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Old 12-24-2003
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Jeanneau quality is fine (Jeff H)

Jeff H, I don''t think you have really looked at the newest generation of Jeanneau''s closely and the information you’ve posted is not fair to the masses, aka new sailors that read here. I notice on this site you talk a lot about Jeanneau''s build quality right away when someone posts the question.
(people I know Jeff, and he is a friend....we talk shop all the time) Doens''t look like you like the older Jeanneau''s but many do. The new ones after 02 are much different and most of the line updated again without use of "in house designers."
You have commented on construction of the older Jeanneau boats when asked and I get a hunch that you have been comparing their older builds to other production manufacturers of later vintage. Like so what if they took longer to get rid of their IOR designs, we are talking years ago and different ownerships then. Also I see in posts that when you compare production boats to Beneteau you are always referring to the Beneteau "First series" product line without saying, which is much different to the Oceanis and this is very unfair to the people that are asking because I don''t think many new shoppers know the difference in the two series. It''s a more expensive boat and nothing like the Beneteau Oceanis line that many on this site are looking at. I have read that you said they hire great designers like Farr & Frers, etc but this is only for the "first" series and it would lend a newbie to believe you are saying all are by the famous Farr, and therefore other production builders are inferior. This is not true and actually all of the current designers of the new late model Jeanneau''s are outside designers with very good reputations in France. The Beneteau Oceanis line has most always been the Beneteau in house group w/ finot helping out.
Both Manufacturers have their spot in the sailing world and do it well. I know you have a very strong bias toward the Beneteau First line because you crew on one (40.7) and do very very well, and own a Farr that is the same designer. It’s only natural to have a bias there. I like them but have my bias more evenly spread. It''s a good boat but nothing like the Oceanis line, which is much lesser quality, and the hardware, etc is different, and the firsts are more expensive.

How can Jeanneau''s full length glassed in stringers, be lesser quality than Beneteau''s short cut "hull liners" which have proven to not be the way to go for a long term boat as far as stiffness, maintenance, repair, etc. It''s an inferior way to do it but it works and keeps costs down as you said. Nothing wrong with that. There are proven remarks on Beneteau''s first owners website where an owner says he has "water sloshing around stuck between his liner and the hull" and he is upset he can''t get it out and it is starting to smell like vinegar. That in my opinion would be a bad bad thing. Jeanneau''s does their full length stringer construction well, and fully glasses the bulkhead totally and this bulkhead glassing is something that is only "tabed" and "beaded" in other production boats, only to appear totally glassed. every Jeanneau is EU class A offshore cert. all the way down to the little 32 footer, so that says something about her. They all have Bronze seacocks, the opening ports are placed carefully for offshore or knockdowns. Don''t get me wrong, there are many more expensive better offshore boats. Beneteau uses a interior wood that is a descendant from the mahogany family, called Douka, and then stains it cherry which hides flaws, and in contrast Jeanneau is one of the few production builders that uses the traditional teak that boaters prefer, w/ matched grains from cabinet to cabinet. This provides a lighter interior, and good hardness, and is cut by a state of the art laser. This is all in the later models. Many many folks at the Annapolis boat show that compared apples to apples (oceanis to odyssey) sincerely agreed to the structural differences as better in the Jeanneau’s for the money. Also they do not design a “cruising” bathtub shape to increase interior like many competitors. Jeanneau’s cruising hull forms are the same hulls as their race versions. These race versions, the “Sun Fast” versions have done extremely well in the European IRC races (I have the results) but have not yet been marketed fully over here in NA, this is changing some. So these are the same hulls and therefore these new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey’s sail very nice as the reviews have stated. They have won many top 10 awards, BOY awards, all mentioned great sailing ability. So when we compare we need to compare similar productline. Yes the B- First have great race top of the line hardware, but they are not practical for many sailnet readers, in cost and layout. The First 36.7 has a head forward, and a very very short port side of the V-berth, and on a 36 foot boat this isn’t practical, along with a huge over done high cockpit floor traveler, a overly aggressive sailplan for an older cruising couple, etc. I love it though but I am a racer, the sun fast has the same but. I am a racer and believe in the compromise like you but many here want the convenience and cost sensitive issues looked at and I think you mention that a lot and that’s why we look up to your opinion. Anyone looking for performance should very well look at the First series or Jeanneau Sun Fast series and spend the extra money as I think it’s a better value all around than the cruise versions.
Again one can spend a lot more money elsewhere and get more perfection than a Jeanneau SO, or Bene.-Oceanis. I truly believe Jeanneau has struck the best balance of compromise to quality compared to any production boat. Also I noticed a gentleman posted and gave a review of a charter Jeanneau 37.1 and didn''t like some things. First off he led it to believe this was the newest generation Jeanneau when it is not, the new one is just called a 37 not 37.1 (or a sunsail/moorings version), and also this one was a few years old charter version. This is the kind of thing that gives a false impression for others as I think it may have been a private label Moorings or SunSail (people, don’t buy those, resale value will kill you, and well…it’s a whole other story but the deals are out there). Also any manufacturers older, been around the block charter version, would have had the same appearance and gotten the same review. People need to read reviews that are not of a singled out under maintained charter boat.
Anyway, I am with you….I like the Beneteau First series a lot, except for the liner. When looking at that first series range one has to look at a whole other line of competitors and I''m not saying the Jeanneau''s are the answer either.
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