From Sailing Beneteau Yachts to Beneteau Powerboats

From Sailing Beneteau Yachts to Beneteau Powerboats

A New Gran Turismo 40 for the Haynes

Charlie Haynes knows the Beneteau brand well. He has raced on Beneteaus in the past and completed the Sydney to Hobart.

However, Charlie’s wife Sam isn’t really a ‘yachtie’ and so when the time came to look for their dream boat, she liked the idea of a power cruiser. With their four children grown up now, Sam wanted something that they could just get on and just go … and something that was easy to maintain.

We asked the couple a few questions on handover day to find out more about why they chose the Beneteau brand and the Gran Turismo. Watch the video here and read their story.

The Beneteau Brand

So when the couple started looking for a motor cruiser, Charlie immediately went for the Beneteau brand.

“I knew Beneteau from my yacht racing days so I knew they were always beautifully finished inside. I’ve always liked the Beneteau quality and fit-out and ultimately it’s really good value in terms of the amount you get for the money you spend.”


The Gran Turismo Range

They came across the Gran Turismo 40 and went to see it at the Sydney International Boat Show in 2017.

“That was great because we got to touch and feel it,” says Charlie.

For Sam, she likes the ongoing relationship with Flagstaff Marine which began at the Boat Show and meeting Flagstaff sales team member, Caju. Also, the size of the Gran Turismo 40 was a big plus.

“I think it was probably the right size for us. A lot of the boats were a little bit bigger and we just didn’t need that because primarily it will just be us two and the dog on the boat. So there was no need for two heads. No need for a second galley because we’ve got the BBQ and that’s probably all we need,” says Sam.


The Test Drive

The next stage of the decision process was a test drive on the harbor. Flagstaff Marine arranged a suitable time and Charlie loved it!

“It is really easy to drive. Completely different to anything I’ve driven before and very comfortable. We looked at plenty of other boats.”

The other important deciding factor for the couple was the fit-out.

“The quality of the fit-out is really up there. If I was to describe it like a car brand, it’s like an Audi or something. So it’s not like a Rolls Royce or something that comes with a ridiculous price.”

Charlie also loves some of the other features of the Gran Turismo 40.

“The openness of the deck and not having the caravan doors, which is what we call the sliding glass doors, but having it open to the elements … that’s really nice. And then the fit-out downstairs which is high quality but also good value. The style overall is just really good.”

For Sam, she was impressed by the amount of shade offering protection from the Australian sun.

“It’s a lovely boat; very well appointed and a very nice amount of shade. So that’s one of the other things I like about it. I quite like a lot of shade. I don’t like a lot of sun – and the retractable sunroof gives us the option of having both,” she comments.

The other great thing about the Gran Turismo range is the amount of customization available. And Sam’s interior design background came in very handy!

“I got to choose all the interior finishes very much like a car. And then we’ve done a few after sales-type stuff like we got the boat wrapped in vinyl so that changes the color of the outside rather than having the paint. Then we’ve got a great woman from a company called Sheets Ahoy called Lyndal. She’s doing all the fit-out of the bedrooms and cushions.”


Handover Day at Clontarf Marina

Handover day took place on a beautiful sunny day in February at Clontarf Marina. Caju talked through the specific features and how to operate their new boat.

The Flagstaff Marine Experience

Charlie couldn’t be happier! When asked about the Flagstaff Marine experience, he said,

“It’s been fantastic – it really has. Caju has been unbelievably helpful. We really have felt like royalty. It’s been really good and still carrying on now. Going through a long list of options and explaining in their opinion what you do need vs what you don’t need. Just really helpful and even now. We haven’t been on a boat like this before, so Caju’s having to put up with some pretty stupid questions – but he’s fine and quite happy to answer them.”

Charlie and Sam will keep their new boat at Clontarf Marina for now and start by exploring Pittwater. Their longer-term plans are to take it offshore and head up to Queensland for an extended trip.


To sum up the Gran Turismo 40 Charlie says,

“If you just want a showboat, something that you can park at the marina then fair enough. If you want a boat that you are actually going to use then the Beneteau is the way to go. It feels like an ocean-going boat. It feels like a boat you can throw around in the water as opposed to just look at and polish!”

If you are interested in a Gran Turismo 40 like Charlie and Sam, you can come and see it for yourself at the Sydney International Boat Show or contact us to arrange a private viewing at Clontarf Marina.

Please also see our other boat owner stories.