Online resources for Beneteau owners
Here are some other online resources for Beneteau owners.
Of course, the Beneteau websites
One of the websites for Beneteau owners
Another website for Beneteau owners
(that website was down when I recently tried it)
I don't mean to be negative about this particular brand, but I'd suggest that another good source on Beneteau products are boat yards, particularly large ones in areas where Beneteaus sell well. These boats seem to consistently suffer from manufacturing problems - or perhaps it's fairer to say they suffer problems when used regularly/demandingly, tho' in ways Beneteau approves of. Boatyards are great places to discover what happens in such cases.
I'm at a yard at the moment with two excellent examples. The First 375 that's rafted outboard of us at the moment, waiting its turn for a bottom job, looks to be generally in good shape. However, the deck mold is separating from the hull mold back aft, where the transom line is and where the joint is gelcoated over. Not a gelcoat crack, but a separation. Knowing this makes one begin to think about causes...and therefore understand a bit more about the hull torquing/racking in a seaway and perhaps what limits exist for Beneteaus in this regard.
Another example is up on the hard, a 3-yr old Beneteau 57, roughly a 600,000 Euro boat. Fuel tank vents have led to her injection pump being demolished and needing replacement (altho' this was equally due to inadequate pre-filtering of the fuel) and a number of other systems issues. But the big surprise is her ballast keel. In addition to a noticeable gap in the keel/keel stub joint, we're seeing a crack that started at the trailing edge of the keel, slowly working its way horizontally and forward, apparently trying to mate up with the main section of the keel where it mates with the hull. (The mating surfaces are 'stepped' on this keel stub/keel rather than being one straight horizontal line). Beneteau has refused to address this, suggesting the crack be filled with putty. When deciding to 'bolt' the keel sections together and inhibit further crack creep, the vendor who does this work discovered the keel wasn't all lead, but rather a lead casting covered with an aluminum alloy. (What strange arrangement is this?! Well, the keel was made by a subcontractor...and so who knows; Beneteau doesn't). In this case, we learn multiple things: Beneteau's attitude towards warranty claims, subcontracting of keels, and specific defects - none of which we would probably assume when first learning about the boat.
Just like Jeanneau, Catalina, Hunter (Legend in the UK) and Bavaria, Beneteau makes a large number of boats, year in & year out. Many are lightly used; others are used sufficiently to begin surfacing issues like those above. Digging around yards will help identify some of them; networking with other owners who use their boats extensively is another way. Some Beneteaus - moreso the First series - hold up well; some do not.
Thank you Jack
I appreciate your post regarding the poor build quality of Beneteaus. I came very close to purchasing a new Beneteau until I was warned of their construction challenges. As I began to follow-up on these rumours, I came across multiple users of this boat and I am thankful that I did not spend the money to buy one. Apparently these boats can require serious repairs after a few years of regular use. Resell values are not good at all.
While I know your post was some time ago, I'm wondering if you (or anyone) can recommend a production sailboat that can stand the test of time and coastal cruising with the odd offshore venture without having to step up to a much more expensive custom built boat. I'm looking for a near new 42-45 foot sailboat under $250K.
Thanks in advance.
Al...I think the Catalina 42 is going the be the best boat in your specified size/price/age range in terms of decently available boats. You may find a bargain somewhere on a more limited production boat. This Valient is a bit higher than your range but is certainly an exceptional boat:
YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale
Just a quick reply to this thread.
I own a 1986 Beneteau First 42, purchased in 2001 after extensive research and after looking at more than 30 different boats over a 3 year period. I am now a retired marine surveyor with more than 20 years experience looking at both new and damaged boats, both power and sail, and hold a USCG 100 ton Master's license.
I have sailed our boat very hard and have raced her extensively in conditions where many sailors would curl up and cry. To the Bahamas and back twice, to Mexico and back twice, to the Florida Keys and home many times, and both cruising and racing the west coast of Florida with a 6 foot 6 inch draft. We ran aground once surfing off a big wave at over 8 knots in the middle of a marked channel where the charts showed plenty of water. No damage. No leaks then or now except a little trickle at the through deck mast.
Last year we logged many hours under spinnaker on the way to Mexico with speeds from 10 to 12.9 knots. Big seas, big winds. The boat showed fingertip control at all times.
The boat still shows as near new and draws endless compliments from both power boaters and sailors alike. My wife and I love our Ocean Angel, would own no other boat, and have and will continue to trust her with our lives over and over again. In May 2008, we take her to Mexico once more, then on to Belize and hopefully, Guatemala.
Just my two cents. Do your homework and buy the boat that fits your needs:)
Got to agree with that last post, you will find good and bad in all boats and it kinda depends on how the person treats thier personal property.
The wife and I performed an unspeakable act as said by some racers by turning our 1983 First 42 into a Full fledged Cruiser, solar pannels, windcharger, and more gel cell batteries than you can carry in a normal pickup at one time.
And for the past 6 years we've been sailing the waters from the North West to Mexico and with this last big retro-fit which included, my wifes best friend, a spectra watermaker, we're now ready to leave for a 5 year trip around the world..
Mine is equepted with a deep keel and a tall rig and there's times we use every bit of it. and the speeds, I've seen speeds that would make you call me a liar and all the time, a velvet touch control.
Those that own a First 42 know of what I'm speaking..
Dont put the Beneteau down because of a few
you've seen that have been mistreated, and take the time to check out the First 38 and 42.
When you build Thousands and Thousands of sailboats, the chances are that some will be better than others, in terms of design, manufacture and materials quality. I searched for a boat for many many years. I looked at C&C, CS, Tartan(way over rated), Jeanneau, Newport, Beneteau, Pearson and others. There are good and bad boats in every one of them. I ended up with a Beneteau because it was the best deal. My boat is as stronger and faster than most of the boats I saw. The hull is two inches thick in some areas and the deck feels like you're stepping in concrete so whoever makes a general statement saying that this or that brand is bad, is in my book, full of cr#@p.
So,, if you find a good Beneteau, inspect it well and go for it. It is very likely that you will beat most of the critics, IN THE WATER.
Check this out:
Not that owning a B makes me biased, but WOOSH can go to another yard and find similar problems on any boat in the yard. Funny post, although if he is out to save the people from making the mistake of buying a Bene he is on his way.
We're on our 4th Benny and loved every one of them. They're fast, great boats but of course if you beat them up and neglect them you'll get what you expect. Take care of them and they'll take care of you. BTW I find they hold their value fairly well. We've seen 80 to 85% retention in value with all of them. All at least 7+ yrs old when sold or traded.
Beneteau is the largest volume boat builder in the world therefore you will see more of them in marinas and more of them in yards under repair. They are also used extensively in charter fleets (Moorings for example) where they see a lot of work. WHOOSH's comments are not of much value to me. From what I know of Beneteau they use some of the most advanced manufacturing techniques and equipment available - allowing them to provide well made boats at good value. Every boat is an assembly of many manufacturers - engines, winches, rigging, sails, pumps, batteries etc. so nailing one boat builder for 'quality' issues is crazy. The builder makes the hull and fits the rigging and equipment - I saw one posting where a guy was nailing C&C because his Yanmar sail drive failed - in fact he tried to sue C&C - crazy stuff.
It seems to me the key to having a good boat is to keep it maintained after it is manufactured. There is a lot of junk in every marina - look hard enough and you might even find a dilapidated Swan.
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