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Old 27-01-2014, 04:45   #1
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First boat - a beneteau 311?

Hi, Im looking to buy a beneteau 311, 2001. It was a charter previously. Anything I should look out for? What should I expect to pay? Can it be sailed single-handed?
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Old 27-01-2014, 14:27   #2
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Re: First boat - a beneteau 311?

There are a few different types of 311: keel with single rudder or lifting keel with twin rudders, wheel or tiller.

Yes, it can be sailed single-handed.

Alain
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Old 29-01-2014, 00:41   #3
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Re: First boat - a beneteau 311?

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Originally Posted by keylime View Post
Hi, Im looking to buy a beneteau 311, 2001. It was a charter previously. Anything I should look out for? What should I expect to pay? Can it be sailed single-handed?
An absolute must is to have a proper and professional survey done.
I was really impressed with the surveyor I had to assess my ex charter Bavaria 37 when I bought it. He insisted I come with him on the sea trial and when he took it it out on the hard.
It was a real education as he showed me all sorts of things I would never have thought of by myself.
He also provided an evaluation as part of the report.
All up including the haulout cost over a grand but it was worth every cent.
As to what you should pay depends on which part of the world you are in.
Asia and the Mediterranean are generally a lot cheaper than northern Europe or Australia.
Check out prices on "yachtworld" they have sales from all over the world
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Old 29-01-2014, 01:57   #4
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Re: First boat - a beneteau 311?

I bought a '98 311 a couple of years ago as my first boat purchase and am sailing it single handed. Here's what I can tell you of my experience:

1. The dripless shaft seal has a hose nipple fitted to it which is very likely to become broken (only a few threads hold a brass nipple to a pvc shaft tube). Check to see if it has been repaired or broken, and if repaired if it was done well (mine wasn't and would have sunk me if I'd been moored in deeper water). Beneteau has a recommended fix however that requires hazardous 'Nasa superglue' which could not be air shipped to my region of the world. So I used my own method to fix the problem.

2. The boat has a lot of sail for its weight is tender and will tend to round up to weather in winds of 20 knots when close hauled. Usually rigged for two reefs, would be better if rigged for three. It's capsize ratio is not very good - see Sail Calculator Pro v3.0 for the calculation. That being the case I really enjoy sailing in moderate conditions and have found that after accumulating more onboard gear & supplies (and weight), and more experience withit, I am sailing it with confidence.

3. Found that the only autopilot I could install was a wheelpilot. That is because the quadrant is above the deck, not below, in a recess under the rear seat. There is no room on the quadrant for rudder sensors, so my autopilot is not as 'auto' as I would like.

4. When surveying the hull, check the hull liner under the galley. Mine had some movement there in the past. Has not become a problem for me or worsened, but it may be a weak point in the design scantlings.

5. Prop end-shaft anodes are special to Benetau and will likely need to be purchased online. No room for other types of anodes on the shaft.'

6. Like other Beneteaus, it has brass through-hulls, not proper bronze sea cocks. I plan to replace these next season.

All that being said, I am happy with it as my first boat. I find I can control the boat at the dock (anything larger would be more than I could handle on my own). Would be nice if it had a mid cleat.

Hope this helps.
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Old 29-01-2014, 03:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keylime View Post
Hi, Im looking to buy a beneteau 311, 2001. It was a charter previously. Anything I should look out for? What should I expect to pay? Can it be sailed single-handed?
Get a survey, there are lots of 311's around so have a look at as many as possible to compare. Buy a privately owned boat if possible, more likely to have been looked after than a charter boat. Very easy to sail single-handed, especially if it has in mast furling, check the auto pilot - the Raymarine Mk1 wheel drive is a very poor design and spares are hard to obtain.
Good luck.
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Old 29-01-2014, 07:17   #6
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Thanks so much for all your thoughts. It seems like there are a few issues to look out for with these boats.. No one has come out and said "yes, buy one for certain" which makes me a bit wary. Is there any brand that is just an obvious choice for a first boat at around 20K.

And yes, I'm buying in the med.
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Old 29-01-2014, 07:37   #7
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Re: First boat - a beneteau 311?

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Originally Posted by keylime View Post
Thanks so much for all your thoughts. It seems like there are a few issues to look out for with these boats.. No one has come out and said "yes, buy one for certain" which makes me a bit wary. Is there any brand that is just an obvious choice for a first boat at around 20K.

And yes, I'm buying in the med.
Yes, buy one for certain -- it's a pretty good choice. You could also consider any boat of that size or smaller that's in good condition.
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Old 29-01-2014, 07:42   #8
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Re: First boat - a beneteau 311?

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Originally Posted by keylime View Post
Thanks so much for all your thoughts. It seems like there are a few issues to look out for with these boats.. No one has come out and said "yes, buy one for certain" which makes me a bit wary. Is there any brand that is just an obvious choice for a first boat at around 20K.

And yes, I'm buying in the med.
Yes, buy one, great for a first boat, very happy with mine.
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Old 29-01-2014, 09:33   #9
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Here's the link to the 311: http://beneteau.apolloduck.com/feature.phtml?id=314871

There's also a Sadler that I'll take a look at: http://www.williamsandsmithells.com/...BoatID=3744700

As I'm learning about what I'll need, any comment on the merits or otherwise of either of these boats would be greatly appreciated.

I'm gonna start a new thread regarding the equipment needed on board- but thoughts on that would be great too.
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Old 29-01-2014, 14:15   #10
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Re: First boat - a beneteau 311?

I forgot to mention that before: a twin-rudder 311 has *a lot* of prop walk to port when going astern, to such a point that it's not possible to turn the stern to starboard while backing, even with full rudder. If there is some wind or current, it can be tricky to turn in this situation.

Of course, a boat for sale in the Med is likely to be a single-rudder, full-keel one.

Alain
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Old 29-01-2014, 21:43   #11
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Re: First boat - a beneteau 311?

The Beneteau has "unknown" engine hours and the Sadler has 4,000+ so both are sure bets for an immediate engine replacement. Be sure to factor that into the price. If the hulls are in decent shape and the sails are in decent shape it's a big plus. All electronics are at the near end of their reliable service life if they work at all so keep that in mind. When you buy an older boat you are buying the hull and spars so ensure they are in good shape. Everything else has likely been used and abused by a series of previous owners.
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Old 30-01-2014, 02:49   #12
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Thanks for comments Jim.

Re the engines. Is replacement the way to go? Can these just be serviced? Or if there are service records is that good enough? What is the rule of thumb life for an engine?

Also, re the electronics, same questions as above.

What would the cost of each of these upgrades if done at the marina in Greece/ turkey?
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Old 30-01-2014, 08:44   #13
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Re: First boat - a beneteau 311?

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Originally Posted by keylime View Post
Thanks for comments Jim.

Re the engines. Is replacement the way to go? Can these just be serviced? Or if there are service records is that good enough? What is the rule of thumb life for an engine?

Also, re the electronics, same questions as above.

What would the cost of each of these upgrades if done at the marina in Greece/ turkey?
It depends entirely on how your engine has been maintained. It could last for 10k hours or crap out at 2k. There are rebuild kits on the market, but you should check with a mechanic prior to purchasing one. Before your purchase, hire a mechanic to do an engine survey. Make sure you have him analyze an oil sample as well. It'll cost extra, but well worth it.

Sent from my HTC6500LVW using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 30-01-2014, 10:50   #14
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If it is your first boat then buy the Benny, much easier to manage and lots more room also it has been serviced regularly.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:10   #15
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Re: First boat - a beneteau 311?

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Originally Posted by RigelKent View Post
3. Found that the only autopilot I could install was a wheelpilot. That is because the quadrant is above the deck, not below, in a recess under the rear seat. There is no room on the quadrant for rudder sensors, so my autopilot is not as 'auto' as I would like.
I am interested in fitting an autopilot to the 311 but am concerned about the reliability of wheelpilots. Has anyone fitted a mechanical (linear) drive to a twin rudder 311?

Which wheelpilots have been reliable and robust enough for the job please?
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