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Old 22-06-2004, 14:08   #1
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pirate Circumnavigate Beneteau 47.3

I am getting ready to puchase a Beneteau 47.3. Options include Classic mast, 76HP yanmar, Max Prop, Up-Graded Winches, Bow Thruster, Extra fuel tank, Radar Arch, Geniker Gear and intermediate stay. I`m planning to circumnavigate with it. Does anyone have any thoughts on additional equipment or modifications that should be made?
Thanks, Chuck
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Old 22-06-2004, 14:16   #2
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Are you having the boat surveyed with your puposes in mind? Or, are you saavy enough to look at it and make the correct determination of its suitablility? I am not refering to the boat design persay, but rather the construction methods and equipment suitabliity where it counts, such as rigging, steering gear, etc. I am not familiar with this boat and only say this because I have seem several production boats that were outfitted for coastal sailing and/or charter, and while they could be outfitted for a circumnavigation, it would be more cost effective to buy a boat that already had the basics well covered. My two cents...

Woody
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Old 22-06-2004, 14:42   #3
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I`m sorry. I should have said the boat is a brand new 2005 and will be built with the manufacturer knowing of its intent.
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Old 22-06-2004, 20:43   #4
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A couple quick thoughts here:

-If the boat is brand new, then you especially need to make sure that the boat is surveyed thoroughly before you accept delivery. If there is a manufacturing defect in a used boat, it will usually show up easily to a reasonably experienced eye. But on a new boat it really takes the eye of a skilled marine surveyor to spot a defect.

-I am not sure what you mean when you say, "the manufacturer knowing of its intent." While I generally like the 473 for its intended purpose, structurally the 473 is a production coastal cruiser. Are you sure that you don't actually mean that the salesman knows of your intended purpose? It would seem to me if the manufacturer actually knew of your intended circumnavigation, I suspect that they would have tried to steer you toward one of their other lines that was more suitable for that purpose. They certainly would have made an extremely diligent effort to talk you out of the bow thruster. I guess that my point here is that there are a lot of good boats out there for a circumnavigation, Beneteau even makes a few of them, but the 473 does not seem like a particularly good choice for that purpose.

-I would strongly suggest that if you add a babystay or jibstay on this boat, that you add running backstays at the same height. Babystays and Jibstays add a lot of foreward thrust when properly tensioned that should be offset by running backstays in heavy air.

-I would go with lead ballast both for the increased stability but also for its reduced maintenance, electrolysis issue reduction and lead's ability to cushion the impact of a grounding.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 23-06-2004, 13:20   #5
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Thanks Jeff. I considered their first series but was told by the sales manager that structurelly their was no difference. Both boats have the same hull. the difference lies in the performance. The first series having a taller mast. 25k. the first also comes with no sail. Another 25k and has a single helm with the traveler in front of the compaion way. So with that being I chose to stick with the 47.3. Do you have information as to what makes this not a suitable boat? The boat already has dual backstays. Why would I need more than that? I currently have a 60ft cutter with dual backstays and have never had an issue even in a nasty storm of 40-50kt winds and seas of 30ft of which I don`t care to repeat by the way. I would thank you for any other info that the factory may have left out. All of my info is based on their published information and what the sales manager tells me. I have also been chating with other beneteau owners and they have nothing but good things to say about the 47.3.
Thanks, Chuck
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Old 23-06-2004, 14:18   #6
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Your spending big bucks on a new boat that you want to know will serve you well in a multitude of situations around the world. I think I would pay for a reputable surveyor to sit down and review the detailed specifications before placing the order. This is not unlike having a surveyor review the details of a used boat before you commit ot the purchase. What is the rigging size? How is the rigging terminated? How is the running rigging set up? What type of shaft seal is used? Can it be repaired without hauling the boat? Are the batteries properly secured? Is there room for more batteries. Can a larger alternator be supplied? Can repairs be made to plumbing and wiring, or is it all behind fiberglass panels? Is the "icebox" built well enough for service in the tropics? Focus on the things that it is difficult to deal with after the boat is delivered.

Perhaps you have done this, but I say this knowing that you are buying a new production boat and its easy to fall in love with the nice layout at the boatshow and decide this is the boat for you. I've experienced that temptation myself.

That being said... There are several things that come to mind with systems, many of them personal choices. I would think that a 47' boat with a fin keel and spade rudder would not need a bow thruster. To me it would be something else to break or foul. But, if I was solo and planning to spend a lot of time in and out of marinas, then I might change my mind. Perhaps you can give a little background on yourself and an idea of your cruising style. For me it really takes a lot of personal thought to decide what equipment you want to spend your money on.

I'm going through that now as I look at the systems on my boat. I have some house projects to finish up this summer, and hope to turn my focus to outfitting the boat this winter, during our boatshow season, and after I have had some time for thought and research. I'll be considering instruments and navigation, sail upgrades, safety gear, some cockpit layout issues and a few other items.

Woody
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Old 24-06-2004, 05:17   #7
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A few quick points,

A sales manager job is to sell boats, not design or bui them Having crawled through both boats, I can assure you that if the Sales manager is telling you that both boats are built the same, he either does not know his own product very well or he is lying to you. If nothing else, since the 47.7 is physically smaller and lighter but costs more money, you would have to think that additional cost came from somewhere. Crawl around both boats an it is not hard to see where in the structure the additional costs came from. I have already given you a list of some of these differences. They are plainly visible to the nked eye. Do your due diligence.

But beyond that, You are planning to sail around the world. It is a false economy to attempt that in a boat that was not intended for that kind of hard useage. A circumnavigation wears out even well constructed purpose built boats. If you get partially around the world and the boat is beat, there is no savings there.

There are a lot of choices out there beyond a new Beneteau 473 or a Beneteau First 47.7. Many are much better suited for this kind of passage making.

If you read my description of the Running backstays, they are not a replacement for the permanent backstays. Instead they are attached part way down the mast at the hounds of the jibstay or babystay (what you are calling an intermediate stay) and brace the mast at the Jibstay or baby stay to counter act the enormous forward forces that occur at this intermediate point in the mast in heavy conditions that is exerted by the 'intermediate stay'.

Jeff
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Old 24-06-2004, 12:20   #8
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Question Jeff,

To get my foot in the door here for a moment.
On the subject of the running back stay. I too plan to run a baby stay from the center of the mast.

I think, but not sure, I've seen this setup where the stays were attached at the center of the mast and down to the deck, just aft of the mast, onto T-tracks (around 2' long) with block and tackle. Is this the running backstays that you speak of?

Are there any sites that illustrate this setup?
......................_/)
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Old 24-06-2004, 18:31   #9
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It just so happens that the Cruising World that showed up in my mail box today has an excellent article by Brian Toss on how to convert a sloop to a cutter. It looks very well done and informative.
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Old 27-06-2004, 00:28   #10
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Cruising World, Hmm!

Thanks, I think I'll check it out.

My intention is to put up a small jib for when it really starts to blow. Hopefully it will help to eliminate weather helm. A little extra ballast on my keel would probably help out, as well.
.................................................. ......_/)
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Old 06-07-2004, 14:39   #11
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Back/Baby stays

Jeff was definatly right about the running back stays when setting up a back/baby stay. Yesterday I setup a temporary back stay to test out the weather helm of my vessel. Using a small jibsail from my trailerable boat, in 25 kn winds, I reefed in my main and hoisted the small jibsail. It evened out the weather helm great but sure put a strain on the center of the mast. I only ran it for a little while, it got to be scary watching the mast bend forward.

But I did get to see a running back stay setup on a vessel much like mine in one of the ports that I was in this weekend. The stays were attached to very back of the bulwark T-track but they seem to be in the way of the mainsail if the boom were abeam. I assume they run them forward for downwind runs.
I should have taken pictures! Oh, well!
.................................................. ......_/)
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Old 06-07-2004, 14:40   #12
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Back/Baby stays

Jeff was defiantly right about the running back stays when setting up a back/baby stay. Yesterday I setup a temporary backstay to test out the weather helm of my vessel. Using a small jib sail from my trailer able boat, in 25 kn winds, I reefed in my main and hoisted the small jib sail. It evened out the weather helm great but sure put a strain on the center of the mast. I only ran it for a little while, it got to be scary watching the mast bend forward.

But I did get to see a running back stay setup on a vessel much like mine in one of the ports that I was in this weekend. The stays were attached to very back of the bulwark T-track but they seem to be in the way of the mainsail if the boom were abeam. I assume they run them forward for downwind runs.
I should have taken pictures! Oh, well!
.................................................. ......_/)
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Old 06-07-2004, 20:25   #13
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Typically the way that runners are rigged there is the standing part of the runner which is stainless steel and then the tackle that is used to set up the runners. The standing part of the runner is made short enough so that it does not reach the deck when held along side the mast or shrouds. When not in use the standing part of the runner is held next to the mast or shroud by short lanyard. When the runners are needed the tackle is attached to the standing part of the runner and a chainplate near the aft end of the boat. The more horizontal that the runners can be lead the more effective they will be.

There should also be 'retractors' which are shock cord that pulls the runners out of the way of the boom when they are released. There are two types most commonly rigged. The first uses a block that is attached to the backstay about a third of the way off of the deck. Shockcord runs from the deck through the block on the backstay and then is attached to the standing part of the runner. When the runner is released the retractor pulls the runner up above the boom.

The second kind of retactor uses a block at the shroud. Shock cord runs from the standing part of the runner, through the block at the shroud and then back to the cockpit. It is more reliable than the other kind of retractor but you have a lot of gear running around the deck.

I don't completely understand why people think that having a permanently rigged staysail makes any sense at all. It adds a lot of complexity and in most cases is not a substanial improvement over a more traditional storm jib. Its not as if you can leave your genoa on the furler in the kinds of wind where a staysail would be used a as a storm jib.

Jeff
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Old 07-07-2004, 04:40   #14
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Our boat has running back stays. They are cable to a block near the deck. I have not used them yet and they are always in the way. If it would be of any help I could take some photos and post them.
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Old 19-07-2004, 20:11   #15
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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.
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