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Old 28-10-2012, 18:56   #1
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Beneteau vs????

hey all,
new to forum. wanted to get some opinions regarding my search for a bigger boat. Grew up sailing, we have 3 kids and in a few years plan to take family and split for a year. Intercoastal down to Fla, then to Islands. No major blue water stuff, just basic cruising/island hopping. We've had a caliber '28 for 4 years- great boat, enjoyed sailing Chesapeake but in process of selling and starting the search for bigger (used- around '00-'04) boat. Budget is limiting me from my dream of a 40-ish Island Packet/etc and I've been thinking more about Beneteau (393, 411 etc).

1st, basic question: beneteau quality? I've heard very good things despite my admitted bias growing up about the factory/churned out product-- I'm really impressed with the aesthetics, finishing touches and basic look especially for the reasonable price tag. I guess the fact that basically all the charters use them speaks to the comfort factor-- but what is the general consensus on reliability? I'm used to the caliber, where everything is pretty much done right. All fittings through bolted, over built and sturdy. Comprable with Beneteau?

More specifically, other than catalina 40-ish what are some other go-to comparisons? I'm trying to balance comfort (3 kids/2 adults) with storage and above else quality. I know I'm asking the age old question- but would love to see what some folks have to offer.

I started off thinking the 38 was fine- but now thinking I should really target the 40 or 41.

once the year is done it will be chesapeake cruising. Way down the road potentially live aboard, who knows. So I figure I'll try and get biggest possible now and not have to upsize again (I know-- it always seems that way until you have to upsize).

thanks for reading.


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Old 28-10-2012, 19:10   #2
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Re: beneteau vs????

I agree with getting the biggest boat you can afford and handle. You'll save some cash in a few years. Beneteaus are good, clean production boats, good sailing characteristics, roomy, good tankage, etc.. Identifying your useage needs are critical. Potential live aboard is a big factor. Do your homework and sail on your selected models. Brokers love to take people sailing aboard their inventory. If you can, charter the model you like for a week... take her out and spin some winches! ;^}

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Old 28-10-2012, 19:20   #3
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Re: beneteau vs????

Thousands of people have chosen the 40-42 foot plastic boat. For good reasons.

Benneteau, Catalina, Hunter, Bavaria, Jeanneau...

I personally like the Benne and the Jeanneau the best and Hunters are currently off my list until the new owner gets a track record.

Good advice to charter these boats - should be plentiful to find.

40-42 foot depends on how old the kids are and how much space they need - you definitely need 3 cabins at least.
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Old 28-10-2012, 19:24   #4
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The in mast furler trades convenience for sailing performance. Personal preference is sailing performance and lazy jacks. There are 2 and 3 cabin versions. Check out both and decide which is best for your family.
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Old 28-10-2012, 19:42   #5
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Re: beneteau vs????

Beneteau equivalents include:

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Old 29-10-2012, 04:25   #6
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Re: Beneteau vs????

thanks all-- brad
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Old 29-10-2012, 04:38   #7
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Re: Beneteau vs????

Beneteau is my favorite of the production boats. There are some downsides -- inner hull pan and prefab joinery (but all production boats have this), hideous laminate sole finishing, and little lightly built thus creaky, but -- you get a hell of a lot of boat for the money, and they sail really excellently.

If I were buying a boat in that size range, I would avoid in-mast furling. I have in-mast furling on my boat, and it doesn't actually suck (if you search the archives on CF you will find more information than you will ever want to read, on the pros and cons), but I would definitely not choose it on a boat that size. You don't want to do anything to compromise sailing performance, on a boat which starts out with such good performance to begin with.
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Old 29-10-2012, 04:47   #8
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Re: Beneteau vs????

I have in-mast furling on Beneteau Oceanis 400 and love it. It has never been a problem of any kind for me on this particular model. It is a must IMO for me. I can single hand this boat all from the cockpit.
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Old 29-10-2012, 04:51   #9
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Re: Beneteau vs????

All production boats are basically the same as to build methods etc and differ mostly in interior design and other small details. If this wasn't true then a brand would go the way of the dodo bird.

There are thousands and thousands of them out out there with strong track records and the normal complaints about things like the pans coming loose are just "talk" that may have been a concern 20 years ago but have proven out. The modern mass producted boat is probably better than most "high end" boats of the 80s far as quality goes. They aren't as fancy in the interior, so if you are more interested is looking nice over comfort and function you may need to get an old boat instead.
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Old 29-10-2012, 23:34   #10
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Re: Beneteau vs????

Why not stay with Caliber? The 40 is sweet. They also make a 35.

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