New Beneteau 49?
Anyone know anything about this boat (that's constructive), either good or bad?
It's gotten very good reviews, but I have a hard time putting a lot of faith in those, as I've yet to read a review that pans a boat.
We spent some time on one at a boat show recently...
Low profile house, great sight lines from the cockpit.
Nice looking boat despite somewhat high freeboard
Living space below (but see dislikes later)
Cockpit, large comfortable, easy stern access
Rig seemed good sized, hopefully available without furling main.
Lack of accessible, below decks storage (function of large volume living space)
Potential for long falls across all that space at a 30 degree heel (minimal handholds; open layout)
Coachouse is low but wide, side decks were half the width of our 34 footer.
"Ikea" condo styling, squared off doorways, very non-nautical to my mind.
Probably a great liveaboard and priced similar to a Vancouver condo with approx same square footage of living space! (which says more about the condo market here than the boat itself....)
These are, of course, quick impressions at the dock so may be worthless, but there you are.
What are you planning to do with the boat? Yacht Club condo and occassional day sailing, coastal cruising or circumnavigation? If you are going to do much serious blue water sailing, I would stay away from any fin keel, spade rudder boats. The last time I had Paloma out of the water up in Seabrook, off of Galveston Bay(the Houston area, over 10.000 boats are moored in the general area), most of the boats that were on the hard for repairs were fin keel/spade rudder boats with damaged rudder posts, a few with keels jacked slightly askew from groundings - a manority of them were Beneteau's - a very popular and well-represented boat in the Galveston Bay area. Also look at the fate of Cynthia Woods (not a Beneteau) on another thread.
Mostly coastal cruising in the northeast, with jumps to Bermuda periodically (probably every other year).
I understand the parameters of production boats, and my question pertains more to whether anyone has knowledge or experience with this particular boat, as opposed to whether a production boat is suitable to what we plan to do with her. We're considering it mostly because my wife really wants a "new" boat, which limits the universe from an economic perspective. We haven't made any decisions yet, either in terms of whether we actually change boats at all, get a new boat, a used boat, a catamaran, etc. We're in the investigation phase, and are considering a production boat from one of the "Big 3" because we could afford a new one. I don't like the Hunters, the Catalinas seem kind of bland to me, and I actually like the aesthetic of the Beneteaus (and my sense is that the fit and finish on them is a little better than the other two).
So, there you have it. All comments and thoughts welcome and appreciated.
If you like it, buy it. Remember that a Beneteau just won the Bermuda race overall by several hours. I wouldn't take a Beneteau around Cape Horn, but its plenty strong enough to go to Bermuda.
Daniel...how did the rally go? Read Wind Runner's log but they didn't have much to say beyond their own voyage which seemed to go pretty well.
Sorry I don't have any specifc input on the Bene47 but I don't see any reason not to get it given your plans and budget.
I can only speak to my 2002 473, which is very similar to the 49. As has been noted, this is not a boat to take around Cape Horn. Since you've noted that isn't in the plans, this boat should definitely be on your short list. My 473 was designed by Groupe Finot, who are world renowned for building 'round the world' go fast racing yachts. You should do a little research on Berret/Racoupeau to get a feel for their success and reputation.
I've been very happy with how strong and fast they are. For example; 20 knots of wind with full main and 110% and she sails along extremely well balanced. So much so that you can literally let go of the helm. In good size seas, even as a medium displacement boat, her LOA makes for a solid and comfortable ride. Banging off waves doesn't make her vibrate like some boats I've sailed on. It has that solid feel that builds confidence in what's under the hood (so to speak).
A couple of things I'd personally steer clear of. The shoal draft keel and furling main will greatly hamper performance. I also think the shorter keel is a safety factor, as that will have an affect on the boats righting moment. The furling main has become very popular, but since I'm a racer gone (performance) cruiser, I prefer the full main for the extra sail area, and infinitely more tuning options. I also don't like the thought of the extra gear inside the mast, which adds weight aloft. All lead to performance degradation.
As for comfort, my wife and 3 (small) kids use the boat for long summer weekends, so she becomes a condo. So far we've been very comfortable with no complaints. The cockpit is fantastic with the split helms and tons of room to sail with 7 or 8 on board. The 49 has an even better cockpit layout.
I would prefer to have more access to the engine compartment. Also would prefer a larger lazarette, but opting for the 3 cabin layout blew that up. I've since added radar and cockpit mounted display, which wasn't cheap. If you buy the boat new, save yourself the time, money and hassle and have it delivered with the boat.
Good luck and good sailing. Feel free to PM me with any specific questions.
I have a 46 foot Beneteau (2007) which is exactly the same boat as the 49. It is comfortable, stable, fuel efficient, fast, turns quickly and with a bow thruster a almost single handed boat. I am very happy with every aspect of it and very glad that I bought it. Sails GREAT!!!!!!
It lives in the Seattle area and sails in the waters of the sound and straits of Georgia. Does very well in many conditions.
I got a three bedroom set up as that is what works for us. Even if you don't need it that is definitely the way to go if given a choice. The two bedroom model has sat at the Beneteau dealer's dock for two years.
With 8 people all sitting in the back while under sail there is still room to get around and handle lines. That is nice not to trip over people.
Very comfortable, nice, and responsive!:D
I am struggling much more with the mast furling issue. My gut reaction is to go with a traditional battened main, but my wife thinks I'm nuts. We don't race, or at least not seriously, so the performance degradation is not all that much of a concern to me (and this boat already is likely to be much faster than anything else we've owned). Likewise, most of the time I'm single handing with three other people on the boat (as my wife tends to our tots). The bigger issue is what to do if the sail jams halfway out? Can't furl it, can't drop it. That's my bigger concern. I've been doing research and asking questions, including of the folks at CW who reviewed the boat and gave it their BOTY award. The sense I'm getting is that furling mains have come a long way and it's not unlike furling jibs - initially, no one wanted them because they were viewed as unreliable, but now they are much better and no one really sails without them (Pardey-types aside). I'm being told by just about everyone who's using them that they work just fine, even in heavy air. Frankly, in Bermuda, there were many many boats with furling mains (not the racers of course, but perhaps even a majority of the cruisers who were there). Our current boat has a furling boom, and I actually love it, but of course, I still get to have a fully battened main with roach, and if in trouble I still can just blow the halyard and drop the sail to the deck.
Surprisingly, to me anyway, a traditional main now is more expensive than the in-mast furling unit. Still more research to do, but it's looking like if we buy just about any new boat, we'll need to address this issue, as they all come with furling mains and they charge you extra to go the other way.
I think you're probably right about the reliability of furling mains having come a long way, but you're right about all the other issues too.
If you're going to be Caribbean island hopping, or otherwise mostly tradewind reaching, the performance disadvantages associated with furling mains will likely be minimal. But (another left coast sailor here) if you spend a fair bit of time trying to get to weather (we seem totally out of sync with the weather patterns this year - the kite's only been out once) I'd be much more concerned about having a regular, battened roachy main.
I'm a bit bothered by the fact than many manufacturers are essentially taking that decision away from buyers by providing in-mast mains as the standard package. - esp if they start charging a premium for the once-standard hoisting main.
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