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Old 01-01-2019, 20:55   #46
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

I owned a 1987 Catalina 30 mk II standard rig, fin keel. I owned the boat for 9 years. One October we got caught in a series of three squalls with gusts that peaked at 58 knots. It was during a race. We put two reefs in the main and roller reefed our 90% jib down a bit. We came 2nd out of 13 JAM boats in the race. I would judge that boat to be a good coastal cruiser.

I have owned a 1998 Beneteau Oceanis 321 for four years. Standard rig. We have frequently sailed in winds gusting over 30 knots. In winds over 25 knots we put two reefs in the main and roller reef our genoa a bit. We have two genoas. I judge that boat is a good coastal cruiser with trans oceanic potential.

I crewed on a 2010 Beneteau Oceanis 41 for two years in the Gulf of Mexico in winds gusting up to 35 knots. Roller furling mast, shoal draft. In my view, that boat is good coastal cruiser and has trans oceanic capability.

I have sailed a 2012 Beneteau Oceanis 50 for a season with shoal draft keel, tall rig, roller furling main sail in winds gusting to 35 knots. I would rate that boat a good coastal cruiser with strong trans oceanic capability.

I have sailed on a 2017 Beneteau Oceanis 41.1 with shoal keel and roller furling main sail in winds gusting to 28 knots. I feel the boat is a good coastal cruiser and is trans oceanic capable.
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Old 02-01-2019, 00:56   #47
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

I sail a Hunter 31 (1984) out of Santa Monica bay. It is optimized for light winds and going upwind but a decent boat. It handles well up to 30-35 knots, then it becomes squeaky. I never felt unsafe in the boat though. As others have said it is all about maintenance and condition of the key structural elements. Also, keep in mind that average trade winds are 15 knots. You will spend most of your time in light winds. When it becomes tough (or survival conditions) any boat will experience breakages. It is unlikely though that a coastal boat will fall apart after a few gales. If you regularly sail in force 8 and above then, why do you actually want to do that?
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Old 03-01-2019, 20:02   #48
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Thank all for the replies. It does help me get a sense of perspective.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:25   #49
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

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Thank all for the replies. It does help me get a sense of perspective.
I'm partial to the older boats that have established themselves as well built and off shore capable.. besides being a Dickerson owner: 1983 Dickerson 50 for sale 2 masde 143K 1 owner.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:31   #50
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

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...They are popular among daysailors, weekenders, and charter operator....
They are also popular among those who go around the world. I would estimate, base on me sailing my Hunter 376 halfway around the world, and seeing many of the others, that about 30% of the boats that go around the world come from those makers and another 20% or more are production cats.

Times have changed.

I personally like Hunters but I now own a Whitby 55 (needed a bigger boat due to family now) because it was half the price of any used Hunter 50 CC. I do recognize that this boat was built to be stronger and safer, it is also slower in lighter winds, however, the most important thing when buying a boat is how well was it maintained. Even the most sturdiest built boat is weak if poorly maintained. I got a lot of work to do on this boat to get her up to snuff - a lot more work than I ever had to do with my old Hunter.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:11   #51
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

I sailed a Hunter 40 across the Atlantic after suitable preparation.

Old saying: "The sailor usually gives up before the boat"
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:34   #52
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

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So you read threads I guess trashing the production boats and ignored the posts that say for the most part are just fine. So you start a new thread to just repeat all the others and rehash the 100s of other ones asking the same question as you just posted. Maybe you could just tell everyone the answer you want to read about whatever boat you really wish to know about.

To answer your question

Yes they are good coastal cruisers and if you chose the correct model are just fine “blue water” boats
AMEN! I have owned 2 Hunters (a 1985 40' and 2004 36') and have felt safe sailing them both in the ICW and to P.R.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:50   #53
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

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The received wisdom here and elsewhere is that the high-volume production monos are not suitable for bluewater cruising for a variety of reasons well addressed in other threads.


They are popular among daysailors, weekenders, and charter operators, due to a combination of low initial purchase price and hull shapes that provide a good deal of usable cabin and cockpit space per foot of length.


The question I have for you is---
  • Are they good enough for coastal cruising?
Since someone will ask me to define what I mean by "coastal cruising" by the time we get to the 5th reply, I'll start out by saying that I'm talking about months-long to indefinite duration cruising, in warm weather, with occasional passages no longer than a few hundred miles at a time.
I define Coastal Cruising as everything short of offshore passagemaking. So I would agree that these four manufacturers produce boat models good enough for those voyages. Those uses are usually of shorter durations with anchorages/ports within a reasonable range. This still makes them susceptible to coastal storms so reasonable weather caution and boat preparation are always factors and not for those faint of heart.

While there are examples of some of these boat models making successful offshore passages one is cautioned that there are always outliers in a grouping effort; that does not make them a good first choice.

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Old 07-01-2019, 10:51   #54
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

The popular vlog Sailing LaVagabonde (https://youtu.be/TKm2FX9kKZ4) crossed the atlantic on a Beneteau (49, I think). They went about half way around the world before they upgraded to a million dollar cat (bought with their Patreon dollars).

IMHO, most of the bigger (40 feet and over) production boats are capable of bluewater, tradewind sailing.

I'm looking for my "go south" boat right now, so this is a big question for me too. I like the speed, luxury, interior room, and price of the Hunters and Beneteaus. But the sailor in me says to get a full keel, or at least a skeg hung rudder. Combine that with wanting shallow draft (for local waters as well as Bahamas) and I'm feeling pretty lost. The only boat I really like right now is the Tartan 37. Although there is a beautiful Bene for sale locally that checks off a lot of my other boxes.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...owse%20listing

OR

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/199...s-400-3490658/

Which would you choose?
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:11   #55
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Don’t get too hung up on the “A” classification. I sailed a 12 month old Benneteau 61 A class, thru Sth Pacific to Tonga. Fast and stable but so creeky. Kept us awake at nights. The bulk heads were too few, and sealastic glued in. And the glue was giving up.
The rudder cable broke!!!!! 12 months old?????
The blocks used were too small in diameter. And they simply bend the cable too much. And I suspect poor quality cable.
Great coastal boat though. Separate crew quarters at the bow.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:44   #56
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Sailed our 1991 Hunter 43 from Florida to Australia, so yes ok for coastal work.
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:41   #57
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Short answer is yes. I have seen production boats do extensive cruising in North European waters where you can get plenty of wind, lots of steep seas, and lots of traffic to navigate around.

Where I think the difference comes is that help with repairs or issues is probably a day or two rather than offshore when you have to be prepared to be self sufficient for weeks.
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:46   #58
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Hi Folks, my wife and I circumnavigated in a Moorings/Beneteau 445 which is a beefed up Beneteau Oceanis 440. We bought the vessel new in '93 leaving it with Moorings until '97. We then did a major refit and took on full time cruising. We sold the yacht in 2014. We did have a couple of major issues but once we got these sorted out the yacht performed extremely well and overtime, we realized that it was built like the proverbial brick outhouse.

Mind, the major issues were time consuming to repair in the case of the first and to redesign in the case of the second. Unfortunately, the hull was one of the earlier ones out of the US factory, We ended up doing a complete osmosis repair in Venezuela. Beneteau covered the cost but it took six months. Actually, we ended up with a stronger hull than the original with no loss of performance and when we sold the yacht in 2014 there was no sign of osmosis. Rig was the other matter. Yes, we added a whisker pole, an inner forestay and a spring boomvang. The Z SPAR mast was fine but the goose neck was way too weak and fell apart mid Pacific. Z SPAR by then had beefed up the design so they sent us new parts which were installed in Tahiti. No further problem. Standing rig was about as tough as you can get. Indeed in Australia, we decided to replace all the wire and I thought this might be the time to increase wire size. The rigger who worked with a well known mega/racing rigging company took a look and advised to stay with what we had. He was right as nothing ever broke; not even one tiny wire.

We learned of several yachts that were lost due to failure of the rudder system. The Beneteau design is such that even if the rudder falls free of the bearing assembly, water ingress is impossible.

Generally the view as to sturdiness of design suitable for offshore sailing in the '90s was that Hunter, Catalina and J Boats were insufficiently strong for offshore. In fact, during our Trans Atlantic passage westbound in 2006, a J 44 was lost due to rudder failure. That of course was then. Things have no doubt changed by now. But Apart from the Z SPAR goose-neck design, Beneteau had it right at the time and probably still does. One final point: no factory built sailing vessel as it comes out of the factory is anywhere close to being adequately equipped for off shore cruising!
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Old 07-01-2019, 13:01   #59
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
The received wisdom here and elsewhere is that the high-volume production monos are not suitable for bluewater cruising for a variety of reasons well addressed in other threads.


They are popular among daysailors, weekenders, and charter operators, due to a combination of low initial purchase price and hull shapes that provide a good deal of usable cabin and cockpit space per foot of length.


The question I have for you is---
  • Are they good enough for coastal cruising?
Since someone will ask me to define what I mean by "coastal cruising" by the time we get to the 5th reply, I'll start out by saying that I'm talking about months-long to indefinite duration cruising, in warm weather, with occasional passages no longer than a few hundred miles at a time.

Coastal Cruising is better defined as not being further than 60 nm from a port of refuge. Your insurance company will have a definition of what Coastal Cruising is as well. Most production yachts while they claim to be built according to Lloyds CE A all require a current seaworthiness survey to go beyond 60 miles from a port of refuge.

The Production boats that you mentioned are all capable coastal cruisers. However you should realize that these boats were designed for vacationing in the the Med. In fact many of the fleets in the med used to sail the yachts on their own bottoms to the Caribbean but not any longer. They suffer too much damage on the delivery so are now shipped by sail-on sail-off cargo ships. When you factor in the cost of a delivery skipper and crew it no longer makes sense to risk damaging these yachts. They just can not take the abuse.

If you want a more capable production yacht the purchase a yacht built in a Scandinavian country such as Najad, Malo, Hallberg-Rassey, Swan, Aphrodite, Vindo and IW or the Netherlands such as Breehorn or Victoire or the UK such as Camper Nich. Contessa, Bowman and of course Rustler.

When you consider that a 50' 2001 vintage Beneteau yacht can be purchased for well under $200,000 than I wonder just what it is you are buying?

These production yachts are often very uncomfortable yachts to sail. I will never sail aboard an X-43 again. I sailed on an X-43 that had two reef points in the main and had to be reefed when the winds hit 15 knots!! At 25 knots it was over powered while fully reefed. And it pounded and pounded. A heavy yacht does not pound.

That is the other issue you need to determine. When do you need to reef your light weight production yacht?

In my opinion stay away from yachts where the galley is located on the port or starboard beam as the cook blocks any crew traffic through the boat, the galley is unprotected and the cooking is not easily done. Stick with an aft U shaped galley. When you strap in you can still reach everything.

Lastly carefully read the report of Cheeki Rafiki. This was the loss of a Beneteau 40.7 on passage in the mid Atlantic due to the keel falling off. All 4 crew were killed. The reason; the boat experienced a "light" grounding incident prior to the passage, and prior to the passage the yacht was never surveyed to determine if there was any damage or if the yacht was even seaworthy for the passage as it's insurance coding was not for open ocean passages.

"James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin died when the Beneteau 40.7 Cheeki Rafiki capsized mid-Atlantic on a return trip from Antigua Sailing Week to Southampton. Douglas Innes of Stormforce Coaching Limited, which managed the yacht, denies four counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Innes, 42, and Stormforce Coaching also deny further charges of failing to ensure the vessel was operated in a safe manner between 18 March 2013 and 18 May 2014.


Read more at https://www.yachtingworld.com/news/final-evidence-heard-in-cheeki-rafiki-trial-108950#vdU1fQXdWoAfQpYf.99"

When you purchase a yacht you are purchasing the mistakes and management of the prior owner. Bolt on Fin keel yachts are not a tough as full keel or fully encased fin keel yachts. Unless you drop the keel and inspect the keel bedding and keel boats you really do not know! And skippers are often loath to admit they grounded the yacht.

There have been folks who have sailed their production yachts around the world. And there many that failed as well. Read about the RORC Transatlantic Race last summer 2017 and the yachts that were lost or abandoned. Production yachts are cheap that is why they are used by sailing schools and charter companies. But they are also not allowed by their insurance coding to be sailed more than a 8-10 hours from a port of refuge.

You are the captain of your yacht. You must do your own due diligence. Read yacht design books seek out the writings of Naval Architects such as Bill Crealock, Bob Perry, Bill Luders, Sparkman and Stephens, Stan Huntungford, Dick Zaal, Dick Koopmans to name a few. Many folks just buy a boat and go, not really understanding just what it is they purchased. Many folks are just armchair seamen and freely render their opinions.

In fact I asked the very same question you did to the principal designer of Saber Yachts and he was quite clear that no, Sabre yachts are not designed for unlimited ocean sailing. They are coastal passage makers.

As for me I just do not like GRP yachts. I prefer aluminium but steel will do as well.
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Old 07-01-2019, 13:10   #60
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

I have two friends now on circumnavigation, both are in the south pacific. One in a Bavaria 30, the other couple is sailing a Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3.

As said before, for a A-classed yacht there are no reason not to go coastal cruising.
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