheelhouse. Serving the guest cabins is a day heads with a shower on the port side, which, like the en suite, has two long windows.
Well equipped for external dining.
The new Antares 12 is a product of modern design, which makes good use of all the space available. As a consequence of having outboard engines, it will have plenty of under-deck storage, and internally it appears more spacious than its predecessor. The big question will be how it drives, which no doubt will be revealed in due course.
- LOA: 12.97m
- Beam: 3.78m
- Draught: 1.10m
- Water capacity: 400L
- Fuel capacity: 1174L
- Berths: Up to 8
- Engine options: Twin 400hp Mercury Verado V10 or triple 300hp Mercury V8 outboards
- RCD: B for 10 or C for 12
- Displacement: 8.8 tonnes (dry, with twin 400hp Mercury Verado outboards)