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Old 11-01-2007, 18:14   #31
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I wasn't aware that there was a Contessa 31, I've seen the 26 and the 32 but the 31 is new to me. I'm interested in seeing the boat.
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Old 24-04-2007, 15:21   #32
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The best cost benefit comes with buying older production boats which , having been built at a time when both labour and materials were cheaper and they didn't trust fibreglass al that much , were much better boats, built to a standard which would be prohibitively expensive today. Boats like the older Frasers, Spencers, Albergs, etc, built in the 60's and 70's are far better boats at a fraction the price of a Beneteau. While Beneteaus which capsize at 120 degrees are considered acceptable in terms of stability, many older designs have positive stability beyond 170 degrees, and a much better motion at sea, as well as having far better directional stability and are far more structurally sound.
They also leave you with enough money left over to actually leave the marina and go places.
Brent
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Old 24-04-2007, 22:35   #33
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I think what Louis is referring to in the capsize is found here with the report on the capsize of the Ocean Madam, a Beneteau Oceanis 390:

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources/Ocean%20Madam.pdf

Page 13 "The builders have supplied some stability information for the Oceanis 390 which indicates a point of vanishing stability of 109 degrees"...

My feeling about Bendytoes is they are o.k. built boats that are built to a price. I know of one offshore delivery skipper who had to deliver them upwind in the E. Caribbean after one way charters. In big seas, the bulkheads were always popping out of the moulded slots in the headliner.

I think some of the older First models were better built than the Oceanis ones; because they were expected to have a harder life racing.

I know (personally) of how Beneteau was wanting a lighter cheaper keel on their recent 56' cruising boat but the designers wouldn't let them because angle of vanishing stability would be too low. It took a lot of arguing before the designer won that one. They were arguing that 112 deg. was enough. It isn't...

Would I take one offshore? Maybe, but it sure wouldn't be my first choice.
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Old 25-04-2007, 08:04   #34
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To quote from the above MAIB report.....

"Ocean Madam was a production Beneteau Oceanis 390 yacht. The class is typical of its type with a high volume, low ballast ratio, light displacement and shallow hull form. It is highly suitable for most activities including charter work and has a good safety record. It is not a suitable craft for crossing oceans in bad weather. Such craft are more susceptible to the effects of oceanic weather conditions and especially to heavy seas. No stability information about the yacht was held in board. Indeed at the time of purchase such information was only made available by the builders to owners on request. There is no evidence to suggest the craft was unsuitable for moderately rough weather conditions nor is it suggested there should be any restrictions imposed. The lack of this information about the yacht's stability, including a GZ curve, denied the skipper any opportunity to scrutinise the possible implications of handling such a yacht in a very high sea state. The limitations of this type of light displacement craft are, however, well known to experienced blue water sailors."




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Old 25-04-2007, 22:44   #35
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Keep in context...

I believe that the whole report needs to be read.

One of four recommendations is that
"The Royal Yachting Association is recommended to:...
4. alert yachtsmen to the fundamentals of yacht stability so that owners and skippers are better informed to make judgements regarding the suitability of their craft for given weather and sea conditions."

The Beneteaus would not be very different to the boats that we sail or hope to sail.

I would suggest that under similar conditions most cruising yachts would behave in a similar manner.

My boat would have similar stability to a Beneteau and some might consider it to be a proven cruiser.

I take the points that I need to carry a drogue, that liferaft stowage is a major consideration as is crew fatigue (wind vane self steering would seem to be essential) and that the effect of forecast weather and sea conditions on the boat must be carefully considered for every voyage.
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Old 26-04-2007, 07:48   #36
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Beneteau are suited for many things, I believe the biggest and most important factor is the piece behind the wheel or tiller for that matter, I just read of a lady with a Beneteau that has 100,000 miles under her "springy" deck I believe most important thing, get her a good survey (money well spent) and if it looks to be ok and a good price, go for it!. I have a Beneteau, and my last boat was an Alberg 37, was the Alberg tougher....yes, did I go around the World?...no is my wife and family happier with the Beneteau? YES! so all in all it depends what you want to do with the vessel, more than what the vessel wants to to do or was built for.

if its in good condition and the survey looks good, do it!, I saw a 34.5 that was super confortable in our Marina here in PR, great price, confortable boat equals many fun days!

Enjoy,

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Old 26-04-2007, 08:06   #37
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I owned a Beneteau 331 before switching to 2 hulls. I found the boat to be very well engineered and constructed. As far as off shore goes I think if you check the list of participants in the annual ARC you will find many Beneteaus crossing the Atlantic every year.
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Old 30-04-2007, 00:00   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan
I think what Louis is referring to in the capsize is found here with the report on the capsize of the Ocean Madam, a Beneteau Oceanis 390:

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources/Ocean%20Madam.pdf

Page 13 "The builders have supplied some stability information for the Oceanis 390 which indicates a point of vanishing stability of 109 degrees"...

I know of one offshore delivery skipper who had to deliver them upwind in the E. Caribbean after one way charters. In big seas, the bulkheads were always popping out of the moulded slots in the headliner.

I think some of the older First models were better built than the Oceanis ones; because they were expected to have a harder life racing.

They were arguing that 112 deg. was enough. It isn't...
Yo Evan,

good work finding the link for this incident. I remember when this happened. The Oceanis was found to have an unacceptable stability curve--it was then compared to many other popular modern sailboats. Many were not much better.

After having completed an extremely comprehensive refit on a 1984 Beneteau First 435 I can make a few comments regarding construction and reputation.

The "springy deck" reputation came about from Beneteau's (and many others) use of balsa core in the decks of many of their craft. Some boats developed water leaks in the areas of deck-mounted hardware (cleats, chocks, tank fills, rails). Over time bedding compound used in these areas failed, allowing water to penetrate and deteriorate the deck cores, resulting in separation of the core/skin interface. There may also have been some cases of this interface becoming disbonded without the water penetration, perhaps due to poor secondary bonding techniques (which I have witnessed in other areas as well).

While major bulkheads are normally bonded to the hull with f'glass tabbing, on many models Beneteau (and many others) use a molded hull liner "grid" pan as the stiffening member bonded to the inside of the hull. Bulkheads (and most interior furniture) may be simply set into channels molded into this grid. Tabbing might only be found at the underside of the deck, or at the hull interface. I prefer to see all bulkheads tabbed to hull and deck.

As a boatbuilder I have had the opportunity to examine the construction of many custom and production boats. For the most part Beneteau can be expected to provide a product which is equal to many other series-production builder's comparably-priced models. They all take shortcuts to deliver at a certain price. The First 435 was a fast, well-made yacht beautifully designed by Frers, with a level of quality and hardware rarely found in entry level boats such as Catalina and Hunter.

best, andy
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:19   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryv
I owned a Beneteau 331 before switching to 2 hulls. I found the boat to be very well engineered and constructed. As far as off shore goes I think if you check the list of participants in the annual ARC you will find many Beneteaus crossing the Atlantic every year.
I'd agree. We were really happy with our 352. However, I never thought of her as off-shore capable. Too light.
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Old 01-03-2008, 17:25   #40
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I'm not sure if you've had your questions re: Beneteau 343 answered by now, but I just wanted to mention that I own a 2008 model 343 and am quite happy with it so far. I sail Sea Flourishes in southern California out of Marina Del Rey. Have not noticed any issues whatsoever as far as "springy deck." Read the Sail Magazine review by Perry - that will tell you most of what you need to know. I very much like the light, airy spacious feeling below deck. The head is extremely spacious (probably the only 2-person shower on a boat of this size) and well-ventilated - a big selling point over the new Hunter I looked at. She handles and peforms quite well under light to moderate winds. With just a few minor negatives, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Beneteau 343 - on the other hand, I also think you'd be happy with the Jenneau. It' s your call.
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:30   #41
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I have a Frers designed First 456....

Mine is 24 years old and feels SOLID as a rock, very stiff, no leaks, deck to hull joint is solid sealed. I know of at least one that has been around the globe.
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Old 12-11-2008, 18:32   #42
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We have been looking for the right boat for the right price for a while now...

...and we have a choice right now between a 1980 Beneteau Evasion 32' Pilothouse Ketch and Pearson 35' sloop. The Pearson is half the price of the Beneteau but is very bare bones and rather unattractive interior. The beneteau has had a recent re-fit and seems in very good shape with a very livable interior as is. We are planning to live aboard and cruise the Gulf Island in BC and Washington for the first year, go up to the Queen Charlottes the 2nd year, and then possibly sell and go up to a bigger boat more suitable for global cruising or maby just take the 'bendytoy' down to Mexico.

I hear that Pearson is a well respected sailboat and people on the dock seem to think it's a good deal. Although it's bigger, it does not seem as well laid out inside and has the most antique electronics i've seen on a boat like that. The stereo is one of those 70 ghetto blasters for example.

I'm pretty green so I would appreciate any advice (objective if possible;-)

Cheers!
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Old 12-11-2008, 19:04   #43
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We have a Beneteau boatbuilder here in our community. They offer free tours of the plant. I know that this company takes pride in their boats and craftmanship. The plant is located between Marion S.C. and Florence S.C. Hwy 501 east. You could contact them and ask if this is a on going problem with their boats? csv-bene@passportintl.com
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Old 12-11-2008, 22:13   #44
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During two stays in Phuket this year, I sailed both on a 343 and on a 393. Found them very well thought out, comfortable, and easy to handle boats. I did not notice anything like a 'springy' deck.
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Old 14-11-2008, 12:12   #45
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I you take all the advice you get here about bombproof construction, 180 degree stability, offshore capable boats, you will end up with a steel sphere. If you like the looks of the Beneteau, buy it--most of them are better designed and built than most boats costing a lot more...and are a lot more enjoyable to sail.

For other potential Beneteau buyers, I am not including the Cyclades models in this recommendation, because I think Beneteau stepped over the line there, and will eventually regret having made these fragile boats.
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