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  #1  
Old 05-25-2002
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Benneteau 393

I would be interested in both positive and negative comments on this boat by all except Benehuntalina haters
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Old 05-26-2002
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Benneteau 393

Practical Sailor did a fairly positive write up on the 393 a few months ago. It was one of the few I found on the 393 where the reviewer had actually sailed the boat! Plus, their reports are typically well balanced. For $14 you can download it from the website at www.practical-sailor.com (don''t forget the hyphen).
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Old 05-26-2002
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Benneteau 393

I had looked at both the Beneteau 393 and the 473 at open houses here in Annapolis. Both look like very nice boats. I thought they were both very nice boats. I like the deck layouts on these boats with an especially reasonable cockpit layout on the 393.

With the ''Owners layout'' (two stateroom layouts) these seem to have good reasonably good coastal cruising interior plan. I refer to this as a coastal cruising plan because the design lacks a single seaberth, and the berth in the aft cabin is laid out athwartships. I really don''t understand why that is as the three cabin layout has the aft berths fore and aft. The 393 has a generous sail locker which I consider essential for cruising any real lengths of time. One of my biggest nitpicks with this design is the head all the way up forward where it has the least comfortable motion, is harder to ventilate and has reduced headroom. This seems to be a popular idea these days but it makes no sense to me.

In terms of build quality, these seem to be better constructed and finsihed than some of the earlier Beneteaus that I have been on and also seem to have a wider range of clever details. I really liked the Galley on the 393 and thought that the cabinets in the main cabin was a neat idea although I would have prefered to see a seaberth worked into that casework.

Beneteau is using a high tech adhesive to glue in thier bulkheads. The material is one of the new generation of aerospace derived adhesives which offer enormous strength. This is very much an improvement over the floating bulheads employed on other boats. That said,
I am still concerned about the limited contact area between the adhesive and the bulkhead. Properly applied tabbing will provide sufficient adhession that the plywood will delaminate before the glue joint fails. Even if these new adhesives offer greater adhesion per square inch, it is the plywood that typically fails, not the adhesion of the tabbing so with greater contact area, there is less likely to be a failure because the loads are spread over a larger area.

Sailing wise, both the 473 and the 393 look like they would sail pretty well. The 393 is a Berret design (rather than Finot who designed the 473) and so the 393 seems to have a little finer (less bulky)design underwater which should mean a more easily driven hull and perhaps would be a better sailer in lighter conditions. If you care even slightly about sailing performance I would order the Classic rig and not the in-mast furling option.

Lastly, if I were looking at Beneteaus in this size and price range, I personally would buy a Beneteau First 40.7. I have spent time sailing on these boats and they are really wonderful boats in all respects and are a real kick to sail.

Regards
Jeff
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Old 05-28-2002
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Benneteau 393

Do yourself a favor and go to the Beneteau Owner''s web site, register and search for owners of 393s. You''ll be interested in the listing problem encountered by new owners and Beneteau''s response.
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Old 05-28-2002
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Benneteau 393

What we like best about the boat:If correctly constructed and the design fault remedied this would be a most beautiful boat. What we like least about the boat: I am disturbed by the marked list to port of this particular model of Beneteau and even more disturbed by the remedy of the company - the use of unsealed, uncovered lead weights sealed to the hull which could over time cause considerable stress on the hull and the danger of exposed lead in the living area. Why we chose this particular model (or this particular boat if bought used): The boat was not commissioned until after we took ownership and that was when the faults came to light. We would not have purchased this particular boat had we been fully aware of the design fault. Would we get the same model all over again:I would be interested to know if the design fault is unique to all Beneteau 393s or just to this particular hull number. Other Comments:
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Old 05-29-2002
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Benneteau 393

How big a list angle are we talking about?

While I am not trying to minimize your concerns, most boats have some degree of list. Offshore boats have almost always required careful loading of supplies and gear to maintain close to a proper vertical trim angle. In the 1960''s my family had a Phillip Rhodes designed Pearson Vanguard. According to Mr. Rhodes the Vanguard was designed to carry up to 10% of her ballast as ''Trim Ballast'' consisting of loose lead pigs to be moved around the boat to keep her in trim when loaded. Lead in cast form should represent little or no hazzard to you or your family.

Jeff
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Old 05-29-2002
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Benneteau 393

The May issue of Sailing Magazine also has a big article on this boat. Glowing as you would expect from a major magazine, but still worth reading of course.

Agreed that lots of boats have an inherent list, but LarryLevine makes this one sound a bit extreme. Beneteau''s "cure" may be fine if a bit crude. And Larry, I doubt there''s a risk of lead poisoning from what you described unless the lead surface is disturbed and becomes airborne in some way. But if it concerns you, a coat of epoxy or almost any kind of paint on the lead will take care of the problem. Others can comment on the hull stress issue, although I would focus on other things first.

Hang out on the Island Packet email list and you will find that IP owners commonly add batteries in strategic places to cure these kinds of lists. For whatever reason, IP owners can never have too many batteries anyway. The Tartan list also has had similar discussions about the factory adding lead weights to some models, so it''s not just the "production" boys and girls who do this.

My one comment on this design is why have 2 heads in a boat of this size. I agree with Jeff (YIKES!!!! PUT A RED MARK ON THE CALENDAR!!!!) that the forward head isn''t such a great idea. It will be unusable while underway except in the most benign conditions. My preference would be one larger head aft. But that totally depends on your family size, etc. You might need 2 heads, one for the kids.

Well, one more comment. I''m not a fan of the "pullman" style berth in the front cabin, either. It does have some access advantages over a traditional vee berth, but only for one person -- the one sleeping on the inside still has to keep rolling to make room for the other. And if this boat does list to port that much, the inside person could be crushed all night from the weight of the other -- not to mention climbing uphill to get out of it.

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Old 05-29-2002
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Benneteau 393

Other points. The windless, fridge and batteries are undersized. And look at the "babystay" at the front of the mast installed to hold up the mast and grab the genoa when tacking. Oh, and when you go below notice how springy the floor is.
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Old 05-29-2002
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Benneteau 393

I''ve seen ingots of lead placed in strategic locations in some very expensive boats so this in and of itself may not be a big issue. I am bothered by the fact that the builder has not corrected this list by other means such as mounting equipment such as batteries, water heaters, tankage on the side opposing the "slant". With so few built of the 393s they may not have the experience with this particular problem. If this boat has a cast iron keel, (the manufacturer is vague about keel material in their literature) the problem could solve itself if the keel rusts away in the right areas. I would never buy a boat with an iron keel.

Iíve suggested this before, Iíll suggest it again, hire a competent surveyor to inspect the boat you plan to buy before signing on the bottom line. The 500 bucks youíll spend on the survey could obviate a lot of your time and frustration in the future. This will piss off the builder but, youíre the one that writes the check to the bank every month, the builder will get over it once they have your money.
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Old 05-29-2002
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Benneteau 393

anon.,

I am curious what is wrong with the windlass, fridge and batteries? What types & sizes are they supplying with this boat? Why are they undersized?

Also whats wrong with a babystay? Is it because the boat has babystays or that the implimentation was done poorly? I thought there were lots of really good boats that had babystays?
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