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Old 04-27-2011
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Used Beneteau

Hi Guys,

I'm new to the site. My wife and I are starting our search for a decent-sized Beneteau. We aren't stuck on them, but of all of the boats we have seen, they seem to be the ones we like aesthetically.

I'm currently pretty inexperienced with coastal cruising, but I just bought a 1/4 share of a 27' Catalina to get some experience, and to give my wife a starting point for learning to sail, etc.

Our ultimate goal is to have a solid boat that can sail from Georgia/Florida to the Bahamas, and maybe stay in the Caribbean as well. We want to have at least two full cabins so friends/relatives can join us. I suspect that most of the time, our friends would join us in the marina, not for the sailing itself, so the boat needs to be capable of being sailed by two.

I know that's a lot to ask, but there are a few boats out there that seem to come close. There's a 35' Beneteau for sale that was a liveaboard prior, but it seems a bit small. We are going to look at a 43' 1988 Idylle 13.5 that seems really nice, in the pictures...

We would like to spend $50,000 - $100,000, obviously the lower the better. The Beneteau boats appear to be in the $80,000 range for the vintage we are looking at.

Any suggestions? We aren't going to purchase tomorrow, but we are starting to think about it. With the Catalina, I think we will get some good experience sailing it down from where we purchased it in Maryland to Georgia. Most of the trip will be on the ICW, but there will probably be some time off shore. I figure after making that trip, and having a few months this late summer/fall to get some experience and give my wife and I time to take some lessons, we will be ready to purchase in the late fall.

Thanks guys, and I look forward to future discussions!

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Old 04-27-2011
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Take a look at a mid-80's First 42, 435 or 456. Great boats.


s/v HyLyte
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Old 04-27-2011
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Hi Graysock

Bene's are great boats, my wife and i looked at boats for years before finally setteling on a Bene 390. There are people who will try to scare you off from buying one so i would take that stuff with a grain of salt. There are more Bene's sold than any other boat and they have a great track record especially for the type of use you described.

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Old 04-28-2011
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Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
Bene's are good boats. They are often used as charters, so be aware of the wear and tear if one you are interested in was in a charter fleet. Premature failure of systems that are working when you buy it should be anticipated in your purchase price, if it was charterd.

I think both Beneteau and Jeanneau (same parent company, different factories/processes) have downgraded there most recent offerings. That's also made them more affordable. My 7 year old Jeanneau sells for nearly the same as the brand new similar offering. There is a reason.

The brand new Beneteau that I chartered last winter had plastic seacocks for the heads and, while we were probably the third crew to ever sail her (she wasn't even named yet), many items were already broken. The aesthetics of the new "manufactured teak" does not appeal to me, but I can see how a more contemporary taste would like it. To each their own. I only wonder how it will hold up over time. They claim, since it isn't real cut wood, that it can be easily repaired and replaced, since the color and grain can be exactly reproduced. That's an advantage. However, we've all seen real teak interiors last forever if you take care of it. Time will tell with the new stuff.

That said, my older Jeanneau has real teak, as well as much better fit and fixtures than the later models, IMO. However, while some of our teak work is nicely inlaid, others are laminate. These are production boats.

Good luck in the search.

p.s. hard to tell your collective sailing experience. Its sounds like your wife is new to sailing. I highly recommend formal lessons, rather than trying to learn on your own boat by trial and error.

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Old 04-28-2011
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Beneteau Idylle 43 was on my short list and if I had found a good one at the right price would have bought one. I was aiming to much the same as you and had much the same purchase parameters.

My notes say

good water tankage some have 200g others 230g.

master stateroom has a good double but somewhat claustrophobic.

some only had a Perkins 4108 which got worked hard if it was in charter.

annoying bracing rods to the deck in the cabin

My main dislike was the spade rudder which is vulnerable.
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Old 04-28-2011
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Since you're East Coast and plan on doing the ICW I'd focus on the Oceanis versus the First series. The Oceanis is the cruising line while the First are racers/cruisers and will have deeper drafts, something important when travelling the ICW. Take a look at the Oceanis 400, it may fit your needs.
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Old 04-28-2011
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I appreciate all of the responses. My main concern surrounds charter boats, but I'll just have to be sure to be careful about the boat we buy.

We probably won't be on the ICW too much. I like to be under sail too much to motor my way down the coast of Florida, but we'll see. There are certainly challenges either way.

I look forward to further discussions as we get closer to purchase.

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Old 01-29-2012
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Used Beneteau

Five years ago my wife and I bought a lightly used (2 previous owners - 400 hours on the engine) 1998 Beneteau 352 and have sailed it on the Chesapeake for the last 4 seasons. Just using it for weekending and a few longer trips we have put 350 nautical miles on it each season. We have not had any serious problems beyond what we expected from a 9 year old boat. We corrected a few water leaks in the domestic fresh water system, and replaced the hot water heater (DIY for $300). We like spacious cockpit, the cherry interior, two private cabins, functional galley and spacious salon. With the roller furling main and genoa we can easily handle it with just the two of us. We paid $88k and I notice the asking price for these boats is in the $80k range. You can usually bargain down about 10% from the asking price. If you decide to get a used boat, get a good marine surveyor to look it over carefully. So based on our experience, I would say, Benes are good used boats if you get one lightly used and have it surveyed. Good luck in your search.
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