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Old 01-07-2014, 12:20   #106
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Re: Beneteau 38

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Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
Sure. And fast. And perfectly capable of serious passage making. And...
You own the boat, so I'm sure you're somewhat biased, but a boat with a SA/Disp and ballast/displacement ratios that low isn't going to be a fast boat. As far as capable of serious passage making, that might be true if you get perfect weather, but if you get anything shitty I would hate to have to move around that cabin with its absolute dearth of handholds.

Thankfully it looks like it has a hefty bridge deck so maybe water intrusion won't be a problem. It says it's set up for singlehanding, can you access the traveler, main, and jib sheets from the helm if you're by yourself? Seems to me that would be important for singlehanded sailing, or for solo watch standing.
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Old 01-07-2014, 13:46   #107
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Re: Beneteau 38

haters just have to be haters

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Old 01-07-2014, 14:03   #108
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Re: Beneteau 38

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Originally Posted by who_cares View Post
It says it's set up for singlehanding, can you access the traveler, main, and jib sheets from the helm if you're by yourself? Seems to me that would be important for singlehanded sailing, or for solo watch standing.
You can on mine, but it won't do you any good. I certainly can't winch in the Genoa and steer the boat, tried and failed so now resort to the auto pilot to steer the boat which leaves me free to do everything else.

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Old 01-07-2014, 19:03   #109
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Re: Beneteau 38

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You own the boat, so I'm sure you're somewhat biased, but a boat with a SA/Disp and ballast/displacement ratios that low isn't going to be a fast boat. As far as capable of serious passage making, that might be true if you get perfect weather, but if you get anything shitty I would hate to have to move around that cabin with its absolute dearth of handholds.

Thankfully it looks like it has a hefty bridge deck so maybe water intrusion won't be a problem. It says it's set up for singlehanding, can you access the traveler, main, and jib sheets from the helm if you're by yourself? Seems to me that would be important for singlehanded sailing, or for solo watch standing.
Confirmation bias is a feature of all humans, me no less so than anyone else. That said, the reasons why I bought the boat are all satisfied.

The boat is fast. Perhaps you didn't actually watch the video posted above of my boat in 25 knots of wind, or read my post, but in force 5 winds it'll sustain 9 knots no problem. That's fast for a 38 footer period, and I'd like to see any classic monohull equal it. Once the boat is up on its chine, wetted surface is dramatically reduced and the boat operates much like a trimaran or catamaran with an ama out of the water. We're routinely over six knots in 10 knots of wind with simple sail trimming, which is more than fast enough for my purposes. The boat is classified as an ultralight and like all ultralights, it will surf despite its bulb keel.

I'm not sure where the handholds issue comes from other than pure speculation from photos, but I've done a photo documentation of all the handholds in the cabin which I can post here if the issue keeps coming up. I guess it's not obvious that all the counter surfaces have a good solid inch of raised 3/4" hardwood that you can easily grab onto at any time from all standing areas in the salon.

We do operate with the table in place, so you can only pass on the galley side where the handholds are. There are handholds next to the companionway, and you can get a good grip on the bulkhead arch (where the forward cabin bulkhead fits in) from everywhere forward. While we've yet to have it out in anything over force 6, moving about in the cabin has not been an issue.

All of the protruding surfaces are well beveled--I've also done a photo survey of every corner in the boat, and will post if people want to see it. None of the "sharp edges" on the cupboards are accessible to your head, they are all well recessed.

That said, there are two excellent places on board to knock your head: The lip around the companionway headliner if you are over 6'3" tall, and the bulkhead arch for just about anybody. That is a sharp corner. These are literally the only two places I could hurt myself in the cabin, and I'm 6'5". I've not been on a boat with fewer opportunities for injury.

The boat is all ocean rated for eight people and built for serious passage making. Like any owner, you're going to fit it out for the work it does and if you want to add handholds in the headliner then you can. Underway in seas above force 3 this boat will be on its chine, but being heeled to 30 degrees is difficult in any boat irrespective of beam. I don't believe this boat is any more difficult than my 7'10" beam sloop.

As for the stove being dangerous, it's no more so than any other galley stove underway. The mast compression post is directly in front of it, and while cooking you can simply lean back on the compression post and keep your feet at the kickboards for perfect stability. It's properly gimbaled and will remain stable with the sails up on a heel. In any unstable situation or heavy seas we just use the microwave, which is perfectly safe in all weather. In fact, we use the microwave the vast majority of the time anyway.

The boat is very dry underway. We've yet to take water into the cabin under any circumstance and the cockpit drains immediately.

All lines are led aft and I can easily single handed the boat. There's no situation that requires going forward at all unless a line is fouled, which hasn't happened as I'm careful to keep tension on the furlers and jib when heaving. Anchoring is easily accomplished from the cockpit. I do use the wheel brake when winching the genoa, or the autopilot. It's the easiest boat I've sailed of any size excepting my 18' hobie trimaran.

None of the arguments I've seen postulated on this thread have any validity in my experience. The boat isn't perfect, but lack of handholds, beaminess, the open floor plan, or a lack of dark wood aren't the reasons.
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Old 02-07-2014, 00:41   #110
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Re: Beneteau 38

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*yawn* yet another floating condo designed to appeal to the wives of sailors...

You're not married?



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Old 02-07-2014, 06:48   #111
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Beneteau 38

Mstrebe, congratulations on your new baby. She's still teasing me a bit as I broaden my evaluation of cats vs. monos. Was in San Diego a few weeks back at the Progressive Insurance in-water boat show and once again visited the Southcoast display of the 38. The last time on board that boat was the stormy 2013 Annapolis show and under the sunny CA skies I was less impressed with the Oceanis 38 for two reasons: the open loft interior under bright lights was less appealing and somehow looked smaller in volume than it did on a wet grey day. We definitely got the feeling that there would be no place to hide for a couple on an extended cruise. The second reason is the height of the cockpit arch which for me, is at forehead level. As I am just six feet, you must have to duck to get under it. These two things kind of put me off.

I went on the Catalina 38 and in comparison, have to say I liked that interior more than the Oceanis, although top sides there is no comparison to the racier Oceanis.

Any insights you can lend about how she sails on her chine would be enlightening for us. You mention heeling angles up to 30 degrees, with a wide beam and chine, is there a rail effect as you heel her past fifteen degrees? E.g., do you feel a definite resistance as she tries to stay at fifteen? That advertised stability factor is what got my wife to open up to mono hulls vs. cats. She's once again looking hard at the Mahe and Leapord 39.


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Old 02-07-2014, 07:09   #112
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Re: Beneteau 38

Just had a good look at the Oceanis 48, nice looking boat, and by all accounts sails well.
I was recently over in the Isle of Man, where they have a small sailing trust.
This Trust has just ordered an Oceanis 48. It is being modified by Beneteau to allow wheelchair access for disabled kids.
Would imagine they did a lot of research on a suitable boat before they went for the Bene. The skipper tells be they sail well. When it starts to blow, the boat heels over and then just sits on that chine and sails fast
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:59   #113
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Re: Beneteau 38

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Was in San Diego a few weeks back at the Progressive Insurance in-water boat show and once again visited the Southcoast display of the 38.
The boat you were aboard is the one I've got. Small world!

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The open loft interior under bright lights was less appealing and somehow looked smaller in volume than it did on a wet grey day.
I had exactly the same impression >the second time< I saw the boat! It weirdly seems much larger on first impression than it does when you see it for the second time. I think it's how our brains deal with expectation: On first impression, you're expecting a small, cramped salon and you are pleasantly surprised. On second inspection, you're expecting a big airy loft, and you're disappointed. We actually went over and looked at the '48 after the '38 because "I remember it being bigger than this..." But the '48 didn't have much better usable space and was twice the money, so we were soon back aboard the '38. I just do not see the point of two heads and built-in closets on boats this size.

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We definitely got the feeling that there would be no place to hide for a couple on an extended cruise.
The boat is not large enough for more than two on an extended cruise in my opinion. We're planning a three week trip channel islands trip with the kids, and that'll be the extreme long-end of cruising with more than two for us. We will be ordering the partition bulkhead just to have it, but I don't expect it will change that dynamic much.

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The second reason is the height of the cockpit arch which for me, is at forehead level. As I am just six feet, you must have to duck to get under it. These two things kind of put me off.
I definitely have to duck, but for me it's at eye level so I'll never hit it. Coming from a 26' with the cockpit fouled by the mainsheet traveler, I really appreciate the arch. But my problem with it is that it blocks my horizon view completely. 4" higher would be a huge improvement IMHO.

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Any insights you can lend about how she sails on her chine would be enlightening for us. You mention heeling angles up to 30 degrees, with a wide beam and chine, is there a rail effect as you heel her past fifteen degrees? E.g., do you feel a definite resistance as she tries to stay at fifteen?
If I take your meaning correctly, there's a definite rail effect. The boat goes from flat to level on it's chine in a single motion. It's not sudden, but it goes right to the chine and stays there. It's the most pronounced chine I've ever felt. What's amazing about it is how much of the boat comes out of the water--you "lose" all the beaminess to the air and the wetted surface is now shaped much more like a traditional hull ratio--narrower in relation to the waterline by almost half. The boat gets a sudden acceleration from the reduction in drag. I'm planning on doing polars and I expect you'll see a definite "hockey stick" in the curves showing this effect.

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That advertised stability factor is what got my wife to open up to mono hulls vs. cats. She's once again looking hard at the Mahe and Leapord 39.
I'm coming from a water ballasted trailer sailer most recently (which I loved, but is definitely a compromise boat) so the stability is absolutely nirvana for us--so much so that I may not be the right person to compare it to other similar boats. But it doesn't do anything surprising or off putting even for people who've never sailed. My admiral loves sailing and has no problem with submerging cockpit windows so I'm lucky in that respect but its by far the stiffest boat I've been on.

I do wonder how adversarial the stiffness will be on an offshore passage. I imagine we'll be feeling every wave like a cat in lighter weather until the boat is up on its chine, in which case the beam effect should be mitigated excepting for large abeam rollers whose face angle exceeds the heel. I'll just have to see how it handles.

I looked at the AVS, STIX and computed the CSF, and you can see that the boat was designed to just barely "hit the numbers" for an A-Ocean rating. All three are the minimums for offshore stability and are so close you have to watch how laden you allow the boat to be. The mid-load AVS is 120, the STIX is 38, and the CSF is 2.00.

My final "complaint" about the boat having had it for a while is the quality of interior finish. Everything that's not visible to the eye during a tour is a bit roughly finished--somewhat typical for boats these days but much easier to tolerate at $25K than $250K. Nothing "wrong", just a level below what some buyers might expect in this price range. Have a good look under the cushions and behind the panels and be sure you won't be bothered by the finish before you buy.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:54   #114
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Re: Beneteau 38

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You're not married?



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Married, showed my wife a picture of that boat and she said hell no.
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Old 02-07-2014, 13:32   #115
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Re: Beneteau 38

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Married, showed my wife a picture of that boat and she said hell no.
so if you and your wife don't like the boat, why are you reading the thread
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Old 02-07-2014, 13:50   #116
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Re: Beneteau 38

Well, the US CDC apparently did some weighing and measuring in 2005 and found the average full-grown male to be 5'9" and female 5'4" (age 19) so if 6'3" of headroom isn't enough to satisfy some incredibly large percentage of the world market...

Plastic surgery should correct the excessive height of the rest.
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Old 02-07-2014, 14:23   #117
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Re: Beneteau 38

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The boat is fast. Perhaps you didn't actually watch the video posted above of my boat in 25 knots of wind, or read my post, but in force 5 winds it'll sustain 9 knots no problem. That's fast for a 38 footer period, and I'd like to see any classic monohull equal it. Once the boat is up on its chine, wetted surface is dramatically reduced and the boat operates much like a trimaran or catamaran with an ama out of the water. We're routinely over six knots in 10 knots of wind with simple sail trimming, which is more than fast enough for my purposes. The boat is classified as an ultralight and like all ultralights, it will surf despite its bulb keel.

I'm not sure where the handholds issue comes from other than pure speculation from photos, but I've done a photo documentation of all the handholds in the cabin which I can post here if the issue keeps coming up. I guess it's not obvious that all the counter surfaces have a good solid inch of raised 3/4" hardwood that you can easily grab onto at any time from all standing areas in the salon.

The boat is all ocean rated for eight people and built for serious passage making. Like any owner, you're going to fit it out for the work it does and if you want to add handholds in the headliner then you can. Underway in seas above force 3 this boat will be on its chine, but being heeled to 30 degrees is difficult in any boat irrespective of beam. I don't believe this boat is any more difficult than my 7'10" beam sloop.

In any unstable situation or heavy seas we just use the microwave, which is perfectly safe in all weather. In fact, we use the microwave the vast majority of the time anyway.

The boat is very dry underway. We've yet to take water into the cabin under any circumstance and the cockpit drains immediately.

All lines are led aft and I can easily single handed the boat. There's no situation that requires going forward at all unless a line is fouled, which hasn't happened as I'm careful to keep tension on the furlers and jib when heaving. Anchoring is easily accomplished from the cockpit. I do use the wheel brake when winching the genoa, or the autopilot. It's the easiest boat I've sailed of any size excepting my 18' hobie trimaran.
So in "Force 5" conditions you regularly see speeds 10% higher than hull speed? is that surfing? In that video it doesn't look like there are enough waves to get a consistent surf going, so how are you breaking the hullspeed/lawsofphysics barrier?


I would highly suggest putting in a ton of handholds on the cabin ceiling. Living at even a 20 degree heel for days on ends will reinforce the need to grab onto something overhead, when you're trying to move, or put on foulies, or do just about anything.


Very impressive that you haven't seen any water in the cockpit yet, that's awesome for a cruising boat. Crew fatigue goes down quickly when you're getting water in the face consistently (in my experience, not trying to preach). What's the biggest sea state you've seen yet? I know you said you've been out in Force 6, but were there corresponding waves?

I think wide, fast boats are sweet, and if I ever bought a long distance cruiser I would go for something with as much power as I could manage, and the Oceanis 38 hull shape definitely looks like it has a bunch of power, but I just don't like some of the details, some aspects of the sailplan, and the deck layout.
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Old 02-07-2014, 14:24   #118
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Re: Beneteau 38

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so if you and your wife don't like the boat, why are you reading the thread
Because I'm interested in new boats and I like expressing my opinions on things that I'm interested in.
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Old 02-07-2014, 14:40   #119
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Re: Beneteau 38

I'm a bit confused here: folks are calling this the "stiffest boat" ever sailed on, and then talking about sailing at 30 degrees of heel.

A stiff boat, IMO does not sail on its ear like that. We owned a Yankee 30 years ago that sailed at similar heel angles, and that was the main reason we sold her. After one SF Hawaii SF cruise, we found that long passages in such a boat were devastatingly fatiguing.

Is this a semantic problem here, or are the posters not understanding what a stiff boat is like?

Jim
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Old 02-07-2014, 17:50   #120
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Re: Beneteau 38

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I'm a bit confused here: folks are calling this the "stiffest boat" ever sailed on, and then talking about sailing at 30 degrees of heel.

A stiff boat, IMO does not sail on its ear like that. We owned a Yankee 30 years ago that sailed at similar heel angles, and that was the main reason we sold her. After one SF Hawaii SF cruise, we found that long passages in such a boat were devastatingly fatiguing.

Is this a semantic problem here, or are the posters not understanding what a stiff boat is like?

Jim
Maybe they're thinking of the old school low initial stiffness, high overall stability. Kind of like the old CCA boats that would heel over to 20-30 deg then stick there. Just a though.

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