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afrinus 08-06-2011 06:32 PM

Any thoughts on Beneteau first 26 as first boat
Hi there

I am looking to buy my very first sail boat, and like so many others, I dont want to spend a lot of money, but of course want the most/best I can get.

I have an opportunity to buy a 1986 Beneteau first 26 at what i think is a very reasonable price - $3000.
The boat does have work, but mainly cosmetic (i.e. the cabin liner is falling off).
I cant see any problems with standing rigging but the jib halyard is stuck - it looks like it came off the wheel at the top of the mast.
Sails look pretty good.
I cant see any soft spots on the deck, although one of the safety rail stanchions is loose - it looks like the screws just pulled out as I cant see any crack or break in the fiberglass.

The boat has been on the water for the last 3 or 4 years. There is no signs of major water ingress or standing water except for some water streaks below the cabin windows - the plexiglass has cracks around the screws holding the windows.

Any concerns potentially under the water line?

I will sail on inland waters - or rather I intend to learn to sail on inland waters.

I would appreciate your thoughts on this boat and also if anyone can point me to any source of information on this boat.



TQA 08-06-2011 10:02 PM

Get round there with the money. That is a steal even if it has osmosis which it well might.

Just make sure the engine starts easily and runs without overheating. It is propably a one pot Yanmar.

Nice first boat.

GaryHLucas 08-07-2011 11:17 AM

I have a 26 foot Etap, that I paid a little more than that for. It needed a little work, and I am very handy. I sailed it home from the Chesapeake about 285 miles. It has been since been onshore for the past three years, after I discovered it had a serious keel problem. I thought I could fix it over the winter, but one thing led to another, and life gets in the way too. I've been paying for it to sit in a marina and driving an hour each way to get about 4 hours work done infrequently. Deterioration from just sitting is almost outrunning me at the moment. My wife says I'm out about 30K so far, she's exaggerating I think, but who's going to argue the point? Not me!

So I'd really advise that you look again, then get a survey if you are still interested. What you want to know is, is the boat used or USED UP. Mine was used up. Also remember that everything you buy for your $3000 boat is actually a part for a 50,000? boat, and costs that way.

Gary H. Lucas

afrinus 08-07-2011 03:06 PM

Hi Gary

Thanks for the thoughts. Your situation is exactly what I'm afraid of, but oh well, its to late now, I just bought the boat.

I've been waiting a long time to get into sailing and I'll keep optimistic - until proven otherwise, and probably beyond.... - that its not going to happen to me.

Included in the buy is 6 months free docking. I'll spend the rest of the summer to clean up the boat, service the motor (Unfortunately its not the Yanmar diesel but a 9.9. Nissan outboard), replace running rigging and generally just be happy with the boat.

Come winter I'll have her pulled and then i'll know more about the bottom.

Here's to first boat optimism :)

What issue do you have with your boat's keel? I know i'll be dead if I get to the $30K mark, although I'm sure my wife already sees that number in the not too distant future...:)


GaryHLucas 08-09-2011 08:59 PM

My boat is an Etap 26 with a retractable bulb keel. Etap made a major design mistake in that the keel trunk which extends from the hull to the deck. It is not properly tied into the stringers fore and aft. So the keel trunk has sunk one full inch into the hull, taking the deck around the mast with it. What made it critical to repair was that the deck didn't move straight down, it tilted forward along with the mast step. The mast step contains the screw drive for the keel, and the keel stopped retracting shortly after I bought the boat. The previous owner only retracted if he ran aground. I sail in a area where I need to retract the keel about 12 inches most of the time to avoid running aground. So I had no choice but to fix it. The fix turned out to be more than four times more work than I estimated. If I had it to do over I'd do the repair in a completely different way, but I will NEVER do this again! Because the boat hasn't been sailing, but I am still paying marina fees year after year, I could easily have paid far more for a boat that I actually got to use!

I'm glad to see your boat has an outboard. The good news is that a sailboat with a bad outboard is still worth quite a lot, and a new outboard is $2K to $3K. If you have an inboard replacing the engine looks more like $8K to $12K. So if the engine dies while you own the boat you would take a huge hit. My boat came with an inflatable dinghy that leaks air badly, but it has an almost new 8 Hp outboard, the 'spare' for my inboard!

Gary H. Lucas

Gary H. Lucas

northcave 03-06-2012 05:16 AM

Re: Any thoughts on Beneteau first 26 as first boat
Hey Peter how did you get on with the 26? Curious because I am also looking at one currently.



PCP 03-06-2012 09:39 AM

Re: Any thoughts on Beneteau first 26 as first boat

Originally Posted by afrinus (Post 759500)
Thanks for the thoughts. Your situation is exactly what I'm afraid of, but oh well, its to late now, I just bought the boat.




I hope the boat is in good condition and you may have a lot of fun with it... and no worries.



peterchech 03-06-2012 01:25 PM

Re: Any thoughts on Beneteau first 26 as first boat
I wish I could find a beneteau 26 for 3K, even if I had to re-build the keel...

afrinus 03-09-2012 10:40 PM

Re: Any thoughts on Beneteau first 26 as first boat
The boat is AWESOME:D

I was lucky to find this boat. Patience paid off!
The boat had the standard Beneteau disease of sagging, rotting headliner. The teak was in real bad shape, the windows was totally messed up and she was just plain dirty.
Removing the old rotten foam backed vinyl proved to be the worst of the work I had to do - very dirty and nasty. If you have to do this, wear a respirator and Tyvek suite!!
I replaced with Sailrite's hull blanket headliner. Good stuff and it looks really nice.

In addition to the liner, I replaced all exterior teak, the windows, navigation lights and electrical wiring. I also dropped the mast and replaced all sheaths and running rigging and generally just cleaned her up.

Northcave, if you need any more detail, pm me. I'll be glad to share.

afrinus 03-09-2012 10:42 PM

Re: Any thoughts on Beneteau first 26 as first boat
Thanks Paulo

The only worries I have is not getting enough time on the boat :D
Oh, and of course when I've got way too much sail up for the wind conditions.


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