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dgasmd 06-24-2012 02:10 PM

Beneteau models question
First of, I would like to ask you that you forgive my ignorance here. I am just getting started in the "sailing world". As I start to look at boats, I have come to be very interested in the Beneteau line as a potential buy in the future. I would like to eventually get something that is roomy enough (38-45 ft) for a family of 4 and 2-4 more guests. I don't plan on doing any transatlantic passages, regattas, or anything of that sort. I live in South Florida, so mostly to be used as a weekend cruiser, trips to the keys, and the occasional Bahamas/caribbean trip 1-2/year. Given my location, A/C is a must for me to use while docked. So, here is where my question comes in:

It seems Beneteau has about 3-4 different models that are almost about the same to the untrained eye (393, oceanis 40, 423, cyclades 43). Give or take 1-3 feet of LWL and the single vs dual wheel, could you give me a synopsis of the real differences between all of them assuming same age (2004 or newer) boat, cost, and condition? I mean something along the lines of: cyclades has less luxury but more bang for the buck vs the 423, etc. I did do a side by side table of features and specifications to compare them all, but I am sure that is a very simplistic way of looking at things, especially for someone that has no first hand knowledge and very little experience.

If it makes any difference, here are some priorities for me:
-A/C as stated.
-I like luxury in the interior
-Clean exterior, but actually prefer non-furling mains
-easy to single hand and use
-roomy interior
-3 cabins would be ideal
-prefer 2 heads with separate shower space if at all possible

Thanks in advance!

night0wl 06-24-2012 04:26 PM

Re: Beneteau models question
Beneteau has several lines...

First Series
Oceanis Series (aka the numbers)
Sense Series (the newest)

Also, the built for Moorings as well (so there are some models like the Moorings 352 that are close the Oceanis/Numbers series. Here's my breakdown.

First series - made for performance cruising and even up to one-design racing. Advanced hull construction (this line sometimes uses vacum epoxy layups), beefier hardware including some that have keel stepped masts, and the biggest winches and blocks aboard. They are pricey and often sold new without even a set of sails, as most racers will put custom ones anyway. Interiors tend to be utilitarian and spartan. Fewer batteries, smaller holding tanks, stovetop burners rather than full ranges, no microwaves, etc. Obviously these sail the best.

Ocean/numbers series. This is the bread and butter line for Beneteau. Midgrade/traditional construction. Often come in Euro or USA versions. Euro versions put more cabins and heads in place. The hardware is less beefy, but the price cant be beat. Cheaper than Catalina new, but more than Hunter. Usually have in-mast furling mains (cost reasons). Come with all the kit like more batteries, electric heads, windlasses, dual bow rollers in some case. Great for coastal cruising and some of the larger models would do ok making ocean passages (I'd say 40 ft and higher to be comfortable). Many have wood/teak accents and touches for an owner. These sail fairly well with PHRF ratings that tend to be lower than their Catalina & Hunter peers. A lot of the hull design concepts in the First series trickle down into the numbers series (gennakers, wide beam carried aft, etc).

Sense line - this is a line of what I call baby-boomer boats. Beneteau realizes that Boomers are aging and if they want to stay in a sailboat, they're going to need ease of handling. So these are large boats, but deck salons essentially. Only 3 steps from cockpit (huge) to salon. *FEWER* berths than you'd expect in such a big boat. I guess Baby Boomers dont want their kids or guests as they cruise :D Lots of gizmos to make docking and sailing easier (dock-n-go thruster system, electic winches, in mast furlers, etc). Ironically, these boats do sail well, but are currently only 43 ft and higher.

Cyclades line. *sigh*...this is what lowers resale for the whole brand. Strictly designed for charter fleet. Every corner that could be cut, is cut. There are even some boats with significant structural defects because the hulls were built to such a low cost point that the rigging causing stress cracks and issues. They minimize the use of wood, teak...just lots of heads below and lots of berths. They're known as the infamous "Clorox Bottle" boats that were meant to strictly compete against Bavaria and Dufour in the Caribbean charter trade when those lines were undercutting on price. Since Beneteau has moved production to the USA, this line has faded as the USD has advantage over the Euro right now...for a little while longer I guess.

Moorings line of Beneteau boats. Many are the same as the Oceanis line, however corners were cut. No wood, more berths, more heads, less electronics, Yanmar instead of Volvo engines in some models. They're sold to enter the charter fleet, but strangely enough, have more in common with the Oceanis line than the Cyclades line (hulls are built the same compromises there)...just less dressy.

aquaholic 02-14-2013 06:37 AM

Re: Beneteau models question
I have an Oceanis 381, loads of space, forecabin with ensuite and two stern double cabins,dont be put off by inmast furling, cant comment on AC as we sail in the uk so just open a port:D:D

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