living aboard Beneteau 37. Comments? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-31-2009
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living aboard Beneteau 37. Comments?

My Fiancee has given into the idea of living aboard after we return from our year in Romania. So now the preliminary hunt for what type of boat begins. I know the brand beneteau gets a bad wrap but from my research and my wants its a boat that seems to suit me. But im definetly open to any other ideas/recomendations so please feel free to chip in. heres a list and description of what i want in my liveaboard.

1. Space- I know two people could easily live aboard a 32 foot boat and that it would be cheaper to do so, But we eventually would like to have a small family and have my brothers and sisters aboard etc. Everyone says that our first boat wont be our final boat but i would at least like it to last a while. Especially considering im a gadget and upgrade person and i know i will spend a lot of money upgrading the boat. the 37 has three cabins. one for me and the future wife, 2 for future kids/guests. I also want it to feel more like a house and be comfortable for the future wife.

2. Cost- we can spend about 70-90 thousand and still have about 20,000 for immediate upgrades/maintenance. plus we are both still in our 20's and working full time. Together our income is about 120k a year. Not great but its still on the rise and i figure it will be enough considering cruisers not working live on much less. I dont want to start an argument on whats cheaper living on land or on the water, but from my figures it comes out to being close to equal depending on lifestyle. Currently we are fairly fresh out of college and only own 3 pieces of furniture, one tv and a couple laptops. so getting rid of stuff wont be a big issue. by the time we bought a house, lawnmower, furniture for the entire house, etc. i think it would come out to being maybe a little more than the boat. Ive done my research though and understand that boats are money pits and i expect to put in thousands a year keeping her fit, with no appreciation value in the end. Just stating these facts so that people know im not doing this to save money, we are doing it because we love sailing, the water, the lifestyle etc. we understand its not a way to save an extra dime. on that note, we chose the boat over the house because we dont want to be tied down and can not afford to have both. And we are not putting off our dream of sailing until im 60 and can afford both.

3. Speed- Heres the kicker for you guys! I love to race and would really like to do some regattas in my boat. I know you guys were thinking of some great blue water boats up until this point. I fell in love with sailing while doing regatta time in the abacos and love racing. this is where the problem lies, live-aboards and racers are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum. light, sleek and fast against heavy, beamy and usually slower. Ive tried to cure my racing desire with dinghy racing but i crave it all the time while sailing big boats as well. so i need something that i can do the fun regattas and weekend races in. I know the beneteau is no speed machine, but compared to most beamy live aboards its pretty quick.

We would like to do a couple cruising trips but have no circumnavigation dreams. The Caribbean would be our most common destination, maybe a trip over to mexico by way of the gulf of mexico. This can all be done with a coastal cruiser like a beneteau fairly safely with proper planning. Eventually though we would like to sail over to the med for a year (atlantic crossing) to explore. I know the beneteaus are no blue water boats and this trip is going to take a ton of planning and finding the best weather windows we can. the following is a link of a family who circumnavigated on a beneteau 38. http://www.nealalexander.com/sitebui...iles/ben38.pdf
So i know it CAN be done. but if i did have the desire to be a real blue water cruiser i know the beneteau is not for me and i would start looking for a heavier boat. dont want anyone to think that i expect this boat to let me do multiple circumnav's. its to risky.

all of this led me the bene 37. the interior is great looking and spacious for the wife, racing is pretty good for me. not to big to single hand but not to small for future family.

So any comments on the beneteau 37? anyone else know a good racer/cruiser in the 70-90k range? Anyone here tried living aboard a beneteau? thanks for reading all of this and im very impressed if you got though it all!
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Old 07-31-2009
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i should have included that we are looking at beneteaus in the 37-38 foot range. not just the 37. but the 373 etc. are included. year 2000 and newer.
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Old 07-31-2009
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A beneteau 37 or 373 is going to be very cramped in a long term 3 cabin configuration. Thats mainly a charter configuration where they try and cram as many berths into a boat as possible...although I think the 3 cabin is also somewhat popular in EU locations too.

Also - I dont think you'll be able to get a 37 or even a 373 for $70-$90k. They're pretty firmly in the $120k range....and even in this bad market, asking for a 30-40% reduction is a stretch. Unless you can find a charter one in bad shape or maybe a hurricane damaged boat that has been repaired.

Beneteau's have their warts...but we love ours. I like the looks of the 373, but the performance of the 37 cant be argued with.
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ive found three 373's in our price range. private owners and no hurricane damage. The economy must be hurting people bad! and i should mention that we arent planning to buy until two years from now. we also wouldnt mind financing a little bit if we had to. I'm hoping that in two years they will have dropped into our price range. just trying to do some early planning/looking around.

I agree with you on the 3 cabin thing though. The 2 cabin version has a HUGE head while the 3 version is cramped. The future wife wants more room for kids though. We plan on visiting both at boat shows and hopefully i can talk her into the 2 cabin version. thanks for the advice and please feel free to chime in with any more!
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Old 08-01-2009
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I spend several months at a time on my Bene 362... not much different from your 373 in many ways. I looked at the 363 with 3 cabins but 2 of them were so small only kids could take more than a few weeks in them... not long term.

The major problem you will have and one you probably already are aware of is the lack of storage space. The Bene's were designed for short term charter use and don't have deep bilges they use all the space possible as living space. As you said couples can live on 32's but after a bit it is like a shoe box... OK for a few weeks cruising vacation but not an idea live-aboard for many of us. The 362 I have makes do for 2 adults and the occasional couple for a few overnights. It can also be easily single handled which is one of the major reasons I was not too interested in larger boats.

The 37's would be great in the Caribbean areas... that is basically their designed use.
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Old 08-03-2009
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Two of us lived on our 373 for 9 months, several years ago. We have the 2 Cabin layout. We decided that we could live aboard, year-round, if we didn't need a place for our office clothes. That was the only problem for us. We love our 373 and cannot wait to retire aboard.
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Old 08-03-2009
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Sounds like you did you homework and found out what you wanted.
I hope you get alot of advice. But more importantly I hope you have the courage to listen to your own instincts and do what you feel is right for your plans. If you don't you'l ALWAYS reget it if you do , it could be the best choice you've ever made. Or, you'll be selling it and looking for something else !
you can make more money, but you can't make more time.
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