Review: Beneteau 34 Flyer Gran Turismo

Beneteau’s 34 Flyer Gran Turismo comes to the United States with a lot of accommodations packed effectively into a compact hull, but its most distinguishing characteristic is what’s underneath: the company’s patented AirStep system.

The forward two-thirds of the bottom looks like a conventional deep-V, with the sharp-cornered chines and twin strakes characteristic of good lamination technique, but these “step” suddenly into a recessed, V-shaped area fed by twin ducts that in turn receive streams of air from external scoops placed high on the topsides. The step extends outward on each side, but not quite all the way to the chines. Thus, while on plane, the hull rides on a cushion of air, significantly reducing wetted surface (drag).

As a result, the 34 Flyer performs well with modest power. Twin 200-hp Volvo D3 diesels driving DuoProp outdrives (with joystick low-speed control) pushed our test boat. At speeds from 20 mph (3000 rpm) all the way to 33 (3900 rpm, full throttle), fuel efficiency was virtually the same—around 1.6 miles per gallon. Below 20 mph, efficiency dropped. The boat’s performance is similar to that of at least one very good D3-powered boat we’ve run that is 2,000 pounds lighter.

Accommodations? The 34 offers a comfortable forward V-berth/dinette below, with a 2-burner galley, a full head, and a roomy mid-cabin that offers full standing headroom. On deck there’s a wet bar to port opposite the helm, with a huge sitting/dining area aft under an extended hardtop and a large swim platform. The deckhouse comes with a large, electrically-operated sunroof. Styling is definitely Euro, but still pleasing to all but the most traditional-minded.

Details:

  • LOA: 31’ 10”
  • Beam: 11’
  • Draft: 3’ 3” (drives down)
  • Displacement: 11,860 lbs.
  • Fuel: 129 gals.
  • Water: 42 gals.

Base price w/ twin Volvo D3 diesels $200,000

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