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Old 25-04-2008, 11:06   #31
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Well, I found a 1994 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 51 for sale for a bargain price. However the engine is not running, sails and battery needs to be replaced and the teak decks are worn. cushions need to be cleaned and or replaced. Same with the canvas.
But isn't this an advantage to have new or renewed equipment before going cruising?
I want the boat as a live aboard and for cruising firstly the Caribbean and later on more. So comfort and easy handling are priorities versus racing. Of course everybody loves speed but I guess this boat offer this, too.
The discussions are a little bit confusing about the sea worthiness. In fact these boats have crossed oceans. I think cruisers make capable for this and the boats will be also.
Any recommendations prior purchase in case of what I should look for, weaknesses of this design?

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Old 25-04-2008, 11:18   #32
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Just be aware that you have described perhaps $100,000 or more worth of known problems, and with 'worn teak decks' on a 20 year old value oriented model, you can expect to find deck core problems as well. So a bargain on a project boat like this is something less than $50K US.

As to its seaworthiness, these were value oriented, IOR rule based designs. A talented, lucky, and extremely experienced skipper could probably take a boat like this across the pond, but the problem with boats like these is that they really do not do well if pounded in an offshore storm. Plus their IOR derrived hull form would have a miserable motion in a seaway. My sense of Jeanneaus of this era is that they were one step down from a Beneteau in terms of build quaility and equippage. In other words not the most robust construction.


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Old 25-04-2008, 14:14   #33
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Hi Jeff,
thanks for your reply which will help me a lot prior inspection and is very helpful or the decision process. It is a 1994 and the asking price is below $ 100k.
The idea is, to remove the teak deck and replace it with polyurethane and some layers of fiber before glassing over. You're right there may be some core problems because I've seen on the pictures that the headliner is down in some places.

Generally boats with wide beam and relatively flat bottoms as this one motion bad.
But is is so much living space and you cannot have everything - comfort, high performance and low costs at the same time. Cruising live is only 25% at sea, the rest is anchoring and enjoying.
Anyhow which designs would you recommend?
Thanks againg and fair winds,
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Old 26-02-2009, 09:30   #34
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Hi there, I am the one that started this thread and after living 4 years onboard our oceanis 461 and having sailed more than 25000 miles including atlantic crossings bothways and in strong wind conditions, both forward and aft of the beam. I would say that these are lovely safe and comfortable and extremely competent ocean cruisers, exactly what they are built for. We have generally fast passages She has the same hull as 45f5 but a better rigg for cruising as it is not fractional and we have placed a second inner forestay to allow us to pole out. As for the advice given early on in this post about not buying this make of yacht... as Mark Twain would say.. free advice is worth as much as it costs ;-)
Aspiring to be semi-competant crew!
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Old 18-08-2009, 16:11   #35
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Originally Posted by robbie_d View Post
You can throw out CE ratings..They were created by a groupd of manufactures to make there boats have a "ocean" "bluewater" whatever you want to call it rating. Same time there is way to much "conservative" traditional predujice out there..

Looking at boat sinkings or serious problems where it was the boats fault the major cause is eith hull flex causeing loss of the rig or oilcanning causing cracks in the hull with through hulls and blown out port a problem too..

Cheaper boats have cheaper ports Hylas, Gozzard, CR etc uses a stainless steel port frames with heavy glass or Lexan. Catalina, B, J use mid weigth plastic with midweight lexan,, hunter, gibsee uses crap I accidently break while closing or opening them..also bigger opening are more likely to break.. choose your demon safety or more light and air..

A modern grid enginered hull or a liner works fine for overall stiffness but when going to windward in big waves that thinner hull skin is more likely to develope cracks especially at joints..
So don't bash to windward in a lighter boat in big seas..
its all tradeoffs...
The inner grid in a beneteau is a one piece molded fiberglass grid,like the hull itself,and glassed in.Their is less joints than in classic wood floor
fiberglass on the inside hull,where you have a joint on each side of the
floor and that for every floor in the boat.
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Old 18-08-2009, 16:42   #36
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Originally Posted by Euro Cruiser View Post
I think a major source of confusion surrounding the suitability of today's mass-produced sailboats for extended cruising is this CE rating applied to boats sold in Europe. E.g. Jim gets a manual along with his Oceanis that states the boat is suited for use not just in tough ocean conditions, but for unlimited ocean conditions - >4M waves and >F8 winds, signed off by the manufacturer, who in turn is compliant with the EU's RCD. That sounds not only official but also 'sanctioned' in some kind of objective, absolute way. OTOH common sense tells us the Oceanis has limits in what it can handle at sea, certainly lower limits than boats with stronger monocoque hull-deck structures, beefier deck hardware, etc. But beyond common sense, it's fair to ask if even the buiders really believe these CE ratings, or if they are simply following the rules (which BTW they helped to construct in the first place).

I think the answer is illustrated by how the builders market their own products outside the CE/RCD European marketplace. E.g. read the 2005 CW BOTY write-up and notice how the boats' intended uses are described by their builders vs. what the CE ratings are for the boats Cruising World - 2005 Boat of the Year Winners Announced Hunter may place an authorized 'A' rating on its new model but it sure doesn't describeabout model as unlimited ocean-capable, because it knows better. (In truth, the RCD was essentially created as a trade barrier and reduces the number of non-EU builders who are willing invest the time & expense to get their boats CE rated. E.g. I'm sure no one thinks Valiant builds an inferior product for ocean sailing to one built by Hunter or Catalina. Valiant simply builds fewer boats and so the cost of competing in that market vs. the expected benefit is too low).

Another misleading issue is this 'structural grid' system now in use by all the mass production builders, which is often touted as a high tech solution to structural integrity and an improvement over the previous generations of boats. Boat hulls & decks used to be joined and made into a complete monocoque structure via the attachment of transverse bulkheads, laminated into both the hull and deck. This did two things: it transmitted the rigging loads (chainplates were attached to bulkheads and nearby knees) to a large portion of the structure (vs. localizing them), and it insured that a major loading on one piece of the hull-deck structure (e.g. a big wave landing on a piece of the trunk cabin, or the racking and torquing experienced by the hull in a heavy sea) was distributed to a much larger part of the structure. Many of today's grid systems accomplish the former but do little to deal with the latter. (See the last para in Robbie's post on this point). There are grids and then there are grids; the designs TPI builds and the grid systems it assembles aren't going to be the same as Hunter's grid.

Yet boats aren't sinking right & left, so how can this manufacturing choice be 'wrong'? The answer IMO is that almost every boat sailed will, sooner or later, experience a heavy rigging load, even if only for a short period. We all get caught out, sooner or later, in a thunderstorm or a squawl line, or have to beat back against a stiff headwind so we can get to the office the next morning...and so heavy rigging loads need to be accommodated by almost every boat. However, few of these boats go to sea for one continuous week, even once, when the boat is guaranteed to see a broader weather cycle that includes some heavier seas. Almost none of these boats, even once, experience two or three weeks at sea while covering longer distances and seeing an even greater variety of stresses. Consequently, the builders don't need to build to that standard and everyone ends up happier as a result: the build process is quicker, easier and therefore cheaper on both accounts, the owner gets good value for his/her intended use, and a broader cross-section of the sailing public can afford to be invested in boat ownership.

Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that 'modern' grid systems in all cases mean stronger monocoque structures, because they simply don't.

If the grid stucture don't garanty a stronger structure,what would you
suggest to those manufacturers.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:44   #37
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I am a qualified Ship Wright and have sailed for over 40 years. I have won several State and National sailing titles and have done many an ocean voyage. I have read with interest many threads regarding the suitability of the Beneteau for ocean voyages. There are a couple of things that I would like to point out.
1. The vacuumed bagged GRP if far superior to any hand laid up GRP.
2. The resign used is very important as is the amount of catalyst used production boats get this wright.
3. A lot of the ability of a boat to handle the conditions comes down to the sailor and how much sea room you have.
4. In many convoys’ I have been in the Beneteau’s have handled as good if not the best of all the boats.
5. There is little substitute for water length.
6. There is no substitute for a boat that can turn and run.
7. People that have not sailed a modern Beneteau should not comment on the argument.
8. The best designers in the world have designed the Beneteau and its no accident that they are a great yacht.

PS I do not own a Beneteau but have sailed them on occasions and have found them to be a well balanced boat that I would sail anywhere.
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Old 12-09-2009, 20:04   #38
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I agree with the above comments on the Benteau. I owned a Beneteau 50 in charter for 6 years. I would have been comfortable taking that boat anywhere. One interesting thing to point out is why Beneteau dominates the charter market. It is the lowest cost boat that holds up very well over time to the abuses a charter boat gets. The Beneteaus in the Moorings fleet average 30 weeks plus a year sailing. Few if any cruising boats even those going around the world spend that much time out of port. They hold up very well.
One Charter company tried to make major inroads in the charter market with Catalina's. They put a bunch of 42's into their fleet. They quite literally fell apart. 6 years later they were all virtually gone from the charter market while Beneteaus happily go 10 years plus in charter before a major refit. The Catalina's were suffering major bulkhead hull debonds and cracking after 2 years along with rudder problems.

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