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I have been looking for a reasonably comfortable cruising boat that sails well. My working criteria are about 40-44 feet;@20,000 pounds displacement; PHRF rating of 90 or lower.
I have recently spent some time aboard a mid 80''s Beneteau First 435 and liked the way it sailed. It seems to me that mid 80''s First Series Beneteaus have held their value better than similar models from the 90''s.

Is this true? Any thoughts on why?
 

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You should join the beneteau list homed by SAILNET, we are a group of 550 beneteau owners
I have a F 30 1981
there is also the
http://www.beneteau-owners.com/
fair wind
 

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I am not sure that it is true that the mid 1980''s Beneteau held their value any better than the 1990''s Beneteaus. For example, in this area, a new 1984 Beneteau First 42''s, ready to go sailing, cost somewhere in the low $120K to $130K range new(if I rememeber right) and held their value pretty well for a couple years. When they ceased to be competitive as race boats their price plummeted so that a good clean one could be bought for somewhere in the high $60K range (nearly a 50% tumble). I think the price of these boats have crept up some so that today they seem have asking prices in the mid to high $80K range.

I compare that to the early 1990''s 38s7 (a really neat boat by the way). These boats cost somewhere in the mid $150k range ready to go sailing in the 1991 or so. They too dropped pretty sharply to around $100k to 120k asking prices and clean examples have sold for as little as $90K. That is not too bad compared to the big fall in prices in the 42 when IOR died.

An even more dramatic comparison is the 42f7. A clean example of these mid to late 1990''s vintage Farr designs can actually list for more than they cost new. These are well rounded boats and so continue to hold their value quite well.

Its hard to peg how the First series does against other Beneteaus. They are more expensive, and generally faster and better built than the more common Beneteaus. They seem to hold their price as long as they are maintained and the design is still competitive for club level racing. Then their prices drop quickly because they have less room than the more normal Bene''s. The odd thing is that over the long haul their prices seem to rebound and do quite well when compared to the more normal Beneteaus. They also seem to do well in holding their price when compared to other production boats like Hunters and Catalinas. Although of all of the big three sold in this country, Catalinas seem to do best in holding their resale value when compared to similar priced Hunters and Beneteaus. Some of that seemingly large price drop on Bene''s, may be the heavy use of Beneteaus in the charter fleets.

I have a fair amount of exposure to Beneteau 38s5 and the older 42. I have been very favorable impressed with the sailing ability and finish on 38s5 compared to the older 42. These are nice boats. In my experience, for the difference in price I would seriously look at a 38s5.

Jeff
 
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