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Old 21-03-2009, 22:48   #1
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Thumbs up My problem is Which boat to buy?

Greetings and Good morning
Here is my problema. I have found a Beneateau 423 (2004) and a Beneteau 473 (2002) and Hunter Passage 42 (1996). I can buy the Beneteaus at about the same price and are pretty well equipped with low hours and nice condition. I can buy the Hunter 1996 for about $50,000 less. It was updated in 2004 and is really well equipped even a feathering propeller. It has everything including watermaker and washer/dryer. Even a defriberlater. Can I be happy with a center cockpit on an boat. I really like the Beneteaus and the aft cockpit. I am really having a tough time in buying an older boat.
I am serious and need some straight forward advice. The sails in the Hunter (cutter rigged) , fully battened main vrs. the furling mainsail in the Bent.. Fin keel in the Hunter. Would I be better off with a longer boat as I will be spending maybe a month or 2 at a time on the boat.

The $50k is alot of money. The Hunter has 2004 Raymarine gear, top of the line integrated stuff with large viewing screens.

Am I better off in the long run with a longer boat? It will just be my wife and I. It will mainly be coastal cruising and the Caribbean area. Prices on all the boats are fantastic.

Any advice would be truly welcome. Thanks in advance.
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Old 22-03-2009, 02:27   #2
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I am critical of the sea worthiness of Hunters in general,but it should be adequate for what you describe.$50k is a lot of money.Hell,even you and your wife could cruise for more than ayear on that.
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Old 22-03-2009, 05:15   #3
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I agree with nonam...I don't like Hunters but $50,000 and all the goodies is a big incentive and keeping the wife happy, which appears to be Hunter's design philosophy, is important. However, my wife who loves all the gizmos would not go to sea in a Hunter!

The Beneteaus are better boats but as long as you follow the 'Thornless Path' down to the Caribbean the Hunter will be adequate. A/C is more important than a washer dryer if you are in Florida in summer.

Personally I would go with the bigger Beneteau.
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Old 22-03-2009, 05:36   #4
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I've read many blogs of people with Hunter, Catalina, Beneteau yachts that travel all over the East Coast and Caribbean and more without a problem. Don't be freaked out by an opinion of someone who may never have sailed one of these yachts. Search the blogs, and read for yourself. If I had listened years ago to all the negatives on Hunter sailboats, I never would have had ten great years with an H34 with my young family on Lake Ontario. I would have spent more than I could afford, or settled for something less comfortable/smaller. Oh and we traveled all over the Lake, in all kinds of conditions. The boat was fine.
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Old 22-03-2009, 10:12   #5
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Ah, the bennies have in-mast furling... I would not buy any of these.

Have you tried searching for Tayana, Wauquiez, Morgan, Island Packet, Dufour etc.? I would even consider Catalina.

Also, don't fixate too much on the electronics package. It's nice to have but not that important compared to overall design etc. What you need is GPS, autopilot, radar, VHF and SSB.

cheers,
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Old 22-03-2009, 11:02   #6
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Hi PJ,

You should think first on finding the right tool for the job. Don't buy a 1970 VW bug for the Indianapolis 500 and don't buy a Ferrari to commute 3 miles to work in rush hour gridlock (well only if you live in Lala land). So if you will truly do no more than coastal cruising and island hopping then pick the boat that is the most liveable and comfortable, assuming the boat has no major structural problems or other defects.

The Hunter is not the boat I would personally choose for major ocean passages (though it has been done by many) but I think it would be a great boat for your purposes. Chartered a Hunter for a Bahamas dive trip a few years ago and enjoyed the trip completely.

I also am not generally a fan of in mast furling systems but some sailors have had very good luck with them.
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Old 22-03-2009, 11:46   #7
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coastal sailing vs Caribbean

We have met Catalina and Hunter owners in the East Caribbean that told us they didn't want to take their boat to the West Caribbean. They felt that the boat-design wasn't up to it. These were < 40' boats.

We have friends with a Hunter 47 that go anywhere. They didn't even stop after loosing their stern (!!) in a hurricane in Grenada. They had a new stern molded and shipped to Trinidad, put it on and continued their travels. They are tough Texans ;-)

I think one must make a difference between coastal and Caribbean. US east coast is typical coastal and I'll include all of the Bahama's and the Turks and Caicos in that. But the going gets very tough from there to St Martin. The island hopping in the East Caribbean is coastal again and I'll even include the passages west to the ABC's in that. But as you go further west: Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Caymans etc. is definitely not coastal. 14' waves and 25 knots are average conditions here and we also had 20' waves and 45 knots wind. Most cruisers coming to/from Panama get to know 16-18' waves and the wind that causes these. There's not many charter boats around here ;-) Not a single bareboat one in fact. My point is that these are very nice area's, we like them better than the East Caribbean. I would dare to take a 36' Hunter or Catalina there but I wouldn't do it for fun.

If the choice is between a 42'ish Hunter or Beneteau, I would choose the Beneteau and select one that doesn't have in-mast furling.

ciao!
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Old 22-03-2009, 13:26   #8
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Greetings and Good morning
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panamajames View Post
Here is my problema ... Can I be happy with a center cockpit on an boat. I really like the Beneteaus and the aft cockpit. I am really having a tough time in buying an older boat ... Am I better off in the long run with a longer boat? It will just be my wife and I. It will mainly be coastal cruising and the Caribbean area. Prices on all the boats are fantastic.


I think this called a luxe problem in German; I'm sure there are many who would be thrilled to have this one

Let's take a step back, if you don't mind. How many of these three boats have seen in person or, better yet, been aboard? Now, how many are you able to see in the near future? A lot of boats look good in the ads but a bit differently in person.

Second, it looks like you haven't sailed in 10 years. But what isn't known is your age, fitness & experience. You might rule out the 47 because you think it's just too large. That might go for the 42 also, but you have to be the judge.

One piece of advice I can give right now: Take your time. Boats will be for sale later, too. Maybe even better ones.

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Old 24-03-2009, 23:12   #9
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I've been looking to buy a larger sailboat myself, we've been looking a Catilina's, now about to look at some Hunter's. There is one in our club 36 ft, and he kicked my ass, this last weekend.
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Old 24-03-2009, 23:18   #10
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I've been looking to buy a larger sailboat myself, we've been looking a Catilina's, now about to look at some Hunter's. There is one in our club 36 ft, and he kicked my ass, this last weekend.
Mark, my man, come to your senses, don't do that !!! ;-))

You have a '75 Morgan 27, sure a Hunter 36 can beat that... any 36' can. But if it's about speed, a Catalina 36 will beat the Hunter, even a J24 will.

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Old 25-03-2009, 23:15   #11
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Thanks Nick,
Looked at a 34 Catilina tonight. Very clean inside and out 1988 model
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Old 29-03-2009, 12:36   #12
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Ironically, I own both a Hunter and Beneteau. Although my experience with the Hunter is so far limited, I do think the Beneteau is a more solid boat. I have different, smaller models however.

As far as age, I think it's only one aspect of a boat's condition, so while age should be considered, I personally wouldn't get too hung up on it. The 1969 sailboat I owned never had any blisters, my Hunter already has many at half the age.
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Old 29-03-2009, 13:20   #13
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I have decided on the Beneteau 473 if I can get it at the right price. I like the aft cockpit. I have a Beneteau 423 if I can not get the 473. These are both out of the US. Its amazing that the Beneteaus listed with brokers are at prices you would never think they would sell in this gloomy economic crisis. Maybe the crisis is over and these sellers are optimistic there prices will be met.
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Old 29-03-2009, 16:18   #14
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Oh....do make an offer! (I'm sure you will) You may be pleasantly surprised. Just read a news article about how there are acres of boats being repo'd in Florida. Probably similar else where a long the coast.

The Caribbean can be one of the roughest areas in the world. The Anagada passage between the BVI and St. Marteen has been describe as such by commercial ships captains before. And I have been in some fairly nasty stuff there myself. Also, Eric Hiscock has mentioned that after 2 1/2 circumnaqvigations that he ran under bare poles in the Caribbean more often than any other place.
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Old 29-03-2009, 16:40   #15
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I have decided on the Beneteau 473 if I can get it at the right price. I like the aft cockpit. I have a Beneteau 423 if I can not get the 473. .
We saw a 2001 473 in Tonga and it was absolutly pristine. What a beautiful boat!
And the 423 we have always had our eye on.

Offer low and don't come up too quick.

There will always be others.

Good luck.

Mark
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