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ISLANDCHIEF60 03-24-2004 04:43 AM

Beneteau 423
I`m considering ordering a new boat and the 423 is at the top of my list. It seems to have alot of value for the money spent. I`m a little confused as to which keel type to order with it. Long Fin, Medium Bulb, or a Shoal Draft keel. I`ll be circumnavigating with it. Does anyone have a thought on the subject. Thanks

Jeff_H 03-25-2004 05:00 PM

Beneteau 423
Maybe this is just me but I need to ask, out of curiousity, if nothing else, if you are planning on sailing around the world, how did you decide that a Beneteau 423 would be the right boat?

As much as I like Beneteaus for coastal cruising and even think this would be a reasonable boat for a Carribean sojourn, I would think that there are much better choices than a Beneteau 423 for that purpose. When you think of doing a circumnavigation you are talking about a lot of sea miles in a very wide range of conditions. A circumnavigation is roughly equivilent to the amount of miles that an average coastal cruiser does in 20 to 20 years of sailing only in harher conditions and further from repair yards. That is a lot of wear and tear. You need a boat that is robust enough take that kind of abuse and frankly, with all due respect to the Beneteau 423, they are just not that robust.

As to your question, if you do have your heart set on a circumnavigation on a Beneteau 423, then I would suggest going with the standard 5''7" draft version which should be a reasonable balance between seaworthiness and shallow enough draft to get into most popular cruising locations.


ISLANDCHIEF60 03-26-2004 09:45 AM

Beneteau 423
Thanks Jeff. So what would be your pick of boats in the price range of 200k-250k? I haven`t found a production boat yet that is built as well as the Beneteau. Is there something about there constuction you have reservations about? Hunter boats where roomy but lacked in fit and finish quality. Catalina 42 Mk2 was a nice boat but lacked in lay out and their customer service sucked at the factory. Island Packetts are wonderful but the price range was out of my reach. Cabo Rico again high dollars. I`ve done alot of research on the Beneteau 423 and I can`t find too much wrong with it. Currently I have a 60ftr and if something was to happen to me, my wife would have a hell of a time bringing it home. The simple controls and nimbleness of the 423 would be a cinch for her. Hell she might take the boat and not go home. Would`nt that be funny.I`m sure there are alot of other picks. However the service I`ve recieved from Jeff McCord at Beneteau is something other companies should follow. So combine that with the fit and finish tells me they are very detail oriented. This is why I`ve picked Beneteau to build my next boat.

Silmaril 03-26-2004 12:58 PM

Beneteau 423
I know very little on the relative costs in the Beneteau series, but I would imagine the First 40.7, the Farr design, would be a better choice.

It''s only me, but the size of the main cabin "skylites" alone scare me. Also the large ports amidships would be a hinderance docking at the rusty old diesel barge in some remote part of the world.

At almost 5,000 pounds less, the 40.7 would also be more easily driven, and is overall much quicker at all points of sail. Taking DAYS off the long passages, and also taking less of a toll on her crew.

The layout also seems to sleep the same, more or less, in the 40.7.

The standard keel on the 40.7 is a little deep at 7''9" but the shoal draft model is a more reasonable 6''2". Still deep, but not much of a speed penalty and a boon at sea. (Personally I would go for the deep keel and dingy in when necessary, but that''s me)

If you like the construction techniques they offer, take a look at 40.7. Better boat for a circumnavigation, by a long shot!

IMHO, I would go used, find a nice Perry, Island Packet or the like, do a little overhaul work and enjoy your trip!

Jeff_H 03-27-2004 12:38 PM

Beneteau 423
Of the big three boat companies, I also personally prefer Beneteaus for all of the reasons that you mention. But there are a huge number of really good 42 foot or so cruisers that can be purchased for $200-250K that would be way more suitable for your cruising goals. While there is a lot to like about the Beneteau 423, these are really not constructed to take the kind of abuse implied in a circumnavigation.

For example, like almost all of the high volume boat builders the 423 glues the bulkheads into place rather than tabbing them in. These glues have tremendous strength and so the builders rightly state that the fiberglass or bulkhead will fail before the glue joint. But that statement is largely true because the contact area betwen the glue and the bulkhead and glue and the hull is very small and so concentrate the loads in a very small area compared to tabbing. Over time these concentrated loads take a toll in dislodged bulkheads and torn laminate. You can go through these boats an item at a time and come to a similar conclusion. Whether it is the lack of backing plates, access to key areas of the hull and systems from the interior, whether it is adequate storage low in the boat, whether it is internal framing systems in the bow area, whether it is the construction of the hull todeck joint, in normal duty these kinds of construction details are fine, but for sheer amount of the kind of prolonged punishment that the offshore work that a circumnavigation involves, they are just not up to the task.

My best best recommendation is to look for a used boat that began life built to a more robust construction standard. I would also agree with Simerl that Beneteaus First series would make a better choice as they are more robustly constructed. Beneteau has a new First 44.7 that might be a better choice on all counts if you are committed to Beneteau.

With all due respect, when I look at your short list Beneteau, Hunter, Catalina, Cabo Rico, and Island Packet, these are boats that represent very extreme corners of the boat buying spectrum. I would think that you might take some time and research the desirable traits for a boat being purchased to make a circumnavigation. You might conclude that none of these boats belong on your list. I know that I would.


Bluesmoods 03-29-2004 11:11 AM

Beneteau 423
If you can reach $270,000, (in the water) I would highly recommend looking at a Tartan 3700. Is has everything you would want for the kind of sailing you are looking to do. Perhaps, the C&C 121 (40'') would interest you but it is not as "finished" as the Tartan.

Island Packet also has a very proven off shore pedigree.

I would go Tartan, Island Packet, Sabre, C&C and so forth rather than Beneteau in the long run hands down.

garywayne 04-01-2004 12:18 PM

Beneteau 423
I think the B-423 would make a great coastal cruiser, but I don''t feel that any Beneteau Catalina or Hunter is right for offshore world wide cruising, and would suggest you look for boats built for this purpose. Specifically, you would need a V--shaped hull, especially in the foward section, to avoid excesssive pounding in heavy seas, a skeg mounted rudder, deeper bilges, more storage, a safe sea berth (I love the 423''s large centerline V-berth, but its not where I''d want to be on an offshore passage), more tankage, a smaller cockpit, with a bridedeck (this minimizes anount of sea water on board from rogue waves), and so on. As to the First series--these are designed for racing primarily and would not be right for any long term cruising. They are lighter, more tender and have even less stowage and tankage. I''m not knocking the quality of Beneteaus. i own one and love it. But all sailboats are compromises of speed stability, comfort, etc. For offshore cruising you need to look at boats designed for the job.

Jeff_H 04-01-2004 01:18 PM

Beneteau 423
I somewhat disagree with you regarding the recent First seriues boats. While the Firsts definitely offer more performance orientation than the ''number series'' and can be raced very competitively even at a grand prix level, they also make very good performance cruisers and structurally are a lot more robust than the number series and offer a more comfortable motion and seaworthiness. I race on a 4 season old 40.7 that has been campaigned hard for 4 seasons and has over 10,000 offshore miles. The boat still looks and feels like a new boat. I have been amazed at how rigid and creak free the boat is when driven hard. While it is true that the recent First series do not have as much form stability (stiffness) as the number series, the Firsts have a lot more stability. Stiffness is not a desireable characteristic for offshore boats as it results in a more violent motion.

I disagree that they lack storage or tankage. They have a lot of storage and tankage for a 17,000 boat.

All of that said, I agree that a purpose built performance offshore cruiser would be a better choice.


ISLANDCHIEF60 04-19-2004 10:07 AM

Beneteau 423
Thanks guys on your info. I`ve taken a closer look at the 42.3 and have decided that the 47.3 will fit our needs better. As far as the FIRST Series vs the Numbered series,the only diference is the performance issue. I contacted Jeff Mc Cord at Beneteau and he said that hulls are exactly the same. Its just the First series is more of a racing type boat. But as far as strength and construction methods it the same boat. What are thoughts on this boat?

Silmaril 04-19-2004 01:30 PM

Beneteau 423

There is more to it than the fact that the hulls are built the same way. The DESIGN matters too! The First series esp the ones mentioned, are designed by Farr, a VERY respected yacht designer. The number series are done by the in-house team.

The First series are meant to SAIL, the number series for being a "dock-a-minium" and occasional light coastal cruising. Regardless of the damnable CE rating!

The First series have better sail handling capabilities, and a more seakindly motion, weight out of the ends and concentrated in the center, the number series have the living quarters as the primary mission.

In the 47'' range, I can''t believe you cannot find the level of comfort you need in the First series, but hey, to each their own.

At this point, what about the Sabre 452? I would consider it HANDS DOWN over the 473! Especially concidering your off shore plans.

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