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Old 17-06-2010, 09:50   #1
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Looking for an Escape Plan

My wife and I are interested in getting a boat to "escape" to in retirement. I want a comfortable live aboard with the seaworthiness to travel the world and the size to satisfy the "Admiral." Our budget is somewhere between $120K and $150K. The Beneteau line seems alot of mony for the boat, but I question seaworthiness. Help? Advice?

BTW: We currently have an Ericson 25 that we sail on inland lakes.
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Old 17-06-2010, 10:52   #2
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eslovett, as a "conservative" sailor, and one who has taken fun in bashing the Benny line, I will tell you that I would certainly consider a "BendyBoat" or Jeanneau for sailing in warmer climates and around the world. My mind is flexing in that regard. I believe the speed alone is worth it. I have even looked at listings (dont tell!)

As for colder area sailing, I would not want to take one. I would be concerned about laying to a sea anchor, and trying to retrieve it without getting the line wrapped around my keel and rudder, not to mention sailing to the weather, stability. and groundings. But hey, people do and are confident with them.

PS: the older ones are generally more seakindly for colder weather roughness 1980+, so I have been told.
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Old 17-06-2010, 11:39   #3
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Of the Beneteaus that come to mine the Idylle 15.5 strikes my fancy. Thoughts?
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Old 17-06-2010, 13:25   #4
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Well, its a beautiful boat, but remember maintenance, dockage, fees, and finding a suitable place to anchor etc. Also, if only two people can either one of you handle it alone in rough weather? And I don't mean with fancy electrical rollers etc. For two people in retirement age I would look at the low to mid 40's but that's just me.
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Old 17-06-2010, 20:05   #5
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retirement?

When I read the words "retirement" i get thoughts of older more 'seasoned' individuals like myself of 55 yrs. and think, why not a Cat. They are a little more hospitable when it comes to traveling, easier on the body since they dont heel over while underway.
I had a Bene and loved it but after a cruise on a flat cat, I'll never go back to a monohull. The shallower draft, the smaller engine(S) which require less money and time to maintain and overhaul, the open cabin area which stays nice and dry and stable while underway and the other obvious benefits.
I was alaways a mono-hull guy, thinking of getting a McGregor 65 which is LOT of boat but have opted to spend my dimes on the last boat I'll ever own, a 40-44' Cat which will run about 150-190K.
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Old 17-06-2010, 20:48   #6
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If I was looking for a retirement world cruiser on a budget, I would go for a heavy displacement monohull from 32 to 37 feet in length.

If I wasn't planning on a circumnavigation or high latitude sailing, I would go to medium or light displacement monohull.

If I had a bigger and less constrained budget, I would go for a 40 t0 42 foot monohull that was easily sailed by one person, or a catamaran under 42 feet.

For me the decision is pretty easy. How much am I willing to spend, and where am I going to sail? Once those questions are answered, it's much easier to get specific about designs and particular yachts.

I liked my Westsail 32, and my Privilege 39 catamaran because they did what I wanted them to do. They made it possible to sail around the world in relative safety and comfort.
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Old 18-06-2010, 07:13   #7
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When people talk about heavily built Beneteaus, they are talking about the early First series and the Idylle series. These are whole different animals than what you see with today's Beneteaus. The older ones have classical teak interiors, heavily laid-up hulls. I like the lines of the Idylle 15.5 and her German Frers underbody is just about the same as the Swan 51 with a shorter rig than the Swan. The 15.5's were orginally charter boats with Moorings and have a 4 cabin, 4 head layout. Some owners have combined the two forward staterooms into a master stateroom with a centerline queen which makes sense.

I recommend purchasing a newer Beneteau if that attracts you or a similiar budget buy. You might find that you would rather cruise the Bahamas than sail around the world. Start with the newer value conscious sailboat, see how comfortable you are, and find out what you really want to do. By that time, you will understand her strengths and weaknesses and know whether you would be comfortable taking her around the world.

Sincerely, RJ
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Old 18-06-2010, 08:20   #8
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Yes. Do NOT buy one like mine. You'll die!!!! We were both killed a few months ago it was terrible!!

I'm not trying to 'take the micky' out of RJ, and he no doubt means well, but I much prefer to be at sea in my boat that anyone elses of anywhere near the same value.
If we could afford a million dollar Oyster we would probably have one, but for the amount of money we had and the layouts, modernity, safe handling and level of construction its totally and utterly fine.

If Beneteau lied about their range of boats that have ocean catagories then people would have been sueing the crap out of them - ask any American lawyer. Its the same as McDonalds milkshakes being made out of pig fat. Its demonstrably not true.

As for cruising on a 'First' they are racing boats and not designed for the delights of a cruising life. There are, however, a lot of people who cruise First's and enjoyably so. Damn quickly so!! Beneteau First series yachts are the most represented brand of sail boat each year in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. None have been lost. However for a cruising platform I much prefer the Oceanis series: the cockpit clear of the main sheet thingy, and I love our swim platform, I love the extra storage you'll never find on a race boat, or an older design boat. But most of all I love our S P A C E!

One friend said that in their saloon of their similar size boat they sit opposite one other knee to knee looking at each other all day.

I love Nicolle but I couldn't sit knee to knee with her all day!

Lastly about its sailing ability: Its not a race boat, but we just sailed (as in SAILED) up the Red Sea and for about 1,000nms we had those famous head winds..... and we didn't die!


Buying a boat is a difficult but exciting series of decisions. Everyones advice is different, and everyone has good ideas, well meant thoughts, and most come from some experience. That actually makes your decision even more difficult!


Good luck


Mark
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Old 18-06-2010, 08:45   #9
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I did not mean to make any kind of judgement against newer Beneteaus. I think it is pretty obvious per Mark that you can safety and comfortably sail around the world in one. My thought was for eslovett to purchase one, see what he thinks and go from there instead of jumping into an older or larger or more expensive sailboat.
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Old 18-06-2010, 08:51   #10
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Originally Posted by jordanship View Post
My thought was for eslovett to purchase one, see what he thinks and go from there instead of jumping into an older or larger or more expensive sailboat.
I agree with you. I'm pretty crook on boat work so I couldnt get a classic looking boat...
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Old 18-06-2010, 09:12   #11
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Looking at the "Bendies" under 40, I would personally choose the new B36.7 FIRST, mainly because I like the interior nav station and single aft cabin on starboard. I'm also a speed freak (my inner head voice). The Benneteau series is more aligned for cruising but I'm not that fond of the interior on the 34 or 37.

No doubt, safety claims must be taken in stride on both because not everyone is sailing around the world and in all possible weather and cruising areas. These boats were built for a particular clientele and type of sailing. But, they will get you there in what you will typically face. And at a very reasonable price.
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Old 18-06-2010, 09:18   #12
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If you are in a hurry buy a Learjet, or Citation. Me, I opt for comfort over speed, but I am in no hurry.
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Old 18-06-2010, 09:25   #13
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If I wanted slow and comfy, I'd get a nice steel Pilot House Motor Sailer made for me up in Vancouver Island. No doubt about it. Love them. But for light trade winds, racer/cruiser if I had $$$.
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Old 21-06-2010, 10:25   #14
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Wow!! Thanks all for the comments. This type of discussion exactly what the doctor ordered.

A large part of my goal is to keep as many options (capabilities) available as possible. As mentioned below, space (from the "Admiral's" perspective) is a high priority. Where I, the lowly helmsman, value speed and stabilty and the ability to sail where ever I please.
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Old 21-06-2010, 10:56   #15
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And a big part of the trade-off between older and newer is the cost to bring it up to standard for cruising. I bought a stunning 1999, but have sunk 20k already and will probably go another 10k before it's ready for blue water cruising. Anchors, windlass, sail reconditioning, pumps, outboard, dinghy, auto-pilot..the list goes on and on. So, be sure to budget for outfitting her also.

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