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Old 05-13-2002
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A Good Family Cruising Boat

I am looking for a sailing boat to cruise with my family (five children) from Costa Rica to the Mediterranean and beyond. I have the oportunity to buy a Beneteau 500 (1991). Do you think this is a good choice? Also, can you tell me what you think would be a good price for the boat?

Sue & Larry respond:
Having worked for Beneteau for over 11 years, I had the chance to sail a Beneteau Oceanis 500 around the time when they were first built. I couldn't believe how easy it was to sail a boat this large, and how well it performed. All of the Beneteau Oceanis 500s were built in France, with the charter vessels and many of the privately owned boats coming over to North and South America on their own keels.

Like any boat that is 10 years old, you'll want to check out all the systems and rigging before setting off. At 10 years of age, many of the onboard systems will need to be closely inspected to ensure their integrity and continued safe and reliable operation. This is true of every boat in this age bracket, no matter who the builder is.

If you're looking for a good value for your money, Beneteau is hard to beat. With five children there's no doubt that you'll enjoy the space this boat has to offer. Some of the old charter boats are selling as low as $100,000, with the top price in the low $200s. For construction details and other information, you can check out that company's website (www.Beneteauusa.com). I believe you'll find the 500 to be a comfortable, fast, and safe cruising boat.

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