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Old 22-03-2010, 18:56   #1
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First Boat, Beneteau First 285?

I am in the process of buying my first boat. I grew up sailing mainly on another beneteau first. Now that i am looking into a boat of my own, i have considered a 1988 beneteau first 285. I have heard that these are not the best blue water boats however. I plan on sailing to Hawaii initially (I used to live there), and really traveling the world so i would like advice on what boats are good in the open ocean. I also want a boat that can accommodate at least 2 or 3 people (2 bedrooms). Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 24-03-2010, 04:08   #2
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Hi !
My former sailboat (1993 - 2001) was a Beneteau Oceanis 320. And I have had the opportunity to sail with friends on a 285 too. The fact is I think both of them are a little bit too small for traveling the world. I know a crew (4 people) who cross the atlantic ocean on an Oceanis 320. They told me how unconfortable it was, how afraid they have been many times, but they are alive, they succeeded. But they never will do it again !
The problem was not the boat in herself, but the fact she (and the crew) was not prepared enough for this kind of "voyage". Well, it depends also of the degree of comfort you need.
IMO, over 35 feet would be more convenient.
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Old 24-03-2010, 14:31   #3
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My book says that 3 different versions of Beneteau First 285 have been built:
- one shallow draft (1.2m), slower and not recommended by the author
- one deeper draft (1.6m)
- one with centerboard (0.66 / 1.94m) and twin rudders.

Which one are you looking into?

I agree with Jacques. For blue-water cruising, 2.8 tonnes and 28 feet aren't much, especially if you intend to have some crew with you. Just think of the weight of the food and water (or watermaker and fuel) that the boat will have to carry.

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Old 24-03-2010, 15:54   #4
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I have been looking into the one with the deeper draft. I think that i may go in a different direction now however. I found a Bristol that is a steal and i have heard wonderful things about circumnavigating in a boat like this. It is a !975 34' Bristol John Alden Designed 35. Heard much about this one?
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Old 24-03-2010, 17:02   #5
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a lot more gentle motion in a sea from the bristol, more fun to short tack the bene up a narrow chanel
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Old 25-03-2010, 04:25   #6
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Beneteau's are great sailers... Atlantic crossings done in a 320 and 331, but the hull shape does tend to make them slam easily in a sea... and a lively motion..
The Bristol has a good rep.. and as the previous post stated an easier motion.
Important consideration... when one considers the trans-Atlantic's a short hop compared to the

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Old 29-02-2012, 10:16   #7
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Re: First Boat, Beneteau First 285?

Not so sure about Beneteaus being great for Atlantic crossings. I spent years delivering them for Beneteau from France to the Caribbean and they weren't the most comfortable boats we moved. Commonly referred to among delivery skippers as "Bendy-toys" as you could lie on a bunk watching the bulkheads move in a big swell. Having said that I do own a Beneteau to potter around the coast on weekends.
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