The Bente 28 is a new boat from the German company and is the first to be produced under the new ownership of the innovative yacht brand
Once you’ve seen one, Bente yachts are unmistakable. We revisited the brand’s first boat, the Bente 24, recently, which has been around for 10 years or so. The brand then launched the striking Bente 39 which was immensely innovative, but the company ran into financial difficulties. Now under new owners and a more stable footing, a third model has been launched, which I can’t wait to test sail. The Bente 28 is unlike any other 28-footer.
The hull is cutting edge with wide transom, double rudders and full bows providing a powerful hull form as well as volume below. Construction is polyester GRP foam sandwich, with the basic version being heavier hand lamination, and the more expensive Edition version being vacuum infused. While this is a boat designed to be fast, it’s a long way from a wild racing boat. Displacement is a not outlandish 3.2 tonnes and draught is 1.6m (there’s an option for a 1.95m performance T-keel with lead bulb that’s 100kg lighter), so it fits well within the scope of a sensible cruising boat.
Tiller steering puts the helm in the middle of the cockpit, with the mainsheet led to a plinth on the cockpit sole from the transom-mounted full-width traveller. Harken self-tailing winches serve both headsail sheets and halyards, which are all led aft at deck level. Shrouds from the backstay-less Selden aluminium two-spreader rig are taken out to the hull sides, and there’s a genoa furler and retractable bowsprit forwards.
Step on deck and the coachroof is all window with curved plexiglass on a sturdy but hidden GRP frame, rising up to a colourful arch that forms a small solid cuddy, reminiscent of high-latitude expedition yachts.
Coupled with the bevelled deck edge (which makes the topsides looks less high than they are), this has allowed the designers to get away with a higher coachroof than on solid-decked boats, creating good shelter in the cockpit and generous headroom below – there is standing headroom of 1.88m at the aft end of the saloon table increasing to 2.02m by the companionway. The payoff is that the forward part of the accommodation is under a flat deck forward of the mast, but there’s more than enough headroom for sitting around the saloon table or in the forward berth. Fit-out is modern, clean and stylish, with internal and deck-head mouldings, and oak joinery trim.
As with many modern small cruisers, designers have opted for an open-plan sense of space rather than privacy, so the forward V-berth double and the double port-side aft are open to the saloon – I felt that there would have been space to separate the aft berth into a cabin, but it would make the boat feel less spacious. The layout would work well for weekending with friends, or cruising with a small family. There’s a proper separate heads compartment though, with 1.98m headroom and all six berths are around 2m long. To port of the companionway, opposite the heads is a small galley – the show boat was fitted with a two-pan fixed induction hob, though you could fit a gimballed spirit hob, or full gas stove if you sacrificed the locker below.
There’s a moderate amount of stowage under the bunks, in the saloon table, and in shelves outboard, and there’s a small standing chart table and switch panel above a locker forward of the heads, plus a generous cockpit locker under the starboard cockpit seat. It should all work well at sea.
Bente 28 specifications
LOA: 8.65m/28ft 5in
LWL: 7.83m/25ft 8in
Beam: 2.99m/9ft 10in
Draught: 1.6m/5ft 3in
Optional T-keel draught: 1.95m/6ft 5in)
Sail area: 55.2m2/594sq ft
Ballast: 995kg/2,193 lb
Displacement: 3,200kg/7,055 lb
Standard Price ex VAT: €109,160 (ca £95,800)
Edition version Price ex VAT: €138,571.43 (ca £121,620)
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