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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The search for a blue water boat goes on. I realize this boat is not exactly the archetypical blue water boat but she is so darn gorgeous and fast that she may make up for anything she may lack.

Can anyone out there speak to the build quality and durability of these boats. I know of one that just rounded the horn on her way to Alaska.

Any other comments would be greatly appreciated.
 

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We sail a 1986 First 42, shoal draft version (i.e. 6.5'), and the yacht is without a doubt one of the best boats we've ever been aboard (in 52 years). They are built like brick shoot houses, good looking, and unusually fast. In any wind we can assume we'll average 8 knts and even in light air, with an assym, we use 6 knts as an averge speed for calculating passage times.

If the boat you're looking at has been reasonably well maintained by the prior owner, you'll be glad you've bought her. The yacht has few vices if any save for the fact that one needs be patient as a lot is squeezed into small spaces. Working on the engine/transmission can be a trial until one learns the tricks. On the other hand, the Perkins 4-108 is a very sturdy engine and unusually reliable so it's usually just routine maintenance.

Our "crew" is a mid-60's man and a late 50's woman (that displaces all of 100#) yet we have no difficulty handling the yacht, even in foul conditions, and have managed passages without undue difficulty of discomfort while other yachts have hove-too or withdrawn from the same passages we've made. If a 5' tall, 100#, woman can handle the yacht on a night watch in rotten weather, it says as much about the yacht as the woman, no?

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
 

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Liza Copeland and her family circumnavigated in a First 38 of similar vintage - their trip is documented in several books.

Liza & Andy Copeland - Cruising Authors

I know they did some reinforcing forward, but their information should be useful to you....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
S/V HyLyte,

Thank you for your insightfull comments. How do you think the boat would handle in very rough seas? You say the boat is tough..."shoot house tough" in fact....would you put it in the same class as a Valiant or other purpose built, blue water cruiser?

That is really the only issue I have with this boat. Alot of Beneteaus are built too light for true blue water sailing. I want a boat that will handle the toughest of weather and not have to worry about it breaking, at least no more than a true blue water cruiser.

This boat is in bristol condition but light on equipment. It was used as a coastal cruiser.

Would you mind if I sent you some questions directly to yuor handle?
 

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The First 42 is a very "stable platform", weighs ~23,000 lbs, and yes handles tough weather very well. When others are dropping out of a race, we continue on comfortably and with confidence!
 

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Owner's Review

For an owner's review of the Beneteau First 42 and some of the technical details about the yacht see http://www.southwindssailing.com/pdfs/southwindsaugust2010.pdf commencing on page 34. Note that there was some ham handedness in the proofing/editing so there are some obvious errors but they are few and minor.

FWIW...
 

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Perhaps you've decided, but I've got to say, "Wonderful boat!"
She "SAILS" ... like a dinghy. I've owned hull 170 (1985) for 1.5 yrs now. "Emily's Grace" is all that. She goes on a breath and tracks all day rail under. She's got comfort, beauty, and speed. What a package. My former boat was a Peason 10M. Lovely too, but the 42 is a different class altogether. I have also ocean sailed a Bristol 38.5 and a C&C 34 for extensive periods. The 42 has a practical interior of the B and the raciness of the C&C (w/o floating the rudder in a heel). Can't say enough about this boat. I considered a Cal 40, Peterson 40, Hinckley 43, C&c 40 & 44. Shoot, read all the reviews, take a look, and you'll know. I was hooked at 1st glance. Good luck.
 

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One of the most beautiful boats ever built. Frers is a master. His work has a slightly "feminine" touch that no-one else since Olin Stevens has mastered and I've never heard of him designing a dud.
 

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Sloop,
Bill Tripp was no slouch in design. My brother has a Tripp 45 (looks like the Columbia 50)that is very similar to your 43. Beautiful lines. I believe he is selling it. Cheers-
 

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Sloop,
Bill Tripp was no slouch in design. My brother has a Tripp 45 (looks like the Columbia 50)that is very similar to your 43. Beautiful lines. I believe he is selling it. Cheers-
True he was very good, even one of the greats but I'd trade my Col. 43 for a First 42 in a heartbeat.
 

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Thought I'd bring this post back to life, and wondering about setting up a group on yahoo for those of us with first 42s.. we've had ours for about 9 years now. Ours is an owners version and is cutter rigged...
 

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I'm interested. Mine is a 1985 w/ keel reduction & tall rig. In the process of installing a below deck Raymarine autopilot. Lovely boat.
 

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Thought I'd bring this post back to life, and wondering about setting up a group on yahoo for those of us with first 42s.. we've had ours for about 9 years now. Ours is an owners version and is cutter rigged...
I think it's a great idea. And I'm glad you've recovered your sanity and (evidently) decided against dumping R3.
 

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I love the looks of these and have seen one on Yachtworld that I am considering looking at. Looks like they are great cruising boats.
 

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Thought I'd bring this post back to life, and wondering about setting up a group on yahoo for those of us with first 42s.. we've had ours for about 9 years now. Ours is an owners version and is cutter rigged...
Any update on this? I'd love a way to swap stories and info with other First 42 owners.
 
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