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  #11  
Old 04-20-2004
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Beneteau 423

I don''t know who Jeff McCord is but having gone through both boats in a fari amount of detail, there are huge differences between the Farr designed Firsts and the Beneteau numbwer series in terms the engineering and construction. The Firsts have a pretty sophisticated series of longitudinal and transverse framing as well as tabbed bulkheads vs the glued in bulkheads of the number series and comparatively minimal internal framing. The Firsts were engineered by Farr''s office which has some of the most sophisticated structural engineering knowledge that is out there. The number series are engineered in house. The differences in these two lines of boats are enormous. The Firsts have much better quality hardware in terms of matching winch sizes, etc. to loadings, and much better ergodynamics in terms of sail handling gear.

The Firsts offer much more easily driven hulls and much higher stability which make it easier to deal with heavy going. They offer better motion comfort and a higher limit of positive stability.

The Firsts are better as both cruisers and as racers. They are more robust. They are easier to handle shorthanded. As most of us have been trying to tell you, the 423 and 473 are just not the kinds of boats that are designed to be robust enough to take the kind of wholesale abuse of a circumnavigation.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2004
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Beneteau 423

Just a correction to silmaril: The 423 was designed by Groupe Finot, not an "in house team" as you stated.
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2004
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Beneteau 423

Just a correction to tarmand: With all due respect, the 423 hull, and rig are designed by Groupe Finot. The structure, construction details and interior were designed in house by Beneteau.

Jeff
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2004
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Beneteau 423

Jeff, I don''t claim to be an expert, so no respect is due. However, Finot sure seems to be taking credit (or blame as some may see it) for more than just the hull and rig of the 423 on their website. Please see:

http://www.finot.com/bateaux/batproduction/beneteau/oceanis%20423/oceanis423_ang.htm

P.S. I''d rather not get into a protracted contest over this, but dismissing the 423 as purely an "in house" design seems a little extreme regardless of the mix of Finot and Beneteau.

Peace!
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Old 04-20-2004
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Beneteau 423

I see what you mean when you visit the link that you provided. My info about who designed what came from a detailed question and answer session that I had with a Beneteau USA person at the Annapolis show before last. We talked in detail about the differences in the design and construction approach on the new Beneteau number series boats vs the new Firsts.

That said I see what you mean about the Finot site.

Jeff
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Old 04-21-2004
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Beneteau 423

I was given the information about the "In-House" design by reps at the SailExpo at Liberty Island NY last fall. Now it may have been an over eager sales person pandering to a potential customer who already had a sizable chip on his shoulder regarding the number series (me). I was questioning the design of the only First (36.7) that they had there, along with the 5 or so number series boats they had in the water. The rep told me that the First was an entirely Farr design, working in conjunction with Beneteau. He went on to say that the number boats were mostly "In-House". He went on to say that because the number series outsells the First''s better than 2 to 1 that is why they brought mostly number series boats.

But I stand by my thoughts on the two series. The First was designed to sail, cruise, and race. The number series are little more than RV''s with sails! And built to a price point to compete with the other RV''s with sails. When one builds to a pricepoint, things get compromised, and I would NEVER want to be worrying about where the compromises might show up during a circumnavigation, as the original poster of this thread stated his intensions were for his new boat.

According to the rep at the show, the intent of the number series is for light coastal cruising, a summer home lets say, a place to get away and to entertain on. The First''s are, and I quote: "Are for serious sailors" I would concider a circumnavigation "serious sailing"

When an RV breaks down on the highway, you call AAA and go to the nearest Motel "6". But when a system fails 3,000 miles from the nearest port, who then are you going to call? I don''t think SeaTow covers that many square miles of ocean.
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Beneteau 423

Thanks for the comments silmaril, and for the record, I own a 423 and agree that it would be far from ideal for a circumnavigation (back to the original thread? what a concept).

As much as I hate to admit it, we do use the boat pretty much for the purposes you state, and she is well suited for that. I actually considered a First 40.7 instead, but it was too small inside and the cockpit mounted traveller was too dangerous to have with a four and six year old on board. For the forseeable future, I''ll be RV/sailing on the Chesapeake so the 423 is just right. As has been stated many times on this site and elsewhere, everything is a compromise!

Anyway, the only thing I would add is that she does actually sail pretty well on top of being comfortable (we have the traditional main not the furler!), and we are taking her to New England this summer, but circumnavigation? fughetaboudit!

Lastly, not to put too much stock into "glossy magazine reviews" but Blue Water Sailing has a nice write up on the 423 at:

http://www.bwsailing.com/01articles/issue/0603/boattest.htm
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  #18  
Old 04-21-2004
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Beneteau 423

Tarmand: Where do you sail out of? There was quite a collection of 423''s and 473''s out this weekend near Annapolis. I do think that the 423''s seem to sail quite well and are less condo like than the comparable Catalina or Hunter.

Jeff
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Beneteau 423

Sailing Emporium in Rock Hall on the Eastern Shore. But Annapolis is our favorite destination.

Unfortunately, I was not one of the lucky ones out this weekend... I just got out of the hospital so my boat isn''t in the water yet (shame on me!)
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Beneteau 423

Just got my 40.7 delivered to NY. I will circumnavigate and report back!

Michael
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