... Earlier this year Wombette and I spent some time on a Benetteau 505. Damn that was a nice boat. Bit big for me but shrink it down a tadge and I'd have one in a shot. That thing has sailed almost the entire east coast of Oz with nary a problem. Her below decks wreaked quality and that garage up front was ginormous...
WARNING, CONTENTS CONTAINS OUTRIGHT GLOATING. I WAITED, AND STOPPED FROM REPLYING TO TDW's POST, BUT IT HAS TO BE SAID. SO PLEASE FORGIVE IN ADVANCE.
It was an easy decision getting our 2000 Beneteau 505. Last summer, while I was bidding on her and low-balling the seller a bit, someone else made an asking price offer and took her off the market. (His offer was 19K over what I got the seller down to.) I had a huge sense of loss at this. It pretty much ruined my 4th of July weekend. The more I thought about it, and the more I looked at other boats and their prices, the more I realized that she was a great boat at a great price. And I had looked intently for 2 hours a day for 6 months at that point, and had full surveys done on 2 other boats already. I had driven from New York to Maryland to look her over and spent 4+ hours looking her over from stem to stern. There was a spinnaker (some rips, I found out later) that was not on the listing. There was a brand new dodger that was not in the listing, (IIRC, it still had the plastic wrap on it like it had never been mounted). The jib was (still is) in great shape, main good shape. Also the engine looked in great shape for 5,000 hours. [If I knew then how well it ran, it would have been a deal maker right then, but I followed their rules about not starting her up until we had an agreed price. I figured there must have been a problem with it.]
I felt a sense of loss, that I missed the perfect boat for us.
Going back to the seller's website a couple weeks later, THERE SHE WAS!!! The previous buyer's financing fell through. I picked up the phone and made an offer for the price I got the seller down to earlier. And the rest is history.
Apologies if I'm gloating now (hey, I warned you)... She sails really well, she's big enough for my whole family, plus a cousin or helper, and we use the crew quarter's area up front as a garage. Although she was in the Moorings fleet, according to the surveyor, she had no hard encounters with pilings. The cockpit can seat 8 for dinner or cocktails watching the sun set, and there's a transom door that I can leave open to help the cockpit drain if needed. She sleeps 8 in beds, 1 more in the crew quarters, plus another on the couch, if needed. I like the little solar panel that keeps the batteries at full charge (and even charges them a little when we aren't on the boat). I really like the keel shape (fin, with a bit of a bulb). I really like the windlass and chain. I really like the dinghy davits. We designated one of the 4 heads for showering and have plenty of room to store everything we need. She has 7 engine/transmission hatches that let me get to the engine easily. I also like the 268 gallons of water and 134 gallons of fuel. Finally, and very importantly, the parts and support from Beneteau is absolutely, positively, 100%, universally-agreed-upon, *excellent*.
(Ok, enough gloating)
She does need a few things, and some of this is more personalizing her than real problems. She sails at anchor - needs an anchor sail. We need to get the (new to us) wind generator on, since we spend a lot of time at our mooring or on the hook. Maybe the wind generator will help reduce sailing at anchor? Add a charge controller for the wind generator. Add a dump load to the water heater and cabin fans. She needs her batteries strapped down better (Beneteau owners, please send pics of how yours is secured). I'd like radar (next year maybe). I'm thinking about electric refrigeration to supplement engine driven, since we won't be using the engine that much - I still haven't given up putting an electric compressor into the existing freon/cold plate circuit, but only after talking with more experts. Swapping incandescents for LEDs. GPS with a map (the autopilot provides lat/long from it's GPS). Fuel and tank cleaning (just in case). Rudder had a little water in it, and has some play. Speed transducer needs to be replaced. Rig inspection. (And can I climb up there at 210 lbs? Not sure I want to. But darn it, don't I just have to?) And how does a Windex get slightly bent, anyway? I want a carbon monoxide detector. Looking for a sea anchor and snatch block (ala Pardey Storm Tactics), probably next year - just bought a very small ATM Gale Sail. Before we do serious blue water, I'd like to have a tri-sail and a separate track for it - or the kind of trisail that wraps around the mast. Add some training in diesel engine maintenance. Add a lot more solo practice, since I love to sail with or without crew. Oh, and winter storage for a 50' boat is $3,600 around here. Next winter I may leave it in, for 1/2 the price, so we can sail on nice winter days. I know some good crew from our October BFS.
Overrall a sweet boat. IMHO, ex-Mooring fleet Beneteaus are a very good way to get a great boat at a decent price.