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Old 15-12-2011, 02:17   #1
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Beneteau First

I've been luring around here long enough to know that I'm just begging for flames with this question, but a broker out of California that was recommended to me, sent me some listings for Beneteau Firsts in the mid 80's that might fit my budget in the 35-38 range.

They seem well equipped and have nice interiors with at least two cabins. How do they compare to the Oceanis? I'd ask him but he was with his kids' school interviews all day and it's night time now.

I'm also curious since I stumbled across a First in Florida that needs a bit of updating cosmetically but has had all new electronics, radar, sails, etc. installed recently for very cheap...
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Old 15-12-2011, 06:36   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS Little-Devil
I've been luring around here long enough to know that I'm just begging for flames with this question, but a broker out of California that was recommended to me, sent me some listings for Beneteau Firsts in the mid 80's that might fit my budget in the 35-38 range.

They seem well equipped and have nice interiors with at least two cabins. How do they compare to the Oceanis? I'd ask him but he was with his kids' school interviews all day and it's night time now.

I'm also curious since I stumbled across a First in Florida that needs a bit of updating cosmetically but has had all new electronics, radar, sails, etc. installed recently for very cheap...
From what I have seen they are more robustly built than the Oceani (better glasswork, hardware, etc.). There is a First 42 by Frers in Lauderdale for sale that I keep meaning to see.
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Old 15-12-2011, 08:28   #3
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Re: Beneteau First

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS Little-Devil View Post
I've been luring around here long enough to know that I'm just begging for flames with this question, but a broker out of California that was recommended to me, sent me some listings for Beneteau Firsts in the mid 80's that might fit my budget in the 35-38 range.

They seem well equipped and have nice interiors with at least two cabins. How do they compare to the Oceanis? I'd ask him but he was with his kids' school interviews all day and it's night time now.

I'm also curious since I stumbled across a First in Florida that needs a bit of updating cosmetically but has had all new electronics, radar, sails, etc. installed recently for very cheap...
The mid-80's Beneteau First 42 is one of the finest yachts we've ever sailed. The boat's design, by German Frers, was based on his design of the 2-Ton Gitana VII, designed for Baron Edmond de Rothchild's Admiral's cup effort but purpose built as a racer/cruiser by Beneteau. The first First 42, Lady Be Good, placed first in Class 2 of the 1981 Admiral's Cup Cowes-Dinard. There is no comparson between the First series boats of the era, which were featured in Ferenc Mate's "The World's Best Sailboats", and an Oceanis.

An article/review of the boats is available at Southwinds Magazine (note however that a few of the dimensions given are off due to errors in translating english measures to metric--e.g. the rudder shaft is 100mm (4") in diameter not 400). More information on the boats also appears at Ocean Angel, a sistership to our boat.

FWIW...
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Old 15-12-2011, 08:32   #4
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Re: Beneteau First

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS Little-Devil View Post
I've been luring around here long enough to know that I'm just begging for flames with this question, but a broker out of California that was recommended to me, sent me some listings for Beneteau Firsts in the mid 80's that might fit my budget in the 35-38 range.

They seem well equipped and have nice interiors with at least two cabins. How do they compare to the Oceanis? I'd ask him but he was with his kids' school interviews all day and it's night time now.

I'm also curious since I stumbled across a First in Florida that needs a bit of updating cosmetically but has had all new electronics, radar, sails, etc. installed recently for very cheap...
Very nice choice.
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Old 15-12-2011, 15:37   #5
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Re: Beneteau First

There's a 45 in Cape Coral that I was pointed to but I just found out the entire deck is rotten. You walk on it and risk falling through. Lol. Wow. Good luck selling that at any price.
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Old 15-12-2011, 15:40   #6
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Re: Beneteau First

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
An article/review of the boats is available at Southwinds Magazine (note however that a few of the dimensions given are off due to errors in translating english measures to metric--e.g. the rudder shaft is 100mm (4") in diameter not 400). More information on the boats also appears at Ocean Angel, a sistership to our boat.

FWIW...
Thanks for the info! Buying one of these out of California might be the way to go, especially considering resale in Australia at the end of the trip. Of course if the show takes off, I may keep going, or upgrade to a bigger/better boat. But there are three mid 80's Firsts in California that could work, both with two cabins, which could be ideal for a 2-3man crew plus the occasional guest.
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Old 15-12-2011, 17:41   #7
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Re: Beneteau First

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Originally Posted by SS Little-Devil View Post
Thanks for the info! Buying one of these out of California might be the way to go, especially considering resale in Australia at the end of the trip. Of course if the show takes off, I may keep going, or upgrade to a bigger/better boat. But there are three mid 80's Firsts in California that could work, both with two cabins, which could be ideal for a 2-3man crew plus the occasional guest.
John--

Once you have sailed a mid-'80's First 42, you will have be disappointed sailing anything else save a 435, 456, 50 or one of the similar sized Swans of the same era.

Good luck...
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Old 15-12-2011, 17:47   #8
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Re: Beneteau First

I'd definitely echo svHyLyte's comments above. I did a lot of hard racing and delivery miles on a First 42 in Chicago in the 90's and that boat would be near the top of my list for a long range cruiser (with some modifications). They're fast and surprisingly sea kindly on all points of sail, and they have a well laid out interior. I've seen a lot of them go by headed for Mexico and the south Pacific set up as cruisers in recent years. The biggest issues you'd be likely to have would be handling the stock sail plan, and fuel capacity. The former can be solved by breaking the sail plan into a true cutter rig, keeping the maximum genoa size smaller (e.g. 120%), and I've seen some rig up a code 0 in kind of a cutter/solent configuration. The latter may not be a big deal, or can be solved in a number of ways. You of course have the typical issues that come with a 25+ year old boat.

The First 405 and 375 have similar sailing characteristics and build quality, and may be worth a look if you want to go down a size. Also the newer (and more expensive) First 42S7 has been very popular as a distance cruiser. I don't like the interior nearly as well, but that's just me. I have some friends who cruised Mexico in a First 35S5 and really enjoyed themselves.
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Old 15-12-2011, 18:00   #9
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Re: Beneteau First

I saw that the design is very similar to Swan in that particular length, qualitywise there might be some difference - although I am not too sure about that. Swan has some serious quality related problems too.

There are not too many on the market and the prices are not so much varying.

If you are not afraid to do some work, it would be a justifiable choice.
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Old 15-12-2011, 18:01   #10
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Re: Beneteau First

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Originally Posted by SS Little-Devil View Post
I've been luring around here long enough to know that I'm just begging for flames with this question, but a broker out of California that was recommended to me, sent me some listings for Beneteau Firsts in the mid 80's that might fit my budget in the 35-38 range.
LOL, burn you because you're looking at a Benny, aw shucks? The 80's Beneteau's were actually pretty good boats, for the most part. They look kind of cool and sent Bennys and Jennys onto the path they reside today. I personally don't like the head room on the First, but they do have a nice salon area. Things to look out for; soft soles, spongy deck in cockpit and cracks around the mast area on deck. All of these issues require a lot of exra dough to fix and or repair.
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Old 15-12-2011, 18:24   #11
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Re: Beneteau First

You might want to consider the draft typical of the first series depending on your anticipated cruising grounds. No doubt a First 42 should outsail a same-sized Oceanis, but you also get a 7+ft draft with the deal. The Firsts were made for ocean racing, so you generally have bigger hardware, stouter construction. Then again, with a 25 year old boat, it is all about how it was maintained.

Many are good with the First interiors, some like the Oceanis as they are a little more accommodating. That's a personal preference thing that only you can answer after looking at a few. I personally like Firsts, but new saw one that would fit my family of four for full time liveaboard.

Always compromises.

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Old 15-12-2011, 18:25   #12
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Re: Beneteau First

My experience , albeit pedestrian, is that Firsts are racers and oceanis is a cruiser design. Meaning the Firsts will have larger cockpits with smaller cabins in comparison. Not that that is a problem if you're just booze cruising during the day. They may not be as good to liveaboard as an oceanis. It wouldnt be bad, just not as good perhaps.

A 2nd hand First is most likely to have spent much of its life as a racer. Assuming it had a good owner, that means that systems and gear would have been kept updated and well maintained. Not that cruising folk dont maintain. Racers' tend to be a little more manic about it

Either way, good luck with it
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Old 15-12-2011, 18:54   #13
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Re: Beneteau First

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LOL, I personally don't like the head room on the First, but they do have a nice salon area. Things to look out for; soft soles, spongy deck in cockpit and cracks around the mast area on deck. All of these issues require a lot of exra dough to fix and or repair.
Not that I'm disagreeing with you but I am... i stand 6-1 and I have a couple inches over my head in all cabins..
The soft soles.........they're 3/4 inch teak in ply .. with a teak and holly top...And its all wood and in ours, a FIRST 42 the complete sole is removable, short of a couple small pieces..
Spongy deck in the cockpit........not in the 38 or the 42.. the cockpit sole is a teak grate with a hold under to store a liferaft in.. you look right throu the grate to the floor of the hold two feet beneth.. and you dont walk in the hold.. I have thou plugged the drains and filled it with hot water to take a bath in.. its that large..
and cracks around the mast... cant say I agree with that either as on ours the mast is keel steped.....

Ours is also an owners version and is Cutter rigged..
in the 10 years that we've been on ours, living and cruising, I've only found one fault..
Being its an early IOR design, dead down wind in following seas, she's a handfull.. take her off a few degrees and and its the nicest boat I've ever sailed..
and even thou its birth (on ours, 83) was designed as an all out ocean racer, Its a very comfortable cruiser and easy to single hand..
More times than I can count, I've left the wheel to my grandson while under sail.. and he's 10.............she sails that smooth........
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Old 15-12-2011, 22:14   #14
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Re: Beneteau First

Oh wow...the 45' Firsts are fantastic!

Just have to raise a bit of money to cover some of the difference. Enough room for the crew and there's even a writing desk in the aft stateroom, so I could do some business, video editing, blogging and screenwriting in privacy when I'm not at the helm, on watch, or when moored and I just need some space.

Drool.
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Old 15-12-2011, 22:20   #15
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Re: Beneteau First

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Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
Not that I'm disagreeing with you but I am... i stand 6-1 and I have a couple inches over my head in all cabins..
The soft soles.........they're 3/4 inch teak in ply .. with a teak and holly top...And its all wood and in ours, a FIRST 42 the complete sole is removable, short of a couple small pieces..
Can you tell me more details about the teak? If the teak is rotten and deck seems spongy, the whole deck needs to be replaced, and that's a MASSIVE job, no?
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