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Old 19-08-2019, 08:45   #1
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Quality of 1985 Beneteau

I am looking at a 1985 11.5 Beneteau. The question came up about hull strength. Questioning if quality of construction was reduced in mid 80ís. Anyother observations about this model boat would be appreciated. It is the 4.6 draft with original Perkins. Boat will be used costal cruising primarily west coast of Florida and occasional trip to Bahamas.
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Old 19-08-2019, 08:56   #2
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

It's a 34 year old boat and you question whether it is strong enough
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Old 19-08-2019, 09:18   #3
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

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It's a 34 year old boat and you question whether it is strong enough
I think his implication here is that if it has lasted 34 years then anything it has been around the block and is still here, it's probably OK.

If you know the history of the boat that helps, where has it travelled before?
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Old 19-08-2019, 10:21   #4
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

True. Think I’ll get a survey. Thanks
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Old 19-08-2019, 10:23   #5
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

Really don’t know and haven’t any info mor than 2 years back with current owner/seller.
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Old 19-08-2019, 10:26   #6
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

Dock talk was that Beneteau reduced thickness of fiberglass in petroleum crush mid 80’s. Concerned about hull flex separation.
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Old 19-08-2019, 10:39   #7
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

Owned a First 37.5 for 15 years. Sailed in the Salish Sea and coastal waters. It was a good boat for us. However Beneteaus in the 80ís had some blister problems. A lot had there bottoms peeled and redone. My was and I still had to deal with blisters.
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Old 19-08-2019, 14:13   #8
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

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Originally Posted by captcackle View Post
Dock talk was that Beneteau reduced thickness of fiberglass in petroleum crush mid 80ís. Concerned about hull flex separation.
it's 34 years old and you think it's going to fall apart on year 35

of the the things I would be concerned/interested in the hull now being strong enough isn't it
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Old 20-08-2019, 13:03   #9
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

I have a 1985 Beneteau 11.5 for the last four years. No issues with delamination or flexing noted, despite several some rough passages up the pacific coast. Layup seems strong compared to later years and models. But YMMV.
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Old 20-08-2019, 19:34   #10
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

All of the Beneteau's at that time were still built in France and seem to have held up very well. The 11.5's were sold as their cruising line and were a little more robust than the racer/cruisers- (First's mostly). Like any 35 year old boat, window and hatch seals will probably need some attention along with any wear related problems. I was a dealer back then, I toured several of the French factories, and I was impressed with build quality. I still race on a First 345 that I sold new back then, and it is still a very nice and solid boat. I would take a well kept 11.5 most anywhere, and I particularly liked the layout for a couple. I would expect by now any "French" equipment issues have been fixed, so if it has been kept up check it out and enjoy it.

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Old 21-08-2019, 05:53   #11
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

FWIW the mid-80's Beneteau yachts were, and remain, some of the best/strongest boats ever built by the company. Beneteau took to heart the lessons of the 1979 Fastnet disaster with their '80's designs by Greman Frers and the somewhat smaller yachts designed by Jean Berret. (I corresponded with Frers some years ago while doing a research project and he declared that the First 42 was one of his "favorite" designs that he was most proud of.) The Idylle 11.5 was the "Cruising" derivative of the of the First 35 and is a particularly good boat for Florida/the Bahamas when equipped with the 1.33 meter (about 4.4 ft) "shallow" draft keel although, with a full load, the yacht likely draws somwhat more. If the boat has been properly cared for, you'll find it a very satisfactory and safe cruiser with a fine turn of speed.

The only draw back to the boats that I can think of is the fact that the average Frenchman is rather smaller than the average American or Aussie such that, for the latter, squeezing into some of the spaces for maintenance/repairs can be a trial of scrapes and bruised knuckles!
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Old 23-08-2019, 05:23   #12
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

If you can find an Idylle 11.5 with rust free keel bolt backing plates you will have a hell of a boat. It had a full skeg with a ss hinge that protects the the bottom of it and a very strong rig. I used to lock the wheel trim the sails then I would go forward and sit on the high side rail an let her beat into the wind. Very well built. Terrific boat. It did need a peal when I got her.
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Old 23-08-2019, 06:55   #13
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

As long as the structure is perfect then you should not over-worry the hull.


Be watchful here:


- hull to keel and the bolts,
- rudder structure and rudder pipe,
- deck to hull,
- bulkheads at the hull,
- chainplate area


These I think are where you see trouble in units that did get into any trouble.


Keep us updated on what ensues.


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Old 23-08-2019, 07:00   #14
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Re: Quality of 1985 Beneteau

I think when they went to very light structures was about the Cyclades era. btw


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