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Old 01-06-2004, 11:12   #1
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Beneteau !

Hi all, Question, am going to look at a 1994 40 foot Beneteau have looked at some been on them at boat show and read up on them. Looking for space and comfort as well as reliability. Heard there not the fastest boat, but were just looking to cruise not interested in racing at this time.Would appreciate any information or comments from anyone who knows them. THANKS CAROL
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Old 01-06-2004, 22:03   #2
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Which model 40 ?
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:27   #3
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Beneteau makes quite a few lines of boats. They vary considerably in terms of build and design quality. My general sense is that their base boats are built a little better built than the other three big boat builders, but can have a few quirky European style details. Their First Series are better constructed and offer more performance.

As has been noted, there is such a wide range of difference between the various models that it would be helpful to know specifically which model and set up you are considering.

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Old 07-06-2004, 09:13   #4
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Hi Jeff , typing error, its a 1994 M-445 Beneteau. This is the boat that seems to have grabbed me. We have looked at others but i like this one. Im totally new to sial boats and have learned alot from this site, because you get others opinions. Unlike when you read someones book and only have their opinion. I have read youre article piece on here about keels, great information! Thanks for your reply. Hope you see this cause Id really like to here your opinnion. Im learning as I go. Thanks Carolann
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:21   #5
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Search Juff H

Search this site (by author) for Jeff H, he's written lots og good informative stuff - exactly the type of info' everyone should consider prior to purchasing.
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Old 07-06-2004, 22:44   #6
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Carol, the model you have interest in is a good one. It is a Bruce Farr design. As far as what you have heard about speed & performance, I am not sure. This design is a very competitive one. It can give you some of the best sails of many others of that size range. It is the center cock-pit design that is not designed for performance. But, do not mistake performance for speed. The m445 is designed for pleasure & performance. It will be a good investment, depending on the price. Make sure you have a survey done prior. I have to admit I am a bit partial to the Beneteaus, as I have a 1999 461 oceanis. We have had many wonderful sails on her. We are now considering a downsize though, to the 373, although the 40.7 looks sweet also.
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Old 08-06-2004, 05:00   #7
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HI Joyce, As I said this is the boat I just seem to really like. So this is great news. I have lived on the ocean and around boats all my life cant imagine living any where else. But for what ever reasons I havnt spent alot of time sailing, been on day trips now and then with freinds thier boats. Ive lived aboard motor boat so I have an idea about living aboard but never really crossed the sea. So this is a whole new adventure for me, Im really excited about it. Bob an I are planning to start with the virgin Islands, weve spent some time there an cant wait to sail there. We have friends there that sailed around there for a few years and now live on land there. Their going to help us out with the boat, whos a good surveyor etc. Were hoping to leave this Fall. So I know were kinda putting our eggs in one basket but if it dosnt work out will keep looking around at other boats. Thanks for your reply Carol
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Old 08-06-2004, 05:37   #8
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The Beneteau 445's are a mixed bag. They have a nice hull design by Bruce Farr and offer a lot of room for a 44 footer. Their side galley layout works well on the anchor but is less than ideal for use underway. They offer excellent ventilation. They had good tankage (although not as much fuel as some might want for long passages). The three cabin versions (which is the configuration of most if not all of the M-445's) had a lot of reasonably comfortable places to sleep for three couples, at the expense of the kinds of storage that is necessary for distance cruising. Most had conventional mainsails with slab reefing (rather than in-mast furling), which is definitely the way to go as far as I am concerned, but which requires a bit of strength and stamina to haul up. They sail reasonably well. They are not terribly slow, but they are also not what I would consider race boats.

On the down side, the 'M' in M445 means that the boat was built for the Moorings Charter Service and that means the boat was in the charter trade. Chartering is hell on a boat. These boats get many times the amoount of use of a normal boat and it is generally much harder use, by people who know less about the boat (or boats in general) with less maintenance, in a tougher venue than is typical of a privately owned boat as well. Depending on whose analysis you buy into, every year in charter is the equivilient of 2 to 4 years of normal useage. In other words a typical M445 will have the equivilient of 14 to 28 years of normal use more wear and tear than the average 445 of the same model year that had not been in charter.

Moorings ordered these boats by the dozen. They were spec'd out to meet their needs. While I don't know the specifics of the M445 this generally meant a different, rig, keel and interior layout. It generally meant a different equipage, and it may mean a different structural design and tankage layout. All of which would not be beneficial.

The topic of used charter boats comes up quite frequently on the sailing BB’s. From reading posts and from talking to people who have done the purchase lease back or bought ex- charter boats I have come to the following conclusions. While not every boat that comes out of livery is trashed most come out with defects, some minor, some major, some visible and some simply a product of wear or neglect that is waiting to fail.

You have to understand how these boats are used. First off, they are out of their slips, almost day in and day out. They are being used in the Caribbean, which is not an easy environment on boats; lots of sun, high salinity, lots of breeze which all take a toll.

They are being used by people who in the best case are well meaning and careful but are not completely familiar with the operation of the particular boat they have chartered. In the worse case, are not competent and frankly don’t care. Charterers run the gamut from people who are a bit timid and spend a lot of time at the dock, perhaps not all that well tied up and protected. To the other extreme, the people who feel they have rented this thing and by golly they will sail it or slog it at full throttle no matter how much wind is out there, to every type of personality in between.

Adding to the problem is that charter boats are often ordered with fairly minimal equipment, such as slightly undersized winches, travelers with almost no purchase, the smallest self furler that can be expected to make it through the lifespan in livery, cheap sails made of heavy cloth, and so on.

From talking to people who have bought ex-charter boats, you might expect to have to upgrade, replace or repair items such as: engines, sails, deck hardware, upholstery, running and standing rigging, instruments, ground tackle, galley equipment, as well as, the need to address cosmetic issues. In the worse cases that I heard, there were keel attachment and frame structure problems from a probable hard groundings, and in one case a major electrolysis problems leading to a sinking when a bronze thru-hull have up the ghost.

Now then, not every boat is going to have every one of these problems but even if there is a minor mix of some of these, it can result in a lot of long term, high deferred maintenance costs. In the end you have to ask yourself whether you couldn’t buy a solid boat, that was not in charter which has better gear and less use, for less money and a lot less effort than it would cost to buy an ex-charter boat and put it in shape.

There was one fellow that I knew who had gone the ex-charter boat route and had replaced an engine, sails, awlgripped the hull and refinished the interior and replaced instruments and a lot of deck hardware that I knew of. He once said, ”You know the guy who buys this boat from me is going to get a great deal.” He was probably right. The fact that the boat had been in charter will always limit its price and the fact that this guy had done a great job fixing it up meant that he had far more in the boat than he could sell her for. Perhaps, the right answer is to look for the ex-charter boat that some guy just restored but in the big picture the boat is still a lot more tired than a privately owned sistership.

Jeff
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:13   #9
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poor ventilation

The M445 is an aft cockpit, 3 cabin model . The main drawback I found was poor ventilation. The hatch in the V berth is too far aft to do any good. The one I was on had a couple of vents in the fwd blkhd to the anchor locker and if you left the locker open you got a bit of air in. The galley runs along the port side like many 3 cabin French boats, I prefer a galley tucked in further aft. These boats were fairly well built for a production boat but if you are buying it directly out of charter it should be substantially discounted to allow for the many things, big and small, that will require fixing and upgrading. The three cabin version has three heads with a lot of through hulls and no holding tanks. You might want to look at this carefully. I have pointed out some of the downside, on the other hand once it's fixed up you will have a fairly well found boat that sails quite well. If you entertain a lot the saloon is ideal. The only quirky European thing I found on this model is their funny arrangement with battery switches.
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Old 09-06-2004, 04:57   #10
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I thought that the potable water system was quirky using a system of proprietary fittings and semi rigid plastic hose. Then there is the fact that most of the fastenings and the prop shaft are metric. Also some of the deck hardware is a little quirky in terms of the sharp corners on cleats and chocks. Also the teak panels set into the glass in the cockpit is one of those 'Eurpean things' that I would prefer not to see.

Respectfully,

Jeff
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Old 11-06-2004, 06:31   #11
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Hi all, Thanks for the info. and suggestions. What I like is the hull design the room, the look. As this will not just be a pleasure craft for us but our home for awhile well be looking hard into it. Im working on the list, I like these boats, Beneteaus, were also looking at other models. Aside from the cost of the boat, were also allowing for equipping it. AS anyone who owns a boat knows it usally runs into more than what you thought. Theres always work to be done, but we dont want to end up with something thats been neglected either. So with list in hand and all the information gatherd were still looking, and will probably end up with something totally diffrent. As Ive said before this forum is great, being new to sailing its good to have access to all this knowlege! Have a great day everyone! Carol
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Old 22-08-2004, 19:17   #12
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Beneteaus

Hi - I am not a Beneteau expert, and I never intend to become one. Prior to buying our current boat we had chartered several boats - mostly from very small outfits or from private owners - and got a lot of first-hand experience on them. Only chartered one Beneteau - I think it was about 39 feet - in the BVI. Scariest damn boat I've ever been aboard! Decks flexed underfoot - rigging was WAY too light - most hardware was shoddy - in any kind of a sea the whole thing shook and shuddered. Only good thing I can say is that because it was so light it sailed fairly well in light air.
Personally I never plan to set foot on another as long as I live ... but then, I'm spoiled rotten!
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Old 21-06-2010, 00:39   #13
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Rendezvous’ are not complete without awards. Three-year-old Liam Maloney (Beneteau 361) was edged out this year for the youngest sailor award by his two-month-old brother, Colin. The Maloneys scored Best Beneteau Cocktail by serving a Blue Beneteau Martini. The coveted Best Beneteau Award is awarded to the boat that receives the most votes following the boat visitation/cocktail party late Saturday afternoon. This year the bribery was more obvious than usual with a quarter changing hands in clear sight. Ed Proefke and Deborah Holland’s Beneteau First 345 was voted Best Beneteau 2010. Congratulations to Ed & Deborah.
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