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  #11  
Old 05-30-2002
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Benneteau 393

What exactly is the problem with the keels on benneteaus. THEY SELL MANY OF THEM EACH YEAR. What would stop you from bying a iron keel boat?
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Old 05-31-2002
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Benneteau 393

In a one-word answer, it''s RUST. You will, at some point in the future, breach the protective barrier coat on the keel and voila, the rust begins, regardless of whether the boat is kept in salt or sweet water. Once the rust begins it will always return. In addition, the keel must be larger if made from CI than it would be if it were antimony lead, which means more wetted surface. Cast iron keels may not be as resillient or forgiving as a softer material such as lead in a impact situation. The reason they put cast iron keels on boats is because it is cheaper not because it is better. I would not own a boat with a iron keel, just a personal thing. Does this model you refer to have an iron keel?
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Old 05-31-2002
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Benneteau 393

Iron rusts, lead does not. Through the life of a boat, an iron keel will require more maintenance than a lead keel. Iron also is lighter than lead --less dense. So you need a larger iron keel to equal the weight of a lead one. The maintenance issue alone is why some prefer lead over iron. And agreed, there are lots of boats out there with iron keels, not to mention ones with concrete mixed in with the ballast as well (Island Packet does that for one.)
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Old 05-31-2002
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Benneteau 393

Originally being from Europe and a former owner of a Beneteau I would like to add my two cents:
Beneteau Oceanis series (in this case 393)are primarily targeted for charter market in Europe.This is why they have a forward head under 40 feet.They are very adequate boats for coastal cruising with a large crew(family).They have fairly small sail plans (SA/D)for the novice or inexperienced charter crews.They also carry their center of gravity higher than the First series.(because of keel material ,shape and weight)They lack the cockpit shape and drains or handholds and seabeds in the cabin for serious bluewater passages.That does not mean that they don''t make passages;professional crews regularly sail them between BVI and Europe for the different charter seasons.If your sailing will be limited to coastal cruising with occasional passages and most nights will be spent on the hook or at the marina they will serve your purpose.Beneteaus in charter fleets are usually sold at their fifth year so there are always an abundance of used boats available here and in Europe.Being the biggest boat manufacturer in the world their dealer network and service are very strong.
Good Luck..
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  #15  
Old 05-31-2002
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Benneteau 393

A couple quick points here:

On the iron keel issue, an iron keel does not necessarily result in greater wetted surface. Generally the external shape is set by sailing considerations. What happens more frequently is that the lower density ballast occupies a larger percentage of the volume below the canoe body. This results in a higher center of gravity (less stability and a faster roll rate) rather than a greater surface area drag.

The point that rust never sleeps is a valid one. High zinc content epoxy Barrier coats go a long way toward dealing with these problems but inevitably you will be sandblasting and refairing. The same is true of lead but they generally will last longer between recoats and removing the old fairing material is amazingly easy on lead expecially when compared to iron.

I was told that Beneteau considers the 473 and 393 to be a distinct line from the Oceanis (or Beneteau ''number'')series and one that targets more agressive offshore capabilities.

Jeff
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Old 05-31-2002
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Benneteau 393

I am a little struck by some of the comments. I went aboard the 393 at the Annap boat show last year and was surprised by what I thought were cheap and flimsy cabin fittings and other hardware. Also, for an "offshore" boat, it has A LOT of ports, that also looked lightly constructed.

These were just initial off the cuff first impressions. I am just a little surprised that Bene would consider this an offshore boat. But then, we could argue the definition of "offshore" for some time.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 06-08-2002
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Benneteau 393

why are so many benneteaus sold if an iron keel is so bad?
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Old 06-09-2002
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Benneteau 393

That''s a tough question with a variety of answers. First of all many of the Beneteaus and other EU boats with iron keels are sold to charter fleets. An iron keel is not a problem in that application because the boats come out of charter typically before the keel finish is a problem.

Then there is the cost issue. Beneteau, as the world''s largest boat builder, can and does offer an awful lot of boat for the money. Beneteaus are full of features of which some are genuine improvements and some are just cost savers. The keel which is a substantial cost saver becomes a minor factor to most who are shopping soley by low price. Remember Beneteau offers lead keels on most of their models and people just don''t ante up to buy them.

From what I gather, a fair number of Europeans seem to prefer iron keels under the perception that they are stronger.

On some of the earlier IOR oriented Beneteaus the iron keel was a beneficial rating factor.

In any event, most people are buying a whole boat and the keel material is often a minor consideration, until they get nailed in a blow or need to sandblast and refair their keel.

Jeff
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Old 06-09-2002
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Benneteau 393

so jeff would you buy a benneteau?
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  #20  
Old 06-10-2002
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Benneteau 393

Sure I would buy a Beneteau (if I could afford one, which I can''t). I would buy a Beneteau First 40.7 in a heartbeat but with the lead keel option.

In the Beneteau line, I also like the new First 36.7, as well as the older First 38s5, First 41s5, First 42s7 and first 45f7. I am less of a fan of the Beneteau Oceanis, Idylle, and ''Number'' series.

I do like the 473 and 393 in many ways although these are not exactly my kind of boats (meaning I generally prefer simplier higher performance boats). The one thing that bothers me most about most of the Beneteaus was not the iron keel but Beneteau''s pushing of the in mast furling systems with a stiff financial penalty for conventional slab reefing. I would not buy any boat that has in-mast furling. I was glad to see that Beneteau was willing to sell the 473 and 393 either with slab reefing or in mast sailing for the same price and that locally most of the 473''s are coming in with the slab reefing. I got to watch a Beneteau 473 up close in a short chop and a bit of breeze and she looked very good in terms of motion, speed and control.

Jeff
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