Thoughts on Bristol 47.7 & Beneteau - SailNet Community

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Old 04-20-2006
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Thoughts on Bristol 47.7 & Beneteau

Wife and I been sailing for years and are now in market for 42 to 50' sailboat. Looking to sail blue water and live on board for a while after retrofitting. Not looking to set any speed records but do want something thats designed, built and moves well. Any thoughts on the Bristol 47.7, or other similiar year boats (later 80s & 90s). The larger 2000s Beneteaus seem to have depreciated the greatest and the best $ value. Is it availabilty/mass production or quality thats driving price down? Are the larger Bene still more of a coastal and charter cruisers? Willing to invest up to $300k and hard work when all done fitting out. Any thoughts and opinions on other models (swan, IP, gozzard, pearson, tartan, c&c, morgan etc) would be greatly appreciated !
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Old 04-21-2006
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Horses for courses

Well, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, (I've posted a few times on my feelings about the Valiant 42) if you can stretch a little, try and find a Valiant 42. It is just about perfect. The Swans, C&C's, Tartans in this size range were all of the racer/cruiser type and really not very well set up for short handed cruising. Sure you can do it, but it's not the way they were designed. Best built of that bunch would be the Swans, by a loooooong way over, well, just about everything else. But they may be fairly well used and need a major refit. The IP's are nice boats, but they are a bit slow for my taste. I know you said going fast was not a priority, but it is something to consider. (the Valiant 42 is fast as well as salty) I don't think you will find a Gozzard in your size/price ratio, they are a premium yacht and hold value well. The Pearson 424 is a very nice all around cruiser, something that will get you there in back in one piece. Kelly Peterson 44 is also a great long distance live-a-board that sails well and is well suited for life on board. You didn't say anything about your ultimate intentions, trans global? ocean crossings? plying a particular coast? hanging out in margarita ville with Jimmy B.? Each of those have their own requirements and have an impact on your vessel.
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Old 04-22-2006
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Another thing to mention is what areas are you planning on sailing in. The Caribbean is not as friendly to boats with a deep draft as some other areas are. Same with some of the South Pacific areas, where coral is a major issue.
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Old 04-27-2006
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I think Beneteaus make great coastal cruisers, are well laid out, provide a lot of room for the size of the boat and are relatively fast and nimble. Despite the fact that many have been sailed across the Atlantic for use as Moorings boats, I am not as comfortable with a Beneteau as a blue water cruiser.

I was in Grenada for Hurricane Ivan and saw all of the devastation it caused to all kinds of boats. One memory will always stand out. A 47 foot Beneteau was at the dock floating upright with four feet of its bow cut clean off by the forestay of a holed neighbor that was lying on its side. The hull thickness at the waterline appeared to be about a nickel’s width. I was surprised by this - I thought the hulls were more substantial. For ocean sailing, I would rather have a more substantial hull.

I cannot speak about the exact specifications of hull construction for the Bristols; ie, balsa cores or solid glass, however, they have a great reputation. I have sailed on the 35.5 many times and it’s a fine boat.

When I was looking for a blue water cruiser, I ultimately decided to consider only cored hulls. I was looking exclusively at fiberglass boats - I don't know enough about aluminum and steel - and preferred cored hulls because even if the outer skin is punctured, the core may absorb enough impact to allow the inner skin to remain watertight. That, combined with the added strength achieved by sandwiching the core between the glass skins, makes this my choice. I am sure you’ll find a lot of other opinions from very knowledgeable people and it will be worth your time to listen so you can make your own informed decision.

For the amount of money you’re willing to spend, I would seriously look at Shannons. They are cored with Airex and truly are bulletproof. Shannons are also fast, not necessarily nimble, moderate displacement boats with a very sea-kindly motion.

Last edited by Sialia; 04-28-2006 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 05-02-2006
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If I were you in that budget, I would look at Sabres and Tartans in that size range. They are very well built and many of them have centerboard designs that allow great versatility to your cruising range. We have a C&C 36 and love it but certainly would not recommend it for bluewater cruising, as it was built to be a coastal cruiser/racer.
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Old 06-06-2006
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Thanks for all your comments. I've relocated to South Florida and will conduct search in this area. The plan is to sail shake downs in Caribbean then head to South Pacific. Could be wrong but prices seem lower here then anywhere in US. Again, thanks for your thoughts and we will be checking into the Valiants as well as the others mentioned.
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Old 06-07-2006
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The problem with boats like the Valiant is that they are way too deep for south Florida. In that area a keel/centerboard like the Bristol is an excellent option. We went through the same search for my Father (from Sarasota) ten years back and he ended up with Brewer 12.8 cutter which is a keel/cb 42 footer. We have been extremely impressed with his boats for the kind of think you are contemplating.

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