Mr. Lucky, you don't tell us where you are based or what plans you have for the boat...and IMO those are major factors in trying to answer your question. The Beneteau model you are considering, again IMO, lacks suitable tankage and deck hardware
for even regional cruising in some areas, and there are additional problems with it if wanting to cross an ocean. OTOH if your plans are like 98% of other owners, it's probably as good as any other comparable choice out there. (What a great marketing
slogan: "Our boat is no worse than the other guy's...")
Re: all these AWB's, I think it's when you begin looking at the details that questions arise. As just one simple example, check the deck hardware
associated with anchoring
. The plate thickness used for the anchor
roller is usually 1/8", the roller is cantelevered forward of the bow, fasteners are inboard and few in number, the platform's bail does not accommodate anchors of larger sizes, the roller cheeks may not be rounded, and the nylon snubber for an all-chain rode
(not expected by the builder) lacks a fairlead to a suitable cleat. None of this is a major problem for the weekend sailor but these anchor
roller assemblies bend or fail altogether when doing more serious cruising. Eventually, such limitations can even make themselves known if e.g. living on the hook in the Caribbean
. Imagine how many systems there are on a boat carefully built to a price which may include similar compromises.
One last thought: I recently spent 9 weeks in a boatyard of superior capability, watching them try to repair used AWBs. The generic problem they kept having was that all these cost-conscious build choices worked against long-term longevity of the systems and made repairs
difficult and expensive. Beneteaus distinguished themselves in this regard: hull/deck joints split, mast
step/rig loading structures rusted, welds broke, and they had to be removed and junked, fuel
was found to have migrated inbetween the hull
laminates of foam-cored First series hulls, the fuel
came from leaky manifolds that couldn't be easily repaired since they were built of plastic and not accessible for removal
, keels lacked a good match-up with their hulls' keel
stubs (I could easily place my hand in the gap on one boat), and the list went on. In one case, a 2-year old 600K Euro Beneteau began to have its keel
crack horizontally, Beneteau wouldn't answer the phone
or examine the boat, lawyers were involved, etc. This is hardly a distinguished record
and the implications of building to a price go way beyond 'springy decks'.
Still...most Beneteaus probably provide good service
to their owners because they see very little use. If your plans are similar, then it's all about a careful survey
with a small portion of luck thrown into the mix.