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Old 05-08-2004, 05:55   #1
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Opinions on Beneteau 351

I am seriously looking at a 1997 Beneteau 351 (San Diego)
Displacement is 12,000#; she has a Yanmar 27hp engine with 671 hours onit; fuel/water/holding resp. 24/100/15 gl. LOA 35/LWL 31.1/Beam 12.6/draft 5/Ballast 3750

I am flying down to have a closer look at her and was wondering if anybody can comment on this type of boat.

The description is pretty generic and it look like this boat has the standard, factory supplied, equipment

Asking is $89K. It has the right configuration (2 cabins, 1 head - furling main/genoa)

My use would be Bay Area day sailing and some coastal cruising and eventually liveaboard.

Would I have to add larger tanks for coastal cruising?

Jan
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Old 05-08-2004, 07:01   #2
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Of the 'big four' boat builders, I personally prefer Beneteaus, especially their 'First series' rather than their Oceanis series. The Oceanis 351 aft cockpit, is one of the better of the Oceanis series. That said the 351 is less than ideal for the combination of lighter winds at the headwaters of SF Bay and the notorious short chop and high winds of lower SF Bay. Also under no circumstances would I consider a roller furling mainsail, especially as it is done on this model, appropriate for the conditions on SF Bay or sailing out in the Pacific in general.

I would suggest that you try to find a First 35s5, 35s7, or 38s5 which are likely to be available in your price range and are much more suitable for your sailing venue.

Jeff
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Old 05-08-2004, 08:25   #3
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Thank you Jeff for that sound advise. Even though I will be sailing shorthanded, the furling main concerned me as well.

I'll be down in San Diego anyway and check out other options from this broker.

Thanks, Jan
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Old 05-08-2004, 10:25   #4
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If you are sailing short handed the furling main is especially a bad idea. If you have a crew you can afford to have someone wrestle with a jambed furler for a while, or go up a mast an cut the sail away. When you are alone there really is no recourse. I have a friend who is a delivery skipper. He will no longer deliver a boat offshore with a roller furling mainsail.

Jeff
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Old 09-08-2004, 18:27   #5
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Thanks Mr. Jeff - could you elaborate on why the First 35s5 and 38s5 are preferable over the 351?

I agree with you that the First 35s5 would fit within my budget - there still would be some $$$ left for upgrades (tankage, vane etc)
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Old 09-08-2004, 21:01   #6
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It begins to soud like SF bay is definitely not a place I would like to sail. I have a Beneteau 461 (1999) and have not had any major problems other than a blow-out on the radiator hose. It seems to me that with a 35ft one would have a crew of at least themselves & one other. Unless you have custom made sails for the main, roller-furling has never been a problem. The one time we had a jam-up was with a custom kevlar with battens, the battens were designed to accomodate the furling, but we found out different. Why would the short chop in the Bay be a problem (unless you get sea-sick?) I do have to agree though the First series are some NICE boats. We have our eye on the 40.7 for our next up-grade. We have had some of the best saing times, even in the worst conditions, up & down the southern Calif coast. I do admit we usually stay between the Newport area & Ensenada. In February we will be taking the plunge to Puerto Vallarta.
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:00   #7
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I recommended the 'First' series boats for a couple reasons. To begin with, they are generally better constructed than the 'number' series. They also are biased a bit more towards sailing ability over accomodations. SF Bay would seem to be the kind of place that requires a better sailing boat to deal with its more challenging conditions. Also the boats that I mentioned have fractional rigs which are much easier to handle short handed, especially in the changeable conditions of SF Bay.

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Old 06-09-2004, 18:21   #8
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Jeff, Thanks for the suggestion

OK Jeff, I looked at a couple of 35s5 and 38s5. The latter seem to be out of my financial range (unless I purchase one on Florida and have it shipped to SF for another $8,000 to $9,000!)

So, I seatrialed a 35s5 which was readily available in San Francisco and I loved it! The survey came out good with some minor dings (mostly cosmetic stuff) and she is now being bottompainted at my expense! i.e. I am a happy 35s5 owner.

I was really impressed with the ability to trim this boat in such a way that she didn't need someone holding the wheel.

Again, thanks for that sound advice. (although, I don't understand why they would use regular steel washers for the ss keelbolts/nuts)

Jan
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Old 07-09-2004, 15:48   #9
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Congratulations and good luck with the new boat.

I have seen iron washers on some of the Beneteaus as well and been perplexed. On one boat, only one of 6 bolts had an iron washer (the others were stainless steel) so I am not clear on what Beneteau's thinking is or whether they are perhaps actually using a grade of SS that is simply more prone to rusting. It seems a little sloppy to me.

Jeff
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Old 15-09-2006, 07:27   #10
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Joyce, I am about to become the owner of a Beneteay 461, 1998. No furling main. Two cabin. Would you give me your thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of the vessel. I am jumping up from a catalina 36 and will be cruising in Lake Michigan. I've read a lot of threads, thanks everyone.
But getting a good deal on this boat has ruled out looking at fractional rigs, etc... We are just excited to be moving into a "live aboard" size boat , even if its a short summer.
Jeff?
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Old 15-09-2006, 08:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclepro
OK Jeff, I looked at a couple of 35s5 and 38s5. The latter seem to be out of my financial range (unless I purchase one on Florida and have it shipped to SF for another $8,000 to $9,000!)

So, I seatrialed a 35s5 which was readily available in San Francisco and I loved it! The survey came out good with some minor dings (mostly cosmetic stuff) and she is now being bottompainted at my expense! i.e. I am a happy 35s5 owner.

I was really impressed with the ability to trim this boat in such a way that she didn't need someone holding the wheel.

Again, thanks for that sound advice. (although, I don't understand why they would use regular steel washers for the ss keelbolts/nuts)

Jan
Congratulations! I just found this thread, otherwise I would have commented earlier. I became the owner of a Beneteau Idylle 11.5 recently. For Beneteau the Idylle series (4 different sizes) was relatively short-lived.. early/mid 1980's.. they are really cruisers that appear to be adapted from the First line... different keels and deckhouses, but otherwise very similar. For example mine looks exactly like a First 37.5 down below, and I think the hull shape is identical. I believe Berrett designed both the Idylle series and the Firsts.

Anyway, I would have never considered owning a Beneteau until I became aware of this particular boat. The price was too good to pass up, and the photos/description looked great, so I looked it over and was very impressed... made an offer on the spot, subject to survey. I need to spend some $$ to repair some structural issues, and it will eventually need a bottom job, but I will still come out way ahead.

I am very impressed with Beneteau... they design and build great boats and their after sale support is wonderful. They helped me out a lot and my boat was built in 1984!! Relative to Hunter and Catalina, they are superior, IMO.... who is the fourth of the "Big Four" by the way?

Good decision on passing up the Florida boats, by the way.... many Florida boats have blister problems.

On the keelboats/washers... mine are in great shape, but I asked my surveyor about them and he said, don't worry... once cast iron keels are bolted on, they never come off (assuming no severe groundings, of course). Lead keels are a different story, evidently... need to be more carefully monitored. And you can always put in additional keelbolts.. not very difficult at all.
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