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Old 05-11-2012, 02:35   #1
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Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

Ok, I have just purhased a Beneteau Cyclades year 2005, with which I am very happy.
I now want to take it accross the Atlantic, I have read one report that they are "not blue water boats".
Can anybody please expand on this statement.
I have had advise from an old friend and boat broker that say's; the boat can do it if you know how to sail it.
Comments please?
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:58   #2
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

i delivered a 43 a few years ago from wales to portugal,the 1000 mile trip took 6 1/2 days,so was quite impressed with its performance,and fuel economy.
i would not worry about taking one to the caribbean from europe.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:39   #3
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

Your friend is right. Many posts about certain boats not being bluewater-capable are written by those whose knowledge doesn't come from bluewater experience, and a corollary is that some posts about bluewater-capability in other boats are also written by (others) with no bluewater experience.

If you look at the statistics from the ARC, the Carib 1500 and Jimmy Cornell's books you can see that numerous production boats which any "poo-poo" as not being bluewater-worthy have indeed done circumnavigations and many ocean crossings.

I had, for a short interim period, a 43.3 Beneteau Cyclades (see Kinsale, the trade-in boat) and spent a lot of time in every nook and cranny cleaning her up for sale - she was an ex-charter boat and needed some cosmetic work. I found that she was built a bit lighter than the Oceanis series boats but with a good crew and some storm sails and preparation I'm sure that she would weather some nasty weather. The boat is quite light and commensurately fast.

Once you get to the Caribbean the boat is perfect for the conditions there - with good and plentiful ventilation and enough room it is optimal. Remember that many construction aspects of a perfect hardy bluewater-boat are diametrically opposed to what one is looking for once that boat gets into an anchorage. And since almost all of one's time is spent in anchorages it is hard to find that perfect dividing line between bluewater features and living features.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:02   #4
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Your friend is right. Many posts about certain boats not being bluewater-capable are written by those whose knowledge doesn't come from bluewater experience, and a corollary is that some posts about bluewater-capability in other boats are also written by (others) with no bluewater experience.

If you look at the statistics from the ARC, the Carib 1500 and Jimmy Cornell's books you can see that numerous production boats which any "poo-poo" as not being bluewater-worthy have indeed done circumnavigations and many ocean crossings.

I had, for a short interim period, a 43.3 Beneteau Cyclades (see Kinsale, the trade-in boat) and spent a lot of time in every nook and cranny cleaning her up for sale - she was an ex-charter boat and needed some cosmetic work. I found that she was built a bit lighter than the Oceanis series boats but with a good crew and some storm sails and preparation I'm sure that she would weather some nasty weather. The boat is quite light and commensurately fast.

Once you get to the Caribbean the boat is perfect for the conditions there - with good and plentiful ventilation and enough room it is optimal. Remember that many construction aspects of a perfect hardy bluewater-boat are diametrically opposed to what one is looking for once that boat gets into an anchorage. And since almost all of one's time is spent in anchorages it is hard to find that perfect dividing line between bluewater features and living features.

Thank you, your comments are very welcome news, my boat has a fully reefing main, and furling genoa, would you advise purpose made storm sails as well?
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:44   #5
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismin View Post
I have had advise from an old friend and boat broker that says; the boat can do it if you know how to sail it.
You got perfect advice

The sailor is much more important than the boat. Your main question should be whether you are up to the job -- the boat will be fine.

Furthermore, a modern Beneteau cruising boat, even a Cyclades, is very far from the worst boat for the job -- fast, and good downwind -- I'd say it's actually a good choice for a downwind tradewinds crossing to the Carib. I'd certainly prefer something like that for that kind of crossing, to the kind of heavy, slow, full-keel boat some traditionalists consider to be quintessential "blue water" boats.

Now the condition of the boat is a different question -- certainly, you should prepare and equip it carefully. The ARC documents have some pretty good tips on that.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:49   #6
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

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Originally Posted by chrismin View Post
Thank you, your comments are very welcome news, my boat has a fully reefing main, and furling genoa, would you advise purpose made storm sails as well?
It's always good to have storm sails on board if you're going to be far enough from land that you can't be sure to accurately predict the weather.

You will also want to figure out how you want to be rigged sailing downwind for possibly days on end. Will you pole out your genoa? Carry a cruising chute? Rig a twizzle rig? You should think about that; some people have a lot of trouble with chafe and in general coping with days and days sailing right downwind or nearly so.

Stating the obvious (I hope), you will want to be sure that the rig and all the rigging has been thoroughly checked and is in perfect condition, ditto with steering gear and autopilot, that you have thought through how you're going to communicate (satphone? SSB?), that you've got necessary safety and survival gear, etc., etc.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:22   #7
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Thank you, yes the boat has been throughly checked for all that you have mentioned.
I am about to purhase the isatphone, for data texts and voice, and thinking of subscribing to weathernet, what would be your choice?
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:23   #8
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Sorry forgot to mention, my boat does not have a pole so may have to invest in one :-)
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:34   #9
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

A pole would be good for those dead downwind segments where the big but slow ocean swell would continually inflate and then deflate the headsail. A storm jib that is attached to the rolled-up genoa would not be too pricey and perhaps you might want to get a 4th reef point for the main instead of a trysail since once you are in the Caribbean the storm equipment would just take up space. I believe Hyde makes a good storm jib. The problem is that in really strong winds the normal sail material could stretch and you would lose lifespan on your sails.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:07   #10
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

Ok, a storm jib, is it attached directly to the rolled genoa?
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:38   #11
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismin View Post
Ok, a storm jib, is it attached directly to the rolled genoa?
Some types (is it the Galerider?) can go over the rolled up genoa. It is better to fly them from an inner forestay if you can rig one, but that's a lot of trouble because you need then also running backstays. Probably not worth it -- I would just go with the Galerider.

A storm trysail is also a very good thing to have, especially if you have a slab reefing main. If you have an in-mast furling main, then not as critical, because these can usually be furled down successfully to storm sail size. People rarely actually use them (they are often sold, 20 years old, and never used!) but still good insurance.

Do you have a liferaft, EPIRB, grab bag, etc.?
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Old 22-12-2012, 12:10   #12
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

I think I was the author of the review in question. While I agree with what you all are saying, especially Zanshin and Dockhead, in my defence there also is merit to describing the Cyclades line as non-bluewater boats. That wasn't the focus of the brand ( this is a whole different animal than the Oceanis line ) and if we're going to consider them as bluewater boats then I question what modern production boat is not a "bluewater boat." Maybe all modern boats are?

In this vain, my answer to chrismin is to go if you haven't already. That sounds like an awesome adventure. Just don't be surprised about sometimes a rough ride and any resulting issues that goes with crossing a serious ocean in a light, fast boat. Take extra care in heavy weather. Also, take joy in sailing circles around the heavy, full keeled boats that embody the other extreme.

Edit: Here's the review link ( http://www.jordanyachts.com/archives/2967 ). I like this design.
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Old 22-12-2012, 17:29   #13
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For the crossing you'll definitely need a pole. Typically if you get good winds. You'll go across on reefed headsail and reefed main. I understand you have a furling main. I wouldn't really bother with a storm try sail , you probably don't have a good way of attaching it. You could consider a storm jib that goes over the furled headsail. Bu it's too much of a gimmick for my liking.

I wouldn't bother with a second forestay unless you can ensure a proper strong fixing point for the forestay termination on the deck. From memory the bulkhead in the Cyclades is in the wrong place. Unless this is done properly I'd forget it.

Typically winds range from light to 50 knots all from points astern. Line squalls particularly as you get more then halfway across can generate nasty winds. So reef conservatively especially in the 9pm to 2am period . You must have a way to quickly and easily reef running downwind. You can't turn around with the big swell running. Ie you must be able to furl the main going downwind. If not its difficult to use and you could consider two headsails. Thunder activity can be common between the canaries and the verdes, again you have to be comfortable reefing.

I wouldn't bother with fancy twin headsails etc. , a poled put reefed headsail and prevented reef main is all you need. If you have. A twin lift groove furler you could consider a custom twin headsail but it can make the boat roll like a double dog.

She will probably roll quite deeply, anyway

Also chafe is a big enemy on this trip. For roller furling mains , pay special to the wear on the sail as it exits the slot. Periodically move the sail slightly in or out to move the wear point. On some seldon masts and others there a particularly nasty wear point just at the bottom of the slot , when the sail is on the tack where it bears against the slot rather then the furler rod . We stuffed chamois in there to prevent undue sail wear. Watch for chafe on the main halyard. With furlers this is often forgotten and it weakens at the top spool . Of its not new , replace it. And carry a spare ( if you have a spare in the crane box. Make sure you have a mouse running

When using the pole, strut it with forward and aft guys. And obviously with pole up and down lines. Hence the is free standing, independent pf the headsail. Hence at night in squalls you can just reef in the headsail and not bother with adjusting the pole. Just leave it in the one place. After the squalls passes , ease the headsail back to the pole. This means you may need to rig extra turning blocks and also blocks for the boom preventer.


As to general suitability , she's plenty big, and entirely suitable with some careful prep and sail conservatively. Remember the key on long distances is not to break stuff.

Downhill ( I presume its a east to west crossing , she'll run well with good control. Again you'll need a good autopilot and possibly a spare.

Sat phone is the thing , pricey though , I once spent 800 dollars on an Atlantic crossing on iridium. Short of dedicated weather routing , the general weather reports are quite general and cover a wide area . Not terribly useful beyond warning you of something really big and nasty.

You will have to invest in power generation , etc. ( solar, towed , etc )

Ps virtually everything above 38 foot is or can be made bluewater.

It's not a difficult trip.
Dave
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Old 22-12-2012, 19:22   #14
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

The oceans have been crossed in ... ;-) and I will not go into this alley.

The outcome depends entirely on:
- how sound the boat is & well you prepare her for the crossing,
- your sailing and navigation skills,
- luck, or lack.

b.
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Old 22-12-2012, 20:07   #15
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re: Beneteau Cyclades 43.3 Across the Atlantic?

You should make it downwind to the Caribbean OK, but I would not push the boat to weather.

I was in the Sunsail yard in Turkey in 2005, where they were trying to fix a brand new Cyclades which had hit a rock. The grid structure had come adrift from the hull where it was glued, and they had to grind and tab the entire grid to reattach it (almost a complete write-off).

Anyway, the yard manager showed me a fax he had gotten from Sunsail telling him to check the forestay attachment structure on the Cyclades, as there were several reports of them pulling loose. We wandered over to the boat and sure enough,the layup in the bow was less than 12 mil, and the stainless forestay fitting was pulling out.

Based on that, I would carefully inspect every Cyclades bow before I took it offshore, and would really avoid pounding it to weather.
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