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Hi,

We plan to go cruising in a couple of years and just started our research on boats. It seems a number of people on this forum and others do not like Beneteaus.

We plan on cruising along the east coast and the Caribbean. We would like to stay in the $160,000 price range and I really like the space of a 40 foot. We are both in our 50s and like the comfort. I looked at the 40 ft Beneteaus at Annapolis and really like what I saw. It seems we can get a much younger boat if we go with a production boat.

Is a 25 - 30 year old Valiant, Island Packet, Bayfield, Tayana, etc, a better choice for the type of cruising we want to do than a 5 year old Beneteau?

Thanks for your opinions,

Patty
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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I don't think your type of intended sailing makes a Beneteau, or any other production boat, a "bad" choice.
 

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Telstar 28
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If you're just coastal cruising, then no... a Valiant, IP, Bayfield, Tayana, wouldn't be a better choice. These boats are more designed for bluewater voyaging than coastal cruising, and as such may lack amenities that a production coastal cruiser would have.
 

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Keep in mind that a lot of the "brand bashing" is to some degree tongue-in-cheek and often more directed at the owner than the boat.

Some prefer Beneteaus for the tropics due to their un-cored hull construction. We have friends that winter in the Caribbean and sail a 2002 Beneteau 36.7 up and down the island chain each winter without issue, mostly double-handed.

I don't see any problem with a well-found Beneteau for the type of sailing that you are planning.
 

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You are going to do what Beneteau, Catalina, Hunter, Jeanneau had in mind for there boats.

Look at what works for your style of cruising etc. I would suggest getting on boat sooner than later if you do not have any boating experience of any sort. If you have been on boats, then you will know more of what to look for/at, for your needs.

marty
 

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For what you are contemplating, I would expand my search to include the Catalina 400 and 42 as well.

While I'm not a Hunter basher, they don't do it for me asthetically, however they would also probably be up to the type of crusing you have in mind.

When buying a used production boat, you want the most pristine example available in your price range. Expanding the models you'd consider might mean ending up with a much better maintained boat af similar intial quality.
 

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GO FOR IT!!!!!!! BY ALL MEANS..IT's PERFECT FOR WHAT YOU WANT TO DO!!

IDEAL BOAT FOR THAT!!!!!!

GOOD LUCK!!

By the way..if you buy the Beneteau..guess what???

you get to use it sailing!!

Yes..they sail...with the other "better boats", you can't sail....well...I'm leaving at that....before someone bashes me...
 

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Telstar 28
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The downside to getting a Catalina 400 is that you'd have the same boat as Cruisingdad... and that's a huge negative for most people... :) :) ;) :laugher
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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Confessions of a Beneteau owner. I was a naysayer and Beneteau basher and in 2003 went to Charleston to help a buddy sail his new 423 to Florida. I was there during the commissioning process and crawled through many new Beneteaus for two weeks. I was sort of looking for a boat to keep down south as I was tired of sailing my CS36 Merlin home every summer after wintering in the Bahamas. My initial thoughts were to buy an older boat and fit it out for cruising. Well, after looking at all those Beneteaus I ended up with a new 393. The dealer was excellent and made all the modifications I needed including a new double roller stemhead fitting. I've had four seasons in the Bahamas with the 393 and it's worked fine. Another member of our 393 group bought a used one in the Caribbean and sailed it back to Australia. These boats are tougher than most folks think. It'll be fine for what you want to do.

beneteau393 : Beneteau393 Group
beneteau393 : Beneteau393 Group
 

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A production model is the right type of boat for your purposes. We had similar intentions when we bought our last boat, a Beneteau 36 Center Cockpit. We have used her extensively for cruising the Chesapeake and finally made our dream trip down the ICW to the Bahamas last winter.

On the way down, we were limited to the ICW because of the weather. On the return, we had an excellent weather window and sailed her offshore from Florida to North Carolina.

It was a wonderful trip that we made just in time as health issues make a repeat trip unlikely and the boat is up for sale. For those interested here is a link to a photo record of our trip: Split Decision

Don't wait too long or the opportunity may pass you by. There are plenty of boats in your size and price range out there.
 

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As an owner of a Beneteau 36CC, I love it. We do no blue water cruising, just what folks would term coastal cruising. It is perfect for that and for the fact that the features and space meets the needs of my Admiral and my crew.
 

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THere are many things to consider.

First, I own a production boat (Catalina 400) and just helped my dad pick out his Tayana 42. I agree that I would certainly take a hard look at the Catalina 400 and 42 before signing on the Beneteau. Not that one is better than the other, but you may find some things about each boat that appeals to you. What I like aboput my 400 is that she is a nice performing boat and fun to sail. Most important for us, especially with kids, is that she is very sure footed. We have two heads and a nice spac in the aft berth for mom and dad to escape the kids. She is a very comfortable "live aboard". Most of the systems are pretty accesible. The cockpit is awesome and one of the biggest sailing points.

Negatives: Storage - of both goods, fuel and water. THe Beneteau is no better (and maybe worse). When you go to live aboard, you will need a LOT of space. Finding a spot for a washer dryer is a challenge that we will probably give up on (though you can do it on the 42). Some of our systems are hard to access also, like some of the water and septic runs. Another negative is the rudder is not very well protected. Any boat with a spade rudder is exposed, but most production boats are especially susceptible.

The Tayana 42...

WHat I like: Lots, and lots, and lots of storage. You cannot imagine all the storage on these boats. Stuff will get lost. Want a Washer/dryer?? Not a problem. Also, if you get the aft cockpit version, you will be able to walk through from the galley to the lazarette. ALL of your systems are VERY easily accesible, without any exception that we could find. The rudder and keel are exceptionally strong and the rudder very well protected. At 37,500 lbs dry, she will take a beating. She is a beatuful boat down below with lots of teak, and very comfortable in a rolling sea. In essense, this boat is built like a tank (and drives like one).

The Negatives...

Many of the things which make her "positives" come at a cost. For example, the cockpit is very small, as are the cockpits on most boats of this purpose. This is by design in case you take a breaker in the cockpit. Also, all the weight that makes her very steady and sure also makes her pretty slow. I have to blame some large portion of that on her displacement. Where my Catalina likes to run in the low 7's comfortably, you will push it to get her over 5.5 kts except in a blow. All of the storage takes away from living room down below. However, given the very easy access to systems and large tankage, it is a worthy trade-off for a cruiser.

I do not regret my purchase of the Catalina, however, give what I know now of the Tayana 42, I would have to sit down and think long and hard which one I would purcahse. The underlying issue for us is the kids and that fact that they need more space (and their own head, per their mother). Many/most cruisers do not have those concerns.

In the end, I would urge you to at least look at a Tayana 42 (or similar) before signing on with any production boat. You will like (and not like) many things that you will see. Whether the trade offs are worth it is up to you.

- CD
 

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(refering to the Tayana 42 )you will push it to get her over 5.5 kts except in a blow.
BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Start a 100 mile trip with a new young wine...sell it as vintage wine on arrival!!!!!!:laugher :laugher :laugher :laugher :laugher

That's my point....exactly..these tanks are designed to take beatings...not to sail....
 

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Is there something to be said for sailing faster to get out of the way of weather? Or is that just an advertising scheme?
 

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By the way, I was pleasantly surprised with the parts supply service for my Beneteau. They were courteous, and relatively inexpensive. The guy on the phone also emailed me some schematics that I wanted.
 

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Is there something to be said for sailing faster to get out of the way of weather? Or is that just an advertising scheme?
I hear that from the fin keel, spade rudder, fairly fast production boats and it's true, they might get out of the way of the weather. My experience, in two Force 10 storms, is that providence is never that kind to you. In the first storm, by the time we learned that the storm might hit us, we were 300 miles in any direction from safe harbor. In the second storm, in March of this year, same deal, no safe harbor that you could reach in a sailboat - regardless of how fast it was - even if we had made it into the ICW, we would have taken a terrible beating. Enduring those two storms over the years, I'm a firm believer in a strong bluewater boat if you are venturing far from harbors.
On the other hand, if someone is going to do the kind of sailing that probably 95% of all boat owners do, I think a production boat is probably the best choice.
 

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BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Start a 100 mile trip with a new young wine...sell it as vintage wine on arrival!!!!!!:laugher :laugher :laugher :laugher :laugher

That's my point....exactly..these tanks are designed to take beatings...not to sail....
I have no doubt that in a stiff breeze that boat will run hull speed. SHe just does not do it in the typical 10-15 kts.

I actuallylike those boats a lot. There is a lot of storage and it is a very sea kindly and very comfortable boat down below. I also strongly feel that for any long distance passage, it is the better choice.

Just my opinions, as someone that has weekly experience with both.

- CD
 

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Without a personal weather router AND a fast boat I doubt the "run away from weather" factor is significant.

However if the faster boat will do a passage in 10 days less time than a "tank" that leaves the same day, statistically the quicker boat's risk of exposure would be reduced (depending on the weather systems' whims.)
 
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