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Old 18-09-2014, 09:13   #1
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Beneteau vs. Hunter

I'm looking at two boats for future purchase. A Beneteau 49 or a Hunter 49. I'm trying to decide which would be best for my needs. I plan to be a live aboard for awhile and make a few long blue water passages. I'm also a 90% solo sailor. I really like both, the Hunter seems to be more comfortable for a live aboard, but the Beneteau seems to be faster with good accommodations as well. I'd like to get some feedback about sea worthiness and dependability. As far as options and price the boats are pretty equal. One reason I'm having trouble coming to a decision.
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Old 18-09-2014, 09:19   #2
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

Oh God here we go.
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Old 18-09-2014, 09:21   #3
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

This may answer a few questions

Catalina or Hunter?
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Old 18-09-2014, 09:29   #4
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

I'll be the first to drift a bit off topic (it's going to happen anyway). A 49' for solo seems a might on the big side?
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Old 18-09-2014, 09:35   #5
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

Quote:
Originally Posted by manz View Post
I'd like to get some feedback about sea worthiness and dependability. As far as options and price the boats are pretty equal. One reason I'm having trouble coming to a decision.
I wrote this once in response to a similar question:

As I type, I am asking why get involved in such a discussion but here goes regardless. To quality my opinion, I should state that I have had the great opportunity to make a circumnav a number of years ago and throughout that experience, never, ever heard people actually doing it make some of the totally irrational statements I've read here on the internet, seemingly by people who have no clue what offshore sailing actually entails. I may be incorrect in this presumption but the vast majority of comments derogatory toward any mfg including Hunter seem to support my belief that these folks have never done it. Suprisingly, that minor detail seems to escape them as they appear quite content to speak authoritatively regardless.

To the point, no where, at no time and under no circumstance have I, during that trip, did I ever hea a conversation among cruisers criticizing a particular boat brand. The obvious reason is that we were all too busy complaining about breakdowns, repairs, spare parts, provisioning, water and fuel supplies, etc... regardless of what boat or who made it. Seemingly, the most problematic boats were the so-called gold-platers made to the proverbial highest standards with so many systems that problems were epidemic. We saw every conceivable type, size and make boat imaginable and it was abundantly clear that no generalitiy could be made about any of them. They were all there and floating nicely at anchor in places most people never heard of.

To do so here is only indicative of one thing - that the authors simply don't know any better.

In a storm, it was FAR more important how the crew managed the boat than who made it. It was FAR more important how old the sails were than who made them. Same with engines, rigs, masts, and lest I forget, coral can't read the nameplate when chewing up fiberglass.

About the most curcial ingredient I observed in determining if people were having a successful cruise was the happiness of the crew so whether your wife, girlfriend, life partner, etc... likes a boat made by Hunter, Catalina, Shannon or Mickey Mouse is equally if not more important than the grid structure, depth of the bilge, keel shape or rudder design.
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Old 18-09-2014, 09:49   #6
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

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I'll be the first to drift a bit off topic (it's going to happen anyway). A 49' for solo seems a might on the big side?
I had this same thought as well. Our 43' Beneteau is plenty for my wife and I to live on with our dog. Bigger just means more to maintain, clean, higher dockage fees..etc...etc..
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Old 18-09-2014, 10:05   #7
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Quote:
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I had this same thought as well. Our 43' Beneteau is plenty for my wife and I to live on with our dog. Bigger just means more to maintain, clean, higher dockage fees..etc...etc..
I would say, on the contrary, that there is no such thing as a boat which is too big (well, at least up to 70 feet or so) as long as you can afford to buy, maintain, and berth it, and you can accept the limitations which come from draft and mast height.

49' is a good size - easier and cheaper to berth than something bigger (50' is often the break point for everything charges), but big enough to give you a fairly stable platform offshore.
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Old 18-09-2014, 10:12   #8
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

I think either boat would do the job for you if you stick to the lower latitudes. Both are similar builds so pick the one that works best for you.
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Old 18-09-2014, 10:13   #9
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

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I wrote this once in response to a similar question....
What an excellent post. Thank you.
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Old 18-09-2014, 10:33   #10
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

Welcome Aboard | SEQUITUR
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Old 18-09-2014, 10:33   #11
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

If your doing anything else other than coastal passages, you may want to look at a number of different things, other than the obvious sails/motor/chainplates/rigging etc.

Capsize ratio and stability angle, comfort ratio, hull speed and other variables affect suitability to task. When comparing boats, consider these as coarse filters.

Bigger is not always better. A Flicka 20, Nebe Cape 28, or a Albin Vega 27 are all extremely capable "bluewater" boats.

A few sites you may want to reference:

Huge database on sailboat data:

Sailboatdata.com is the worlds largest sailboat database.

Down and dirty calculations using information from Sailboatdata on suitability to intended use:

Rate Your Boat-gosail.com
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Old 18-09-2014, 10:52   #12
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I would second what Illusion so nicely wrote. I am a Hunter owner, and very much enjoy my boat. She is a bit older, but has plenty of comfort below. I have sailed Bene's in the caribbean and in the cyclades in Greece in some snotty conditions, and very pleasant condtions. They were always solid boats, and very comfortable at sea and anchor. Qualitatively, I think the biggest difference is the beam carried aft on the Bene's for space down below, and the "lines" of the interior.

The hunters are much more american (of which I am one). Darker wood, fuzzier cloths on the furniture, and the galley layout more like my house. The Benes, to me, are more Euro down below. Straight lines, not much contrast between woods, leather instead of fabric. In other words, fairly spartan down below.

Other than that, I believe this to be a chevy vs. Ford type situation. Either boat will serve you well.

Ben
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Old 18-09-2014, 11:17   #13
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

While for some a 49' boat for solo voyaging may seem excessive, I think it can be manageable and even advantageous. For me, though, the important thing would be what the extra length provides as compared to capable boats half that LOA. In many production boats that size, the length is used for extra berths and heads that provide no benefit for solo voyaging. I would look for a stand-up engine room, a good work-bench/room and lots of storage that can be easily accessed. Slightly more controversial might be a place to stand-watch that provides 360 visibility, comfort, and protection from the weather. I'd say these features/aspects, among others, are more important than brand.
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Old 18-09-2014, 12:04   #14
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

I appreciate everyone's feedback. Thanks! I like the idea of a 49' to have the room when entertaining friends and family. Passage making will usually be done solo. That's not an issue for me. I'm a comfort creature, so I like space & optional equipment like, washing machine, ice maker, water maker, vsat, SSB...you get the picture. There are many fine smaller boats on the market I like, but most are actually close to same cost or even more expensive to buy.
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Old 18-09-2014, 14:09   #15
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Re: Beneteau vs. Hunter

If I was chucking money around I would move to a bigger boat.

I wold certainly be looking at the Beneteau 49... Or the Jeanuea 54. Both are fine for solo sailors. For a slightly older boat the Beneteau 523 is great.

Bigger the boat the more comfortable to live on and at sea.
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