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I am looking to buy a boat in between 40-50 ft. as a liveaboard(for now) but attend eventually a circumnavigation. Is the Beneteau a so called Blue Water Boat or should I look for something else, since my budget is around $100,000, is there anything good out there?

Thanks for any comments
Jake
 

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Now I expect to see a lively discussion on this. Since you said the magical word "circumnavigation" then I would accept comments from people critical of certain boats. But in this case the extra scrutiny is warranted, not so much because the boats are bad, but rather not as well designed for being days or weeks from port. Just things like tankage or storage are important items. Or available sea berths or how the boat is set up below. Lots of open space for liveaboards, might not be desirable when having to get around down below when its rough weather for days on end. It might tend to tire out the crew. Though I know many people that sail the oceans in these types of boats and never have a problem. A lot has to do with seamanship and planning.

For the price you are looking at its going to tend to be a much older boat, so it is critical that whatever you end up getting that you get a very good surveyor and let him know your intended use of the boat. That will allow him to keep an open eye to whatever might be "lacking" in the boat. With all that said, I would personally tend to look for a more conservative underbody and a hull/keel that could take some abuse. Many world cruisers end up one time or another aground or on a reef (even the best of them) and having a real solid keel gave them some comfort. (Think Pacific Seacraft Crealock type boats). I know Jim H. will disagree with me on this, but in this case I think more conservative is probably the way to go. Maybe if you had a lot more money you could afford a more modern hull/keel that was so well made that it could handle getting caught on a reef and still be a very fast design.

Maybe the best thing is the get the Beneteau for liveaboard now and keep looking for your "world cruiser" if you are not totally comfortable with it.. I saw a 1986 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 37 for sale for $110k so I bet you could find something when you wanted to.....ps. remember to budget extra money to get any boat fitted out for world cruising.
 

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The Beneteau First 41s5 is a real nice boat and is good for some offshore work, but the 41s7 would not be a boat that I would consider appropriate for a circumnavigations.
These boats were concieved as coastal cruiser/ racers. They are actually IOR hulls with late IOR fractional rigs. I really like their rig for shorthanding or offshore work where the small jibs allow you to depower or even reef down to a snug offshore setup. But their hull forms are a little tender and also have a less than perfect roll motion.

In my book, what really limits these boats as offshore cruisers is their interior layout, which lacks sufficient storage, proper seaberths and a proper offshore galley. Obviously, the so-called Owner''s layout is a better layout than the three stateroom version. There were several keel depths available for these boats. The Deep keel version would probably be too deep for a circumnavigation. 6 Foor or so draft seem to be the most commonly quoted draft limit for a boat intended for a circumnavigation. Too much more and you can''t get into a large number of places and too much less (on the size boat that you are considering and you give up too much seaworthiness and motion comfort.)

41S5''s are a great boat for poking around the Carribean, where their good turn of speed and great ventilation is a real asset.

In that size range I would also look for a Beneteau 42F7 or 42S7 or 42P7. These are basically the same boats with slightly different interiors. They are all Farr designed hulls and should offer a more comfortable motion than the earlier 41S5. That said, neither offer really good offshore interior layouts. In both cases the Owner''s versions are preferable for distance cruising.

Good luck
Jeff
 
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