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Old 24-11-2010, 17:42   #16
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Speed is not a concern for me, but I've only logged somewhere around 25,000 long-distance miles under the keel. If I want more speed, I put up bigger, more aggressive sails. If I want to cruise, I tack with the working sails and kick my feet up while the autopilot does its thing, happy to get more than 100 miles towards my destination every day.

My mentality is to be in a boat that is capable of going faster than I generally like (10-12knots is about my singlehanding threshold) but strong enough to survive my occasional boneheaded wrongdoing for 5,000 miles at a time.

That said, I've thought long and hard about the 51' Beneteaus. The quicker responses, simpler maintenance and interior layouts are pretty darned nice. I would never turn away from a Bene because of the aforementioned perceived issues, simply because there have been so many of them built and sailed that pretty much every single issue is going to already be known. That shouldn't discourage a buyer, it should encourage a buyer. You already know, with absolute certainty, every single potential failing your maybe-future-boat can/will experience.
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Old 24-11-2010, 19:09   #17
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I chartered in Beneteaus and others, all had their pros and cons. When I listed all the items I wanted in a long range, full time cruising boat I settled on a Beneteau Idylle series. These have the German Frers hull design that many of the First series have, a heavier keel than the Oceanis, and more tankage than either. I could not find a boat from another brand with the features for the price.
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Old 24-11-2010, 19:20   #18
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There is no short cut. You are going to have to look a lots of boats to find the right one. Even a production model that is was not well suited for ocean passage right off the line, could be perfect on the used market after the previous owner's upgrades.
The first things to look at are the things that are difficult to upgrade: tankage, strength of hatches, sea berths, sea friendly galley, storage, hull strength, standing rigging. Most other things can be added or modified.
Don't buy new, unless you have lots of $$$ to throw away. Most boats depreciate dramatically in a few years and any new boat will need upgrades to be sea worthy.
Don't fixate on a single issues like "main furling" or "iron keel". You will find these things are all tradeoffs. Main furling is loved by single handers and iron keels can cut the cost significantly.
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Old 24-11-2010, 19:55   #19
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It is a little confusing

Capt. Don:
As You see with the 37' example.
You definitely separate the First Series from the others traditionally Oceanis.
First series already described by others - performance oriented

This link might help if you have not seen yet - at the bottom left it gives you a chance to track down previous models
Beneteau USA

One model to be wary of = Cyclades which was built almost exclusively for charter market - lots of cabins & heads 40 - 50s' range - don't look the same up close as the same size Oceanis series

As noted in the 37' example, Beneteau seems to change/update design and model naming every 4-8 yrs
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Old 24-11-2010, 21:54   #20
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Originally Posted by Chuteman View Post
This link might help if you have not seen yet - at the bottom left it gives you a chance to track down previous models
Beneteau USA
Right on, thank you. The link is Previous Models: which includes specifications, brochures, equipment list and owners manuals. Funny, I didn't think that this info would be buried and to look under Sitemap (but I could easily find apparel). Before seeing this link, I was amazed at the lack of useful information on the Beneteau site. This will give me useful information about each model and help compare.

I appreciate the information and will factor this when comparing. I'll try to summarize my findings after the holiday. Thanks again,
Don
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Old 25-11-2010, 06:03   #21
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Lead is softer and potentially absorbs the forces of the impact
Only if it distorts some incredible amount. This would be bad in itself. The laws of physics are what they are. There are important functional factors or characteristics where you can draw real conclusions. This isn't one.
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Old 25-11-2010, 06:34   #22
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And Second, I constantly hear people making the statement that speed is not a concern when they are in cruising mode.. You mostly hear this from those that have never been out cruising but heres an example...
Comming back to San Francisco from Southern California is a "BASH" into the north-west waves and wind..EXCEPT, every now and then, a southerly starts to blow and everything switches...But they dont often blow for long.. we had a 3 day window to ride the southerly back to San Francisco.. We did that 3 day window with over 200 per day with winds not much over 15 knots from San Diego to San Francisco..
The speed we were able to take advantage of gave us a better trip overall..
That's an amazing speed -- 200 miles a day for days at a time with only 15 knots of wind.

But anyway, I just wanted to say that this is a good example of how crucial performance is even to cruisers.

Even more than the example Randy gave, is when you need to make progress up wind. Our last Channel crossing was dead upwind over nearly 100 miles. Every degree closer to the wind you can sail, every tenth of a knot faster you can sail, makes a noticeable difference, in a situation like that, and can even influence your actual safety.

And performance, by the way, is all about performance upwind. Any boat can sail on a run -- the sails don't need to do anything but provide drag and the keel doesn't do anything at all.

I don't race, I cruise. But the number one criteria for me in a cruising boat is good sailing performance, that is, speed, and weatherliness. Yes, we are cruising. But we are sailing, for goodness sakes.
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Old 25-11-2010, 06:38   #23
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Only if it distorts some incredible amount. This would be bad in itself. The laws of physics are what they are. There are important functional factors or characteristics where you can draw real conclusions. This isn't one.
I agree completely. The advantage of a lead keel is not impact protection, it is the fact that lead is half again as dense as iron. So a lead keel of a given weight occupies 30-odd percent less volume than an iron keel of that weight, and creates 30-odd percent less buoyancy. This makes a significant difference in performance.
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:33   #24
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So a lead keel of a given weight occupies 30-odd percent less volume
and I think that translates into less form drag. Still, in the grand scheme of things, I expect many other elements of design and fitout will be much more significant.
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:41   #25
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and I think that translates into less form drag. Still, in the grand scheme of things, I expect many other elements of design and fitout will be much more significant.
Not necessarily so much less drag. Slightly less wetted area. But the main purpose of the denser lead keel is to reduce buoyancy so that the keel has greater righting moment -- making the boat stiffer for a given weight of keel.
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Old 25-11-2010, 14:28   #26
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Gee guys we have gone from a subject of Beneteau models to lead Vs iron keels and racing cruise boats.
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Old 25-11-2010, 16:53   #27
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I always thought one of the primary reasons for a lead keel instead of iron was leverage. If the lead occupies a smaller area, then the weight is placed further down into the keel, providing even more opposing force to the sails compared to a keel with the center of gravity higher up.

That, and you don't have to worry about a shoddy epoxy/resin job with lead. It won't expand and break your capsule apart like rusting iron.
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Old 25-11-2010, 18:24   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotQuiteLost View Post
I always thought one of the primary reasons for a lead keel instead of iron was leverage. If the lead occupies a smaller area, then the weight is placed further down into the keel, providing even more opposing force to the sails compared to a keel with the center of gravity higher up.

That, and you don't have to worry about a shoddy epoxy/resin job with lead. It won't expand and break your capsule apart like rusting iron.
Making an assumption the lead keel is in a capsule..... on the Cherubini 37 cutter it is not...
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Old 25-11-2010, 18:49   #29
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I was at the Annapolis boat show this year. I decided to take a look at the Bennie First 35 for a few reasons.

* I know it isn't supposed to be a cruiser, but I confess I was attracted to the interior space and quite possibly the construction....if I could see it in person.
* It was labeled "boat of the year" last year I think.
* Randy and other have been beating me up since I'm a traditionalist and I've been mocking the bendy-boats for a while now on here.
* I'm trying very very hard to keep an open mind and find a *fast offshore performance cruiser these days rather than something old fogie and bowspritty.

My reaction: it was one of the most flimsly Ikea doll houses I've ever been on. I thought it couldn't withstand anything close to water without all the glue and screws coming apart. The wheel was so big I couldn't get around it in the cockpit and it probably would send me flying overboard in 10 knots. I couldn't wait to get off it. Before stepping aboard, I thought it might possibly make a performance/cruiser. Once aboard it felt like a plastic model airplane including the cheap windows. Terribly depressing since I had hopes for a nice living space, but it was cold and poorly constructed.

A young couple who was onboard next to me: they had money and were actually in the market to buy at the show, and they concurred shaking their heads and left before even I did.

Glad no one stole my shoes...

I think maybe, as some people have said, the older 1980-1986 series of FIRST may be better - 35, 38, and 40.5.

In any case, you should absolutely go aboard a few and get your own take. The one I went on wasn't an older one and there are trade offs.
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Old 25-11-2010, 21:42   #30
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We love our Bene, never in charter, in mast furling, huge aft cabin, sails beautifully
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