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Old 08-03-2018, 12:34   #1
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Need info on Power plant for 2000 Beneteau 321

I'm looking to buy a 2000 Beneteau 321 with a 18 hp Engine. It has been used exclusively on fresh water lakes. I noticed most boats of this type for sale in slat water have 27-29 hp engines. Anyone have experience in tides and currents with a boat powered by an 18 hp engine?

Thanks
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Old 08-03-2018, 13:02   #2
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Re: Need info on Power plant for 2000 Beneteau 321

Not a Beneteau but I once owned a 34' cruiser/racer powered with a 35 HP engine and would not have wanted less.

A good friend bought a Westsail 32 that came with an 18 HP engine. Of course the Westsail is a heavier boat that the Beneteau but he considered it grossly underpowered. He replaced the 18 with a 40HP Beta.

It will depend on your plans and uses for the boat. If you indeed have to maneuver around a fuel dock or marina with a strong current running you may find yourself in a jam with only 18 HP. If you want to motor against strong wind and waves you will be making slow headway with 18 HP.

If you just need to motor from dock to open water, don't have strong currents to deal with or can pick and choose your times to avoid strong winds and currents then you could be OK with 18 HP.

If you repower even DIY for a new engine would be approaching the $6-$8 range min, could reach 10 or more. Pay a yard add another couple thousand or so.
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Old 08-03-2018, 13:09   #3
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Re: Need info on Power plant for 2000 Beneteau 321

In freshwater lakes, that's flat sheltered water and that's fine.

Go north of Vancouver where you may find 6 knot currents, or into open ocean where you may have forgotten the weathercast and be fighting 6' seas and a 40 knot wind...not so good.

If you plan to stay inland, no problem. Heading offshore and out into the blue...well, that might not be my choice.
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Old 08-03-2018, 16:07   #4
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Re: Need info on Power plant for 2000 Beneteau 321

Thanks guys.
I thought the same. I had a 31 Cheoy Lee in Charleston, SC with a 35 hp Yanmar and its would barely overcome the current in Wapoo Cut.
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Old 08-03-2018, 16:26   #5
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Re: Need info on Power plant for 2000 Beneteau 321

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Originally Posted by headingUP View Post
Thanks guys.
I thought the same. I had a 31 Cheoy Lee in Charleston, SC with a 35 hp Yanmar and its would barely overcome the current in Wapoo Cut.
If Wapoo Cut is anything like the current at the City Marina you might need a turbo charged V-8 to overcome the current. I was there for one weekend and saw three pretty good fender benders just at my dock. Almost had a close encounter of my own at the fuel dock. Waited for slack to leave.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:26   #6
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Re: Need info on Power plant for 2000 Beneteau 321

Our Tartan 33 has 25hp and a max prop. I wouldn't want less in the currents in Puget Sound and parts North.
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:41   #7
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Re: Need info on Power plant for 2000 Beneteau 321

I would just make sure the engine / prop combination is able to bring the boat to hull speed facing 20kn wind, and that you have a remaining 15-20% rpm available.

There is no point on arguing facing a 6kn current with a boat hull speed around that speed, which I believe is what you get on your 321 Beneteau. You better then question seamanship.

My Dufour 39 Frers, 18000 lbs is power with its original Volvo Md2030, 29HP and a 17" max prop. It is pretty rare I find it under power.

I remember once being fighting in Woods Hole strait against current and wind. What ever power I would have would not compensate the questionable decision I made leaving the dock 45 minutes too late.
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:23   #8
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Re: Need info on Power plant for 2000 Beneteau 321

Quote:
I would just make sure the engine / prop combination is able to bring the boat to hull speed facing 20kn wind, and that you have a remaining 15-20% rpm available.
I honestly doubt that very many cruising boats can meet this criterion. I know that ours could not with her 43 hp for a cruising displacement around 12 tonnes and 44 ft LWL.

However, we've lived aboard and cruised in her for 18 years now and covered almost 60,000 miles and not found her underpowered. Have managed to maneuver in sustained 45 gusting 60+ when resetting an anchor, etc, so I believe that she has stood the practical test of time in service. Oh... we typically cruise at 6-6.5 knots, 1800-2000 rpm using 2.5 L an hour of diesel.

It is certainly possible to stuff a large enough engine into your sailboat to achieve the above standard, (although some designs would be hard pressed to swing a large enough prop to use the power), but I question the need for such extremes. None the less, you may well find that 18 hp is a bit lacking, especially if the prop isn't perfectly matched to your boat when loaded for cruising.

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Old 09-03-2018, 12:27   #9
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Re: Need info on Power plant for 2000 Beneteau 321

We had a Westerly Fulmar, a 32ft English Racer/Cruiser (at least what the brits think a racer/cruiser would be.) It has a 18hp Volvo, and we found it to be adequate for the job. At one point we installed a Cambell Sailer prop, which as a wonderful addition, compared to the two bladed prop that came with the boat.

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