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Old 18-12-2009, 00:32   #1
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Can Jeanneau , Bavaria or Beneteau Be Good as Ocean Crossing Boats ?

Hi all,

Here it goes,
My questions goes to you who have been there and done that.

My dream is to get the boat for a round the world trip. I am looking for something in the range 35 to 40 feet size for me and my wife. Budget range from $60.000 to $80.000.

I saw some nice boats from mass production boat building companies.
Can this work for the blue water? How safe are they? Does anyone have first hand experience with these boats? Would you consider buying these boats if you are in my situation?

What to look for on the offshore boat?
If you would not go for any of these boats what would you choose?

I would like to hear your opinion on this. I know I have asked a lot here and not give a lot of info, but I am in the early stage of narrowing down my selection and your info will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Ivan
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Old 18-12-2009, 04:05   #2
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You may find many on cruising sites against plastic boats (Jeanneau, Bavaria or Beneteau) I am not but one problem you will run into with the shorter boats you mentioned is storage. Fuel and water tanks are usually very small as the boats are primarily designed for charter work so do not require long distance provisioning. Many are in love with heavy displacement vessels built in the 70-80s. Just like cars modern construction and design has allowed the building of strong light efficient vehicles but just as in cars many hate plastic & long for a return to heavy chrome plated bumpers etc. Good luck
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Old 18-12-2009, 05:32   #3
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sure, why not!

There are hundreds of the boats you mention out sailing the world with very few problems. When I first started sailing back in the 1970's, boats on average were much smaller than today. Sailors were crossing oceans regularly in 28-30 boats many of them lesser quality than the boats you mention.
Actually there are many of them still out there today.
Marketing and a flush economy have driven up the desires and abilities of sailors to buy bigger boats and to perpetuate the belief that you need $300k for a cruising boat.
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Old 18-12-2009, 06:43   #4
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I think you are asking the wrong question.

First, this kind of Q always ends up producing contentious and opposing A's (search any sailing BB; your Q has been chewed on endlessly) that will leave you confused. Some of us will have seen many examples of these brands (among others) being unfit for the purpose you intend (I sure have...) while others of us are out doing just what you aspire to do on the same boats and are pleased with their decision. There is no reconciling this, as the true Q you mean to ask is whether such a boat, at your price point, is what YOU will want to be sailing & living aboard, when offshore and in the Boonies.

A multi-year Circle is a very ambitious project that is going to seriously test any boat (and not just in structural terms), so I'd suggest you look at it differently. I'd suggest you start with a Q like: "I have $60K to spend on a used boat (with my other $20K set aside for repairs/upgrades/outfitting and the like, before setting off). What boat will best meet my needs for that $60K?"

Then comes the homework, especially for someone with limited experience. You need to zero in on the essential, functional demands of a boat doing extended cruising and, from those, identifying what your criteria will be. To separate the wheat from the chaff - what is truly needed for safety & comfort vs. all the jewelry and gizmos in the ads and endlessly discussed on our various boating BB's - can be a challenging exercise but it will end up serving as the cornerstone of all that follows. Consider using no more than one or two primary references that intentionally attempt to discriminate between the essential and the rest, and do your work. (My #1 rec would be Beth Leonard's Voyager's Handbook. Pay attention to her 'low budget' generic boat & crew that she repeatedly describes when discussing various boat characteristics).

If you do your work, you'll end up with a much easier time of it in selecting the boat. Some examples: You'll come to realize that fresh water tankage may need to be much more emphasized than you'd imagined simply because your budget may not support the initial & upkeep cost of a water maker, even a cheap one since it could cost you perhaps 20% of your prep budget. You'll put significant (and functional) storage capacity on your list. You'll come to understand the central importance of a beefy anchor roller set-up (along with the boat's ability to handle much weight up forward). You'll learn that the repeated shock-loading of the deck & rigging hardware far exceeds what most boats see in more typical uses. And with these kind of criteria in hand, you'll look at all boats through a fresh lens and it will be much easier to weed out 'your' boat from the flock.

You'll begin to appreciate how many boat builders these days (to include most of the models built by the mfgrs you mentioned) push their interiors 'out' in order to make the boat appear bigger and more 'open', with the inevitable loss of accessible storage compartments. You will notice that the bow roller assemblies are often cantilevered and built of 5mm/6mm stainless plate and bends are with tight radiuses. You'll begin to look at how beefy the deck hardware is, how its built and how its attached to the boat. You'll look at the tankage and scratch your head about how that could possibly work. And overarching all of this will be the inevitable ratcheting down of the size of the vessel you can realistically purchase, which will just make matching all your criteria that much more challenging.

Boiling all this down, the process I'm recommending - Criteria first, budget second - is the reverse of the typical process most of us follow - Size first, budget second, then live with the criteria the boat can match. But for your level of aspirations, a multi-year Circle, it's the better one.

Jack
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Old 18-12-2009, 14:08   #5
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Ivan,
First I feel the same way that Jack (Eurocruiser) does. His advice is sound.
The production boats you mention have many examples that are out cruising the world right now. I went to a talk at the Vancouver Maritime Museum where a cruiser was discussing how he and his wife crossed the Indian Ocean in a Bavaria 37. He unfortunately got hit by the same Cyclone (twice) and the boat was actually knocked down twice (winds over 70 knots if I remember right). He was tethered to his boat, so did not go overboard, and the boat suffered no damage of any significance. I think this example shows that these boats can take alot.

With that said (and I own a Bavaria 36 - slightly newer model than the above mentioned 37), if I was looking to go on an around the world trip, and I was just looking to purchase a boat, I might not end up with any of the boats you mention (not sure though as I have not gone through the process as described by Euro as I am not planning such a trip). I would however use a decisionmaking process something like Jack described. Remember, if you do decide to go with a Bavaria, Beneteau, or a Juneau (after you make the necessary upgrades and additions) that with prudent weather planning and preparation, these boats can successfully do it. Even more important though is proper crew preparation and training (experience). Just my humble opinion.
Good luck and good research,
Tom
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Old 18-12-2009, 15:18   #6
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Get something more solid. For that money there are lots of choices like a Tayana 37
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Old 18-12-2009, 18:07   #7
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I have met:

- 1 Jeanneau, new, 53' or so, circumnavigated,
- 1 Bavaria, new, 40'ish, lost stick once and a half,
- 1 Beneteau 32, old, doing fine.

That was in my 4.5 year circumnavigation.

IMHO any boat can circumnavigate. In some, you will need much luck. In others, good luck will be welcomed, but not a part of the equation.

With your budget I would go for a s/h quality boat.

b.
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Old 18-12-2009, 18:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Wald View Post

... There are hundreds of the boats you mention out sailing the world with very few problems...
Yes. Within some distance from their home marinas there are plenty of them.

Again, not meaning one can't. I am considering things in the specific budget range only.

b.
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Old 19-12-2009, 03:27   #9
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It occurs to me that another simple example to illustrate my point is that, after some research, one could form a fairly firm opinion about the appropriateness of a totally unsupported, semi-balanced ('spade') rudder (such as found on the boat brands being mentioned). What made me think of this is that, at the very small yard adjacent to our current berth, I've seen 3 boats the last few months with bent/broken spade rudders (and this is on the St. John's River, a protected body of water). The last one, a Hunter 41DS, hung the rudder up on a shoal and the back end of the boat has come apart (liner from hull). A special 2-part Plexus bonding agent had to be ordered (as rec'd by Hunter) to make this repair, glass work done elsewhere in the cockpit/transom area, and a new rudder/shaft assembly has been ordered from Hunter. And all this damage resulted from an event that only crushed a very small end portion of the rudder itself. Interestingly, this is very similar to the description of a similar event I got from another Hunter owner whom I met in Malta, and who had to fly in a new rudder.

'Stuff' happens to all boats. A stout Moody ended up in this same yard after being driven ashore in a storm and the pounding on its rudder broke the quadrant, as well. But the less supported the rudder, the more vulnerable.

Jack
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Old 19-12-2009, 05:24   #10
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Great as Usual!

Well, as usual, Jack has nailed it!

I used this basic "system", myself, when looking for my boat.....offshore voyages, ocean crossings, long range cruising, etc. were my primary goals.....so, I had offshore safety and comfort at the top of my list.....
(note that with most boats "survivability" is, in my opinion, a non-starter, since most boats will "suvive" much more than the crew can....)
Design, construction, QC, structural integrity (including rig), tankage, STORAGE, etc. were all things I looked at first.....

I honestly could not add more to what Jack wrote, so I'll just quote his entire post here.....
(Oh, the bit about anchor rollers is surprisingly true.....and as for tankage, I saw a 43' "cruiser" debuted at one of the Strictly Sail shows a few years ago, that had only a 8 litre (~ 2.4gal) holding tank, don't remember the water capacity, but it was very small......)
Sorry to ramble on and on, just reread Jack's post.....

John


Quote:
Originally Posted by Euro Cruiser View Post
I think you are asking the wrong question.

First, this kind of Q always ends up producing contentious and opposing A's (search any sailing BB; your Q has been chewed on endlessly) that will leave you confused. Some of us will have seen many examples of these brands (among others) being unfit for the purpose you intend (I sure have...) while others of us are out doing just what you aspire to do on the same boats and are pleased with their decision. There is no reconciling this, as the true Q you mean to ask is whether such a boat, at your price point, is what YOU will want to be sailing & living aboard, when offshore and in the Boonies.

A multi-year Circle is a very ambitious project that is going to seriously test any boat (and not just in structural terms), so I'd suggest you look at it differently. I'd suggest you start with a Q like: "I have $60K to spend on a used boat (with my other $20K set aside for repairs/upgrades/outfitting and the like, before setting off). What boat will best meet my needs for that $60K?"

Then comes the homework, especially for someone with limited experience. You need to zero in on the essential, functional demands of a boat doing extended cruising and, from those, identifying what your criteria will be. To separate the wheat from the chaff - what is truly needed for safety & comfort vs. all the jewelry and gizmos in the ads and endlessly discussed on our various boating BB's - can be a challenging exercise but it will end up serving as the cornerstone of all that follows. Consider using no more than one or two primary references that intentionally attempt to discriminate between the essential and the rest, and do your work. (My #1 rec would be Beth Leonard's Voyager's Handbook. Pay attention to her 'low budget' generic boat & crew that she repeatedly describes when discussing various boat characteristics).

If you do your work, you'll end up with a much easier time of it in selecting the boat. Some examples: You'll come to realize that fresh water tankage may need to be much more emphasized than you'd imagined simply because your budget may not support the initial & upkeep cost of a water maker, even a cheap one since it could cost you perhaps 20% of your prep budget. You'll put significant (and functional) storage capacity on your list. You'll come to understand the central importance of a beefy anchor roller set-up (along with the boat's ability to handle much weight up forward). You'll learn that the repeated shock-loading of the deck & rigging hardware far exceeds what most boats see in more typical uses. And with these kind of criteria in hand, you'll look at all boats through a fresh lens and it will be much easier to weed out 'your' boat from the flock.

You'll begin to appreciate how many boat builders these days (to include most of the models built by the mfgrs you mentioned) push their interiors 'out' in order to make the boat appear bigger and more 'open', with the inevitable loss of accessible storage compartments. You will notice that the bow roller assemblies are often cantilevered and built of 5mm/6mm stainless plate and bends are with tight radiuses. You'll begin to look at how beefy the deck hardware is, how its built and how its attached to the boat. You'll look at the tankage and scratch your head about how that could possibly work. And overarching all of this will be the inevitable ratcheting down of the size of the vessel you can realistically purchase, which will just make matching all your criteria that much more challenging.

Boiling all this down, the process I'm recommending - Criteria first, budget second - is the reverse of the typical process most of us follow - Size first, budget second, then live with the criteria the boat can match. But for your level of aspirations, a multi-year Circle, it's the better one.

Jack
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Old 19-12-2009, 05:53   #11
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Over 25% of the ARC fleet were made up of the brands you reference, the smallest being a Bene 31. So yes they can cross oceans. I did not read of any problems with these boats.

Entry List for World Cruising Club: ARC

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibrgic View Post
Hi all,

Here it goes,
My questions goes to you who have been there and done that.

My dream is to get the boat for a round the world trip. I am looking for something in the range 35 to 40 feet size for me and my wife. Budget range from $60.000 to $80.000.

I saw some nice boats from mass production boat building companies.
Can this work for the blue water? How safe are they? Does anyone have first hand experience with these boats? Would you consider buying these boats if you are in my situation?

What to look for on the offshore boat?
If you would not go for any of these boats what would you choose?

I would like to hear your opinion on this. I know I have asked a lot here and not give a lot of info, but I am in the early stage of narrowing down my selection and your info will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Ivan
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Old 19-12-2009, 12:15   #12
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Strength & durability - an important factor
Seaworthiness - you may assess this in a slightly different, more comprehensive way, so this may be regarded as another factor to consider?
How to assess these factors? There are some metrics, but it is largely subjective.
How much strength, durability and seaworthiness do you want?
If you chase the absolute, then the types or models you choose may be a compromised in terms of comfort, facilities, performance, tankage or $$ etc etc
Many have made this assessment, and judged that the types you mention have 'adequate' strenght/durability/seaworthiness for their open ocean needs.
This was the assessment I came to - but I must admit I'm still very much in the learning phase, and my points here are from the POV of a novice!
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Old 19-12-2009, 12:45   #13
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G'Day All,

First, my compliments to Eurocruiser Jack for an excellent post (or two). And I second everything that he has said relative to the current crop of marina-oriented production boats.

For those who say that such boats are quite adequate for long term cruising, and cite the existance of some successcul examples as proof... people have curcumnavigated in some shocking boats over the years... small, ill suited, poorly designed and poorly executed vessels, but that does not mean that this represents the best choice for such a voyage.

Another source of information you might consider is visiting a few yards where such boats are repaired. Personal observation of the construction methods used, and some pointed questions to the workers might lead you to question the structural suitability of the boats in question. In particular, look at keel attachments, steering gear, rudders (as mentioned above), hull to deck joints and other often unseen but critical items. The marques that you mention have interesting service records in these areas! If you can locate a couple of experienced delivery skippers with experience in these boats, a chat about their opinions might be informative as well.

Finally, when looking at the pretty, open plan interiors of these boats, try a thought experimant: In your mind, tilt that beaut cabin thirty degrees and shake it vigorously as in a big seaway. Are there adequate handholds to safely move about ? Are the storage lockers (if any, ho ho) capable of being securely latched? Are there any berths that can be used on both tacks under severe conditions? Can you safely operate important bits in the galley? You will see that many of these boats are not really designed to be used at sea.

Again, I am not claiming that one can not make long and successful voyages in these boats, for some people are doing so as we speak. But when starting with a blank page as it were, I think that one can do a lot better in choosing a boat for a circumnavigation.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Burnett River, Qld, Oz
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Old 19-12-2009, 17:42   #14
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If a Benneteau 393 won't go around the world please keep the news from MarkJ and Nicolle. They will be devastated.
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Old 19-12-2009, 18:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibrgic View Post
I saw some nice boats from mass production boat building companies.
Can this work for the blue water? How safe are they? Does anyone have first hand experience with these boats? Would you consider buying these boats if you are in my situation?

Do not buy one Ivan! You will DIE!!!!! We were killed before we even left the marina!!!!!! In fact we were still in the bar listeneing to people tell us we were going to DIE when the boat exploded and we were hit by flying debris through the bar window! Its was catestrohic and we blame all production boats! Only they will kill you. Nothing else.


By the way, the water here is greenish so are we safe? Yesterday at Pipi Island is was clear. Last week we had blue water


Mark
PS We would never buy anything but a production boat. More space, better bang for your buck
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