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Old 01-08-2008, 15:11   #46
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Interesting how so many people easily voice their criticizms about beneteaus.....not sure where this attitude comes from but I must state it's unfounded. Alondra, did these delivery captains actaully sail beneteaus and Jeanneaus across the world like many of the delivery captains I have spoken with? Perhaps it's the belief that production builders like Beneteau can't possibly build a good boat especially when thay make so many of them...if anyone knows how to consistently build a seaworthy boat it's beneteau. Not sure I would trust a custom builder more. There are other production builders I would question because I have owned their boat but as a Beneteau owner, I must say I have looked closely and the closer I look the more pleasantly surprised I am. For example I recenlty replaced a through hull beneath the water line and the hull along with inner liner was about an inch and a quarter thick of solid uninterupted fiberglass!!! With regards to rudders. rudder posts, rigs, hull to keel joints, etc...look closely and please explain clearly what parts exactly are underbuilt. Regardless, go ahead and be suspect every new owner should be regardless of boat make but I can clearly say that I am confident in my boat and do not hesitate to go out and sail in any weather short of a gale.
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:57   #47
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It is well known that the earlier bene's are very much more solidly built than newer models.

Bene and now bav have pioneered the concept of using the internal furnishing as a part of the strength, which works well in coastal waters.

Your comment "I do not hesitate to go out and sail in any weather short of a gale." is relevant, as blue water cruisers must expect to suffer from a gale at some stage in their journey. The nearly flat bottom and thin keel are great for speed, but when you hit bad weather, and the boat starts to pound, the flat bottom is very good at transferring the shock into the internal structure, and on several benes, this has led to significant damage to the internal furnishings, as this is a part of the strength of the boat, it would certainly worry me that they were not strong enough to be able to put up with this for any significant storms.

Some people put their trust in speed to be able to get out of the path of a storm, personally I would rather accept the reduction in speed caused by having a boat that can take the bad weather.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:13   #48
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B.S, M.S., PhD -- That is what this thread is. If it is mass produced, it is inferior. If it is hand built it is superior. No one has offered so much as one scintilla of evidence to prove that Beneteau or for that matter, any other mass produced boat, is any less able to take the rigors of the open ocean.
From personal experience in the manufacturing world, I have found that a well engineered product will out perform a one off or two off every time. I am not implying that one off boats are not engineered, but where modern manufacturing methods are not engaged, too much is left to the "eye" of the craftsman. While craftsmen generally take great pride in their work, they also learn the "tricks of the trade". Do I want a life support vessel manufactured by those that make a couple per year. My personal preference is to go with the company that makes many per year. If a manufacturer has properly engineered a vessel, it is up to the vagaries of the sea and generally, the only control of a product in the US is through litigation.
If, as has been said here, the allegations are true of the Beneteau being unable to circumnavigate the world, there would be a flurry of torts against the company and their suppliers. Are there? Well, I think not, but that is strange because there are so many circumnavigating in them.
The World Arc currently is more than half-way around the world from their start. The field includes eight boats built by Beneteau consisting of 3 - Jenneau 49'; 2 - Beneteau 57', 2 47.7, a 42s7, and a 393 and those in the racing field are placed in first, third, fourth, fifth in class A. When running in a class that includes an Oyster 72 and an Oyster 82, I would conclude that they are indeed holding their own and handling the seas very well. The only major malfunction so far has been a dismasting of a Simonis 56. The crew and boat are well and being supported by the other members and organizers of the ARC and are motoring to Australia.
Am I to assume that all these boats have gotten from Gibralter to Australia without encountering a single storm? Well, that would be very simple minded of me. If you have the same assumption, the result would obviously be the same.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:46   #49
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If it were me, I'd be wondering whether a heavier displacement hull with a full keel would be a better choice for a circunmavigation with what I suspect will be a short handed crew.

I think tracking ability and stability would be greatly enhanced. This translates into increased comfort and ease of control, both of which are decidedly important on long passages.

No mention is made of a wind powered self-steerer. Relying on an electrically powered auto-pilot can be chancy. If there is a power failure that cannot be cured at sea, full time manual steering to the next port of call can be a drag.

Why not like this...
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:59   #50
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The delivery captains I spoke had to bring the boats from one place to another regardles of the wheater. And that scared them. Not only that but I only met a one that had to abondon their delivery (Rhodes) because they had to many things broken on a new(!) boat. The same happened coming across a Lagoon to be delivered in Maledives. Egypt, end of story.
Mass production delivers generally good products if they don't go low on quality under the pressure of the competetion. And that is something you can clearly see. Take any locker or door that feels like paper, look at the new first 50 where the running blocks are so small that I doubt if anyone has ever been to sea at that factory. Yes, it can be good but in the Bene-Jeanneau-bav range I have serious doubts.
For anyone who ownes one, fine. Go ahead, help yourself. And for all, good luck! It's just not my cup of tea
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:18   #51
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Talbot, I must disagree with you about "it is well known that older benes are much more solidly built than newer ones". You are wrong. The new construction methods and materials used are far superior than just a decade ago let alone 2 decades ago. I would love to see evidence on internal bulkhead failure on any beneteau in any weather. Or for that matter evidence of severe hull flexing especially with regards to newer models. Bene uses a inner grid pan that is 100% bonded to the inside of the hull. It's a boat within a boat and it's overkill and the bulkheads are bonded 360 degrees to deck and hull. You're thinking of Catalina with reagrds to using furniture as inner structural strength. I would be most interested to see structural damage evidence. Also, as for pounding into a severe storm. Who would pound into it unless you're trying to get off a lee shore (if that was the case I would definitley want a boat that could sail a quickly as possible) and I would not worry about pounding because the boat would fall apart...I would go so far as to say that it would hold up better if not just as good as any other fiberglass boat. Ride with the storm, it's a lot more comfortable. Like I said before, I'm not sure where this bias attitude comes from perhaps it's envy with a mix of ignorance?

Before anyone chooses to critique anything please get informed or come forth with first hand evidence to back up your assumptions then we can a have a discussion based on fact not fiction.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:33   #52
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Alondra, great! More tea for the rest of us! If all yo could come up with was the running blocks to criticize on the new First 50 then it must be one heck of a boat! Again, I wish you could actually hear yourself generaly criticize a group of boat manufacturers without putting forth any evidence. Rather amusing.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:38   #53
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Your comment "I do not hesitate to go out and sail in any weather short of a gale." is relevant, as blue water cruisers must expect to suffer from a gale at some stage in their journey.
I suspect he meant he wouldn't leave the dock and intentionally go to sea in a gale. I would have no problem riding out a gale in a 47.7.

With regard to pounding, this is most relevant close hauled where the Bene can sail right over any of the "blue water" boats mentioned in this thread. If you don't want to pound, crack off a bit, and all is well.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:51   #54
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..look at the new first 50 where the running blocks are so small that I doubt if anyone has ever been to sea at that factory.
On our First 47.7 there are a few pieces of hardware that are undersized. The jam block for the halyard can't keep adequate halyard tension. We have to leave the main halyard on the winch.

If the blocks on the First 50 are undersized, this will quickly be remedied in the field as blocks on a racing boat will see larger loads than any cruising boat ever will.

This whole thread reminds me of a guy that I met in Florida that was of the opinion that fiberglass was junk and wood was the only way to go. The discussions were fun because they were so absurd. He spent his time sailing on my boat and working on his wooden boat in the yard. To this day his wooden boat never left the yard.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:27   #55
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JZK, the 47.7 is a sweet boat. I was recently at race week in the Abacos and there was a 47.7 based out of Nassau there with 8' draft that was in White Sound and tied up to Green Turtle Cay club marina. I'm bringing this up because the entrance to white sound is 5 feet at low tide. The bahamas are navigable for deep draft boats especially with the protected waters all around that allow for anchorages almost anywhere...even the cuts and channels are deep enough to get in and out of the protected waters. You would just have to bring your seamanship skills with you with regards to paying attention to tides and charts. Off course there would be anchorages off limits to you but otherwise you could do the Bahamas easily. We were usually anchored in 12 to 18 feet of water. A lot of times we would anchor out away from shore just to avoid the bugs if the wind died during the night. I would recommend a fast tender to get you to those great snorkelling and fishing spots. I highly recommend you go if ever you have the chance...it's truly a beautiful and ideal part of the world to go with your sailboat. By the way that 47.7 was always first to the finish line all week, the others caught her on corrected time only.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:22   #56
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First time posting, but had to jump in. Just completed a 7 day charter of a brand new Beneteau 423 (45 hrs on engine). B.C. west coast. Unfortunately no winds over 18 knots so I won't pretend I gave here a rigorous sea trial. That being said I was amazed at her sailing ability! A little glitzy down below, but the weather was perfect and we only went below to sleep and cook. I have chartered quite a few boats in the last 10 years - test driving for retirement. The 423 tops the list by far. Is the boat up to a circumnavigation? Not experienced enough to judge, but they have done so successfully. I've had 40 years of boating/sailing experience in B.C. (Canada) including off the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Beneteau would, in my opinion, handle anything I have encountered.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:18   #57
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I was wondering why an orginal posting from 2004 was getting new replies so I jumped to last page.

If one looks though all the "what do think about this boat" type of postings it becomes clear that there are loads of options from people who have never sailed one of the boats in question. I would dare to even say most of those people have never even really seen the boat in question. Purchasing a new boat could benefit from some of these "options" maybe if that person had real knowledge of the boat. At the same time I think that most of these are fairly worthless for older boats as the survey should determine most of this. I guess everyone who just automatically says that the production boat people make a crappy boat are still saying Toyota makes a bad car (this is what we said in the 70s to justify a "American" car).

This is a forum so "options" are part of it. But, options based on rumor and random thinking etc without real knowledge are no help to posters.
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Old 16-07-2009, 18:04   #58
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All...I found this forum because I am very interested in truly "seaworthy" boats and am looking for advice. I noticed Jeff H's comment about all the "guests" and well, didn't want to sit on the sidelines anymore.

I don't own a boat. My neighbor took me sailing for the first time about 2 years ago on a Pearson 35 and the moment the engine cut off and the sails took over...I was hooked. I am extremely mechanically inclined so I find that many of my friends owning boats and needing help with engine repairs, cleaning, or even needing me to put my dive tanks on and clean the hull are more than willing to take me out on their boats in exchange. I have even began taking sailing classes just to make sure I don't miss anything and to be honest...it keeps me around the sailboats in my free time. Next season, I intend to volunteer to crew on a couple of the boats heading down to the BVIs for experience.

What kind of boat advice? Well...I know that I will want a boat capable of making long voyages...maybe not circumnavigation, but maybe from the East Coast to England or the West Coast to Australia. I have a wife and two children (all extremely interested in sailing). My assumption is that initially we will only be making 1-3 month trips off the East Coast, but as we get more comfortable, maybe throw in some 3-6 month trips and so on. I don't really care if it is a new or old boat. I would prefer at least 3 cabins but honestly am more interested in finding a boat that will be with us for a while and meets our near and long range goals and desires.

Your opinions and recommendations are greatly appreciated.
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Old 16-07-2009, 19:10   #59
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I know that I will want a boat capable of making long voyages...maybe not circumnavigation, but maybe from the East Coast to England or the West Coast to Australia. .
We are on a Beneteau 393 circumnavigating. Done 14,000 miles so far. Theres just the 2 of us on board, but the female member can act like 2 children sometimes.




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Old 16-07-2009, 22:55   #60
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All...I found this forum because I am very interested in truly "seaworthy" boats and am looking for advice.
It is easy to comment on specific craft, however a generic question such as "What is the best one" will generate a very wide spectrum of answers that will really get you no further in your quest. You need to continue what you are doing until you can recognise the advantages and disadvantages to you of different types of boats., and then we can offer advice on a variety of simmilar types.

For example read any multihull thread recommending boats and you will find a number of monohull owners saying what a bad idea it is. There are certainly cats that I would not recommend, but there are others that are perfectly capable blue water cruisers.
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