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migpilot 11-14-2008 05:20 PM

New Owner 473
Greetings to Forum Members,

I am a new 2001 473 owner and forum member doing my sailing on the Great Lakes. I would appreciate any information regarding this particular yacht whether they be pleasures or peeves. I have researched the forum and found some tips and observations already. My first impression of this forum is that it seems a bit sleepy considering the number of Beneteau's out there. I am trying to decide why.

My yacht was well cared for by the previous owner, however I will spend the winter bringing it to my standards. I will be replacing the batteries with gel cells, repairing a few chips in the cast iron keel, overhualing the heads, and straightening out some of the wiring for starters. There is a small amount of crazing in some of the hatch covers and windows. The boat has a westerbeke 63C for docking power. I will be going through this as well. I have brought the North 3DL cruising sails (in mast furling) to the sailmaker and awaiting word on their condition althought initial inspection revealed no real problems. I have taken the rig down and am in the process of inspecting it with the only obvious problem so far is that some of the plastic anti-chafe guides on the mast are cracking.

As I work on the yacht I will try to post what I have found and what solutions were employed. Thanks in advance for your tips or observations.


negrini 11-14-2008 09:44 PM


look from this perspective: boat design forum = 5 viewers; buying a boat = 20 viewers; gear and maintenance = 60 viewers. Finaly Beneteau forum = 2 viewers. That's say something about Benes owners. They are all out there sailing rather fixing complex systems ;) . As per your mention, you're enjoying bringing it to yor specs, not big fixture. What I can say is I have 2 good friends owning 473 (2004 and 2006), and they take all trophies on family races organized here. Even with a single genoa (looks a code zero the damm big) I have a hard time to catch them with my previous Frers 40 !! They are very fast boats. And don't remember these friends at a yard, or docked for repair, other that antifouling paint, and minor cosmetics to their specs, you know ? Enjoy your boat, and remember it is as outdated as you want, the more you care, the more it demand. These are Benies, and that's exactly what I expect from mine ...

bean 11-17-2008 11:22 AM

I lived on and sailed a Beneteau in the Caribbean for 2 years. Good sturdy boat.

You didn't say whether or not you had a dedicated generator. I don't recommend gel cell batteries. They require a dedicated charging management system and are very sensitive to charging schedules. AGM batteries are a very good compromise between conventional lead acid and gel cells and they are much more tolerant with respect to charging and can accept higher charging rates than gel cells.

The electrical power supply cable for the anchor windlass comes up thru the anchor chain locker inside a standpipe. Unless the design has changed, the top half of the standpipe is flexible hose. This hose takes a beating from anchor chain and rode banging around in the locker. It must be double clamped top and bottom and inspected regularly. Also, ensure the locker drain holes are kept free and clear of mud and other debris. If the hose comes loose from the standpipe you stand a good chance of getting water down the standpipe into the forward stateroom when water comes over the bow.

Changing the oil on your Westerbeke is much easier and less messy if you install a flex hose from the sump drain plug fitting forward to an easily accessible point in the engine compartment.

Keep a close eye on your in-mast furling system and take good care of all the components. You cannot reef the main if the system fouls.

migpilot 11-17-2008 11:47 AM

Thank both of you for your observations and tips. I am starting to feel very good about this purchase and I will go to the storage facility today to check on the mentioned issues. I do not have a generator and I will research the battery issue a little better.



migpilot 11-18-2008 08:45 PM


Replaced a frozen Y-valve and overhualed one of the Jabsco electric heads today. Started inspecting the mast and running rigging. Decided to grease all fittings and replace all lamps withs LED's. Mast seems to have very large fittings and well sized shrouds and stays. Tommorow I will grind out a few chips in the keel and fill with west system before an overall Alcohol prep. VC-17 later in the spring before launch. I will grease the variable pitch feathering MAX prop via the small grease fittings provided ( no fittings but removable allen plugs) Anode seems OK.

More later,


migpilot 01-07-2009 11:02 PM

Some mast attention required. Wrapstop was found to be loose and spinning on the forestay. Ordered new one from Profurl. Have decided to overhaul furling drum on main furler just so I know what I have. Brought both spinnakers (reacher and runner) to sail maker and decided to have a snuffer made for short handedness. A little pricey though at $13 per foot. Finished keel work and am installing a backup garmin GPS with XM radio and sat WX capabilty. This complements the somewhat antiquated RC520+ and RL70C radar sys already on boat. George is an ST6000+ and I have yet to check him although he's on the list. Cutlass bearing seems tight and wondering if anyone knows the procedure for bleeding the propshaft seal once back in the water. More later

Cheers and happy new Year


P.S. The Vendee globe has helped me get through this terrible MI WX

boatpoker 01-07-2009 11:30 PM

I have surveyed two 2002 473's both had leaking hot water tanks that had to be cut in half to get them out. Both tanks were mounted directly on a deck without airspace underneath and neither had a hose on the pressure relief valve leading to the bilge. Inside the stainless steel cover and wrapped around the aluminum tank is fiberglass insulation which acts like a big wick, hence the need for 1/2" airspace under the heater so it does not soak up condensation. Pressure relief valves often drip and without a hose the drips will find their way to the insulation resulting in more corrosion of the aluminum tank.

Both of these boats required major re-plumbing as replacement water heaters had to be located elsewhere. Other than that I found very little wrong with them.

Dirt People Scare Me

avant 01-08-2009 01:13 AM

beneteau owners forum
there is a very active beneteau owners mail list on google groups -- come on over there, join in and have a look around!

migpilot 01-13-2009 08:05 PM

Thanks for the tips gentlemen. I will check my heater installation and google forums.


migpilot 03-08-2009 03:06 PM

Spring onsluaght on 473
Ground down a few rust spots on the keel and painted bare iron with por15. Refaired with west system and redid barrier coat in those areas. New anode and grease job for the max prop 3 blade classic. New cutlass bearing. Resealed Mast partner and did an IRAN on the mast and foils. Still decideing on whether to remove the poli-glow the PO had on it or just freshen it up. Just ordered 4 new lifeline AGM's (ouch). New Wrap stop head piece on forestay as old one was spinning. New shroud roller end pieces to prevent rattling ordered. Starting to understand Syselios a little better now. Paying close attention to the systems used for furling as the boat came with some rather expensive North 3dl cruising sales. Found a runner and a reacher below and they look almost unused. My sail maker convinced me to add a sock and a snuffer. As always, appreciate any advice or observations.


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