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Old 28-01-2008, 06:27   #1
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Beneteau First 42s7

Hi There
I am planning a 1.5-2 year trip starting on the East coast of the US, through panama, across the pacific / indian and ending in Cape Town, South Africa (where I live). I plan to keep in the tropics. I am currenly looking at second hand boats to do the trip in. I come from ocean racing backgound (quite a few transantlantic races) so the First 42s7 really appeals to me for a number of reasons, not least the fact that it is Bruce Farr designed, is fast and looks easy to handle short handed.

Has anybody cruised on one of these? Any comments on suitability?
Thanks,
Rijk
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Old 28-01-2008, 14:09   #2
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There is a fairly widely held belief that production boats, such as Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter, etc. do not make great cruisers, particularly for real "blue water" offshore passages. The consensus being that these boats are not sufficiently strongly built and their equipment is generally a little under-specc'ed. Having said that, there are hundreds, if not thousands of production boats that have circumnavigated without any difficulties. Indeed, there are plenty of vessels less "seaworthy" than a 42s7 that have made it around the globe. So; you can take that either way.

Knowing your vessel's strengths and weaknesses, paying attention to maintenance needs and planning your passages to suit both your vessel and the conditions is probably more important than who designed and built your boat.
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Old 28-01-2008, 14:44   #3
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Beneteaus have proved themselves in the worst conditions imaginable including numerous Sydney Hobart races.

Have a look at the recent Sydney Hobart entrant list and see the number of Beneteaus, then flick back through the years and see them too: http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/yachts.asp?key=526&frmYear=85

Try and find a more represented manufacturer in the worlds (arguably) toughest race.



Mark
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Old 29-01-2008, 13:58   #4
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I agree with you Mark, and I don't generally concur with the widely held belief that if it isn't a long/full keeled steely weighing at least as many tons as it is feet long, it isn't suitable for offshore cruising. Nevertheless, while completion of Sydney to Hobart races is laudable, it is hardly a relevent recomendation for long term blue-water cruising (Mumm 30's have also completed the Syd - Hob).

If someone were to give me a Bene 42s7 I would certainly not shy away from cruising it, but it probably would have some systems upgraded or strengthened and I would plan accordingly.
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Old 29-01-2008, 14:07   #5
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As I've said before you need to understand the scantlings the boat was built too. Easiest thing is to contact the maker and ask them for recomendations for this type of sailing (ie long distance cruising and intended destinations). They may very well come back and say the boat is fine for what you intend or they may recomend upgrades such as "changing the rudder post from aluminum tubing to a ss tube...... or maybe it will be mundane (add tankage) But you get my drift, ask the maker for opinions and recomended upgrades.

Single handing should be no problem, it should be quick, maybe 160-170 miles per day. Watch the weight...
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Old 30-01-2008, 03:38   #6
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Look, I get a bit angry when people slag off some brands of production boats when they have never sailed on one in the lives.

Just for your edification, but I am sure wont change peoples prejudice, Beneteau have been successful in the most EXTREME weather imaginable. A Beneteau that I know of successfully finished the Sydney Hobart 1998. The infamous race. Further it won its division in the next years race!

I give a damn about mistruths. I do give a damn about scurrilous lies and fibs. But more than what ever I can give a damn about, you can look yourself and see there is a truth in a Beneteau being able to combat the conditions that killed 6 others and sent lesser boats to the bottom.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 1998..



If you want to bring up the technicals of a boat built in Europe then all you have to do is look at its offshore classification. Plastered on the net for all to see in the owners hadbook. The 42 is a bit elusive, but the First 40.7 has offshore catagory

Category Height of wave (m) Wind force
(Beaufort)
A > 4 > 8
B < 4 8
C < 2 6
D < 0.5 4

Maximum recommended number of persons on board by design category:
Category Number of
persons
A 12 (*)
B 12
C 12
D 12

(*) : The First 40.7 can be sailed with up to 12 people in category A for racing with a maximum crew.
However the boat beeing fitted with only 8 berths, it is recommended to sail with a maximum 8 people
crew while cruising under category A conditions.


Now I can also give you the ofshore cat for the lesser Oceanis cruisers, which are again on the net for all to see:

Even their 36 footer cruising Oceanis is rated offshore Cat A!


Category Height of the Waves
(m)
Wind Force
(Beaufort)
A > 4 > 8
B < 4 < 8
C < 2 < 6
D < 0.5 < 4

Maximum recommended number of persons on board by design category:
Category Maximum Number
of Persons
A 8
B 8
C 10
D 12


So stop pullin the gherkin and get your prejudices in order.


Mark


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Old 30-01-2008, 06:38   #7
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Hi
I must agree with Mark...after reading quite a few other threads, there does seem to be a major prejudice against beneteaus. We get some pretty adverse weather conditions in SA, and in CT we often get 30knts +. Beneteaus are rated pretty highly this side of the world, and are thought to be strongly built and seaworrthy. I have done 3 Cape to Rio races (Cape Town to Rio, Brazil ) and the beneteaus have fared very well and the crews rated them highly. This race is over 3600 miles, is that not a recommendation for "blue water" sailing.

We are not talking about visiting antartica or going round the horn. We are talking about warm water, mostly down wind sailing. With regard to upgrading a 42s7, to me the "cruising rig" looks pretty stiff, it does not have runners and it has a solid hydrolic backstay. The cruising keel is a wing keel, which gets the weight down low. What specifically would need "upgrading"?
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Old 30-01-2008, 07:00   #8
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Originally Posted by skatrijk View Post
What specifically would need "upgrading"?
Maybe panel stiffness needs upgrading? Maybe heavier chain plates? Maybe a stronger rudder stock? Maybe glassing the hull to deck joint? Maybe tying back inner fore stays to the hull? I don't know what should be upgraded, maybe nothing, maybe lots, ask the maker?

What scantlings are the boats are built to? Is the cruising Bene built with lighter sailing gear then the racing (first) series? I would assume so.

These are production pan boats and some upgrades will be impossible since some areas are inaccessible.

Skatrijk, check your PM. I'll send you a write up, I sent it to Mark also.
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Old 30-01-2008, 15:08   #9
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Originally Posted by Joli View Post
I don't know what should be upgraded, maybe nothing,
Skatrijk, check your PM. I'll send you a write up, I sent it to Mark also.
Thanks for that, I appreciate you sending me that. Interesting read from somone who did his own survey on his perceived weaknesses of a 4 year old second hand boat which may or may not have been set up for the purpose being tested for.


Some posters here in other threads get so anti-bene that surley they must believe there is a conspiracy for Beneteau to defraud owners by building water born death traps and lying about their off shore categories, or they bribed the EU issuing authority to get those categories. If so then over Beneteaus history as a company they would have been found out and had lawyers queuing up in the courts to sue on behalf of dead yacht owners and crews.

However what you find is Beneteau strongly represented in some of the worlds toughest ocean races year after year after year.

At some time people need to look at hearsay and prejudice and see if their opinions are related to fact or fiction.

Yes, all boats can have problems of manufacture that a reasonable prudent owner needs to spot, and second hand purchasors of all boats are recommended to have a survey by a qualified surveyor, but thats a far cry from the deriding nature of many peoples thoughts apparently unsupported on one brand.


Mark
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Old 30-01-2008, 15:24   #10
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I think that some of the prejudice against Beneteaus as offshore boats comes from a lack of understanding about the difference between different models... your average caribbean charter model being different from your average race-ready 40.7. And there is nothing wrong with either boat per se - your average charterer probably doesn't want the deeper keel, taller rig and larger sail area etc. Having sailed a couple of times on a 40.7 (only "round the cans", not offshore ) and having stepped onto various charter boats (as a guest, not a charterer) around the Whitsundays, they are like chalk and cheese. But that is only the difference between, say an entry level ford and a top of the range model... the entry level car can still be a good purchase but it wont perform like the more expensive models...
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:15   #11
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While I cannot comment on the 42s7 specifically, we own an earlier First 42, as does one of our closest friends, and both of us have found our boats to be pretty bullet proof.

The yachts are well built and rigged and have proven histories in some of the most trying conditions. While I cannot comment on the yachts built for the charter fleets, I suspect they are no less well built albeit, because of intended use, not as well suited to long distance cruising. (Noteably, however, the last ARC included 43 Beneteaus out of a field of 207 yachts, many of which were the "Oceanus" series of the type commonly used for the charter busines. All did quite well with no problems.) In our case we have frequently found that with a single reef in the main and a few rolls in the headsail, we simply plow through conditions that leave other yachts scrambling. The motion is easy and from below-deck one can hardly even hear all the up-roar above.

The only issue one might have with the First for long distance cruising is the fact that the yacht's tankage--particularly as to fuel, is fairly limited (40 ga. of fuel). On the other hand, the yachts sail well enough, and the engines are generally efficient enough, that with any wind one needn't motor-sail much more than might be necessary to charge batteries--which, with a decent alternator, need be no more than an hour or two per day. With a couple of spare fuel jugs, you should have adaquate stores capacity for the route you described.

The yachts offer a good value and we have been very pleased with ours.

Good luck with your endeavor!

s/v HyLyte
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Old 11-05-2008, 16:32   #12
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Beneteau 42s7

Hi,

I have had my 42s7 for a year now and am very happy with the performance and quality.
My sailing is mainly shorthanded races along the Sydney coastline and also the usual social cruising.
I have the tall rig,deep keel racing version with runners.
She is very dry and stands up well in a good breeze with white horses.Competitively better when going to windward than running down wind.
For long range cruising,with a crew of not more than four, she would be fine with just enough storage. I have never found the boat not capable of handling strong winds and sea provided she is not over rigged.
Regards Eric
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Old 11-05-2008, 17:04   #13
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Maybe panel stiffness needs upgrading? Maybe heavier chain plates? Maybe a stronger rudder stock? Maybe glassing the hull to deck joint? Maybe tying back inner fore stays to the hull? I don't know what should be upgraded, maybe nothing, maybe lots, ask the maker?

What scantlings are the boats are built to? Is the cruising Bene built with lighter sailing gear then the racing (first) series? I would assume so.

These are production pan boats and some upgrades will be impossible since some areas are inaccessible.

Skatrijk, check your PM. I'll send you a write up, I sent it to Mark also.
Joli, I own a Beneteau Idylle 11.5. Have not sailed her much yet. If you think this write up would be beneficial to me, could you PM it to me as well?

Thanks.
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Old 18-08-2008, 11:16   #14
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My family and I just returned from a 9 month sailing cruise from our home in the Chesapeake to the DR and back on our Beneteau 42s7. She was a great boat that we never felt unsafe on even in bad weather. while our trip was not as adventurous as yours will be - serious open ocean sailing - we did make some long deep water passages in less than benign weather.

I'd be happy to e-mail with you further if you are interested.

BTW the boat will be going on the market shortly...

David
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Old 18-08-2008, 11:44   #15
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Beneteau First 456

If you think Beneteaus aren't well built, step on a First 456.....
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