Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 433 Times in 363 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Who knows the Beneteau First 41s5???
The Beneteau First 41s5 is a real nice boat and is good for some offshore work, but the 41s7 would not be a boat that I would consider appropriate for a circumnavigations.
These boats were concieved as coastal cruiser/ racers. They are actually IOR hulls with late IOR fractional rigs. I really like their rig for shorthanding or offshore work where the small jibs allow you to depower or even reef down to a snug offshore setup. But their hull forms are a little tender and also have a less than perfect roll motion.
In my book, what really limits these boats as offshore cruisers is their interior layout, which lacks sufficient storage, proper seaberths and a proper offshore galley. Obviously, the so-called Owner''s layout is a better layout than the three stateroom version. There were several keel depths available for these boats. The Deep keel version would probably be too deep for a circumnavigation. 6 Foor or so draft seem to be the most commonly quoted draft limit for a boat intended for a circumnavigation. Too much more and you can''t get into a large number of places and too much less (on the size boat that you are considering and you give up too much seaworthiness and motion comfort.)
41S5''s are a great boat for poking around the Carribean, where their good turn of speed and great ventilation is a real asset.
In that size range I would also look for a Beneteau 42F7 or 42S7 or 42P7. These are basically the same boats with slightly different interiors. They are all Farr designed hulls and should offer a more comfortable motion than the earlier 41S5. That said, neither offer really good offshore interior layouts. In both cases the Owner''s versions are preferable for distance cruising.