Beneteau vs other - SailNet Community

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Old 10-29-2012
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Beneteau vs other

hey all,
wanted to get some opinions regarding my search for a bigger boat. Grew up sailing, we have 3 kids and in a few years plan to take family and split for a year. Intercoastal down to Fla, then to Islands. No major blue water stuff, just basic cruising/island hopping. We've had a caliber '28 for 4 years- great boat, enjoyed sailing Chesapeake but in process of selling and starting the search for bigger (used- around '00-'04) boat. Budget is limiting me from my dream of a 40-ish Island Packet/etc and I've been thinking more about Beneteau (393, 411 etc).

1st, basic question: beneteau quality? I've heard very good things despite my admitted bias growing up about the factory/churned out product-- I'm really impressed with the aesthetics, finishing touches and basic look especially for the reasonable price tag. I guess the fact that basically all the charters use them speaks to the comfort factor-- but what is the general consensus on reliability? I'm used to the caliber, where everything is pretty much done right. All fittings through bolted, over built and sturdy. Comprable with Beneteau?

More specifically, other than catalina 40-ish what are some other go-to comparisons? I'm trying to balance comfort (3 kids/2 adults) with storage and above else quality. I know I'm asking the age old question- but would love to see what some folks have to offer.

I started off thinking the 38 was fine- but now thinking I should really target the 40 or 41.

once the year is done it will be chesapeake cruising. Way down the road potentially live aboard, who knows. So I figure I'll try and get biggest possible now and not have to upsize again (I know-- it always seems that way until you have to upsize).

thanks in advance

brad
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Re: Beneteau vs other

I think both Beneteau and Catalina build a good boat, expecially for the money. The one difference I find of significance is that the Bene has an iron keel while the Cat is lead.
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Re: Beneteau vs other

Thanks. Question- what is considered better- lead keel?
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Re: Beneteau vs other

I prefer lead for three reasons: first, it gives you more weight down lower for a given volume (area). Second, it doesn't corrode like iron, is much more noble than iron. Third, it tends to be more forgiving than iron upon grounding.

Beneteau makes some very good boats, some not so good. In my opinion, the build quality varies from one model to another.
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Re: Beneteau vs other

ANY of the main production boats will suit you fine. Be it Beneteau, Jeanneau, Catalina or Hunter. If you were in Europe, there would be probably a dozen more you could add to the list.

Yeah there are some lead vs iron differences. Find out the issues with iron, learn to deal with them, enjoy the boat if that is what the boat you like comes with. Reality is, with some of the models, with bulbs below, not sure the iron vs lead is as big a deal as mentioned. Not to say the comments are not correct from a density standpoint etc.

An iron keel is about 1/10th the cost of equal wt in lead, so depending upon the cost of the boat, size etc, you could be looking at $2-3K to upwards of 25-30K for boats going from 30-50' or so extra for lead vs iron. Assuming a new boat, used would factor in some of this cost to.

Frankly, if the Beneteau suits yours and the family's needs, buy the fool thing, enjoy sailing with the kids. The iron vs lead is not worth waiting IMHO! of course, my Jeanneau has an iron keel.....I've not had a lead keel boat, so not sure what ease of maintenance there is, but epoxy coat the keel, should be good for 10-15 yrs before having to do again.

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Thanks all- appreciate the input.
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Re: Beneteau vs other

I agree with Marty. If you like the Bene, I wouldn't let the keel composition bother me.
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