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Old 17-09-2013, 19:37   #1
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Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Looking at 30-35' Beneteau as a cruiser for single-handed cruising Florida and the Bahamas. Difference between a "First" and "Oceanis"? Are hull windows weak spot? Called "Plastic" boat, is that aesthetic or physical reference? Any info would be appreciated.
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Old 17-09-2013, 19:57   #2
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pirate Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Solo'd an Oceanis 321 and a 331 west to east across the Atlantic...
321 non stop St Martin to UK...
331 via the Azores to Portugal, Madeira, Azores, UK...
Great boats...
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Old 17-09-2013, 20:08   #3
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

I've come across many Beneteaus out there doing it and doing it well!
I don't like the idea of iron keels on them. I sailed on a Clipper 41 and it slammed to windward in only 1 metre seas Panama to Galapagos where my Catalina seems alot smoother in the same conditions.
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Old 17-09-2013, 20:59   #4
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Regarding Hull windows, just be sure the caulking is holding strong the window, from inside push the window with the hand , if you feel any movement the window need new glue caulking....
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Old 18-09-2013, 05:38   #5
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Good all round modern boats. sometimes the systems need a big of an upgrade. The toyota Corrolla of the seas.

The "firsts" were mainly aimed at the performance crowd, whereas "oceanus" for years was "everything else". In recent years with the introduction of the lower cost charter orientated "cyclades" range , Oceanis was meant to be the "comfort owners" models. Now I believe Cyclades is out of the range and its 'sense", "oceaniu" and "first" , each similar but aimed at different market segments

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Old 18-09-2013, 06:43   #6
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

I have a 2003 Oceanis 331. Have never crossed an ocean but that isn't because I wouldn't trust the boat to do so. I have logged close to 15k miles coastal cruising on the west coast usually between 10 and 50 miles off shore. Almost all miles have been single handed. I am in my 60's and find the boat quite easy to handle solo. Have sailed in winds up to 40 knots and typical Pacific ocean conditions. No failures or problems ever. No leaks. Have never had water in the bilge.
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Old 18-09-2013, 06:49   #7
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pirate Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amnesia II View Post
I've come across many Beneteaus out there doing it and doing it well!
I don't like the idea of iron keels on them. I sailed on a Clipper 41 and it slammed to windward in only 1 metre seas Panama to Galapagos where my Catalina seems alot smoother in the same conditions.
Ease back a tad and it gets more comfortable...
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Old 18-09-2013, 07:03   #8
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amnesia II View Post
I've come across many Beneteaus out there doing it and doing it well!
I don't like the idea of iron keels on them. I sailed on a Clipper 41 and it slammed to windward in only 1 metre seas Panama to Galapagos where my Catalina seems alot smoother in the same conditions.
I am always amazed at people who "pound right into it" and complain that a boat is not comfortable.
Usually falling off a bit will solve the pounding problem and you will actually go faster and make better VMG.

Also, I don't have a problem with an iron keel. Most builders who use them coat them in epoxy. (Beneteau does this also).
Even if they were not coated and left to "rust away" it would probably take about ten lifetimes for a 4000 lb hunk of iron to go away.
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Old 19-09-2013, 01:58   #9
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Hundreds of French families can't be wrong.
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Old 19-09-2013, 11:36   #10
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

I've owned and sailed both a Hunter 30 and Beneteau 33 in the Bahamas. The Beneteau was by far more comfortable, better rigged and in my opinion, better built. The Hunter was less expensive, and had a shallower draft.

Both were fine options for cruises of 1 -3 months.

What draft you feel you need is something to seriously consider for Bahamas cruising.

This summer I single handed my Beneteau from the BVIs to Florida where it's now for sale if you are interested.
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Old 20-09-2013, 03:55   #11
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Thank you for all of your responses. A positive note going forward!
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Old 05-10-2013, 19:38   #12
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I've been sailing a friend's 1999 Beneteau Oceanis 36 for a little while now. Other than a draft of 5'2 (deep for the FL Keys where I live), the boat performs very well in light & strong winds. Really easy to get 5-6 knots just out of the jib. The boat always feels solid & drives through the seas. And it does it in comfort! Probably not my first choice for a sailboat for $90k+, but I live on the water & get use of the boat anytime I want for letting my friend keep it here.
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Old 05-10-2013, 20:12   #13
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Back in the 90's I did a fair amount of cruising on a First 42. We usually had 4-6 people on board. She performed well in all ways that I could perceive.

Single handing that boat was best left to an experienced sailor in moderate wind conditions, unless you were planning to just motor.

About the worst weather that I personally saw while aboard her was in the neighborhood of 35 knot winds off Bishops & Clerks, which is a normally choppy area near Hyannisport MA. It was a bumpy ride, but she handled it well. I would feel safe making that same trip again with a crew of at least 2.
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Old 06-10-2013, 18:17   #14
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

The Oceanis 34 shallow keel is not "A" Rated but the fin keel is. Have an inquiry to Beneteau design team to find out why. Catalina 315 winged keel is "A" Rated.
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Old 06-10-2013, 18:22   #15
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Re: Beneteau's as Cruising Boats +'s -'s

Maybe not quite comparable - but

a friend just skippered an Oceanis 58 from San Diego to Honolulu and back - round trip in seven weeks. He thought it was a very sea worthy boat.

I delivered the boat up the coast from San Diego - all motoring

the only drawback I saw was the size (enormous) of the main cabin and the lack of hand holds.

One crewman was thrown 15' across the cabin from the nav station seat into the stove and severely injured his back. Not comparable to the smaller boat.

the Oceanis boats I've delivered around here seemed well built
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