Beneteau 331 or 361 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-14-2003 Thread Starter
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Beneteau 331 or 361

I looked at the Beneteau 331 and 361 at the Miami boat show today. The local dealer claims that almost all these boats are ordered with a furling main and that the performance loss is minimal. I would appreciate comments about a furling vs full batten main for cruising or day sailing.

Beneteau gives the option of a Westerbeke or Yanmar diesel. The Yanmar costs about $1500 more. Is it worth it?
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-15-2003
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Beneteau 331 or 361

Back in 01 wife and I ready to purchase 331. Dealer also cited those options. We discussed with others and came to the conclusion that roller fuller main has it''s good and bad points. It''s a personal -preference. We have had that system on several charter boats and found it''s easy to operate. Did have a problem one time with something binding inside the mast and we could not get the main out all the way and it was hard to furl back in. Tried to fix myself but no way. Called charter co. their repairman couldn''t fix right away either. We finished charter out with it in that condition. In bad weather easy to reef. Just haul it in a little or a lot.
As for the engine. "Why would Beneteau install the Westerbeak if there were a problem with it"? Salesman told us it''s about parts availability. We did research on the net and found Westerbeak dealers all over the world. Also spoke with several mechanics at various marinas we visited and they did not cite good or bad about either.
Just some issues we confronted.
Good luck in your decision.
By the way we opted to go the used boat route and think we did much better.
Wish we were in FL. now.

Ray & Joanne
Dream Catcher
38'' Irwin CC
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-16-2003
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Beneteau 331 or 361

I do not own this brand of boat, but a local rigger who preps most of the new Hunters in our area told me that the in-mast furling is a very poor idea for performance (lots less area) and is prone to problems, especially in heavy air when you rely on it most. From reading the tests of in-boom mainsail furlers in PS for the last few years I conclude that these work a lot more reliably, if you are determined to shell out more money.
Modern slab reefing with lazy jacks is so easy to use, why pay extra for the problems?
Westerbeke has a good rep. I would not pay a nickle more for a Yanmar engine; too high a failure rate IMHO.
Happy shopping,
Loren in PDX
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-17-2003
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Beneteau 331 or 361

Purchased Beneteau 361 at same boat show in l991 (2002 model) and very happy with roller furling main. Last month sailed a Beneteau 40 ft in the BVI with lazy jacks and would not have anything but the roller. I am older and and roller much easier. Did not notice much difference speed wise between the 36 with roller furling and the 40 foot without. Doyle now makes a roller furler sail that has a fold in roach with small battens, but would have been added cost and would not do that unless sailed with it first. Added winches, ac overboard drain and other items that were not standard apparently to keep cost down. AC drains into bilge and under stringers and for a small amount of money is better to drain into shower box rather than have all that water getting stale in warm climate.
post #5 of 9 Old 02-17-2003
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Beneteau 331 or 361

Also took the Yanmar option and for local service was a better option. Have been told that Westerbeke now does not make the total engine but Yanmar does and is more reliable-not sure this is true but like the Yanmar.
post #6 of 9 Old 02-17-2003
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Beneteau 331 or 361

I''m not sure Westerbeke has ever made 100% of an engine, not that it absolutely matters. Yanmar is what today we like to call ''vertically integrated'', meaning if they were in the bakery business they would be raising chickens in henhouses to supply the eggs to add to the flour to make the dough for the pies.

Is this automatically a better arrangement than e.g. Westerbeke buying a Mazda, British Leyland or Mitsubishi block and ''marinizing'' it for boat use? I would guess it depends. (I do know that, when times get tough, I''d like to reduce the # of henhouses I own). My Yanmar 4JH came with ''Yanmar'' belts and I had to search some to find a suitable but more affordable replacement. (''Vertically integrated'' companies control close to 100% of the aftermarket parts distribution, which is one of the reasons this business model exists. When you are at the Parts counter, you will find out whether YOU think it''s a great idea or not...). My Westerbeke has Dayco belts, for which NAPA offers a substitute of equal quality.

Some buy an engine ONLY if it has a readily accessible parts supply chain that is non-marine (e.g. Kuboto tractor engines, marinized by a UK outfit). Others feel this is just one variable, and not necessarily a universally important one. Yanmar gets a lot of marketing leverage out of it, even if/when it''s not deserved.

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post #7 of 9 Old 02-21-2018
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Re: Beneteau 331 or 361

Years later...heck almost 2 decades! , I'm considering a used Beneteau 331. The funny thing is, the same 331 boat with a Yanmar looks much nicer than the one's with Westerbeke. You open that engine compartment and the Westerbeke looks like a dirty beast taking a crap. The Yanmar looks clean, takes up less space, looks easier to work on and looks like the engine is on display. This observation is what prompted me to look into westerbekes and what owners experiences were, years into ownership. In Forums people complained about Westerbekes rough the point of cracking engine mounts. Hard to start and needing to hold the glow plugs much longer than anyone would think necessary. For the Yanmar, people complained about the engine being louder than they liked but loved it still. I heard parts are harder to find and may be expensive for Yanmar, so I did a simple search on Amazon and found maintenance/replacment parts reasonably priced and several with 2 day shipping. With this said, I will only consider the 331 with the Yanmar or even go for the Beneteau 321 with the Yanmar before a 331 with a Westerbeke.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-22-2018
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Re: Beneteau 331 or 361

Yanmar uses European standarts, Westerbike US standarts. You have to keep a mm based nut driver set for Yanmar. In Turkey I would prefer Yanmar because it is the engine generally installed by Benettau and the dimensions are metric. Most of the services available for engine will have proper metric drivers and they are used to their dimensions.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-22-2018
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Re: Beneteau 331 or 361

Originally Posted by celenoglu View Post
Yanmar uses European standarts, Westerbike US standarts. You have to keep a mm based nut driver set for Yanmar. In Turkey I would prefer Yanmar because it is the engine generally installed by Benettau and the dimensions are metric. Most of the services available for engine will have proper metric drivers and they are used to their dimensions.
It is true that Yanmar uses ISO fasteners. They even seem to follow the Japanese motorcycle practice of only requiring even mm sized wrenches (except 17mm and 19mm). I really like the Yanmar that is in my current boat (3gm30). All of the components are easy to get to and logically arranged so that you don't have to take the whole engine apart to to do routine maintenance. At least in this part of the US, the parts are reasonably priced and readily available. Although my engine is in an non-insulated engine box, with large vent holes, I don't find mine especially noisy as compared to something like a Volvo.

The only Westerbeke I every tried to work on was an older engine and had a mix of ISO (metric) fasteners and Ansi (Imperial) fasteners, which made it a PIA to work on. I may be wrong on this but I understand that the newer Westerbekes are based on Japanese tractor engines and so are pretty much all ISO.

Frankly, its not an issue to keep a rack of both metric and imperial sockets and Allen wrenches on board. Most reasonably modern boats seem to have some mix of both.


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