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Old 06-03-2014, 10:16   #166
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

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First particle board isn't light weight, it's heavy, and yes it's cheap, screams low quality, no way around that.
Technically you are correct, particle board is a little heavier than most other types of wood by cubic foot, but that's not the context of what I'm saying. When people use particle board, they keep things simple. I was thinking of simple particle board cabinets vs. ornate teak cabinets with lots of fancy molding. The former is lower quality but it will be a lot lighter than the latter.

And I'm not even sure if Beneteau uses it. I have seen particle board on a few catamarans, but I don't recall ever seeing it on a new monohull.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:44   #167
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

Boats have never been built better than now. The idea that old boats were better built is just a mirage. The control quality is much better now as well as the building techniques and the huge competition assures that they stay that way. Not so well built brands will go bankrupt as some have been on the last years.

Yes some things are cheaper like less winches (4 instead of six) but that comes with easier rigging like a self taking jib as frontal sail. They are also faster and with better interiors than older boats (more space, better storage, nicer design).

I have seen Senses on boat shows and I could not find anything wrong with the quality. Regarding their price range the quality seems to be good and the design just excellent.

It is interesting how tastes in what regards design, interior comfort and feeling can vary. The Oceanis 38 was elected this year's European family boat of the year and all testers from many European countries, that have a big knowledge about all boats on the market, found the interior great and very innovative, while someone here just have found it "plain strange"
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:54   #168
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

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I was at the Annapolis boat show last October. I looked at the Beneteaus carefully, especially the Sense 50, since that's on my short list. I didn't notice any problems with quality at all. In fact, it looked damned impressive. The Sense is also an innovative design. Except for Seaward RKs, I can't think of another production boat that gives you something different than the standard master cabin forward/dual cabins aft/galley & salon in the middle layout.

Another consideration. A lot of people seem to think the thick heavy woodwork on some yachts (like HR) implies quality. It does, but it's damn heavy. It also looks awfully dated. Catamarans used to have little to no interior woodwork because they are more weight sensitive. They have since changed, because people preferred to see wood and so that's what they bought. But that is also a lot of extra weight. My point is that some of the lighter woods/particle board used on boats is a weight saving consideration, not necessarily a reflection of "cheapness".
If you like a boat that screams Ikea regarding quality... then go for it!

On the Beneteau 38 I got my foot stuck on the companionway ladder upon entry, then grabbed the handhold to brace myself, and got my knuckle stuck under it. If those area also features you prefer in a rolling sea, by all means... buy the boat.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:33   #169
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

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First particle board isn't light weight, it's heavy, and yes it's cheap, screams low quality, no way around that.

...
Not the one used normally on boats (cheap) and regarding cheap I remember Bavaria that used real wood on the Cabinets not long ago. The material used on boat cabinets are not normal particle board but marine grade one (engineered wood made of epoxy and wood particles) and obviously different regarding the price and quality of the boat. If you look at a cabinet of a XP yacht you will find it amazingly light and thin and even so I bet the quality is superior than the ones apparently more robust that you can find on Jeanneau, even so much more thin then if they were made of real wood.

Good quality cabinets made of engineered wood can have 1/3 of the weight of the typical hardwood used on older boats even if their density is superior. Yes it is less expensive than hardwood but also makes boats lighter and therefore better sailingboats.

Good engineered wood is only heavier by volume but since you can make cabinets much thinner with them, the overall weight of the engineered wood used on the same cabinets would be just a fraction of the one they would have if made of massive hardwood.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:43   #170
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

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If you like a boat that screams Ikea regarding quality... then go for it!

...
Sure the professional testers that chose it for European boat of the year among a big choice are just blind or on the Beneteau pay role

It would not be more correct to say that you don't appreciate that type of modern interior design that you seem to associate with Ikea?
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:12   #171
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

Sounds to me like a typical Benateau,originally built for the rental market with a 5 year lifespan.
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Old 06-03-2014, 13:03   #172
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

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If you like a boat that screams Ikea regarding quality... then go for it!
I have a few shelves and a desk from Ikea. Even after 10 years, and a few moves, they still look great and function just fine.

I notice you sail an Oyster 53. I'm sure that's a fine boat. But a new Oyster around that size (like a 545) costs at least $1.5 million. You literally have to be a millionaire to buy one. By contrast, an Beneteau Oceanis 55, even with generous options, will cost about half that.

So that $750K Beneteau might seem "cheap" to you but it's still considered an extreme luxury and well out of the range of the average American or European. I guess my point is that if forums like this keep scaring people away from Beneteau/Jenneau/Hunters, etc, then yachting as a hobby will dry up as average people feel priced out.

Of course, some people suggest going cheaper by buying an older boat from a "quality" manufacturer. You can, but then you don't get a warranty, you still have to refit it, you can't order it with the options you want, and it's harder to get insured.

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On the Beneteau 38 I got my foot stuck on the companionway ladder upon entry, then grabbed the handhold to brace myself, and got my knuckle stuck under it. If those area also features you prefer in a rolling sea, by all means... buy the boat.
I guess if you have small hands and feet that you don't need to worry about that.. I don't think that's an issue of quality per se, but more an issue of ergonomics. To be sure, the Beneteau 38 is a bit of an oddball. It was built to be easily set to different configurations and suit different people's tastes.
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Old 06-03-2014, 13:03   #173
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

My personal opinion is Engineered wood is very close to plastic and I don't like plastic furniture, but then of course opinions, well you know we all have our own, right?
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Old 06-03-2014, 13:36   #174
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

Yes you are right, There are tastes to everything but one thing is a taste other is efficiency in what regards a use (lighter cabinets).

Some don't like "plastic" boats either.
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Old 06-03-2014, 23:48   #175
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

It's nice to sit in a new Beneteau at a boat show or in the marina with the leather settees and pop-up flat screen TV's... but it just doesn't put me in the mood to be at sea. That's a personal thing, nothing against plastic boats even. I have always grown up on boats with a certain smell to them and it made me feel good; I knew I was on the boat. Even Beneteaus and Hunters, just not the newer models.

Although since this is a thread about the Sense, I have to say I just love the design. One step down into the salon, open transom, it somewhat resembles an Open race boat, and I love it.
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Old 06-03-2014, 23:55   #176
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

The new mono hulls are starting to compete with Cats. The builders know that almost all boats sit in marinas and are sailed less and less every year. Its about how they function as a live a board rather than how well they go upwind.
People want patio doors leading to patios these days and the builders are building just what people want. And ya I like many of them too.
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:52   #177
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Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

Most boats never went more the a few hours from base, they didn't back then and they don't now.

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Old 07-03-2014, 03:00   #178
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

I don't want to get into a slanging match here, but there are some of us who actually do go off voyaging and long term cruising and other aberrant activities. My view of designs such as the Sense are that I don't want to go near them for MY uses. If I was in the market for a new ride, I would not be looking at ANY of the mass production vessels. It isn't that they are built to a price point, it is that they are designed to appeal to folks who do something very different to what I do.

It has always been thus, I think. Perhaps the new models have strayed further from what I desire, dunno but it sure seems that way to me. For us, it meant that after three years of intensive searching, we ended up buying a 13 year old one-off. It wasn't cheap, and we could have obtained a much newer production boat for the same dollar, but after 11 years and nearly 50,000 miles I would not change the decision.

It's all a matter of personal values systems, so YMMV a whole lot!

Cheers,

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Old 07-03-2014, 03:18   #179
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

We are in the same boat but one has to consider the fact that builders sell very few boats to voyagers.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:22   #180
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Re: Beneteau Sense Quality Issues

It seems that everybody is forgetting that the Sense has a hull heavily influenced by the one of a solo racer, the type of boats that make the Vendee Globe. They do not seem marina boats to me neither their hull is designed with marinas, interior space, or patio doors in mind.

They are designed to be the fastest boats to be sailed alone on the trade winds and that does not mean that they cannot sail well upwind, just that they are maximized for upwind sailing and easy sailing. They have to be very stable and forgiving for a single sailor to be able to tame all that power and also to be run on autopilot most of the time, even on stormy weather.

This profile makes a lot of sense for a cruising boat, even for a voyage boat: easy, fast, very stable, sailing with little heel and adapted to solo cruising or short crew sailing. That's why almost all modern cruising boats, include voyage ones went that way in what regards design.

Sure, it is not the best hull if someone is intended to circumnavigate or cross Oceans against the prevailing winds but who want to do that? If the ones that cross oceans are few the ones that cross them the "wrong" way are really a tiny minority and for those, certainly this boat would be a huge mistake.
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