Wannabe Sailing Bum
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
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Rep Power: 12
2002 Beneteau 473
Regular main, high aspect 110, genoa, assymetrical and symmetrical spinnaker
deep draft keel
Volvo Penta 75hp turbo diesel
4kw Raymarine radar
B&G wind, depth, autopilot
Magnum 100amp/2000w charger/inverter
Likes: Very comfortable for our family of five. Lots of room in the cockpit which can easily fit eight people under sail. Love the two wheel helmstation set up. Important for such a wide beam. Also makes getting on/off very easy when sterned in. Especially with small kids. Really like all the hatches and portholes. Very light and airy down below. Very much like the finish woodwork and 3 cabin layout.
Absolutely love the way this boat sails. She's very fast and very well balanced in up to 25kts of wind flying regular full batten main and high aspect 110. Rigged the boat for regular spinnaker and wow what a difference. Sailed over 700 miles in 15-22kts and 6-8 foot seas and she just loves to surf. Not a surprise as the 473 was designed by Groupe Finot, designers of almost all Vendee Globe boats. You do pay a bit of a price, though, for the beam and relatively flat bottom isn't as friendly going upwind in moderate to heavy seas. Her weight, length and speed do help here, but buyer beware.
Dislikes: Refrigeration is sub par. Position of primary winches is a bit quirky. High freeboard can be very tricky when maneuvering in high winds. The bow thruster is almost a must have for this boat. The three cabin layout limits your sail inventory storage. Aft lazarettes are huge, but it's often hard to get stuff in/out since they are so deep. Stock deck blocks are cheap. Have been upgrading as I go. Could use some larger tankage (fuel & water). Engine is really difficult to get too for servicing. I also can't figure out why I'm burning 2gph at cruising RPM. Think it's probably the prop pitch.
All in all the boat is a head turner with her blue hull and teak decks. Lots of compliments on the lines. I'd definitely endorse this boat to anyone looking for a very comfortable, very fast, very capable coastal cruising boat. If you don't cruise in shallow waters (like me), I'd recommend the deep draft keel and regular main if you want to maximize performance.