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Abysmally Stupid
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to hear from some Beneteau owners (and others) on pros and cons of the 423 vs 473.

Our search for new boat will now start in earnest.

Some background and intended use (to keep SD of my back ;) )

Intended use: Chesapeake Bay and future extended cruise to Bahamas via ICW.

Looking to buy in between now and, if we can find the right boat, May 2008.

We will buy used not new.

Budget: no set limit but around or below 250K would be good.

Boats we are considering are:

Beneteau 423 or maybe 473 (2 cabin versions)

We also like: Catalina 400 (or maybe 470), Tartan 3700 or 4100, Sabre 402, Passport 40 etc.

My thoughts on 423 vs 473

423:

+ Same money will buy me a newer boat.
+ Shoal draft option 4’9” available (positive for Chessie, ICW and Bahamas)
- A lot of them come with Volvo engine (service network?)


473:

+ 2 cabin version has nice “garage on port side behind galley
+ 2 steering wheels (undecided whether this is a positive)
+ Plenty of room for generator.
- Shoalest draft is 5’7”
- Bloody big boat – docking – how much harder to dock a 47’ with thruster than a 40-42’ without thruster

Is the 473 worth the extra money?
 

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You need to compare cabinetry, hardware, and finishout between the new Benes and Catalinas. The Catalina may be a tad more money, but their cabintery is solid teak and they use larger and better hardware (windlass, stops, etc).

My comparisons are between the boats I saw at the boat show and my boat, so it is possible I saw some duds from Bene. However, I will attest that the 400 is one of the best sailing vessels I have sailed of ANY boat. SHe is sure footed and fast. It is also made for the type of cruising you want to do.

Some 400 shots from yours truly (No, the girl does not go with the boat... you could not afford her!!!!):











 

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Abysmally Stupid
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good points Cam,

The reason I am even considering the 473, which I think is bigger than we need, is that then I am definetely done size wise, won't ever have to get a bigger boat. If I get the 423 I might just wake up in a few years time with threefootitis. Still leaning towards the 423 though... wife thinks it is more sensible.

std tankage:

423: water 154G Fuel 53G
473: water 220G Fuel 56G ( I think that there is an option of one additonal tank for a total of >100G)

I am guessing that the 75hp Yanmar in the 473 will consume a bit more fuel than the 56 HP in the 423 so the standard fuel tankage in the 423 probably gives a longer range?

Cam, I believe that you have been down the ICW a few times, is 5'7" draft really a big problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
CD,

Thanks for the input.

Two of my friends have C400's so I am very familiar with them and like them a lot.

Last may I did the DelMarVa circum nav (36 hr offshore passage) on a C400 - comfortable boat.

I prefer the interior cabinetry of the C400's, Love the big galley and am aware of the bigger HW such as winches.

I prefer the Bene 423/473 exterior look and I think they are faster boats.

The (only) thing that concerns me the most about the C400 (and that was the thing that I really liked 1 year ago) is the Queen sized aft birth. I think it may be a bit claustrophobic, possibly with poor ventilation (that's what I hear) compared to a centerline queen in the bow as per Bene 423. I also think that headroom above the bed may not be conducive to certain activities ;)

Your right about the girl, mine is Irish and I can barely afford her.

Hon much for the dog? ;)
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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Having sailed both and having cruised for a couple of months in a 423, I would go with the 423. Of all the "3's", the 423 is the best looking and best proportioned and, in my view, the best sailer. I ended up with a 393 because my wife preferred the layout but I must admit the 423 is the better boat. The only drawback was the Volvo and, in the first few years, the Volvo (D2 55 if I remember right) has had its problems.

If you need a generator you can put one in the starboard cockpit locker. The one I cruised on had one. The only thing I didn't like was the small size of the second head (the 393 second head is bigger) and my wife did not like the galley and the microwave being above the stove. Also the hatch in the V berth is aft of the bunk so you don't get the full effect of a breeze at anchor. These are minor things.

The biggest problem we found with the 423 was that the counter tops were cracking but Beneteau sent a guy from France around and replaced them. All custom work and an indication of the good support you get from this manufacturer.

The pic is my buddy's 423 sitting in the mud taken in 2005 from my 393 also sitting in the mud. The 423 was sold a year ago, a terrific bargain for the new owner. Just read the Catalina post. The Beneteau has a lot more storage. And make sure you get an arch! I had them put one on my 393 when I saw the 423 arch.
 

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CD,

Thanks for the input.

Two of my friends have C400's so I am very familiar with them and like them a lot.

Last may I did the DelMarVa circum nav (36 hr offshore passage) on a C400 - comfortable boat.

I prefer the interior cabinetry of the C400's, Love the big galley and am aware of the bigger HW such as winches.

I prefer the Bene 423/473 exterior look and I think they are faster boats.

The (only) thing that concerns me the most about the C400 (and that was the thing that I really liked 1 year ago) is the Queen sized aft birth. I think it may be a bit claustrophobic, possibly with poor ventilation (that's what I hear) compared to a centerline queen in the bow as per Bene 423. I also think that headroom above the bed may not be conducive to certain activities ;)

Your right about the girl, mine is Irish and I can barely afford her.

Hon much for the dog? ;)
It is all trade offs. THe stern cabin is great for us because it is an escape. I sleep extremely well on i tand have a lot of room to spread out. That was my complaint with many of the V-Berth or pullman arrangements. We installed a lot of fans to handle the ventillation, but there is NO way it will compete with a Vberth arrangement. My wife is highly claustrophobic and the berth does not bother her - but you cannot sit all the way up to read a book which is a bummer. We have found the settees in the aft cabin good for that. In all, it is not bad. Worst part (and you are right) is the ventillation, but we have some potential fixes for that.

As for the dog, ok. I will pay you to take her!! Just name your price, but keep it under six figures! Before you agree, let me tell you that she eats more than a horse, craps like one, will only sleep in the bed with you, and snores like a freight train coming into the station. How about if I buy your boat and you take the dog??

Shoot some good pics, no matter what you pick out.

- CD
 

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Having sailed both and having cruised for a couple of months in a 423, I would go with the 423. Of all the "3's", the 423 is the best looking and best proportioned and, in my view, the best sailer. I ended up with a 393 because my wife preferred the layout but I must admit the 423 is the better boat. The only drawback was the Volvo and, in the first few years, the Volvo (D2 55 if I remember right) has had its problems.

If you need a generator you can put one in the starboard cockpit locker. The one I cruised on had one. The only thing I didn't like was the small size of the second head (the 393 second head is bigger) and my wife did not like the galley and the microwave being above the stove. Also the hatch in the V berth is aft of the bunk so you don't get the full effect of a breeze at anchor. These are minor things.

The biggest problem we found with the 423 was that the counter tops were cracking but Beneteau sent a guy from France around and replaced them. All custom work and an indication of the good support you get from this manufacturer.

The pic is my buddy's 423 sitting in the mud taken in 2005 from my 393 also sitting in the mud. The 423 was sold a year ago, a terrific bargain for the new owner. Just read the Catalina post. The Beneteau has a lot more storage. And make sure you get an arch! I had them put one on my 393 when I saw the 423 arch.
There are two 423 at our marina (if I am not mistaken). Both list to stbd. Did your friends boat do that or is missloading by the owners?

I will shoot a pic of it (I should be able to this weekend).

- CD
 

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Yes the 423 lists to starboard, the 393 lists to port and the 473 is way down by the stern (you have to bottom paint the transom). Hey, nothing's perfect!! :) When cruising, proper stowing takes care of the lists. The 473 I don't know how you fix being down by the stern, certainly not by putting more chain in the anchor locker.
 

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No the list was there before the genset was put in. The galley is on the starboard side on the 423, on the port side for the 393. This accounts for the list. Guess they designed them for stripped down racing and forgot all that heavy, good quality stuff in the galley. :) These are all the 2 cabin models I'm talking about, not the 3 cabin charter jobs with the galleys on one side of the saloon.
 

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Abysmally Stupid
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Vasco,

Thanks for all the info and the pics.

I share your sentiments on the proportions of the 423, I think it is a dang good looking ship. IMHO - Much better looking than the new 43, 46 etc.

I have seen quite a few 423 in the flesh but never been on one or down below. We plan to take a look at one in a couple of weeks time (if it's not sold)

I have sailed on a friend's 473 and it is BIG and fast. We sailed next to Robin Knox Johnson when the Velux restarted from Norfolk in 2007. We did 9-10 kts and had to slow down to let a double reefed Sir Robin catch up!

The point about the hatch in the V-berth is a good one, I suspect that same applies to the 473. I liked the V-berth hatch on the tartan 3700 - huge.

The microwave will probably not be a problem, we like to cook a lot and mostly do so via "traditional" methods.

I still think the galley in the C400 is outstanding (it is important to us foodies...)

I like the arch doubling as davits! Looks a bit like my buddy's Passport 40 arch.

CD,

It is a deal - the dog for a B423!

Cheers
 

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The answer on the ICW is that I've done it several times with drafts of 5'6" and 6'.
It is really bad in a few spots and you must either navigate carefully or wait for the tide. Fortunately...the worst spots have 6-8 foot tides. You can also avoid those sections by taking day hops from inlet to inlet. So..I don't think it matters too much whether you have 5' or 5'7". It is not too bad to figure out...get some towing insurance just in case...get the inlet guides as well as the icw guides and go for it. Literally man hundreds of boats with 5.5' of draft or more do the route every year. More important is a 65 ft. mast...what does the 47 have?
 

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CD...the trouble with that is there is not much storage room on these boats and when you go full time cruising you need to store a lot of stuff. As you take up locker space and V-berths with fuel bladders and gen sets and water makers you start losing spaces you really need. Both boats are well suited to what he wants but we moved from a 44' to a 52' for just those reasons. And our 44' had a lot more room than a B423. (Though the Bene sails better!:D)
 

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Go with the 473. First and foremost, if you plan to live aboard and cruise for a while, you will be very happy for the extra room. I'm not aware of anyone cruising on a boat and thinking that they have too much room and wish they went with a smaller boat. Likewise, the larger cockpit on the 473 will be material to your enjoyment once you're on the hook and settled in, particularly if you're the type that likes to host social gathering. Particularly considering your comment that you may look to move up in a couple of years, you'll be wasting money going with the smaller boat, and you'll be thinking fairly frequently that you wish you had the room of the 473. Just MHO.

Also, the 473 is known to have a more seakindly motion. I don't know this from personal experience, but have discussed it with actual owners and a dealer. The 423 apparently pounds fairly easily, and the 473 does not pound much at all. Boats that pound too easily can be very uncomfortable in snotty conditions.

As to the posters that say the 423 is a better looking boat, I'm not sure I see that. Obviously that kind of thing is incredibly subjective, but the 473 and the 423 have very similar lines. The 473 is just larger. I actually think they both are attractive boats.

A note about the Catalina 470, which I think got mentioned. It is a very nice boat, but I think it has a pullman berth arrangement up forward. That's the kind of thing that either you like it or you don't. We had that once on our Bayfield 36, and we won't do it again. It's a pain for one person to have to climb over the other, either to get in or out. Climbing all over each other sounds fun, but after the first 27 times, it gets real old real fast.

Good luck with your choice. In the end, you'll enjoy either one, so don't sweat it too much (and if you buy the 423 I bet you'll end up enjoying them both eventually. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Daniel,

Thanks for your advice.

At this point I think 42' (the 423 is actually 43'2" LOA and 38'7" LWL - so I think it may be a big 42' ) will be plenty big enough for us. No plans for anything bigger but I will probably retract this statement in a couple of years ;) I feel that the extra $50K for a (older) 473 will buy me a lot of Pyrate rum.'

Interesting about the pounding and the motion. Will try to find out more and take into consideration. I just think that going from 30' to 47' might be a big step.
I have skippered 40 footers and feel (relatively) comfortable with this size. Not sure how comfortable I would be with a 47' boat. I guess it is just a (steep) learning curve.

About the C470 - checked it out at the boat show, incredible amount of storage for a production boat, I hear you about the pullman berth, but the master statesroom is aft below the cockpit, and it is HUGE! The headroom is quite a bit more than the C400 and my wife can nearly sit up in the bed (can you tell she is focused on the sleeping arrangements?;) )

The C470's draw 5'9" which can be a problem in some areas of the Chessie. I have friends with 5'6" that have to time the tide to get out of their marina, hence 4'9" is attractive (despite adverse affect on performance)

CD,

Yes - if we go to the bahamas a watermaker will be installed. The Irish chick just left for a last minute business trip and she said "Let's go in June instead of September". I guess I am one of the lucky fellas who's wife is more gung ho about this than meself;) Not sure if we can pull the logistics of in time though.

Cam,

About storage - this is one thing that appeals to me very much about the older, blue water cruising boats. I am just not sure that I want to deal with wiring and hoses from 1981 ;) And, I'd rather sail than sand... Mind over heart or whatever it is called.

Anyway, regardless of boat choice, it is looking very attractive to bugger off down island in 2009 and wait out this recession and come back when the fan has stopped spinning and the sh$te has settled on the ground.
 
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