Beneteau GT36 Test Drive By Dans Boat Life

“Any good with OUTBOARDS?”


This boat, it’s just under 7.2 tons. I’ve written this down, that’s 15,849 lbs for the Americans watching, and fuel capacity we have two tanks, 48L on each side and that’s 108 gal, but it’s normally powered by twin 300 horsepower Volvo inboards. But on this boat, we got twin V10 Outboards. So, how does it go and what special unique things can we do specifically on this boat that you can’t do on the other GTs? Stay tuned, we’ll find out!

Okay, so I’m going to just do this from a slightly rolling start today. I’ve got about 600 revs on the dial now, increasing through to about 1,000 RPM. My speed return on that is about 4 knots. I’m going into a bit of southerly wind today, guys. It has just popped up to about 12 to 15 knots, so that’ll be a little bit noticeable when we’re out beyond the rocks and in about 2 minutes from now you’ll see that on the Drone.

“She has twin V10 Outboards, and she weighs just under 7.2 tons.”

One of the things you want to pay attention to when you have a boat that’s available with inboards and outboards is the weight distribution. So, I’m going to pay attention to that and describe what I feel. We got the beautiful V10 350s. They look great on the back, I got to say. And later in this video, as I said, we’re going to be trailing this boat out in the shallow water ’cause that’s one of the real advantages and points of difference for a boat like this. So let’s do it.

Clear all around, I’ve got the zipwake in Auto. I got  the engines fully trimmed down, accelerate, going to get it straight onto the plane. I always just like to commit to my acceleration, get the boat moving. Okay, so I got 4,200 RPM. I’m going to get up to 4,500. 4,700, do a little bit of engine trim up. I could feel the engines working there and then 23 knots feels good. Zipwakes are now working. Zipwakes are not the answer to everything, I find the lighter the boats are, the slower the response time could be with the zipwake. So, they’re not perfect, but they are definitely useful and advantageous to someone who wants to do more driving than trimming. So, if you want to be talking to your family, if you want to be keeping an eye on the kids, if you want to be social, that’s where a zipwake is going to take some workload off you from a driving perspective. So, think about it like that. They’re much more beneficial as the boats get heavier. And I would say in this size range, we’re in about the middle of that range. So, you will see sometimes it’ll want to wallow around a little bit. Don’t worry about it, it’ll always catch up and just increase your speed if it’s annoying you.

I’m just going to sit on that 23 knots at the moment, that’s giving me 4,250 odd revs, and I’ve got fuel flow of about 52 a side, that’s in litres, not gallons. I know I speak both languages, it’s ’cause I do so much travelling and everyone has their boats set up on different settings.

Okay, watching out for traffic and people, one kayaker in the water, couple of fishermen. I’m going to have to go a little bit wide as we come around the rocks here. I’m going to find some waves. We’ll see how this bow design tackles the swell. We do have a little bit of swell to play with, reasonably full. But I think what I like about the GT range is that they’ve still got a nice amount of v-action down low, and then it flares up to give us that beautiful big sun lounge that we see. And I think it’s a neat and quite clever design to reach a happy middle ground. We’re not trying to be the best performing boat in the world, that’s not the purpose of this boat. We’re trying to be fun, fast, sporty, and save you time. So going from A to B is probably a real big advantage to many of you. If you’re time poor and you want to get to those beautiful bays, set up and have a lovely lunch with your family or your friends, this is going to be a cracking boat to do that in.

Okay, we’re just now exposed to the 15, probably a little bit over 15 knots suddenly now. I’ve got a little bit of wind chop, and we’re going to be seeing some swell in a second. I’m going to increase that speed just one knot or two. As you enter a wave zone, if you’re not comfortable or if you’re not familiar with driving boats in waves, always remember to move your hand down to the throttle base. What you can also do with this throttle is actually put it in single lever mode, so have a think about that. You can just have to come back to neutral, press single lever, and then increase on the left-hand throttle, and that’s going to give you more control in waves. I’m okay ’cause I’ve done this plenty of times. All I do in a wave zone is I start using the tips of my fingers instead of the base of my palm, so I have more control.

So going through some waves now, and I’m seeing the waves being parted out to the side, clear all around, parted again, rolling over, not too much slamming. These are all under a metre, but it’s still good to go through them.

Now let’s go to port, and we’ll take those waves on the beam just for a second. I would expect with this sort of wind, we should get some spray on the glass. Yeah, that’s not much, actually, a little bit, a tiny bit of spray on the side. Once again, that’s the beauty of all wraparound glass! I’m comfortable. I have the choice to open or close these windows, so if I think I’m going to have some spray, I can close the windward window. But nothing’s come through the roof, so I’ve still got plenty of ventilation.

“Although zipwakes are not the answer to everything, they are definitely useful and advantageous for someone who wants to prioritise driving over trimming.”

Okay, increased speed. Now, I’m going downwind, so my drone could definitely keep up. So I’ve gone from that 50L consumption to 52 a side. We’re at now 4,800 revs, and I’m seeing 75L a side. Going through some waves, and I have a speed return of 28 knots. That feels really good!

I’m in waves, so 27 to 28. I’m going to predict that even in flat water, that’s going to be this boat’s optimum cruise speed. We’ll have another play when we get out of these waves. And then later in this video, I’m going to be demonstrating the close-quarters manoeuvring aspects of this boat, and then we’re going to put it up into some shallow water for you guys to see how it’s done.

We do have a bit of a loss of visibility from these two pillars here, that’s the same on the entire GT range. Because the seat’s wide, you can actually just lean around a little bit, just have it in the back of your mind at all times to make sure you move your visibility or your line of sight to a place where it’s safe to do so. I’m just looking, I think even that back sun lounge doesn’t appear to be getting any spray on it, even in that turn. We’ll check out when we’re doing the walkthrough and confirm that if it’s the case. 

All right, let’s do this. Oh, here’s where it’s getting a bit fun – increasing speed. 5,000 revs, 30 knots. We’re really boogieing now. We got 93L a side. I’m going to give the engine a little bit of a trim up. That feels great. So that feels like the fast cruise. I’m going to say your efficient cruise for eating up miles is probably about that 27 knot range. The slow cruise is 23 knots. Noise levels are acceptable, a little bit high, which you would expect without boards pushing sound through the cabin, but still acceptable.

Let’s go full speed. Yeah, oh, this is good feedback, guys. This is quite enjoyable. That’s full throttle, slight trim up, feel the boat accelerate. 5,700, clear all ahead. 35, no, we can do more. We can do better than that. 36. 5,800. 5,850. 36, going to get to 37. 110L a side. 37 knots. 37, full tanks, wide-open throttle. That’s lots of fun. Back off, trim down, clear to the left, hard turn.

Okay, with this roof open, that’s a real benefit in a hard turn ’cause you can see out the roof. So, I would say if you’re going to do any sporty turns, just consider that because if you got the roof closed, instead of looking out, you’re going to have to duck down like that, which is not a problem, but just pay attention.

Now, let’s try transition. That’s easy, I practiced it before. Oh, I feel nice and locked in here, and now I’m going to hook it around to starboard, increase power, and engines down. Oh, this is great fun! This is good! You can still do the conservative family stuff, but you can just come out and have fun too. What a good time.

All right, I’m going to come off the power. I’m probably pissing off a few of these swimmers. I did it deliberately a little bit further away from Balmoral Beach ’cause I know they’re all going to be swimming this morning. I don’t particularly want to be that guy.


I’m coming off the plane now. So, a couple of quick observations, the shift of, let’s call it 600 odd kilos a few metres back aft doesn’t negatively affect the performance whatsoever. We got 23 knots for sensible cruise through wash, 27 knots for fast cruise down swell and we got 30 knots for extra fast, and 37 knots for top speed. Fuel flow from 50 to 110 a side, that’s in litres, not gallons.

It’s definitely a boat I would do offshore runs, but I would pick my weather. I would try and go down swell whenever possible and moderate my trips if I’ve got to go into the swell. I didn’t see a problem going through those waves, but I suspect once I get over a metre and a half or 2M, especially if it’s short and sharp, that fullness of the bow which gives us the amazing sun lounge is going to start throwing water up and over the boat. So, just pick your times, which is what you do on a boat like this because you can go fast, and we have weather forecast apps, that’s why we do that. So let’s get into the shallow water, we’ll practice some manoeuvring right now and find a beach to show you how to put it on the beach.

“We got 23 knots for sensible cruise through wash, 27 knots for fast cruise down swell, and we got 30 knots for extra fast, and 37 knots for top speed.”

Okay, I hope that was useful, guys. I hope you got some value out of it. And if it’s your first time watching the channel, you’re watching Dan’s Boat Life. My name’s Dan Jones, I’m independent, I make these videos for you so you can educate yourself. So if you get some value from that, do us a favour, subscribe, like, share it with your mates, and if you can get on the Patreon, I’d really appreciate that.

Come on out the back. I think this is the main point that we have to focus on for this boat. She drives good, the balance works, the speed’s great, but look where we are right now. Being able to access locations like this should be one of the primary points you have to put in favour of this actual boat. It can be windy, it can be choppy, it could be cluttered in the middle of the anchorage out the back on your bigger inboard boat, but it doesn’t matter for you. So that’s where I see a style and a design of a boat like this 36GT being of huge value to many of you. So if that’s you, definitely consider this boat. It’s worth your while. The price point is always competitive on a Beneteau product. The design is fantastic; they put a lot of effort into doing clever design and thinking about ergonomics and liability. And because it is a very well-recognised brand in all the markets that I’ve seen around the world on my travels, these things sell pretty well because people demand products that they have some familiarity with. Anyway, look forward to seeing you on the next one. I’m going to put some competition up on the screen now. Go ahead and look at that, see what you think. I hope you enjoyed that. You’re all Legends. I’ll see you on the next one.

Editorial Team

Our Editorial team is made up of local expert practitioners in their respective fields, such as Brokers, Dealers, Surveyors, Transporters, Delivery Captains and Skipper Trainers.