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  #1  
Old 02-15-2009
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Happy Beneteau 40 owners?

We took a look at an 04 Beneteau 393, 06 423 and the 08 Oceanis 40. The 393 had too small a cockpit and the pullman style V berth was tiny. We liked both the 423 and 40. Both had pros and cons, with boat show specials an 08 40 is within reach but I have not been able to find much online about them, from an owners point of view.

The design is pretty radical but it is growing on me and the the amount of light in the cabin is amazing for a sailboat. Does anyone have any comments on the boat. How is the quality, is that new wood Moabi Albi durable? How are the systems holding up. I heard the alternator on a 43 was not sufficient to charge the batteries, any problem with that on the 40? How easy is it to sail.

The used boat broker is telling me the new 40s are not popular, that the 423 are being held on to as a result. Is an 06 423 a better boat. I know we give up one head in the 40 but otherwise it feels just as big except for the smaller V berth.

thanks, any advice or comments would help to make this big step up.
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Old 02-15-2009
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I don't have a 40, nor have I sailed on one, but I do own a 49, and have sailed offshore on a 43. I've also been on a 46 for some time. And further, I know a bit about the 423, and a very small amount about the 393. So, there you have my base of knowledge.

On the aesthetics, I don't think that's something on which anyone can advise you. You either are going to like the new line, or you won't. I personally like it quite a bit. That said, I also think the 423 is a very good looking boat too.

In terms of the interior woodwork on the new line, it does scratch more easily that I would like. We plan to build up a few coats of varnish so that scratches are in a finish that can be repaired relatively easily. The floor, however, is another story entirely on the new line. It's a composite. I happen to think it looks great, which really surprised me frankly, and its very durable. Cruising with two young boys, I can tell you that we've tested that already.

On the sailing performance, I believe the new line performs significantly better. The 423 is not a bad performing boat, but she pounds fairly mercilessly. But if you're not racing, and if you are looking at either of these boats I assume you are not, then I think the difference in performance is not likely to be significant.

I'm not sure on what your broker bases his opinion that the 40 is not popular. My understanding is that they have sold very well, and generally are considered to be the best value in the new line. Also keep in mind that the 40 has not been out that long.

The alternator is not a function of the boat. You should come to terms with the fact that stock alternators are not going to keep your batteries charged if you are going to do any kind of cruising. Daysailing and weekending it would be fine. But even for going on week-long cruises, you'll be running your engine all the time and you'll never get your batts charged. But again, that has nothing to do with the boat. You should consider upgrading to a high-output alternator and regulator, regardless of what boat you get.

On the 393, the only reason to get that boat over one of the other two would be cost. I think in every other respect the 423 or the new 40 will be superior to the 393. There's a lot of opinion in this last statement by the way, so others certainly might have a different view.

Hope this helps, and if you have any follow up or more specific questions, fire away. Keep us updated on your progress.
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Old 02-15-2009
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I just see that you are in Conn. Whereabouts? My dealer is an incredibly nice guy, and he'll give you the straight scoop on all this stuff. Let me know if you would like to connect with him, and I'll gladly make the intro.
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Old 02-15-2009
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Dan,

Thanks for your perspective. We took our second look at the 40 today. I still reacted to the the same positives, very bright and open interior, super galley, great layout, outstanding cockpit. My biggest turnoff was that the woodwork looks like formica with the square edges and the sheen. I found it hard to get around that although the broker said it was a a verneer of wood not a laminate and that it can be sanded and varnished. You appear to support that.

I wonder about the 423 pounding mercilessly. I had not heard that. What would be the cause of that and why would the smaller 40 do less of it. I ask because we sold our briefly owned Formula 27 PC because I hurt my back and the pounding on our trips back from Block Island were really putting me at risk of compounding my injury. I'd have to stand the whole trip back to use my legs to buffer the shock. I used to have a Pearson 36 and it was a solid and steady boat that, as I recall, didn't pound much.

We had one other concern about the 40 and that was the rather lightweight pedestal that holds the chart that can be moved to face either wheel. It didn't seem like it would hold up over time. The compartment covers in the interior seem to be pretty thin plywood too. Any warping issues.

Has the quality of Beneteau gone down or stayed the same. We got worried that there move to this new type of wood to cut costs also would have affected other construction. You sound very happy with your choice. We do think the 40 represents the best value. I just don't know if it is as well made as the 423. We go tomorrow to take a look at yet another two 423's an 04 and an 06. We'll take a closer look at the construction.

The 06 has most of everything we think we want on the boat. Bow thruster, radar/GPS/auto pilot but no furling main.

We are concerned that sailing with just the two of us we will tire of the work of hoisting the sails and dealing with the lazy jack for quick sails or that if the wind picks up reefing the sail will be difficult.

No other local boats have an AC or bow thruster, although they have the furling main.

Adding the furling main is not an option in the 06. The ones with the furling mains are priced already 20% over the most recent sales. Adding a bow thruster and single zone AC would cost us $12-13K. We don't want to overpay in the market either. We never know what our position will be a year from now.

The 40 at boat show prices looks pretty appealing if we will pay as much or a little more for an 06 and only $10K or $15K less for an 04, it seems like it should be an easy choice, but it is not.

Have you heard anything on the Volvos? The 04 has one. I heard part are pricier, and they can be finicky.

We'll see what our second impression of the 423 is tomorrow. We definitely did not like the 393. Unfortunately we cannot see trial the boats now and we want to buy one by mid April.

We have already talked to two dealers, one in LI and one in CT.
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Old 02-16-2009
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Sailing Specialties and Willis Marina? The latter are good guys, the former less so. I would do yourself a favor and give a call to Jim Villone at Great Hudson Sailing. Jim is a great guy and a very straight shooter. He has a 2008, new 40 in stock, and I'm CERTAIN he will give you a great deal on the boat. He's really looking to move it. But that said, the guys at Willis are very good people too.

There is no quality fall off between the 423 and the 40. I believe they are comparable in that area, and it's just a question of which you prefer.

I'm not 100% sure why the 423 pounds, but they do. Probably the flat wide underbody forward of the keel, among other things. I can't tell you that the 40 does not pound, because I'm just not sure, but the hull design is very different, done by different designers, etc. Keep in mind that pounding on a sailboat is not like pounding on a smallish power boat. You're not going to hurt your kidneys from pounding in a sailboat, it will just be uncomfortable and unnerving.

I wouldn't sweat the mainsail thing. There are benefits to having a traditional main, including improved performance and the less of a chance of mechanical error. And besides, I'm pretty sure the 423's have an electric winch on the cabin top, so hoisting shouldn't be that painful. Install a battcar systems, and that sucker will flop right down into the lazy jacks with no problem.

I LOVE the chartplotter pedestal on these boats. No worries there. Not at all flimsy and I expect it to hold up great. And it really is a great location. You can see it clearly and easily from either helm, other crew can see it without getting in the way of the helmsman, and it doesn't obstruct your view at all.

If the boat comes with a thruster, great. If it doesn't, I wouldn't add one right away. Sail the boat for a year first and see whether you think you will need one. These boats handle very well around the docks (either the 423 or 40), and you may not need one, so at least give yourself a chance to save the money and avoid the performance degradation.

On the Volvo, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with them. It is true that parts are more expensive, and they do have a reputation for being a bit more finicky. I would say that all else being equal, I'd prefer a Yanmar, but I wouldn't walk away from a boat because it's got a Volvo engine.

Hey, did your wife post something on cruising.stuffiminto.com? There's a woman over there posting about how she and her husband have/had a Formula, they're retiring the end of this month, and looking to buy something to go from Florida to the Bahamas.

Best,
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Old 02-16-2009
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Dan, Hi, we will call Jim. Good to hear that the classic main is not too much to handle. On my 36 Pearson it was a bear. No electric winches and no stack pack, which the 06 we are looking at has. The thruster is more for safety, sailing just the two of us and the fact that we like to travel to new destinations which means, new ports and unfamiliarity, it will lower the stress level dramatically.

No we are not that couple, still only our early 50s, but retiring with this crazy business climate does not sound bad. Cruising down to Florida or the Bahamas would beat the rat race any day.
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Old 02-16-2009
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Hey, I spoke with Jim today on something for our boat. He mentioned that you had called. Good luck with the search, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help. Either way, a 423 or a 40 will make you happy. Have fun with the buying process, it's one of the best parts!
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Old 02-17-2009
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Why do they put 2 wheels on a 40 foot boat? I can't understand it. Is it so you can get aboard from the stern platform without having to scoot around the wheel? You still have the pedestal? console? thing in the middle. Is the beam that great that you can't sit on the leeward side and steer too with only one wheel? My 393 has a 13'01" beam, carried right aft and one wheel works fine. Does Beneteau think the two wheeled Catalina 40 was a winner?
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Old 02-27-2009
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B40

Nika,
Maybe Iím too late in replying and maybe you have already decided. In that case Iím sure that you will have many wonderful days and nights in whatever boat you decided on.
Anyhow, I have a Beneteau 40 from 2008. My wife and I are super happy with the boat. She sails well (although sheís not a racer and the swept back spreaders makes you curse a little bit downwind), she is easy to handle short crewed (which was important for us), she is roomy - there is oh so much space within and generally I think that Beneteau US have made a very good job building this boat.
I donít know if you have any specific questions, feel free to send me a private message in that case and Iíll give you my phone number. I think I saw a reference to Block Island so I guess we arenít too far apart geographically. Iím launching next week so provided that the snowstorm doesnít get to bad I hope to be floating around btw Buzzards bay and Newport come next weekend.
Regards
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Old 03-01-2009
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B40

Nika,
I guess I should have read the forum rules prior to asking you to PM me. Apparently you need 10 posts before you can send a PM. And I had an honorable one (1) before this one. I can read your PM but not reply. SoÖ. I agree with your surveyor, I have never felt that the pounding is a problem. Unless of course you motor without any sails up in heavy seas. It is a fairly flat bottom so under such conditions the boat pounds a little bit. I have never heard about the problem with the oil (and of course not had it myself) but that doesnít mean it hasnít happen to other people.

The Prosine has been more than adequate for our use. But, you will consume a lot of battery when you use it. I tend to go for 12V lights, stereo, computer adapter and so on rather than go over the bridge for water and use the inverter. I have a large extra house battery. That is something I really recommend given the amount of pumps and compressors onboard that wants significant amounts of current. Beneteau unfortunately have the extra battery as an option rather than standard. I donít think that too many boats are being sold right now so I would negotiate hard with the seller to put in the battery for free.

I fully support your decision with the furling main. We will never have a boat without furling main again. But it isnít easy to mount the sail in spring. Itís actually so awkward that you have to wonder what the mast designer was thinking. I canít speak for the AC, we opted for a heater instead .
Good luck and let me know if you have additional questions
Regards
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