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Old 18-03-2015, 21:42   #46
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
To answer some of the questions in this thread, I've owned my Oceanis 38 for 8 months now and have sailed it about 400 hours at this point.

As for the forward arch, it is three laminated ply of 3/4" ply. It's 2" thick total, with the middle ply being about 1/2" inset and what the forward bulkhead fits into.

There is zero flex.

I have the forward cabin bulkhead (a $700 option) and have test installed and removed it once. It took about 30 minutes to install, and about the same amount of time to remove. It's not something you'd do every day, but something you'd do when prepping the boat for a passage if you had others coming with you. We just put the kids in the two aft cabins and shut their doors.

The boat likes to sail at 7 knots. It'll do that on pretty much any point as long as you've got 12+ knots of TWS. Trimming is almost unnecessary, because the boat just gets up on its chine goes irrespective. Close hauled to 55 degrees off true wind, it will routinely do 75% of TWS to 8.5 knots, which I've done in 13.6 knots of TWS. Beyond that you're heeled over beyond comfort and the boat has made up to 10.3 knots in 25 knots of true wind. Way past time to reef there.

I have the roller furling main and the 105% RF Genoa, and I don't use a spinnaker. I've raced and beaten 41' boats with an asymmetrical just going wing-on-wing dead down wind in light air, and did 4.5 knots in 8 knots of wind. Weight forward to the bow, using a long whisker and back-tension to keep the genoa clew stable, the boat goes downwind just fine. Downwind performance is good enough that I've not bothered with a spinnaker but will add one eventually.

The question of handholds is always there with pictures of this boat, and I'm not sure why. They're ample, with handholds everywhere in the cockpit and mid-deck to the rigging. Foredeck is open. In the cabin, there's always a handhold because all of the surfaces have a rail you can grab, and the center table is solid and what you normally lean against, with the compression post acting as a cabin center handhold. I move through the cabin all the time on a 20% heel with no issues, and I've been offshore in serious wave action over days and had no issues.

Starboard side seating in the cabin on a heel is limited to one person or the forward open berth, which is what winds up happening with our kids. Never really been an issue, but there is a bench there if you don't get the galley option. Never seen a boat that didn't have that however.

Bottom line is that it's a very accommodating, fast boat that is easy to sail. I've lived at sea for years, sailed for over 20 years, and currently own three sailboats, so please avoid presumptions that I somehow don't know what I'm missing.

The boat interior is very "Ikea". That's a legitimate observation, and if that style is not for you and the interior decoration of a boat is more important to you than its sailing characteristics, don't buy this boat. It's also true that photos of it look larger than it actually is in reality--the open cabin is great, but it's not the cathedral that it appears to be in pictures. I too was taken aback by how "not huge" it was in real life compared to photos. Irrespective, its the perfect size boat for my needs and a good blend of bay day sailor, offshore weekender around the channel islands, and Baja passage-maker for me and my family.

I own hull #3. #1 is currently doing an Atlantic circuit and in the Caribbean having left France six months ago.

Matt
Matt, I must confess that before buying the Oceanis 38, I had a prejudice against Beneteau, thinking it was a cheap boat that would disintegrate in few years, and the right thing to do was to save enought to buy a Hallberg Rassy, or Najad or a Boreal in aluminum. Those boats starts at $500 k + for a 38 ft.
I would still be spending money buying sail magazines and dreaming instead of sailing. The Pardeys said best: Go small, go now... But I found that with the Oceanis 38 I can go now without going small, for half the price. The service I received from the dealer has been surprisingly good, so I am glad I did not wait until I had enough for the " dream boat". I hope this helps the undecideds that are afraid of the IKEA look and they will be pleased when passing by the others at 7-8 knots in full confort of a large cockpit without mortgage their souls.
Cheers
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Old 18-03-2015, 22:33   #47
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by homerobarros View Post
Matt, I must confess that before buying the Oceanis 38, I had a prejudice against Beneteau, thinking it was a cheap boat that would disintegrate in few years, and the right thing to do was to save enought to buy a Hallberg Rassy, or Najad or a Boreal in aluminum. Those boats starts at $500 k + for a 38 ft.
I would still be spending money buying sail magazines and dreaming instead of sailing. The Pardeys said best: Go small, go now... But I found that with the Oceanis 38 I can go now without going small, for half the price. The service I received from the dealer has been surprisingly good, so I am glad I did not wait until I had enough for the " dream boat". I hope this helps the undecideds that are afraid of the IKEA look and they will be pleased when passing by the others at 7-8 knots in full confort of a large cockpit without mortgage their souls.
Cheers
Yeah, I was talking to a naval architect talking about spending $1M on a 47' custom aluminum boat designed for passage-making, and had come to a decision on basic form. But it would have been ten years out before I could take delivery of that boat, and five years of that in design and construction, all to wind up with a boat that would not perform nearly as well, although would certainly be more seaworthy. It's the route I will still go if I decide after some significant passage-making that the 38 is either too small or not seaworthy enough.

I was originally worried about the broad flat stern being unkindly in heavy waves. However, with the infinite balanced reefing that is possible using the RF main and Genoa, I can keep the boat on whatever angle of heel I want in up to strong gales, and when on a heel the wide stern is no issue at all--in fact its a safety feature because the boat can float on either side with the companionway above the sea surface.

Lying ahull in a storm would likely be very problematic with this wide stern being easily quartered, but I wouldn't lie a-hull anyway unless my sails were shredded. Heaving-to in this boat is trivial and in my testing appears to be possible with a heavily reefed main only, which could be done even with a shredded or blown-out mainsail. I'll be testing this theory more next month when I'm out for ten days in the San Pedro channel and report on it.

The wave-piercing plumb bow makes moderate waves much more comfortable than other boats, which we can see pitching far more than we do when crossing the same wakes.

I'm considerably more enthusiastic about the offshore potential of this boat after having sailed it than I was before I purchased it. Further testing is needed however; we rarely have rough seas here off Southern California, so I've thus far not had the opportunity to do serious storm testing.
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Old 19-03-2015, 10:29   #48
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

For anyone considering the Beneteau 38, it would be worth checking out the Dufour 382 as well, which is so extremely similar to the B38, including the options and modularity, that it can't be a coincidence:

Overview 382 Grand Large - Dufour Yachts

Very beautiful boat, although it lacks the arch on the B38 which I like. However, the interior finish looks much nicer (from the photos at least).
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Old 19-03-2015, 12:46   #49
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
For anyone considering the Beneteau 38, it would be worth checking out the Dufour 382 as well, which is so extremely similar to the B38, including the options and modularity, that it can't be a coincidence:

Overview 382 Grand Large - Dufour Yachts

Very beautiful boat, although it lacks the arch on the B38 which I like. However, the interior finish looks much nicer (from the photos at least).
Thank you for that Rohan.
Beautiful interior, and a bit more fuel capacity ( 18 gallons + ) but 4 feet less in the water line, so the B38 should be a bit faster.
Polux, what do you say?
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Old 19-03-2015, 20:45   #50
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
For anyone considering the Beneteau 38, it would be worth checking out the Dufour 382 as well, which is so extremely similar to the B38, including the options and modularity, that it can't be a coincidence:

Overview 382 Grand Large - Dufour Yachts

Very beautiful boat, although it lacks the arch on the B38 which I like. However, the interior finish looks much nicer (from the photos at least).

Can't get the head design. Two on a 38 is weird. Sacrificing the shower.
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Old 19-03-2015, 21:07   #51
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

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Originally Posted by RKsailsolo View Post
Can't get the head design. Two on a 38 is weird. Sacrificing the shower.
Well, two heads are an option, but four out of the six configurations of the boat have only one head:

Technical specs 382 Grand Large - Dufour Yachts
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Old 19-03-2015, 21:55   #52
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
Well, two heads are an option, but four out of the six configurations of the boat have only one head:

Technical specs 382 Grand Large - Dufour Yachts
Any price comparison already?
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Old 20-03-2015, 11:52   #53
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

I have O38 price list from late last year. If you send me private email, I'd be happy to share it. Also, I’ve got lessons learned on ordering a new boat based on my experience - if you are interested let me know and I'll post them. Note that the Oceanis 38 [and presumably 35] is a fairly complex boat to order given its flexibility around configuration. Surprisingly, Beneteau/the dealer didn't have a logical configurator that starts with the version of boat you want - daysailer, weekender, cruiser - and goes from there with what is standard and what is optional (I’ve had several forum users who are contemplating purchasing the boat reach out with the same impression/experience). Separately, and most importantly, as Matt says, the boat sails incredibly well in both lite and very strong winds/seas...this boat is a lightning bolt of a coastal cruiser yet always stays well in control…my better ½ and tween daughters love it and it is in many respects, more fun than the J24. We are still breaking the boat in, getting items we originally ordered installed, and getting it fine-tuned (more on these items once they are addressed) and we just received the self-tacking jib and the asymmetric spinnaker from a sail loft…so will report on these when we use the in the coming weeks. My 2cents - when you order, you might consider the following:
*we recommend ordering a deck light if you plan on overnight trips. The electric panel has a lighted switch for one, but the actual light doesn't come with the boat (and is not a listed option) as it will be much less expensive to have one installed when the mast is stepped
*the inverter is rated at 700 watts, so if you plan on using the microwave or any other appliance while on the hook, you will need to upgrade it - again, much less expensive if done during commissioning
*[not surprisingly] this boat needs a snubber when on the hook as the combination of the freeboard and mass can put great strain on the windlass
*the bow thrusters are a dream - never had them on any boat before, but they sure do help when docking and anchoring/mooring in tight spots or if the winds/currents are perpendicular to the boat
*the electric winches are outstanding and allow me to single handed sail with ease in ANY conditions. Mine surprisingly came with unordered Harkin 'rewind' winches from the factory which allows one to trim the jib sheets in and out...again, something I would never of thought ordering, but they came and I use them constantly...I highly recommend them
*for those in the colder environs, the heater is wonderful and works fast
*love the 'easy sail' adjustable jib sheet tracks...you don't have to go forward to make any adjustments while under sail as everything can be done singlehanded on the fly from the cockpit. If you have winds that change speeds without warning, these can be a great convenience

*the B&G sailsteer is a game changer for me so I’d definitely recommend it
*the deluxe cockpit table is great at both acting as a cooler, a table, and a brace while underway…a worthwhile upgrade
*we recommend ordering some fans for the saloon and aft rooms upfront and have them installed during commissioning
*our boat came with the luggage hooks up front and cabinets in the aft cabins. We have the Cruiser version and have removed the bulkhead so the lack of traditional cabinets up front really keeps the space open and light. The aft cabinets were an unordered surprise that came with the boat that have turned out to be great because of the extra storage they afford
*the saloon stools serve both as seats and hollow storage cubes, so you might consider them if they don’t come standard in your version
Lastly, because I find myself out on the water sailing the boat single handed so frequently [a real testament to Beneteau's design capabilities], I now wish that Beneteau offered an option where all lines – main, reefing lines, etc. led aft to the wheel(s). Still, a relatively small quibble for a boat that is a hoot to sail and is extremely luxurious to boot.
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Old 20-03-2015, 12:26   #54
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluer de Mer View Post
I have O38 price list from late last year. If you send me private email, I'd be happy to share it. Also, I’ve got lessons learned on ordering a new boat based on my experience - if you are interested let me know and I'll post them. Note that the Oceanis 38 [and presumably 35] is a fairly complex boat to order given its flexibility around configuration. Surprisingly, Beneteau/the dealer didn't have a logical configurator that starts with the version of boat you want - daysailer, weekender, cruiser - and goes from there with what is standard and what is optional (I’ve had several forum users who are contemplating purchasing the boat reach out with the same impression/experience). Separately, and most importantly, as Matt says, the boat sails incredibly well in both lite and very strong winds/seas...this boat is a lightning bolt of a coastal cruiser yet always stays well in control…my better ½ and tween daughters love it and it is in many respects, more fun than the J24. We are still breaking the boat in, getting items we originally ordered installed, and getting it fine-tuned (more on these items once they are addressed) and we just received the self-tacking jib and the asymmetric spinnaker from a sail loft…so will report on these when we use the in the coming weeks. My 2cents - when you order, you might consider the following:
*we recommend ordering a deck light if you plan on overnight trips. The electric panel has a lighted switch for one, but the actual light doesn't come with the boat (and is not a listed option) as it will be much less expensive to have one installed when the mast is stepped
*the inverter is rated at 700 watts, so if you plan on using the microwave or any other appliance while on the hook, you will need to upgrade it - again, much less expensive if done during commissioning
*[not surprisingly] this boat needs a snubber when on the hook as the combination of the freeboard and mass can put great strain on the windlass
*the bow thrusters are a dream - never had them on any boat before, but they sure do help when docking and anchoring/mooring in tight spots or if the winds/currents are perpendicular to the boat
*the electric winches are outstanding and allow me to single handed sail with ease in ANY conditions. Mine surprisingly came with unordered Harkin 'rewind' winches from the factory which allows one to trim the jib sheets in and out...again, something I would never of thought ordering, but they came and I use them constantly...I highly recommend them
*for those in the colder environs, the heater is wonderful and works fast
*love the 'easy sail' adjustable jib sheet tracks...you don't have to go forward to make any adjustments while under sail as everything can be done singlehanded on the fly from the cockpit. If you have winds that change speeds without warning, these can be a great convenience

*the B&G sailsteer is a game changer for me so I’d definitely recommend it
*the deluxe cockpit table is great at both acting as a cooler, a table, and a brace while underway…a worthwhile upgrade
*we recommend ordering some fans for the saloon and aft rooms upfront and have them installed during commissioning
*our boat came with the luggage hooks up front and cabinets in the aft cabins. We have the Cruiser version and have removed the bulkhead so the lack of traditional cabinets up front really keeps the space open and light. The aft cabinets were an unordered surprise that came with the boat that have turned out to be great because of the extra storage they afford
*the saloon stools serve both as seats and hollow storage cubes, so you might consider them if they don’t come standard in your version
Lastly, because I find myself out on the water sailing the boat single handed so frequently [a real testament to Beneteau's design capabilities], I now wish that Beneteau offered an option where all lines – main, reefing lines, etc. led aft to the wheel(s). Still, a relatively small quibble for a boat that is a hoot to sail and is extremely luxurious to boot.
Great report, Fleur.
Interesting to read about the items you have on your boat that I do not have, like the Aft Cabinets. Could you show us a picture?
I asked about the price because I can imagine that ours being built in NC are more economical than the Dufour 38, that I assume is built in France.
Thank you
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Old 20-03-2015, 13:35   #55
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

One of two aft cabnets
Didnt order them but they are great
Big inside and come with hanging bar and locking hardware
Top has ~4" edge so it acts as secure shelf
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Old 20-03-2015, 13:43   #56
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

Extreemly useful harkin electric rewind winches
Didnt order them but am now very glad they came
Makes trimming jib easy singlehanded operation from helm
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Old 21-03-2015, 10:03   #57
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

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Originally Posted by homerobarros View Post
Any price comparison already?
Pricing information is notoriously difficult to come by. But I did a little digging.

Dufour 382 base price is 131403 Euros ($143,000 US) or with a fair amount of equipment, 173,764 Euros ($188,000 US). I believe that's the cost of buying it in France, without VAT added. But you would probably still add delivery fee and commissioning if it was delivered in the USA or elsewhere. By contrast, Sailing magazine estimated the B38 cost between $169,000 - $225,000 US, although that was before the recent strength of the dollar against the Euro, so it could be quite a bit less now. In the end, the prices are probably pretty much the same.

It's pretty clear that Dufour decided to copy the Beneteau 38 concept and put their own style on it. I'm sure the pricing would be very similar as well.
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Old 21-03-2015, 11:01   #58
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
For anyone considering the Beneteau 38, it would be worth checking out the Dufour 382 as well, which is so extremely similar to the B38, including the options and modularity, that it can't be a coincidence:

Overview 382 Grand Large - Dufour Yachts

Very beautiful boat, although it lacks the arch on the B38 which I like. However, the interior finish looks much nicer (from the photos at least).
I don't know if the difference in price is much bigger on the US then in Europe but I don't understand why are not refereed as options to the Oceanis 38 the Dehler 38 and the Salona 38. On the Salona 38 they are making right now big discounts (a new 38 is coming) and the boat even if with a slightly smaller interior has a very good cruising one. The boat is a bit more sportive (and overall faster) then the Oceanis 38, has a better built quality, a very good AVS and overall stability.

Certainly, it is a different type of boat, more nervous downwind (more difficult on autopilot and possibly not as fast solo sailed) but much better upwind and on light winds.

Salona Yachts

Performance-Cruiser: Neue Salona 38 im Schwerwettertest - YACHT-TVÂ*|Â*YACHT.DE

A little advise regarding it: Unless you can live with a really small head the two cabin version is the way to go.
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Old 21-03-2015, 11:43   #59
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

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I don't know if the difference in price is much bigger on the US then in Europe but I don't understand why are not refereed as options to the Oceanis 38 the Dehler 38 and the Salona 38.

Probably because structurally, they are very different from the B38, and built for different sailing. The Salona 38 and Dehler 38 don't have the hull chines and very wide beam going aft that the B38, Dufour 382, or even the Jeanneau 379 do.
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Old 21-03-2015, 12:06   #60
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Re: Beneteau 38...the wife loves it!

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Probably because structurally, they are very different from the B38, and built for different sailing. The Salona 38 and Dehler 38 don't have the hull chines and very wide beam going aft that the B38, Dufour 382, or even the Jeanneau 379 do.
Different sailing? What do you mean? Yes being beamy and with that type of transom means that the boat will sail differently with different weak and strong points but they are not designed for different sailing.

All those boats are designed for cruising and even if the Dehler and the Salona are designed for the ones that like performance cruising I would say that the Oceanis 38 in a way is designed to the ones that like to cruise fast. Hearing the comments on this thread regarding the boat performance (by the owners) I would say sail performance is an important factor for most of them.
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