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Old 22-12-2008, 15:18   #1
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Beneteau Idylle 11.5 - 1985 Questions

Greetings! I'm new to the forum. Not only am I new to the forum, but I'm a newbie at sailing, hence my handle "landlubber".

I'm actually posting for a friend of mine. He was born in Germany right before WWII and now lives here in the U.S. He doesn't have a computer, though, and English is his second language, so I help him with his online stuff, and he helps me with some of my household projects.

My friend is looking at purchasing a Beneteau Idylle 11.5 - 1985. He's a consummate sailor and has built his own cruiser in the past. Don't let my newbie aura make you think this isn't a serious inquiry.

He had some questions that only you folks who know sailing and boats can help with. Here are his questions about the Idylle 11.5:

- Overall, would it make a good coastal cruiser? He wonders about things like:

- The hull shape. Does it slap a lot?

- He wonders about the keel length (4.5'). Does it allow for good lateral stability?

- How does the boat "point"?

- What is the displacement? He's seen printed books that state anywhere from 11,000 to 14,000 to 20,000+. Confusing to say the least.

- Anything else you might want to add--pro or con--regarding the Idylle 11.5. He's eager for input from sailors.

He'd like to sail the boat along the Pacific Ocean coast. He lives in the Bay Area, California. His longest anticipated trip is to Mexico, but he thinks most will be local; in the San Francisco Bay [which can get rough] down to Santa Barbara, etc.

Like I said, this guy knows boats, I don't, so you can tell it like it is in sailor jargon and he'll understand. In essence, you'll be talking to him, so he won't need educating on the basics. I'm just the go-between. I plan on printing out this thread and going over it with him.

I hope this is okay with you folks. I did a search on Idylle 11.5 but didn't find anything that answered all the questions. Please forgive the noob in your midst; hopefully my friend will benefit from your insights.

Thanks very much for your kind assistance.
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Old 22-12-2008, 15:36   #2
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The older beneteau's were pretty strong built boats for sure. It depends onthe actual boat and it's history though.
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Old 22-12-2008, 16:49   #3
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I had a friend who owned that model Beneteau. It was a dog under sail. The keel was iron, IIRC, and stubby, and the boat didn't go to the windward very well.

There are better Beneteaus.
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Old 22-12-2008, 16:59   #4
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We took a peek at one a few years ago, but it had a 6 foot deep keel. It had some amazing room for whatever you might want to do down below. I think most were made for the charter trade, so they would have been worked hard for years.

Chris
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Old 22-12-2008, 17:56   #5
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Thank you Cheechako, Hiracer, and witzgall. I told my friend about your replies and he is very excited and encouraged [even with the notion that the Idylle 11.5 doesn't point well]. He's still kind of amazed that the internet allows for the global search and discovery of information.

He said your replies are helping him make a decision on the Idylle 11.5 he has his eye on, although I don't know how that decision will go yet. As he describes it, he's toying with the idea of having either the shorter keel so he can sail the San Francisco Bay up by the delta on day cruises where a shallower draft is desirable, and/or his bigger dreams of coastal cruising (which he has done before). I can see from our conversations that it's a tough choice.

If you, or anyone else, has additional opinions or comments on the Idylle 11.5 please continue to share them. I'll be monitoring this thread for your input; and please be assured, it is very much appreciated.

My buddy is a good guy, and he always comments on how sailing folk are a good breed. He's always hanging out at the marinas chatting with other sailors. You'd like him and I'm sure he would like you guys, too. Thanks again for helping him out.

Edit: I forgot to add--and it might help inform the discussion--that the boat he is looking at has been owned by only one other owner since 1985, so it probably hasn't been beat in the charter trade [that was an interesting tip, BTW].
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Old 22-12-2008, 21:16   #6
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I own one (1984) and I think it's a fabulous cruising boat. Certainly capable of coastal cruising and with the proper equipment and a thoroughly checked rig, capable of blue water cruising as well. Would make a fine liveaboard for one or two people, plus a kid or two if necessary.

Beneteau built these boats as owner boats, not charter boats. Relatively short production run, so I doubt if many were ever chartered.

The interior is the most intelligent interior design of any boat that size, IMO. I have not actually sailed mine much yet, but I have had her under power in some nasty stuff and the hull handles big waves very well. I would expect excellent lateral stability, but not high pointing... that's the tradeoff from the shoal draft keel. The rudder is on a good strong skeg and there is a hull extension that houses the prop shaft... both of these features plus the long keel give the boat excellent lateral stability. It's definitely a cruising configuration down below, but the basic hull is probably identical to that of a Beneteau 37.5 of that era, so it won't have a lot of wetted surface.

I think it will be a excellent sailing boat, but the lack of a deep keel will certainly hurt the pointing. That's not a big deal for a cruising boat.... most cruising boats actually don't point all that well, after all. What has to be done with a boat like this when going to weather is to make sure she's not overpowered, sail the boat relatively flat (eg. less than 15 degrees heel - preferably around 10 degrees) to keep the shoal draft keel working and find the groove that keeps the boat going fast yet pointing as high as you can.

Displacement is about 15,000 pounds. It should not be difficult to find the official data on the boat on one of the Beneteau sites. And I have a copy of the only review I know of... it's from Pacific Yachting I believe, very positive. I should be able to dig it up and e-mail a scanned copy.

Mine is equipped with a Perkins 50 hp. Excellent engine, plenty of power. Plus all the comforts... hot water, refrigeration, good roomy head, nice galley, two private staterooms. Reasonable storage below and superb storage in the cockpit lazarettes. Excellent cockpit that includes room to stow a liferaft, good hardware and a manual windlass to handle the all-chain rode (I may upgrade to electric windlass at some point). There should be a good autopilot.. mine is an Autohelm 4000 which is adequate.

Are there "better Beneteaus"? If you want a racer or a cruiser-racer, absolutely. But if you want a 37+ foot cruiser from that era, no, there are not. I think this is a great cruising boat.
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Old 22-12-2008, 23:09   #7
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As we get older...

From memory the Beneteau would take a fairly sprightly crew of two to man it. I'm guessing that it would be a real handful for a single 70 yr old.

I'd suggest a small diesel trawler of about 30'. Much easier to manage, maybe not the same joy of sailing but way more practical for someone who is (maybe) not as agile as they used to be.

Possibly something like this : YW# 1807-1978699 - 1982 Marine Trader 34DC $28,500.

Some of our older members might have better suggestions.
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Old 22-12-2008, 23:35   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedoo View Post
I own one (1984) and I think it's a fabulous cruising boat. ...
Thanks very much for your post. It's very cogent, articulate and informative and just the type of thing my buddy would appreciate. I'll be printing this stuff out and handing it to him tomorrow. He's going to be really excited to read what you've had to say. Thanks again.

And that scanned copy of the review: Oh man. Just what I've been searching for. The web is great, but sometimes it's a dead-end; especially for anything pre-1994-ish. I would be extremely grateful to you if I could present my friend with a review. I would be the neighborhood god-of-the-internet, and that's worth a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
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Old 22-12-2008, 23:43   #9
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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
From memory the Beneteau would take a fairly sprightly crew of two to man it. I'm guessing that it would be a real handful for a single 70 yr old.

I'd suggest a small diesel trawler of about 30'. Much easier to manage, maybe not the same joy of sailing but way more practical for someone who is (maybe) not as agile as they used to be.

Possibly something like this : YW# 1807-1978699 - 1982 Marine Trader 34DC $28,500.

Some of our older members might have better suggestions.
lol, you don't know my German buddy! He makes a 51-year-old like me look feeble. He's always embarrassing me that way.

We're talkin' daily power walks, hikes, bike rides, thin, agile, eats right... it's enough to make you sick. He looks and acts like he's 60. I'm very envious.

They guy has an amazing story to tell sailing-wise. I'm always impressed. On that sailing boat he built he made it so one man could sale it. He built most of his own fittings on lathes and milling machines out of exotic metals... I'm telling you, they should write a book. I feel fortunate to know him. The only thing that's holding him back is the lack of a computer. I've tried, but I can't get him online Maybe someday he'll be online and laugh out loud about the senior citizen thing He's not going to stop sailing by himself until he's ten-toes-up.

Thank you, though, for your genuine concern; I know he would appreciate it as I do.
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Old 22-12-2008, 23:59   #10
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I forgot to ask...

Speedoo, do you happen to know if the Idylle 11.5 came with different variations of the keel?

I'm going to get into trouble here, but my own web surfing/investigating--which has led me to many broker sites and boats-for-sale ads--might seem to indicate that there were 'finned' keels, and maybe a deep-water keel?

This is probably where I get thrown overboard, and so far, my buddy hasn't asked for this information, but reading thru the [few] online ads for Idylle 11.5s for sale, I get the impression that there's more than one flavor of keel out there. It's all confusing to me, though, because For Sale ads aren't really meant to educate as much as they're meant to sell, so they're a little cryptic sometimes.

The reason I ask is maybe there's a retrofit available. Maybe my friend CAN have it all.
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Old 23-12-2008, 14:09   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiracer View Post
I had a friend who owned that model Beneteau.
Correction. My friend owned the 10.5 Idylle, not the 11.5m version.

FWIW, my impression is that the boat was well built for a production boat. Certainly better than the more recent Beneteaus.

I recall it having side brackets so that stands or such could be attached to the beam to stabilize the boat in tidal flats so the boat could go dry and stay upright. Can anybody confirm that?
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:55   #12
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Re: Beneteau Idylle 11.5 - 1985 Questions

Landlubber, I am aware that this is a post to an old original post and the issue has probably long since been resolved, but thought that I would throw in my 2 cents worth anyway. Nine of us amateur sailors have owned a Beneteau Idylle 11.5 since 1995, 17 years now, based in Tortola, BVI. She has been "rode hard and put away wet" as the saying goes out here in the west. She has been used 9 months a year and has just been a spectacular boat for us. Needless to say, she gets good maintenance during her off months, but that was not always the case with some of the earlier owners. Current pictures are available under "Shared Corporate Ownership" in the Classifieds area. She's a great boat! P. S. I should mention that she is a 1986 model that was in the Moorings charter fleet in the BVI's for years until we bought her. Additionally, Her original owner has a sugarscoop swim platform installed on her stern so she is now about 41 feet long.
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