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Old 22-06-2008, 20:31   #1
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First Boat - Beneteau?

I am looking at buying my first boat - looking at a Beneteau 285 or 310, although i saw an add for a 350 in the same price range. Can I get some advice on these boats and good alternatives? We are looking for a boat for coastal crusing and for a 28.5' boat the beneteau is loaded with creature comforts, aft cabin, hot & cold pressure water, nice woodwork, etc - so far I have not found anything that really comes close in that size range.

I like the beneteaus but I have not seen alot for sale - does anyone have a 285 or 310 for sale?
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Old 22-06-2008, 20:45   #2
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Boats tend to fit best when you have a specific purpose in mind. Your past experience and the time you have to commit to sailing all enter into it as well as the budget you have to work with and what you short term and long term plans involve. The ongoing expenses of a boat are not trivial so the money part does really matter.

You may find many suitable boats. Age, condition, and type all influence price. Brand name to me figures a bit lower on the list of priorities. Some people want to frame the question as if all else were equal what brand would you choose? I tend to feel all things are never equal and you don't want to buy a whole boat company just one boat for you and you goals.
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Old 22-06-2008, 21:04   #3
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Quote:
I am looking at buying my first boat - looking at a Beneteau 285 or 310, although i saw an add for a 350 in the same price range. Can I get some advice on these boats and good alternatives?
If this is your first foray into sailing, my advice to you would be to buy something between 16 and 20 feet. Sail that for a couple of years until you understand how boats work. Then buy a larger, heavier one. There are subtleties and nuances that are much easier to pick up on a smaller, lighter boat.
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We are looking for a boat for coastal crusing and for a 28.5' boat the beneteau is loaded with creature comforts, aft cabin, hot & cold pressure water, nice woodwork, etc - so far I have not found anything that really comes close in that size range.
A Beneteau would certainly be suitable for that type of sailing. Most boats would, and there are many that offer the same standard of liveability.

Creature comforts are nice, but remember that the more systems you have on a boat, the more there is to maintain, and the more things will break and need to be replaced. Also, chances are that you won't really use some of the features. The KISS philosophy makes a lot of sense in the marine world.

Your primary consideration should be finding a boat in good to excellent physical condition. Get out and look at 40 or 50 bvoats so that you can start to develop an idea of what constitutes normal wwear and tear and what is neglect. Ask lots of questions and listen carefully to the answers.

Then worry about the brand name, add-ons, options, etc. You can add a sophisticated galley to a strong hull for a few thousand dollars, but if you buy a great galley inside a weakened hull, it will cost you far more money to bring it up to a seaworthy standard.

Good Luck ! Hope things work out well
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Old 22-06-2008, 21:30   #4
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because you are new to this and not sure what you want and need you may find in 4-7 years you are looking for a new boat. So you should consider resale - you might want to check out Catalina's strong owners groups commonly owners trade up to larger sizes same brand.
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Old 23-06-2008, 01:03   #5
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At the risk of getting shot by someone here, I consider the Catalina's, Hunters and Beneteaus in this size group to be very similar. I like them all BTW and so do a billion other people or the marinas would not be full of them.

They are plentiful so they are relatively inexpensive and there probably are ton's of people who can fix them and I bet the factory support is not too bad.

Looking at the 285 it seems to have the same issue that I have with the Catalina where the shrouds mount right in the middle of the already narrow side decks. The side decks are narrow to improve the interior volume but I always find the shrouds getting in the way of going to the foredeck. Not a huge issue but it bugs me. Our shrouds mount right at the rail, the cabin is narrow at head height and we have pretty workable side decks. This is also conducive to people sitting on the rail. Our cockpit is about the size of the 285 and with more than 4 it is getting crowded. With 8 on board - yes we've had a loadfull - we have 3 people on the rail, 4 in the cockipt and 1 usually standing in the companionway. 6 is a much more workable load out for us.

Our experience is that only 1-2 people out of 8 will spend any appreciable time in the salon.

The other thing I noticed is the center mounted salon table. We have the same thing in our boat and I find it a pain in the butt to get around. I would give up a settee if I could move my table to port or starboard.

The price point of these boats is very appealing as well.
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Old 23-06-2008, 10:11   #6
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It was not all that long ago that a 28ft boat had no headroom and minimal interior amenities some compromise has to be expected when so much is jammed into so little. In general the typical 28-30ft production boat is a lot of boat in a easily managed package financially and physically
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