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Old 06-10-2016, 08:57   #1
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Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

Hi all, I'm in the market for a coastal cruiser for day sailing and short cruises from my home in the Philippines. I'm looking for something comfortable and easy to sail short- or singlehanded. Out of the limited options available locally I'm currently looking at the two models mentioned, specifically these two:

http://www.pgyc.org/for-sale/beneteau_oceanis_343.php

http://www.pgyc.org/sail-boats-for-sale.php#classicsail (Sorry I can't figure out the shortcut for the link... It's the 8th boat listed, 2 below the Beneteau)

As an inexperienced sailor I'd welcome your thoughts on the pros and cons of each model head-to-head; which you think would best suit my needs; and any thoughts on the pricing - bearing in mind choices here are limited.

My thoughts in short are that the Beneteau is newer but the Hunter is better equipped (eg generator, air conditioning). Not sure where that leaves me.

What do you think?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:38   #2
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

I didn't know Beneteau made clipper ships! lol

IN all honesty, without causing an uproar or a huge argument - between those two boats I would go with the Beneteau. It will sail a little bit nicer than the Hunter in MY opinion, and after all that's what you're going to be using the boat for. You don't need creature comforts like a generator on a 34 ft. sailboat.
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Old 07-10-2016, 18:18   #3
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

Thanks for your reply

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You don't need creature comforts like a generator on a 34 ft. sailboat.
Could you elaborate on that point? I don't have any experience overnighting on a sailboat.
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Old 07-10-2016, 18:38   #4
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

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Thanks for your reply



Could you elaborate on that point? I don't have any experience overnighting on a sailboat.
A generator is used when the main engine is off and will charge the battery bank but a boat of this size doesn't demand the power say a 50 ft does. Therefore it's not really needed.
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Old 07-10-2016, 19:24   #5
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

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A generator is used when the main engine is off and will charge the battery bank but a boat of this size doesn't demand the power say a 50 ft does. Therefore it's not really needed.
Like all generalities, this one isn't true. Our previous 40 footer and our current boat had/have essentially equivalent power demands. Or, more precisely, we had/have the same power demands.

As to which boat is preferable, it's a matter of personal taste and opinion. Neither has any definitive advantage over the other. My advice to any new boater is find the best maintained and best equipped boat in your price range.
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Old 07-10-2016, 19:44   #6
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Like all generalities, this one isn't true. Our previous 40 footer and our current boat had/have essentially equivalent power demands. Or, more precisely, we had/have the same power demands.

As to which boat is preferable, it's a matter of personal taste and opinion. Neither has any definitive advantage over the other. My advice to any new boater is find the best maintained and best equipped boat in your price range.
Well, I wasn't meaning that some don't, I was just trying to give an example but should have just stated something with power demands depending on the owners needs.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:40   #7
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

You're only going to run a generator on a 34' boat to use air conditioning at anchor. Other than that, it's pretty pointless. But to each their own.
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Old 08-10-2016, 20:28   #8
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

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You're only going to run a generator on a 34' boat to use air conditioning at anchor
Right. That's why the air conditioned Hunter has a generator and the non-AC Beneteau doesn't.

Personally I think AC is quite desirable here in the Philippines where it's often 30C/86F and 80% humidity


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My advice to any new boater is find the best maintained and best equipped boat in your price range.
What if they're both equally well maintained but the better equipped boat is a 1999 and the other a 2008? That is my dilemma, specifically with regard to resale value and, to a lesser extent, ongoing maintenance costs

If both were the same price, for arguments sake, which would the good people of CF choose in my circumstances?
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Old 08-10-2016, 22:07   #9
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

So have you been on either one of them?
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Old 08-10-2016, 22:39   #10
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

I've been aboard the Hunter and will look at the Beneteau this week
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Old 09-10-2016, 15:30   #11
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

So how'd you like the Hunter?
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Old 09-10-2016, 19:04   #12
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Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

Some people think generators are only for charging batteries. We use ours to provide heat or air conditioning full time when away from the dock, either cruising or at anchor. It can make unfavorable conditions pleasant. There is nothing worse than being wet and cold and not able to get dry and warm. With a generator, you have that option in any kind of weather. You do use some fuel, (our Northern Lights 5 KW uses about .25 gallons per hour) but it makes your time aboard much more flexible and comfortable. You then have a choice to use or not.


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Old 09-10-2016, 21:24   #13
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

Thanks. Heating definitely not required here but AC would be very nice to have

On that topic, how hard/expensive would it be to put AC into the Beneteau? It was a factory option so I assume retrofit is possible. Most places we'll be there's no shore power so a generator would also be needed


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So how'd you like the Hunter?
I liked it a lot and, importantly, so did the wife. However the owner seems unwilling to negotiate on the price which at $75.5k makes it one of the most expensive Hunter 340s for sale anywhere in the world, which is also reflected in the fact that it's been for sale over a year. The Beneteau on the other hand has just come onto the market and I believe the owner would be prepared to give a reasonable discount for a quick sale (the market here is very illiquid). So in the end the Beneteau will most likely be the cheaper option to purchase, as well as newer and, according to most people anyway, sailing a bit better. OTOH putting AC and a genny in may well eliminate any cost saving.

Hopefully I can look at the Beneteau this week and see for myself although from looking at specs and photos it seems very similar. Also need to get the thumbs up from 'the Admiral' on that one too. So pending that I'm keeping an open mind and seeking opinions.
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:39   #14
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

Putting in a central A/C system is just going to be a matter of running the ducting, which the Beneteau should have room for if A/C was an option from the factory.
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:06   #15
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Re: Beneteau 343 vs Hunter 340: buying advice sought

Retrofitting AC isn't a consideration in choosing a boat. Here in Flirida, virtually every boat has the necessary ducting, many retrofitted to add it. There are no boats which cannot be so equipped. Therefore, the choice is one of condition and sailing characteristics.

The only real distinction between the two is that beneteaus generally have a flatter bottom forward of the keel as an inherent design characteristic. Walk around any large yard where they store boats and you can see the design. Because of this, beneteaus are more prone to 'pounding' into waves that a more traditional hull form making them more annoying and sometimes uncomfortable. That's why we sold our Beneteau and also why we don't like making long passages on our son's B 45.
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