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  #1  
Old 02-14-2003
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joelcop is on a distinguished road
Beneteau 331 or 361

I looked at the Beneteau 331 and 361 at the Miami boat show today. The local dealer claims that almost all these boats are ordered with a furling main and that the performance loss is minimal. I would appreciate comments about a furling vs full batten main for cruising or day sailing.

Beneteau gives the option of a Westerbeke or Yanmar diesel. The Yanmar costs about $1500 more. Is it worth it?
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Old 02-15-2003
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southernman is on a distinguished road
Beneteau 331 or 361

Back in 01 wife and I ready to purchase 331. Dealer also cited those options. We discussed with others and came to the conclusion that roller fuller main has it''s good and bad points. It''s a personal -preference. We have had that system on several charter boats and found it''s easy to operate. Did have a problem one time with something binding inside the mast and we could not get the main out all the way and it was hard to furl back in. Tried to fix myself but no way. Called charter co. their repairman couldn''t fix right away either. We finished charter out with it in that condition. In bad weather easy to reef. Just haul it in a little or a lot.
As for the engine. "Why would Beneteau install the Westerbeak if there were a problem with it"? Salesman told us it''s about parts availability. We did research on the net and found Westerbeak dealers all over the world. Also spoke with several mechanics at various marinas we visited and they did not cite good or bad about either.
Just some issues we confronted.
Good luck in your decision.
By the way we opted to go the used boat route and think we did much better.
Wish we were in FL. now.

Ray & Joanne
Dream Catcher
38'' Irwin CC
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Old 02-16-2003
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olson34 is on a distinguished road
Beneteau 331 or 361

I do not own this brand of boat, but a local rigger who preps most of the new Hunters in our area told me that the in-mast furling is a very poor idea for performance (lots less area) and is prone to problems, especially in heavy air when you rely on it most. From reading the tests of in-boom mainsail furlers in PS for the last few years I conclude that these work a lot more reliably, if you are determined to shell out more money.
Modern slab reefing with lazy jacks is so easy to use, why pay extra for the problems?
Westerbeke has a good rep. I would not pay a nickle more for a Yanmar engine; too high a failure rate IMHO.
Happy shopping,
Loren in PDX
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Old 02-17-2003
BonTemps
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Beneteau 331 or 361

Purchased Beneteau 361 at same boat show in l991 (2002 model) and very happy with roller furling main. Last month sailed a Beneteau 40 ft in the BVI with lazy jacks and would not have anything but the roller. I am older and and roller much easier. Did not notice much difference speed wise between the 36 with roller furling and the 40 foot without. Doyle now makes a roller furler sail that has a fold in roach with small battens, but would have been added cost and would not do that unless sailed with it first. Added winches, ac overboard drain and other items that were not standard apparently to keep cost down. AC drains into bilge and under stringers and for a small amount of money is better to drain into shower box rather than have all that water getting stale in warm climate.
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Old 02-17-2003
BonTemps
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Beneteau 331 or 361

Also took the Yanmar option and for local service was a better option. Have been told that Westerbeke now does not make the total engine but Yanmar does and is more reliable-not sure this is true but like the Yanmar.
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Old 02-17-2003
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WHOOSH is on a distinguished road
Beneteau 331 or 361

I''m not sure Westerbeke has ever made 100% of an engine, not that it absolutely matters. Yanmar is what today we like to call ''vertically integrated'', meaning if they were in the bakery business they would be raising chickens in henhouses to supply the eggs to add to the flour to make the dough for the pies.

Is this automatically a better arrangement than e.g. Westerbeke buying a Mazda, British Leyland or Mitsubishi block and ''marinizing'' it for boat use? I would guess it depends. (I do know that, when times get tough, I''d like to reduce the # of henhouses I own). My Yanmar 4JH came with ''Yanmar'' belts and I had to search some to find a suitable but more affordable replacement. (''Vertically integrated'' companies control close to 100% of the aftermarket parts distribution, which is one of the reasons this business model exists. When you are at the Parts counter, you will find out whether YOU think it''s a great idea or not...). My Westerbeke has Dayco belts, for which NAPA offers a substitute of equal quality.

Some buy an engine ONLY if it has a readily accessible parts supply chain that is non-marine (e.g. Kuboto tractor engines, marinized by a UK outfit). Others feel this is just one variable, and not necessarily a universally important one. Yanmar gets a lot of marketing leverage out of it, even if/when it''s not deserved.

Jack
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