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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Beneteau
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Old 06-23-2011
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Exclamation First Purchase

I am looking for some input on purchasing a Beneteau..... I am relatively new to sailing and have never owned a boat. It has been a desire for many years to own my own sailboat. Ultimately I want to end up living on it. In the mean time I will be sailed in the great lakes. I want to be able to entertain comfortably with friends for week long trips down to 1-2 friends for day sails.
I currently crew on a Kelt 29.

I believe I want a Beneteau 393 or a first 407...or there abouts. I like both of these boats for different reasons. My gut tells me the First is the way to go...

I will be taking a course at Humbar College. Incidentally they use a Beneteau 393, so I will get the chance to sail one there.

All feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 06-23-2011
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either Bs will do well sailing, the Firsts - as performance boat line, may be a bit narrow and spartan for most who want to live aboard but will be around the cans quicker than the "cruising" lines.

I would suggest sailing or chartering a boat in your size of each line, before you decide.

Only then can you make a really good decision.
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Old 06-29-2011
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Thanks for the reply!!! I would agree that sailing them both is the way to go and either one will be a good choice. I am afraid I will get bored if I do not get a First. Have you sailed either?
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Old 06-30-2011
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sailed both, then looked at the 36CC (which had the same hull as the going to be 361)...the first was absolutely faster and easier to sail...the 393 had better interior and "could" be made to sail fast.

My wife loved the 36CC, and with the same hull as the up coming 361 she would move right along as well...so we compromised on the 36CC and loved everything about her. Even now, two boats later we talked about downsizing back to the 36CC...it is that good.

All that being said, if you can do without the aft full size berth, the First's are awesome and for some reason seem to be a bit less expensive...

Best of luck, and either would be great!
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Old 09-16-2011
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Get the First!
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Beneteau First 42
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Old 10-02-2011
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Going South - if you don't have a lot of sailing experience and are looking for a boat that has performance and comfort I would look at the Jenneau 379 - sister company to Beneteau built in South Carolina and one beautiful boat. I have a Beneteau 31 and looking to upgrade and yes while the first series is fast you sacrifice some comfort.
Someone told me once you know if you have the right boat if you use it a lot - we use our Beneteau every weekend weather permitting, its just a little snug. The 379 has a great cockpit the dual wheels gives you more pass through room, the keel has a long bulb, the gear on the performance version includes mylar sails, upgraded winches, folding prop, upgraded standing and running rigging. Add the composite wheel option and Simrad and you have as perfect a boat as you can find for around $200k. I have looked at every Beneteau, Jenneau, Catalina, Hunter, Hanse, Dufour from 35 - 42 feet. For the money the Jenneau is sexy, fast, roomy...worth a look!!

And if I can add something here too - if you have a spouse or partner you want them to feel comfortable to sail the boat too. When looking at boats we sea trialed a C&C 99, the Beneteau 31 and a Bavaria (cant remember the model). The C&C accelerated like a bat out of hell in a small breeze - I loved it. My wife however was petrified at the thought of having to handle a racing type boat with Kevlar sails, adjustable stay, cars controlled from the cockpit - just a lot of lines, a lot of heeling over. In the three years since she has become perfectly at ease sailing our 31 which is a very easy sailing boat that still gets 7.5 knots with her assym flying. She has brought up her skills and I have found that 'speed' differences when cruising are immaterial between a race boat and a cruiser. A folding prop and an asymmetrical spinnaker will get you to max hull speed on any cruiser, therefore if you want to go faster get a longer boat! (The formula for max speed is square root of lwl x 1.34.) A racier rig will accelerate faster, will respond quicker but in terms of getting from marina A to anchor spot B in a good breeze you can't go measurably faster with a First than a properly equipped Oceanis.
Also it's not just your preferences - it's also the people you will be sailing with. If you take people out who are new to sailing and you rip along heeled over at 8 - 9 knots in a first 407 having the time of your life you may never see your friends on board again. On the other hand of your friends are already of the race set you will have no shortage of volunteers come race day if you have a First. I am in a marina that has a lot of racers and a lot of cruisers - the racers are there in droves on race weekends and typically don't take many overnight trips having removed their anchor and chain, dinghies, dogs and other accouterments essential to cruising. The cruisers come on Friday afternoon, head out for the weekend and come back Sunday afternoon. I can't say one group is having any more fun than the other but I can say I dont see many Firsts at anchor in a quiet harbour nor do I see many Oceanis winning trophies.

Last edited by pearle99; 10-02-2011 at 11:14 AM. Reason: new thoughts
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Old 10-02-2011
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We've sailed a B 36.7 (slightly smaller sister to the 40.7) over 1000 nm in the Caribbean. Spartan perhaps but exhilarating to sail in the trades. When we are not there this boat is doublehanded up and down the chain every winter. BUT... this boat spends most of its time reefed or double reefed with a small jib.. In tropical island-hopping conditions you have a lot fewer demands for amenities, can shop nearly every day and so some of the storage challenges are less of an issue.

For more northern climes now you're looking at cabin heat, more remote destinations, more storage requirements, etc that would likely lead you to something more comfy like Beneteau's cruising series, and has been mentioned now you need to try them out.

Either of your choices are 'pretty big bites' to take on a first boat (your first, not Bene First) Clearly you're not budget challenged but I really suggest you take your time, get some experience with charters or other people's boats (OPBs) before you invest a chunky piece of coin on something for yourself.
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Old 10-06-2011
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Try them out

I agree. Try out the boats. Don't be so fast to just jump into buying it. Get some time in on all of them that you are interested in. Then you can make a truly educated decision. The money that you spend on chartering boats will be cheap insurance to know that you've bought the boat you really want.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: First Purchase

Curious to see wat you decided and how it worked out?
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: First Purchase

we looked for a FIRST 38 for quite awhile but every one had been raced hard and put away wet.. Found a FIRST 42 in excelant condition and snached it up.. been on it for 10 years now, very roomy, performs unbelivable and stable as hell offshore..
I'm a sucker for the early IOR boats so the early FIRSTs in the early 80s fit my urge and my budget.. very easy to handle singlerhanded and my wife say its easy for her..
Dont know about the remark about being narrow as our 42 is about 14 feet in beem..
also, all Beneteaus dont perform equal..
I think the greatest part of our boat, is the fact that the faster you go, the more stable it becomes, and even thou she is almost 30 years old, She still performs in the teens..
Have sailed her from the Alaska to Mexico, and leaving in the spring for Hawaii and the Marshalls..
You cant go wrong with a FIRST
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