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Navigating the World with Their Beneteau 51.1 Elektra

24 May 2024 | Beneteau

Join us as we delve into the incredible journey of Terence and Lara, proud owners of the Beneteau 51.1 Elektra. From their initial steps into yacht ownership in the Mediterranean as novices, to their current adventures in the South Pacific as experienced yachtsman. Terence and Lara share their purchasing experience and the joys of owning a Beneteau Yacht. 

"Our journey to Beneteau ownership started in Portals Nous, Mallorca, in 2016 with Lara's life-changing question, "how much are boats then?" After realising a coastal place was out of our budget, Lara suggested buying a moveable apartment with a sea view—a yacht. She found the Beneteau Oceanis 41.1 online, read the reviews, and made an appointment at Ancasta in Hamble, UK. "It has big windows, I like it."

When I suggested renting a yacht for a week in Croatia, Lara said, "If we just buy a yacht, we're committed." Her logic was impeccable. We ordered a 41.1 and with Ancasta's guidance we started the specification process. On a trip to the Hamble to discuss various options we were taken aback to be offered an Oceanis 45 instead of the 41.1, with no offered at no extra cost after the Southampton Boat Show.

Several months later, we were learning to sail our new Oceanis 45, Elektra, in Southampton, one of Europe's busiest waterways. After two intense weekends, we completed our RYA Day Skipper qualifications. Six months of preparation later, I sailed Elektra with two crew from Southampton to the Mediterranean, facing a challenging Biscay crossing. The Oceanis 45 was in its element, building our trust in Beneteau. 

We berthed Elektra at One Ocean, Port Vell, Barcelona, and spent three seasons exploring the Mediterranean, from the Balearic Isles to the French and Italian Rivieras. My longest solo passage was from Barcelona to Marseille, with just the auto-pilot and a silver seahorse for company. One unforgettable moment was watching Stromboli erupt at night from Elektra’s deck. 

In late 2019, we moved back to New Zealand, shipping Elektra from Genoa to Auckland. Excited to sail the Hauraki Gulf, we were well-supported by 36° Brokers in Auckland. When they offered us a build slot for a new Oceanis 51.1, we decided to upgrade. Our high-spec 45 sold quickly.

The new Beneteau 51.1 arrived in February 2022. The 51.1, with custom black 3Di North Sails, was a significant upgrade, easier to sail, and more spacious. It offered better comfort and speed on long passages. Rigged for solo sailing, with a furling main, self-tacking headsail, and powerful bow thrusters, Elektra was perfect. The light interior, washing machine, dishwasher, retractable TV, and fresh water heads added to the comfort. The genset, water maker, and solar panels made us self-sufficient.

We planned to explore the South Pacific, starting with Fiji. Preparing Elektra for Category One Certification, mandatory for New Zealand vessels leaving territorial waters, ensured we were ocean-ready. In May 2022, we set sail for Fiji, a six-day journey from Opua. Elektra performed flawlessly. After clearing customs in Port Denarau, we spent six months cruising Fiji’s paradise. Elektra will return to the South Pacific Islands in 2025.

Buying our first Beneteau was one of our best decisions. Sailing across oceans has been life-enhancing, continually teaching us new lessons. With over ten thousand nautical miles logged, we've grown from novices to experienced yachtsmen. Life aboard brings joy and peace as the ocean and landscapes change around us. Many thanks to Ancasta, 36° Brokers, and Beneteau for their continuous support."

 

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Terence Stevens-Prior, 05-02-2024

36 Degrees

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