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Old 09-08-2008, 03:11   #1
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Could a Beneteau 49 be consider blue water safe

Hi every one.
So I decided to go to the boat show a few weeks back and fell in love with the looks of the new beneteau 49. I love the style (interior and exterior) and she seems to be pretty well equipped for coastal cruising.
I live in California and would one day like to sail to Hawaii and back and do cruising along the western coast. I here so many bad things about beneteau yachts that Im a bit to scared to move forward on this boat. I realizes boats like island packets are more suited for bad blue water weather but at this point Im really interested in feedback on the beneteau.. plus the beneteau seems to be a quicker more performance boat… or am I wrong.
With 49 feet and around 30,000 lbs there should be some stability. although I worry that the hull is to flat and wide to right itself if she were to over turn in bad weather. Should i be worried about such a problem in a 50 foot yacht?
And just in general im worried that the hull would not hold up and that the bulk heads could separate... am i just being a worry wart ?
I dont plan to sail to hawaii for about 4 or 5 years so the price to upgrade equipment is not as much a worry as the structural integrity of the hull and rigging.
btw... is there a web site that rates yachts for safety etc...
Id love to hear some feed back
Chris
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:23   #2
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:36   #3
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Hello, cthelen, and welcome to Cruisers Forum. There have been several discussions here that might be of interest. Here's a link to a very good search engine for Cruisers Forum: Cruisers & Sailing Forum

Plug in some key words, like Beneteau, bluewater, offshore and see what you can find.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:06   #4
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It's all hearsay. The 49 is great bluewater boat. Never heard of bulkheads separating or hull integrity being an issue. Research any you will find there isn't a finer/stronger production boat on the market. The materials and methods used today are better than ever and the liner/grid system (overkill design) beneteau uses makes for a stiff/strong hull that can take a lot! Check hull thickness beneath the water line and you'l find at least 1.25 inches and more in certain areas. The hull to keel joint is the srongest part of the boat and allows for no flexing. Beneteau has logged more bluewater miles than any other sailboat maker. Also, you will find that the more you research the more confidence you'll have to take such a boat anywhere. I would buy another beneteau before I buy other production boats simply because of the confidence I have in the boats solid constuction. I have owned others. The flat bottom allows for a great turn of speed. When beating into a rough sea just bear off if you start to get uncomfortable and sail comfortably...this is what I do and have never had an issue. You will not be disapointed...it's a great boat...I would buy it if I could.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:43   #5
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Yes, it is.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:24   #6
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I have a question after reading all your very interesting comments: Will this B49 be around in let's say 20 years? Why boats like Pearson's, Cheoy Lee's and other classic boats seem to last forever whereas production boats seem to have a limited lifespan? I had the option of a mint B37 but I decided to go ahead and get a CL41. Thanks for reading.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:59   #7
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Originally Posted by Soft Air View Post
I have a question after reading all your very interesting comments: Will this B49 be around in let's say 20 years? Why boats like Pearson's, Cheoy Lee's and other classic boats seem to last forever whereas production boats seem to have a limited lifespan? I had the option of a mint B37 but I decided to go ahead and get a CL41. Thanks for reading.
Yes, unless it sinks or encounters some other disaster, I would put money on it being around in 20 years. Do you know of many '87 beneteaus that were junked due to "old age?"
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:38   #8
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I must agree, Fiberglass has a half life of 5000 yrs....Also, grouping Beneteau into "production boats" and thus labelling them as inferior just because one has an afinity to "classic" boats is, once again, a very subjective statement...please back up your statements with proof...give me evidence of this limited lifespan. Soft air, a CL41 vs. a B37 are not comparable, they are two very different boats. I personally like the more modern flat bottomed style due to my liking a boat that has some speed to it. My preference does not make me be subjective towards classic type boats and believe me I could be very critical of certain classic boats. Regardless, I must say that this production boat biasness, I think, was developed in the eighties due to poor production methods and poor quality control of certain boat builders...however I have yet to come across an eighties built Beneteau that was of anything but excellent build quality. As a matter of fact, some classic 80s boats seem to have some serious issues....
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:46   #9
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Almost sounds like a mono cat debate.....hehehehehehehehe
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:07   #10
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George, I am aware you cannot compare pears to oranges, I put 2000 USD on a B37 that was nicely maintained in the Island of Venice, Fort Lauderdale. When I started to plan all the necessary equipment to sail her thru the Caribbean down to Panama, everything needed to be done again from anchors to water and fuel capacity so I realized I was not going to be able to budget all of this. I think Beneteaus are excellent boats and the factory keeps in mind the comfort for coastal cruisers. Since I want to go to far places I changed my mind and got myself an also nicely maintained CL41 in Tortola. I am not saying one boat is better than the other all I am trying to express is if someone wants to go bluewater on a Beneteau those things that happened to me could be considered. Thanks again
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:52   #11
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JC—

I hate to disabuse anyone of cherished misconceptions but you are betrayed by the irony of your own pronouncement. Pearson, Choy Lee et al were the production boats of the mid-60’s to 70’s era. Take a walk through any southern California marina today—and particularly Long Beach or Newport—and you will find a vast majority of old production boats—Cal’s, Columbia’s, Coronado’s, Newport’s, Pearson’s, Santana’s and, of course, not a few boats built by Choy Lee which, at the time, was the “higher end” of the Chinese production boats built with cheap labor and cheaper teak, which, richly carved into door and wall panels, imparts an aura of quality not always deserved by the underlying structural workmanship. (In fact, the Choy Lee yard was the forerunner of a number of Hong Kong and Taiwanese yards that specialized in “cheap” knock-off’s of boats designed by Alden, Phil Rhodes and their contemporaries—e.g. the Rhodes Reliant’s and Bounty’s that miraculously reappeared as Choy Lee Offshore 40’s and 41’s—and, later, even Bob Perry’s designs.)

Likewise, the Beneteau 49—tho’ not my “cuppa” tea—will surely be around in 20 years, and likely 50 years, and with reasonable maintenance and up-keep, will likely be going strong. For the record, we happen to own a 23 year old Beneteau First 42 and we are frequently complimented for her beauty by passers by; and, on how plush and beautiful her interior woodwork and finishes are by visitors. She is as fast as a witch in any wind at all and rock steady in a seaway in lousy conditions which lets us arrive rested and in good spirits while our competitors in lesser—newer—yachts look like they’ve taken a beating.

Cthelen’s question was “I don’t plan to sail to Hawaii for about 4 or 5 years so the price to upgrade equipment is not as much a worry as the structural integrity of the hull and rigging.” The structural integrity of the hull and rig are certainly more than sufficient. The boats are off-shore rated—many are delivered across oceans on their own bottoms—and the materials, workmanship and quality controls employed by Beneteau at its plants in the US and Europe are first rate.

More salient, in my view, is the suitability of the yacht for the proposed use—although one’s propositions and one’s actualizations are frequently at odds. While the yacht is certainly “lovely” to behold, that does not bespeak its sea keeping. The polar’s are impressive but with the hull shape and little of the yacht below the waterline for damping, I suspect she may roll her guts out off the wind in a seaway unless one is able to carry a press of sail for stability, which a family crew may not. Moreover, the fuel and water capacity—63 and 150 gallons respectively—are not impressive, nor is there much evidence of storage capacity unless one elects to use one of the aft cabins in the 3-cabin version for stores. Further negatives in my view are the width of the cabin/salon with nary a hand-hold in sight; minimal fiddles on counters; and, a lack of sea berths tho’ the settee berth in the salon and the twin aft cabin berths could be made suitable. Of course, for the California—Hawaii run around the Pacific High, these might not be such important factors as one will only be at sea for two weeks or so in—normally—reasonably benign conditions.

N’any case, FWIW—

s/v HyLyte
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Old 09-08-2008, 19:37   #12
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Blue water "safe"?

I would not rate anything less than a large cruise ship as blue water "safe".

After making sure that the boat is as good as good can be safety comes from experience, training and caution.
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Old 09-08-2008, 23:50   #13
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
JC—

Moreover, the fuel and water capacity—63 and 150 gallons respectively—are not impressive, nor is there much evidence of storage capacity unless one elects to use one of the aft cabins in the 3-cabin version for stores. Further negatives in my view are the width of the cabin/salon with nary a hand-hold in sight; minimal fiddles on counters; and, a lack of sea berths tho’ the settee berth in the salon and the twin aft cabin berths could be made suitable. Of course, for the California—Hawaii run around the Pacific High, these might not be such important factors as one will only be at sea for two weeks or so in—normally—reasonably benign conditions.

N’any case, FWIW—

s/v HyLyte
Its not show on the beneteau website, but there is a very large storage area at the bow that can be accessed through a hatch at the bow.
in the 2 cabin version there is a huge storage area where the second cabin would be at the rear. the only problem is that access is only from above and somewhat of a pain ( well something will be hurting when you get out of there )
Also with the 2 cabin version, the rear berth is diagonal and makes it somewhat useless at sea unless it were modified a bit. The local boat in my area is a 2 cabin. would buying a boat with a diagonal birth be a mistake ? anyone ever try to sleep in one ?
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:40   #14
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I do not believe that Bendy Toes are the best built boats in the world. However, I DO believe that they offer good value at the low end. And they sail well.

I wouldn't hesitate to sail one around the world. I'm sure they're at least as strong as my (salvaged, $3,000) Hughes 38 which I have 50,000+ ocean miles on.

Fatty, in Phuket, Thailand
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:18   #15
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Well if if "ain't" the old Everready Bunny of circumnavigators himself. (Does Caroline know you're fooling around with her computer?) Given your milage Fatty, can you comment on the number and types of Bene's you see voyaging? Any?

Regarding bow-lockers, cthelen, having sailed a F-456 with the same arrangement, you will find that you will not want to open that hatch in any seaway, although you can easily carry your trysail and weather jib in an aft locker so that's not such an issue. As to diagonal berths--some friends of ours own a Island Packet with a similar arrangement that they've taken to Mexico a few times and they report the berth is worthless in a seaway but okay in settled weather, which, fortunately, predominates. That would leave only one--or two if one crew is height challanged--sea berths in the salon apart from sleeping on the sole, (which does have something to recommend it tho' not if the yacht has only one head, forward, or shallow bilges with a belly full of water).

After re-reading your post earlier this morning, my (far) better half and I pulled up the Beneteau web-site and looked at the boat again and her first comment was "...the cabin's beautiful but there's nothing to hold on to". (At only 4'-11", tho' she claims 5', hand holds are a big issue for her.) She also read my earlier post and commented that the fuel and water capacity of the yacht is better, and the same, respectively, as ours and they've not been a problem for us and a water-maker can remedy the water supply situation anyway--so I stand corrected.

As for strength and endurance, your primary issues--the yacht is more than adaquate in my view--eh Fatty?--and, shaped much like a classic west coast "sled", she'll have a good turn of speed off the wind which is what you require.

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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