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Old 31-05-2013, 18:09   #31
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

FWIW, I have a specific concern about the Beneteau Sense from a design perspective, but it's by no means the only vessel with the combination of elements I'm concerned about, which is this:

Twin rudders, which are unprotected.

First let me clarify: I think twin rudders can be fantastic, to the extent that my next boat will certainly have them.

I also think skegs are not the best way to protect a rudder, and in some implementations, I think they're worse than a spade rudder.

In fact I consider free-standing rudders are definitively the best match for a modern hull form ...

... and I don't happen to be a fan of most traditional hull forms, and would never own one (although in the appropriate circumstances some of them make sense to me).

But getting back to my proposition: to me a spade rudder is inviting disaster unless it lines up with something stronger and deeper.

Generally that means a fixed keel.

Unless the boat has twin deep keels, that means a single spade rudder.

Twin rudders which are not behind deep fixed twin keels, it seems to me, need to be able to kick up when they hit or gather up something (and in extreme conditions, you also need to be able to get them back down again immediately, like right now.)


Otherwise I think it would be wise to travel with an escort, if travelling far from land. And please spare me the accounts of boats where this has not been a problem: there are plenty of old jaywalkers, too...


PS: Even MacGregors covered this contingency, albeit by accident ... and frankly, how they could ever have pretended with a straight face that the things pictured qualify as 'rudders' is beyond me:

I'm not convinced they would serve the purpose, for the long haul, on a respectable sailing dinghy.
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Old 31-05-2013, 19:22   #32
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

Well, at least with twin rudders you have a spare! ;-)
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:33   #33
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

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Originally Posted by sandy stone View Post
Well, at least with twin rudders you have a spare! ;-)
I hope you have some spare hull material to go along with your spare rudder, if you lose one from an impact it may take out a piece of hull with it . I see these on Southerly's and have concern.

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:49   #34
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
First let me clarify: I think twin rudders can be fantastic, to the extent that my next boat will certainly have them....

...I also think skegs are not the best way to protect a rudder, and in some implementations, I think they're worse than a spade rudder.

...In fact I consider free-standing rudders are definitively the best match for a modern hull form ...

... and I don't happen to be a fan of most traditional hull forms, and would never own one (although in the appropriate circumstances some of them make sense to me).

But getting back to my proposition: to me a spade rudder is inviting disaster unless it lines up with something stronger and deeper.

Generally that means a fixed keel.

Unless the boat has twin deep keels, that means a single spade rudder.
Sounds like you are looking for a catamaran...

Mark
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Old 01-06-2013, 17:44   #35
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

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Either way it's got to be a really bad time to be in the "new boat" business.
Price them too high and few people want them. Reduce quality and suffer reputation (like this).
Now more than ever it's a good time to be looking at boats that were built even just 5-10 years ago for best value per dollar.
Seems like most builders were producing much better quality then than now.
It is extremely difficult to buy a used boat if you need to borrow the $$$, some banks want liquidity equal to the price of the boat. Beneteau teamed up with SGB and will finance new boats with very little $$ down. Some people get the new clorox bottles because they cannot afford the 20 year old Swan even though the older boat is cheaper.
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:03   #36
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

It's a production boat, what do you expect? But I'm all for Hunters and Beneteaus. They sell alot of cheap boats to folks who can't afford better, and in doing so they create sales volume that keeps the cost of parts-- for engines, winches, electronics, canvas, you name it-- at a reasonable level so that those of us who wouldn't be caught dead in a production boat can afford the cost of maintaining our boats.

I wish Hunter and Beneteau every success going forward.
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:22   #37
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

Curmudgeon.

A compelling argument, and at first reading I bought it entirely.

However, on sober reflection, it struck me there might be a downside.

The mass market for brass seacocks, 'marine' diesels which will not run without electricity, gimballed geegaws and I-frou-frous and all that tedious rubbish....

could easily siphon off the profitability of serious offfshore-suitable gear, much as Harbour Freight and Jet and Rong Fu disposable machine tools have killed off the new supply of decent (no frills, but fit-for-purpose) lathes and mills for the home workshop.

Simulations are invariably more profitable than authentic renditions.
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:23   #38
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

As for the point deluxe68 raises:

Borrowing money to buy something discretionary which produces no income strikes me as tantamount to ....

I think I'll shut up now.
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Old 01-06-2013, 23:00   #39
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
As for the point deluxe68 raises:

Borrowing money to buy something discretionary which produces no income strikes me as tantamount to ....

I think I'll shut up now.
Good idea.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:23   #40
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

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Building down to price is a real issue for most builders at this time.
We have experienced a huge inflation curve since 2005 based upon the cost of oil.
It has effected every aspect of manufacturing, not just fiberglass and other actual
oil based" products.
If you took a 36 foot boat that cost $150k to build in the year 2000 as an example and built the same boat to the same specifications today my guess is that it would cost $250k.
Builders are faced with building to the same quality they did in the past and risk pricing themselves out of the market or cutting corners with materials and labor to maintain an acceptable price point.
Frankly, I'm appalled that a thread on Beneteau (and others) build quality has not descended into the proper vitriolic and profane slug fest it normally does. Perhaps you gentlemen are getting too old for such a vigorous challenge.

May I add the fact that the US dollars atrocious performance against the euro over the past decade has also had a significant impact on the ability of euro boat builders to supply a decent product to the US, one of their largest markets. While Bene does not ship many boats to the American market anymore they still must repatriate their margins, and, well, a buck just ain't a buck anymore. Their subsidiary Jeanneau still does export the product here, and obviously that currency loss of somewhere approaching 33% is a painfully direct hit to their bottom line or their build quality, unless you can make some ginormous productivity gains.

Shortly after Bene bought Jeanneau they sold the former's state of the art factory Dufour and I would argue Dufour has build better boats since then while Jeanneau has reversed the direction.

If the U.S. could get back on track economically I have no doubt better European boats would again find their way to the shores of America, but that would require it's denizens to shift focus away from their lax gun laws, outdated constitution, and focus on imperialistic conquests as opposed to working on real problems like domestic retooling, political compromise, education, and class distinction.

Now if this doesn't start a good ole slug fest, I quit. I did my best.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:55   #41
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

I wasn't sure if I wanted to get into this one, but here goes. Over the past three years, we've owned a Hunter 450 which we loved as a fun dockside condo which sailed nicely in the light winds off Southern California. Upon wanting to move up into a larger, more sea worthy vessel we looked long and close at the newer Beneteaus and Jenneaus and found them lacking in quality and function much like the original poster. What really scared us off was two of the Jenneau 54DS models we made offers on had surveys come back with the through hulls needing replacement, so we thought.... where else did the manufacturer cut corners? In addition.... looking at vessels 3-4 years old, they didn't seem to age well. Another issue when looking at the usual suspects at the boat shows, there was a noted lack of opening ports for ventilation; not good if you plan to spend much time at anchor.

Lesson learned: You get what you pay for. We ultimately settled on an Oyster 53, one year later.... no regrets.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:31   #42
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
I don't know how to reconcile the claim of 'companies with integrity' with recent blossoming among the big name builders of practices like using brass for seacocks.

What next. Papier maché decks?
I think they have those already, albeit it does appear you have to wait a while (a couple of years? / months? / weeks? ) to achieve true Papier Maché deck status. But on the upside, yer get to go faster in the meantime.......

The market always gets what the market wants (to pay for) - whether a good thing or not for either side is a different thing, but a race to the bottom don't usually end without a splat .

But to be fair to manufacturers, a fine line to tread between selling stuff today and destroying the brand name in the long term by selling polished turds to bring in cash. And likely that folks like Beneteau dip above and below that line from time to time......of course the great thing about selling new boats to a first time buyers market is that a) they likely will be selling anyway before life expectancy of parts (or the sum!) becomes an issue, b) they don't know sh#t from shinola and c) odds are they using someone else's money (via a Finance / HP form), so don't tend to care so much at point of sale.....it's not as if it is "real" money is it?
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:00   #43
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

When paying cash for such a large purchase as a yacht, I think one does tend to look at things differently. You start to dig deeper into the quality, longevity traits and are less impressed with the shiny gadgets and come-on items promoted at the boat shows like automatic electrified opening companionway hatches, cockpits that double as a hot tub. Hunter even offered a hot tub beneath the master cabin bed... What the heck? Where are you ever going to get that much hot fresh water? And I remember thinking... 11 gallon water heater, oh yeah, that'll work...

When the new boats have cheapened items like Formica covered flooring that squeak and cabinets made of the same, one has to wonder how it's going to hold up over time. Something else that's so difficult to quantify is the quality of the stainless steel onboard a new boat. On our Oyster, even without the stainless being treated or polished in over 6 years.... it still looks like new. on some of the newer production boats and even some of the semi custom boats, I sometimes see rust developing even after only a year's time.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:50   #44
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

Interesting thread. As someone very new to this whole sailing thing, and a potential buyer of a cheap production boat that some people "wouldn't be seen dead on" I'm interested in what you people do to your boats that would cause so much damage?

I'm sure if a "cheap" production boat and an old man's blue water tank of a boat were in some crazy storm the tank would stand up better. But isn't the idea to try and avoid those?

I've charted a few different Bene's, Hanse's, etc. And they all sailed well, looked good (to my eyes) and, well... did the job. I didn't see things falling off, cracked, or rusted.

I think sometimes bashing the production boats is a way for some owners who've spent 5x as much to justify the purchase so they can sleep at night.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:00   #45
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Re: Beneteau sense quality issues

I decided an hour ago to ignore this thread but I have to pipe up....
What we are saying is that a Jeanneau isnt a "real" sailing boat and I am not a "real" sailor because I own one?
So the 1500 miles I have sailed in the last 4 weeks were not "real" miles?
Gentlemen, beware sweeping generalisations. They serve your point of view poorly and cheapen anything you subsequently say.
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