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  #1  
Old 11-10-2008
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Why not a Beneteau?

Hi,

We plan to go cruising in a couple of years and just started our research on boats. It seems a number of people on this forum and others do not like Beneteaus.

We plan on cruising along the east coast and the Caribbean. We would like to stay in the $160,000 price range and I really like the space of a 40 foot. We are both in our 50s and like the comfort. I looked at the 40 ft Beneteaus at Annapolis and really like what I saw. It seems we can get a much younger boat if we go with a production boat.

Is a 25 - 30 year old Valiant, Island Packet, Bayfield, Tayana, etc, a better choice for the type of cruising we want to do than a 5 year old Beneteau?

Thanks for your opinions,

Patty
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Old 11-10-2008
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I don't think your type of intended sailing makes a Beneteau, or any other production boat, a "bad" choice.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2008
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If you're just coastal cruising, then no... a Valiant, IP, Bayfield, Tayana, wouldn't be a better choice. These boats are more designed for bluewater voyaging than coastal cruising, and as such may lack amenities that a production coastal cruiser would have.
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Old 11-10-2008
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Keep in mind that a lot of the "brand bashing" is to some degree tongue-in-cheek and often more directed at the owner than the boat.

Some prefer Beneteaus for the tropics due to their un-cored hull construction. We have friends that winter in the Caribbean and sail a 2002 Beneteau 36.7 up and down the island chain each winter without issue, mostly double-handed.

I don't see any problem with a well-found Beneteau for the type of sailing that you are planning.
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Old 11-10-2008
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You are going to do what Beneteau, Catalina, Hunter, Jeanneau had in mind for there boats.

Look at what works for your style of cruising etc. I would suggest getting on boat sooner than later if you do not have any boating experience of any sort. If you have been on boats, then you will know more of what to look for/at, for your needs.

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For what you are contemplating, I would expand my search to include the Catalina 400 and 42 as well.

While I'm not a Hunter basher, they don't do it for me asthetically, however they would also probably be up to the type of crusing you have in mind.

When buying a used production boat, you want the most pristine example available in your price range. Expanding the models you'd consider might mean ending up with a much better maintained boat af similar intial quality.
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GO FOR IT!!!!!!! BY ALL MEANS..IT's PERFECT FOR WHAT YOU WANT TO DO!!

IDEAL BOAT FOR THAT!!!!!!

GOOD LUCK!!

By the way..if you buy the Beneteau..guess what???

you get to use it sailing!!

Yes..they sail...with the other "better boats", you can't sail....well...I'm leaving at that....before someone bashes me...
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The downside to getting a Catalina 400 is that you'd have the same boat as Cruisingdad... and that's a huge negative for most people...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 11-10-2008
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Confessions of a Beneteau owner. I was a naysayer and Beneteau basher and in 2003 went to Charleston to help a buddy sail his new 423 to Florida. I was there during the commissioning process and crawled through many new Beneteaus for two weeks. I was sort of looking for a boat to keep down south as I was tired of sailing my CS36 Merlin home every summer after wintering in the Bahamas. My initial thoughts were to buy an older boat and fit it out for cruising. Well, after looking at all those Beneteaus I ended up with a new 393. The dealer was excellent and made all the modifications I needed including a new double roller stemhead fitting. I've had four seasons in the Bahamas with the 393 and it's worked fine. Another member of our 393 group bought a used one in the Caribbean and sailed it back to Australia. These boats are tougher than most folks think. It'll be fine for what you want to do.

beneteau393 : Beneteau393 Group
beneteau393 : Beneteau393 Group
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A production model is the right type of boat for your purposes. We had similar intentions when we bought our last boat, a Beneteau 36 Center Cockpit. We have used her extensively for cruising the Chesapeake and finally made our dream trip down the ICW to the Bahamas last winter.

On the way down, we were limited to the ICW because of the weather. On the return, we had an excellent weather window and sailed her offshore from Florida to North Carolina.

It was a wonderful trip that we made just in time as health issues make a repeat trip unlikely and the boat is up for sale. For those interested here is a link to a photo record of our trip: Split Decision

Don't wait too long or the opportunity may pass you by. There are plenty of boats in your size and price range out there.
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