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post #4 of Old 08-09-2004
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Catalina, Beneteau, or What ?

I am not sure that you have quite an accurate assessment of the Beneteaus. Beneteau builds a number of lines of boats.

The number series, such as the 393 and the 423 are intended as ''value oriented'' family cruisers. Bulkheads are glued in, as is the structural pan. The rigs are designed to be cheap and simple to build (but are not as easy to handle as a fractional rig). They are more oriented towards coastal cruising than offshore useage.

The ''First'' series are intended as performance cruisers and racers. I have spent quite a lot of time racing on a Beneteau 40.7 and they are excellent dual purpose boats. We won the IMS East Coasts last year with the one that I race on. That boat has over 10,000 offshore miles on it as well as 3 1/2 hard seasons of racing. (She has also won her class in Key West race week, CORT and Block Island). The owner also cruises her with his wife and young daughter. Build quality is a little better on the Firsts with tabbed in bulkheads, hand glassed in stringers, and a more robust structural grid. The interiors are generally a little more spartan but also a little better suited to offshore sailing.

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