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mathislaw1 10-10-2006 12:29 PM

1998 Beneteau or 1981 Cabo Rico
I am purchasing my first sailboat and seeking some advice.

I am looking at a 38' 1998 Beneteau Oceanis in excellent shape and a 38' 1981 Cabo Rico Cutter which also appears in excellent shape. The Beneteau carried a price tag of $99,000 while the Cabo Rico is $79,500.

The Cabo Rico has had most of her major engine parts either rebuilt or replaced in 2000. Her sails were replaced new in 1999. The Hull is in good shape with no cracking on the deck and no apparent separation from the laminate. I have not inspected the hull as of yet.

I do not plan to do any blue water cruising anytime soon, but I plan on sailing (on vacations and Weekends) up and down the coat of NC & SC for up to 200miles per trip.

What advice can you give me? What should I purchase?

Vasco 10-10-2006 01:52 PM

I'd get the newer boat. For your type of sailing the Beneteau would be better. A boat built in 81 will require a lot of upkeep sooner than later, standing rigging, running rigging, engine ( I note you said most of the major engine parts have been rebuilt), electrical system, water pumps etc. The real question is which one do you prefer. If you have a spouse which one does she prefer? Buying a boat is a very personal choice. Go with how you feel, not the advice of those that will never sail in it.

camaraderie 10-11-2006 12:27 AM

Math...the only other thing I would suggest is that you make sure the DRAFT on that Bene is compatible with your cruising she a shoal draft model? There is a lot of skinny water in NC & SC and the more shoal your draft, the more spots you will be able to cruise to.

GoLikeaFish 10-11-2006 12:54 AM

If they're both females, I suggest you try to swing it so you can have both of them.

Disclaimer: that may be illegal in your state. :(

jgeltz 10-11-2006 08:36 AM

Some of this boils down to taste. If the Cabo Rico is anything like the ones I've seen it has lots of custom teak. Depending on your taste, this makes for an extremely pleasant on board environment. This contrasts to the rather "clorox bottle" feel of a newer boat with more exposed fiberglass.

Clearly the older boat will be more work and a labor of love. I can tell you that boats like the Cabo tend to have a cult following and might be an easier resale if that is a consideration downstream.

rockDAWG 10-11-2006 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by jgeltz
This contrasts to the rather "clorox bottle" feel of a newer boat with more exposed fiberglass.

This is an awful description of the new Beneteau, but I like it :D.

I agree with others to buy the beneteau. It will be much less work and more sailing.

mathislaw1 10-11-2006 01:59 PM

I guess the general question I should have asked is; Is it better wo buy an older well built boat (ie Cabo Rico, Sabre, Tartatn) or a much newer lesser built one (ie Beneteau, Hunter).

As I said before, I don't plan on sailing beyond 10 miles from shore but I don't want my boat to fall apart either.

Thanks for the Advice

camaraderie 10-11-2006 02:10 PM question...same the is designed for your intended purpose...Sabre's and Tartans are better built and furnished but there is no NEED to spend the extra money or inherit age related issues unless you just fall in love with one. There ARE well cared for older boats out there that you won't have any more trouble with than you might expect from any boat. So you have to decide based on each individual boat...not some theoretical nonsense. IF you find a beautifully kept older Tartan or the same price as a newer Beneteau, then you can simply decide which you WANT more...any of the 3 will work for you. I know I wouldn't trade my '88 Tayana for a new Bene of similar value but that is LOVE!

tommyt 10-11-2006 02:23 PM

If your boat falls apart in the conditions you plan on sailing in your surveyor must have really missed something. True, the Bene is not built like the Cabo, far from it. If it were, and the age you are considering, you would have to add at least one more digit to the asking price.

Look on Yachtworld for 20+ year old Catalinas, Hunters, Beneteaus. There are still a lot of them afloat and for sale. They are built for a purpose similar to your end use. Coastal cruising and enjoying the life.

If the boat has been well taken care of your maintenance will be minimal compared to the Cabo. If the boat has been abused it should show up in the survey and you walk away. You have to ask yourself what you want, what time you are willing to invest in maintenance, and what your bottom line is. There are many people, including some on this site, that seem to buy boats to work on as there passion. More power to them. Then there are those of us who are fairly handy, but prefer to go sailing to working on the boat. No matter which boat you end up purchasing you WILL spend time, or money, or most likely both on maintenance. Just plan on it in your boat budget. The acronym for boat is a reality.

Good Luck

Faster 10-15-2006 12:08 PM

It's been said that the measure of how well suited a boat is for you is the length of time it takes for you to row away from it. If you stop every three strokes to admire it, you've got the right one. The two boats you are looking at are sooo different, I think you need to decide what look appeals to you most. If you really like the teaky traditional look, the Bene is not for you. On the other hand, as others have noted, your maintenance will be less, and you will enjoy more space and "new" thinking with the Bene. Not to mention the near 20 yrs difference in age. If performance is an issue, this requires a careful look at the numbers too.

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