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Old 26-11-2010, 01:35   #31
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
I was at the boat show">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.
And still beating them up
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Old 26-11-2010, 03:40   #32
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IMHO, The new Beneteau "First "series is moving away from any pretensions of being a cruiser and firmly in the racer/cruiser class. This is driven by inceasingly performance orienated designs from many of its competitiors and the general growth in demand for club racers, given the huge rise in such activities over last few years ( certainly in Europe).

I wouldnt now reccomend the "first " series as a viable cruising boat, The other thing for performance cruisers is that Beneteau offer a huge range of performance addtions to their standard crusing range. IN my case I bought a Beneteau 393 I purchased the performance pack, with taller mast , deeper keel, Harken deck gearm battened main etc. It was a great move, the boat was stiffer and better upwind

As to the Beneteau Familty tree its not confusing. Oceanus, is now the its premium cruider/racer series, teh Firsts are Racer/Cruisers and the Cyclades, contary to views that they are charter spec, are the budget entry models to compete with Bavaria and other low cost bare bones cruisers.

Despute what the OP says, The family tree isnt difficult to follow. Oceanus is the ocean crusiing range, Firsts for racing and Cyclades for cheap entry level.

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Old 26-11-2010, 05:05   #33
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Making an assumption the lead keel is in a capsule..... on the Cherubini 37 cutter it is not...
Haha, ok you got me. I wasn't really talking about a specific boat type, I was just sort of rambling my impressions of some of the pro's of lead. I've been properly rebuked now, thanks boatman
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Old 26-11-2010, 09:55   #34
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
* 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.
Never had the intention of beating any one up over they're oppenion or the boats they own, And I'll be the first in line to say the styling of the HC or the Lord Nelson is one of the sexyest I've ever seen..
And I've always stated that I'm not so interested in the boat design as where the design gets me.. The wife and I love to travel, explore, sight see, and to poke around old shops and such.. Our boat is only a means of transportation to get us from one place to another..
For Us, the first 4 hours of Ocean Travel is just the same as the next 4 days, and the Open Ocean all looks the same..
We chose a well built Ocean Capable Thoroughbred, to do the job, and for us, it works well..
As for the Beneteau Family, The early FIRSTs were designed to compete in OPEN OCEAN competition and they did well, setting records throughout the world, But it seems the newer FIRSTs have been geared to Club racing and a smaller venue.. Maybe thats where the market is..
For whatever reason, I wouldnt take ours to the Far North to play bumper boats with Ice Bergs, but in the areas we've decided to travel,
Ours works just fine.......
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Old 26-11-2010, 10:29   #35
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The First is really a racing boat now. I have one in the slip beside me and the cockpit lockers sit on the deck and can be removed for racing!
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Old 26-11-2010, 10:29   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
IMHO, The new Beneteau "First "series is moving away from any pretensions of being a cruiser and firmly in the racer/cruiser class. This is driven by inceasingly performance orienated designs from many of its competitiors and the general growth in demand for club racers, given the huge rise in such activities over last few years ( certainly in Europe).
Agreed. It seems pretty silly to evaluate one of the Farr-designed First series as cruising boats. If the interiors seem a bit IKEA-like, it's because they are designed first and foremost to be lightweight. I know a guy who campaigns a First 40.7 who removed all the cabin doors, including those in the head, to keep his boat light. Hey, that sort of owner isn't looking for impressive joinery. All he wants to do is perform well against his handicap rating.

For half the price of a Farr 40 you can own a Farr-designed Beneteau First 40.7. Now you have a boat you can compete fairly competitively in regattas a notch above club racing, such as in the Rolex Big Boat Series, where First 40.7s have cleaned up in the IRC D division. A few years back, a First 40.7 not only won that division, but took bullets in all seven races within that division. We're really not talking about a cruising boat here, are we?
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Old 26-11-2010, 10:52   #37
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...We're really not talking about a cruising boat here, are we?..
Why not? If you put in a cruising interior layout it is sort of expected isnt it? The interior layout is actually quite nice compared to the beneteau or oceanis series. I like it better which is why I looked at it. The nav station is larger and facing forward. But the space between the rear door and the station is impossible. The materials not quite as advertised. Im not saying it needs to be made of Oak and iron wood, but a higher in quality. Again, performance/cruiser or race/cruiser category for offshore and not coastal - I think it fails. But I also think they could have made it work! (and I don't think any retro fittting will...which is often the case in purchasing a racer) Maybe catalina is a better option?

Instead of that cheapo interior, why not just strip everything out and put in pipe berths and a swinging one burner stove? I would actually prefer that then the garbage they put in there. At least I could see everything and customize it on my own. Or better, why dont they make modular materials and you could move things around easily any way you want...like computer cubes at work. Seems like their mentality on what they expect from you as a customer.

Alas...price points. New boats these days are impossibly expensive. Materials are skyrocket and sure to go up as we hit inflationary times and the oil markets degenerates.

But yes, the whole geneology IS confusing - which models compounded by which years. And sadly, have to pass since I have no idea how to qualify the yachtworld listings despite some assurances by some members who have 12-18 keel bolts and no problem with steel keels. But I am also passing on bowsprits these days because they rot. So, there you have it.

Peterson anyone?

I think the best thing you can do if you really really want a bendie boat is to actually go on the models you think you can afford and have an evaluation - case by case basis when you are ready to buy - rather than come up with a complex geneology chart.
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Old 26-11-2010, 11:25   #38
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Instead of that cheapo interior, why not just strip everything out and put in pipe berths and a swinging one burner stove? I would actually prefer that then the garbage they put in there. At least I could see everything and customize it on my own. Or better, why dont they make modular materials and you could move things around easily any way you want...like computer cubes at work. Seems like their mentality on what they expect from you as a customer.
I asked myself the same question the first time I went below on one. I know that one of the things they were hoping would happen with these boats is that one-design fleets would form. Here in the Bay area this has been disappointing because some owners have attempted to trick out their boats. For example, a big controversy erupted when one owner replaced the jib furler with a fixed headfoil. That sort of thing wasn't supposed to happen on these boats. And you're not supposed to remove the cabin doors prior to a race.

I suspect that the market they're trying to hit is the advanced club racer who still wants to be able to take the family for a two-week cruise during the summer. This is the racer/cruiser market, I suppose, just a notch closer to the racer end, but still not an all-out racing boat. Racers tend to look down their noses at such boats, calling them "furniture boats." Cruisers tend to look down on them as well, distrusting the light weight, the less-aesthetic joinery, the lack of tankage, whatever. But they are very capable boats at what they do. They point like the devil and run like demons. Hard to beat on a windward/leeward race course.

I'm not suggesting that anyone here should buy such a boat. I think we all understand the different-horses-for-different-courses principle of yacht design. But I continue to challenge the tendency here on CF to disparage production boats. This forum should be about cruising, and the promotion thereof, not about providing a venue for boat snobs to engage in trash talk.
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Old 26-11-2010, 11:51   #39
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This forum should be about cruising, and the promotion thereof, not about providing a venue for boat snobs to engage in trash talk.
This isn't trash talk. Don't marginalize or generalize.

Im in the market to buy a boat.

Let me rephase this:

Im in the market to buy a boat.

If the manufacturers are misleading you, you have every right to react and voice your opinion about them. If my sole purpose was to trash talk/snob, I wouldn't have gone on one or even considered one in the first place. I wouldn't have considered any bennie in any year.

The purpose of this forum is just to promote cruising and get ad revenue from google ads? Well, why not just start a glossy magazine? Or is it to discuss cruising, share experiences, and voice opinions about materials that can help the cruiser - good and bad. Useful information is information. It can even be found in anything.

Look at all the angles. There are a ton of racers out there. A number of them I believe are capable of being converted to offshore cruisers that will make your cheeks bloat out from the speed and still get you there safely and comfortably. This is another objective and decision for a cruiser, and style of cruising lifestyle. I meant it about a stripped out racer. I thought about a modular interior actually for my own needs if I did get one. I had high hopes Bendie boats would be a conadidate for the "positive" attributes I provided. Im sure there are some that are exceptional for "my" needs. Its just too complex for me on which are good or not. 1996? 1997? 2001? Complex in that there are far too many other manufacturers out there to look at that would be just as good or better for my money that I understand their lineage and consistent model years.

The "positive" testimonials should also not be trusted. People take them coastal but never venture long distance and still call them blue water cruisers. Others never talk about the high maintenance issues and headaches over longer journeys.
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Old 26-11-2010, 13:18   #40
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
The "positive" testimonials should also not be trusted. People take them coastal but never venture long distance and still call them blue water cruisers. Others never talk about the high maintenance issues and headaches over longer journeys.
Hows this do ya Salty me ole mucker....
Oceanis 331... 2001... ex Charter... built in the US...
No 'extra's, duff water pump that leaked like crazy, bolloxed windlass, undersized screws in berth joinery.... bought in 2006 for $60K in BVI's... I won't winge or name the company.....
Took her to St Martin (French side) and anchored in the lagoon... while there I replaced all screws with the right size's, fitted custom arch, 130w solar panel, aerogen, dinghy, 5hp O/B, new pump, replaced windlass, new main and genoa by doyles... old one were fine but was offered a deal to good to turn down...
Total... just under $10K including 3 months living expenses...
Left St Martin for Azores early April, cruised there awhile then on to Portugal, Spain where I spent another year... then Madiera, Azores, Cascais....
Then sailed to the UK... all solo apart from an occasional 'passenger'.. in every sense of the word... they did not even cook...
Arrived UK August 08.... sadly forced to say farewell to boat... '**** Happens'..
From Jan 07 till we parted apart from general cleaning/upkeep/antifoul no further expenses... paint and liftout/in excluded...
Cant complain about that.. she still looked better than when purchased...
I'll recommend an Oceanis anyday....
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Old 26-11-2010, 13:28   #41
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Now that, from old saltymonkey friend is a fine story.

Oceanis 331 - 2001 goes to the list!

a most excellent size too!
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Old 26-11-2010, 16:14   #42
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Hows this do ya Salty me ole mucker....
Oceanis 331... 2001... ex Charter... built in the US...
No 'extra's, duff water pump that leaked like crazy, bolloxed windlass, undersized screws in berth joinery.... bought in 2006 for $60K in BVI's... I won't winge or name the company.....
Took her to St Martin (French side) and anchored in the lagoon... while there I replaced all screws with the right size's, fitted custom arch, 130w solar panel, aerogen, dinghy, 5hp O/B, new pump, replaced windlass, new main and genoa by doyles... old one were fine but was offered a deal to good to turn down...
Total... just under $10K including 3 months living expenses...
Left St Martin for Azores early April, cruised there awhile then on to Portugal, Spain where I spent another year... then Madiera, Azores, Cascais....
Then sailed to the UK... all solo apart from an occasional 'passenger'.. in every sense of the word... they did not even cook...
Arrived UK August 08.... sadly forced to say farewell to boat... '**** Happens'..
From Jan 07 till we parted apart from general cleaning/upkeep/antifoul no further expenses... paint and liftout/in excluded...
Cant complain about that.. she still looked better than when purchased...
I'll recommend an Oceanis anyday....
Firstly I think you should be banned from this forum for writing such a positive first hand account of your experience.

The writer who did not like the Benn at the show would be much better buying an old thirty to fourty year old boat. That way rather than have to worry about what might break in the future he can start the repairing, replacing from day one. He will probably find half a tool kit, fasteners etc in the bilge from previous workers after he pumps it out so that will be a saving. He will find plenty of wood that has or is starting to disintegrate no plastic there and the best part is he will be satisfiedand & so will we as we sail past to see him bum up head down fast at work.
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Old 26-11-2010, 16:54   #43
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...the older 1980-1986 series of FIRST may be better - 35, 38, and 40.5.
What started my original inquiry was I too looked at the new Beneteau 40 and wasn't thrilled with the quality, fit and finish. Also looked at a mid 80's First 40.5 and felt that it might be worth a more detailed look, need to get my wife on one. I'm definitely drawn to the performance cruiser category, though would like an offshore capable boat for extended cruising. It is hard to casually dismiss Beneteau's as there are a lot of them for sale at a reasonable prices.
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Old 26-11-2010, 16:55   #44
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I own an Oceanis 46.1 built in 1999, a Farr design. A boat that has been somewhat malingered with the epithet of "charter boat". Mine was never chartered. Bought it in 2003, it sails perfectly. It is very fast compared to the others around me. Never broke a part (in or out). Was told this summer that it looks brand new. I go sailing single handedly most of the time as the furling main permits me.

Only issue I have is the size of the fuel tank. Otherwise this is my perfect boat.
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Old 26-11-2010, 17:01   #45
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Yeha - tankage is a big issue...true. Cannot afford or trust a water maker, or a deep ocean drill for more diesel oil.
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