Some cruisers provide a huge cabin but little outdoors space, and some have huge cockpits but limited cabins. Either may seem great depending on which environment you place the most emphasis on, but finding a boat that strikes the ideal equilibrium for the vast majority of the mariners among us is just about impossible. The Beneteau Antares 12 explains the use of “just about” as a qualifier in the previous sentence. Because whether you generally prefer being indoors or you generally prefer being outdoors, this boat may well provide the balance that’s ideal for your needs.

beneteau antares 12
The Antares 12 is available with either triple 300-hp Mercury Verados or a pair of 400s. Photo by Jean Francois Romero, courtesy of Beneteau

The 12 is the flagship of Beneteau’s Antares lineup of outboard-powered cruisers. And with 42 feet, seven inches to work with, it’s not like there’s any shortage of space. Still, Beneteau maximizes the potential of what’s available. Working from the engines forward, topsides the first third or so of the boat is a swim platform and an open aft cockpit, the second third is the helmdeck and saloon, and the forward third is the cabintop. As is the norm on modern cruisers, the bow is turned into useable space with the addition of an outdoor social area, in this case a huge sunpad with a forward seat and a removable cocktail table. 

Up top on the flybridge is where Beneteau really “creates” space. It extends farther aft than usual and utilizes most of the boat’s beam, providing enough room for the upper helm station plus a passenger’s settee that converts into a sunpad. There’s even an aft U-shaped settee with room for six and a dinette table, plus an al fresco galley with a grill and a refrigerator. All in all, there’s more room and more amenities than you’ll see on the bridge of some boats with 10 feet more LOA.

beneteau antares 12
Photo by Bertrand Duquenne, courtesy of Beneteau

The cockpit’s highlight feature is another way Beneteau creates even more outdoor space, in this case in the form of a mega swim platform. A section of the starboard gunwale swings down to provide a balcony-like perch over the water. That’s in addition to a large aft L-shaped settee, a side-access boarding door, and a large aft wraparound swim platform which extends back as far as the outboards on either side and has room to walk from side to side in front of the powerplants.

Another feature that lovers of the outdoors will want to note is the saloon door, which is really more of a complete bulkhead. It’s a three-leaf glass affair, so you can completely open up the back end of the saloon to bring the outside inside. When the weather’s less than ideal, leave it closed up and the saloon offers a full indoor galley, a settee and dinette to port, a lower helm station, and a passenger’s side seat which converts between facing the dinette and facing forward. 

beneteau antares 12
The forward stateroom is the master. Photo by Bertrand Duquenne, courtesy of Beneteau

Down below owners have a choice between a three-stateroom layout or two staterooms and a stowage area. The forward stateroom is the master, with a pedestal berth and an en-suite head and shower. The guest stateroom has twin berths plus a head and shower.

The Antares 12 is available with either triple 300-hp Mercury Verados or a pair of 400s. Beneteau says the top-end with max power breaks the 40-mph mark. That’s a nice performance boost over the old version of the Antares 12, which had diesel inboards and couldn’t get much north of the low 30s.

beneteau antares 12
The bow features a huge sunpad with a forward seat and a removable cocktail table. Photo by Bertrand Duquenne, courtesy of Beneteau

As one might expect when trying to condense the character of a 42-footer into a magazine review, there’s a whole heck of a lot more to talk about here: this is a Seanapps boat, which means it’s part of the IoT and you get remote monitoring, notification, and geofencing abilities. The main cabin has a whopping six feet, seven inches of headroom, and heads and staterooms have a healthy six feet, three inches. Galley cabinetry is lacquered titanium. USB ports are all over the place, including at the helm and in each stateroom. The list goes on and on, and if you want to gain a full appreciation of what the Antares has to offer, you’ll have to go see one up close and in person. But you’ll have to keep your emotions in check. Because if you aren’t as good at maintaining equilibrium as Beneteau is, you might find yourself signing on that dotted line before you know it. 

By Lenny Rudow

Beneteau Antares 12 Specifications: 

LOA: 42’7”
Beam: 12’5” 
Draft (max.): 3’10”
Displacement (approx.): 20,081 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 310 gal.
Water Capacity: 169 gal.
Max HP: 900
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