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  #31  
Old 11-10-2008
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Patty...In response to your original question...I think a Benny 40 footer is very capable of cruising coastally and down through the island chains. I do think that they have some drawbacks as cruisers...shallow bilges, small tankage, exposed rudders, poor access to systems, that you should be aware of before making your decision. That said, many people are happily cruising on Benny's and similar production boats and they provide many benefits for living aboard that more traditional cruisers don't have. Ultimately, know the plusses and minuses and make your own mind up about what is important to you.
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  #32  
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Take a look at the structure of a boat. There are some new boats out there that use U bolts for chain plates. Personally I wouldn't want to be caught in heavy seas with U bolts holding up my rigging. Shop smart and don't limit yourself to new boats. There are a lot of GREAT deals out there right now!
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  #33  
Old 11-11-2008
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Wow! Thank you all for the information. It was really great reading all of your knowlegable opinions. They gave me some new things to think about.

Patty
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  #34  
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  #35  
Old 11-11-2008
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Originally Posted by PierreMundo View Post
True CD. It has advantages. But on the Beneteau 40 I didn't like the floorshape under the wheels. I kept falling into the "holes". And I had to walk the whole day from one side to the other because of the Pilot controls which where only on the starboard side. I think a boat this lenght should not be so wide at stern. Single handed I had to walk a lot. Winch access is also much better. See photo on a 393. So I prefer the 393 cockpit over the 40.
Nice pic.

I agree that a negative of the two wheel arrangement (at least on my boat) is that the engine controls are on the stbd side. It takes a while for those of us that are used to having them in the middle to get used to them.

Regarding the floorshape, I can see where that might be an issue. It is not on my boat, which is why I was commenting. I did not realize it was an issue on the Bene 40.

Nice family, btw.

- CD
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  #36  
Old 11-12-2008
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Patty,

If you're looking at new boats, one thing to consider about the latest round of Beneteau designs is the lack of adequate grab rails in the cabins. They've become mostly decorative and you can't wrap your hands around them to grip. Also, once you get into the 40-foot range, the boats are wide enough to where they really ought to have a grab rail down the centerline, but they don't. The Jeanneaus are even worse, from what I recall. The grab rails up on deck aren't much better.

I can't speak for Catalinas or Hunters, but I suspect that they suffer the same problem but to a far lesser degree. Maybe CD or somebody can chime in with some fact on that.
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Patty,

I would agree that Beneteau's are great for coastal and island cruising. However, if there is any open ocean cruising in your future, there are better choices.

I'm no 'Salt' but have spent some liveaboard time on a B 50 and a B46 during the course of ASA training. The Bene 50 was in Hawaiian waters and the Bene 464(?) in New Zealand. Both had spacious interiors and were most comfortable and the sexy curves of the cabinetwork was easy on the eyes. In just about all sailing conditions we experienced (in some winds 20 to 26 kts and waves 6 to 10ft.), both boats preformed well except in following seas. I suspect it was the fin keels and spade rudders that made both, ill mannered in the following seas. At that time I loved it...the boat wore out the other two and I got to put 42 nms. at the helm on that last day back to Honolulu. The boat's bow was oscillating 15 deg. on both sides of the intended course. I finally found the 'sweet spot' though. Today, I would probably consider that a PAIN!

This 'sailing thing' is chocked full of trade offs and compromise, so try not to get totally wrapped up in those 'condo comforts' and forget the need for stability in a seaway.

One other observation I made with my limited experience with Beneteaus, how would one repair any of those laminated curvy structures below or what would happen to them if they got saturated with water? Most ships components are built off the boat and looked complicated to repair should any damage occur. The soles of both boats squeaked so badly, no one was going to sneak to the head without waking up the whole crew at night!

BTW, both had nice wide decks close to the cockpit so one could get real close to the lee rail to.....well....

Good luck with your search. Bob
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  #38  
Old 11-13-2008
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I would reinforce the idea of looking at a good condition few-years-older Bene - I find the recent ones' layouts too open and the interiors too "Ikea Condo". On the new 40s and 49s though the cockpits are great and sightlines from the helms excellent, we found the side decks rather narrow due to the excessive width of the house. Top that off with the angular joinery, lack of grabrails and wide open cabin space (great at anchor but......) and I think some of the earlier editions of their cruising line may be more appropriate for your plans.
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  #39  
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I would reinforce the idea of looking at a good condition few-years-older Bene - I find the recent ones' layouts too open and the interiors too "Ikea Condo". On the new 40s and 49s though the cockpits are great and sightlines from the helms excellent, we found the side decks rather narrow due to the excessive width of the house. Top that off with the angular joinery, lack of grabrails and wide open cabin space (great at anchor but......) and I think some of the earlier editions of their cruising line may be more appropriate for your plans.
I agree. I like the older benes MUCH more than the new ones. Same for Catalinas - except the ones that have not changed (only ones I know of that have not followed the new trends are the 400, 42, and 470). Like you, Faster, I think the older boats were built better and with better quality.

Regarding the comment about buying a boat that does well on distant passage/following seas, remember the old adage (that is VERY true): You spen 99% of your time on the hook (or marina) and 1% going. Why buy a boat for that 1% unless you have to? (and in some cases, you do have to).

Just some thoughts.

- CD

PS I have been in those same conditions and fought the same problems. I think it is due more to the wide & flat stern that skims the top of the water (or runs in it) than spade rudder, etc.

Look a tthe stern of these two boats. One is a heavy bluewater cruiser, one a production boat (mine, a Catalina 400 and my dads Tayana 42). Notice how the stern of the tayana sweeps up (and yes, it is a canoe stern too which would really help in a following sea, but that is not my point). You will find many of the production boats flatten out at the stern and run in the water. I may be wrong, but I think that is why they do not do well in a following sea.

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  #40  
Old 11-13-2008
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CD,

I thought the entire point of the wide, flat aft sections of modern boats was to enhance off-the-wind (and therefore following sea) performance by facilitating surfing. But maybe I'm confusing performance with a seakindly ride?

Popular folklore has it that boats are designed beamy and flat nowadays because the compressed schedules of workaday life mean that people don't have the time, patience, or need (because of the relative improvement in the reliability of marine engines) to beat to windward anymore when trying to reach that next anchorage. The wide, flat form gives lots of room down below while enhancing the off-wind sailing characteristics of the boat. A win-win for the modern sailor.

However, I admit to being the LEAST knowledgeable on such matters, so I'll defer to anyone that offers a plausible alternative.
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