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Old 10-13-2013
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First boat... a "first" 41s5? Any advice appreciated!

Hi all,

I'm a former land rat who has taken a dear liking to the seas. I've rented a fractional Oceanis 40 for a year, did a few longer range regattas lately (including the Transpacific this year) and am ready to take the plunge and buy my first own yacht.

I've determined my needs are primarily for a coastal cruiser for day fun in Sydney Harbour (where I have the privilege of living), and also to serve for long weekends, with the occasional offshore passage to be made. My wife and I enjoy a good glass of wine, and are "design aware", so having the Philippe Starck designed interior is soothing to me, I do not enjoy the "caravan on water" aspects of every other yacht I have come across (bar those out of my financial reach).

I found a 41s5 for sale in Australia recently and I intend to have proper inspection done of course before committing to a purchase, however, what is the common thought about glass hulls that age, and the 41s5 in particular? This particular ad seems to be for a yacht that's well equipped and maintained, and comes with a decent set of sails (I can't post a link as I'm new here, try vicsail dot com listing ID 1306, Sea Hawk is the name of the yacht).

Any thoughts greatly appreciated!

Cheers

- Balt

Last edited by Balt; 10-13-2013 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 10-13-2013
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Re: First boat... a "first" 41s5? Any advice appreciated!

VICSAIL

With the fiberglass, I'd say you have to know how much time the boat spends in the sun. In the US, a Florida boat that's in the water 24/7/365 sitting in the baking sun will age much faster than one kept on Lake Superior that may only see 5-6 months of sailing a year. Sidney weather looks like boats are typically in the water year round.

The other factor is how hard was the boat sailed? A serious race boat can see a lot of stress in the hull and deck.
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Old 10-13-2013
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Re: First boat... a "first" 41s5? Any advice appreciated!

VICSAIL
Balt, i have not sailed this particular version.

My feeling of this vintage is that they are well built solid boats. For the purpose that you have described i think this would be a good choice, maybe more.
Looks like this one has had some new updates along with new keel bolts.
I don't think you could go wrong with this choice.
Disclaimer: I am a Beneteau owner though.
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Old 10-13-2013
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Re: First boat... a "first" 41s5? Any advice appreciated!

Go to the CYC website and look up the past Sydney Hobarts of that era and you'll see how many were in that race each year.
If they can do that then you are fine.

I have always believed the First series are over-kill for cruising. For racing they are great. To live aboard the Oceanis is better. Its desingned to live on, where the first are designed to stay on while racing. Subtle difference.
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Re: First boat... a "first" 41s5? Any advice appreciated!

Agree it's a good option. For myself I'm not a fan of the Stark designed interiors, but I think the hulls and layout are otherwise good. I've seen a number of these boats racing and they seem to do OK, so if that's part of your progarm no reason not to choose this one.

As a Beneteau it may have an iron keel rather than lead - not a deal breaker for me but does need to have been 'done right' to avoid a lot of annual cleanup maintenance.
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Old 10-13-2013
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Re: First boat... a "first" 41s5? Any advice appreciated!

I think if you can find a great surveyor and he does a thorough job you'll be OK.
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Re: First boat... a "first" 41s5? Any advice appreciated!

Thanks all for your opinion on this! I'm now trying locate someone to do a proper survey on this boat.

Cheers

- Balt
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Old 10-19-2013
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Re: First boat... a "first" 41s5? Any advice appreciated!

I really like the first series, they are not as fast as a "pure" race boat but have nice interiors and seem to be really well made. As Faster said I am not fond of the stark Stark interiors but many like them. They are certainly bright. The iron keel needs a bit more work than lead. It is a lot of boat for a first boat, but it is not like you don't have experience in boats that size. I say if it surveys well go for it.
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Old 10-21-2013
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Re: First boat... a "first" 41s5? Any advice appreciated!

What year is that boat. I have spent a fair amount of time on an 1984 First 40. It was a Salty boat for the first 10-15 years of its life and now makes it's home on Lake Michigan. I have done a fair amount of work on this particular boat. The build quality seems to be pretty good. The hull in particular seems to be very well built. There is no de-laminating issues and the deck is dry. The boat I have been on is a shoal draft at 5'6" and you reef the main early but once you do she handles weather very well. Beneteau's of that vintage (I realize you may be looking at a newer one) have a reputation for the foam backed vinyl interior liner separating and sagging, I have replaced the headliner on 2 of them. The other point to look at carefully is the rudder and make sure the bearing is solid without a great deal of play. The repacking of the rudder bearings is not that major of a job but still a bit of extra cost when you have to do it. Also check the cabin sole around the mast and look for water damage or rot. the mast may have a tendency to allow rain water to run down the inside of it from Halyard and stay holes(Depends on the mast more than the boat) All in all that is a nice boat though.
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