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Old 10-21-2005, 11:48 AM   #1
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Default Beneteua Oceans 351/321 for cruising

I'm thinking about buying a Beneteau Oceanis 351 or 321 and making the passage from the Caribbean to Australia. Anyone have any oppionions on these boats for cruising etc?
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:48 PM   #2
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I did the trip in a 440 and it was fine. They are a much more solid boat than they are given credit for.
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Old 10-22-2005, 12:01 AM   #3
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Stuck, perhaps you'd get more helpful comments if you were to explain why, from the diversity of boats you could choose, you picked boats for such long runs in the relatively remote Pacific which are so lightly built with such limited tankage & storage. You'll notice how 'open' the layout in these boats are; they've max'd out the openness in order to give a spacious appearance at the boat shows...but start looking at how you will store the provisions and spares you'll want to have aboard on a Pacific run, and you may begin to see the limitations of an open plan with a canoe-body hull that must accommodate the tanks where you might need to put the stores.

Also, I'm surprised someone who's sailed a 440 would equate it to a 321 or 351. The latter boats won't accommodate nearly the same amount of racking and torquing in a seaway.

Jack
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Old 10-22-2005, 09:54 AM   #4
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Was sailing from Fiji to NZ en route to OZ once ,when I heard a call from a delivery skipper on HF.. he could not get through so I asked if I could relay on his message.. I did.. He was worried as the Benny he was delivering was flexing badly and he had to shore it with everything he could.. Yes he made it , but said he would not take one to sea again.....

I pass this over in the spirit it is meant as I personally have no experience in Beneteau offshore sailing.

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Old 10-22-2005, 06:08 PM   #5
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Rum, you remind me of the nice Danish fellow who came over to visit us while we were alongside in Helsingborg, Sweden 2 years ago. He used to deliver boats to the Caribbean from the Med and mentioned one Canaries-Caribbean run where they had to divert to the Cape Verdes because all the Beneteau deck & spar hardware was failing; the boat was simply seeing more stress from the crossing than had been contemplated when the hardware specs were considered by the mfgr.

After refitting and half way across, he said he thought he was becoming slightly delusional, as each morning when he would cook breakfast the galley seemed different and he kept bumping things as he prepped the meal. After several days of this, he finally realized this was because the galley counter assembly was getting higher each day; the tabbing was releasing while the boat was being racked by the seaway. And it was not a particularly difficult passage, he said.

Jack
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:03 PM   #6
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A Beny is like most lightweight fibreglass yachts, they are built LIGHT and while they will sail on smooth water and coastal passages without their design limitations showing up they won't take long ocean passages of heavier weather. Given that we can get all the forecast weather information things can get nasty as those forecasts don't actually control the weather. A Beny is great for local coastal sailing but not for the rigors of heavy weather, if your incredabily lucky not to suffer major rigging or structural damage the battering the human body would take would probably make it your last passage.

Don't think of a yacht then ask will it do the job - think of the job and make a list of yachts that will go it COMFORTABLY and SAFELY.

Regards

Peter

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Old 10-23-2005, 07:21 PM   #7
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Re: Peter's suggested logic train - ID the task to be done, then pick the boat to do it - you might read John Neal's thoughtful treatise on design issues, cruising demands and, ultimately, John's own list of potential cruising boats. The list is now a bit dated but still quite comprehensive and his logic, borne of 300,000 sea miles or so, is worth considering.

http://www.mahina.com/cruise.html

Jack
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:04 PM   #8
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Our Jeanneau Sun Fizz was about the same length and displacement as a Beneteau Oceanis 39. We safely cruised on her for more than 15 years. I liked the setup of the Jeanneau better than the Oceanis - not as much risk of being tossed clear across the saloon in bad weather. However, the Jeanneau was a well-built, strong boat and though, because of its moderate displacement it was more lively than the heavy, "traditional" cruising boat ("crab crushers" as one cruising fan of lighter displacement boats termed them), we never felt that there was any danger in taking her anywhere. We certainly had our share of bad weather, and we also did more heavy-weather sailing to weather than most cruising sailors. For example, we sailed from the Solomon Islands to Vanuatu and on to Fiji. That's a lot of sailing to weather in sometimes heavy weather.

What our lighter displacement boat meant - we made our passages faster than heavier boats. We consumed less fuel (though we didn't use much). When we lost our transmission, and thus our engine, on the passage from Borneo to Singapore (http://www.cruiser.co.za/hostmelon22.asp - Kota Kinabalu to Singapore), we made reasonable time in always light winds. This is the doldrums, and except for the violent squalls the winds are rarely even as strong as 10 kts.

To each his own, but I think that it would do each person well to recognize that "lighter" does not mean "less safe".

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:18 PM   #9
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Well put Jeanne but I doubt those fans of crab crushers would agree. Then again how many of them have actually sailed a light boat in weather? I have and I never doubted the boat for a second, nor did it ever let me down.
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Old 10-24-2005, 04:15 AM   #10
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Seems as tho' two things are being blended together as tho' they are the same...when in fact they are not. Light displacement does not equal weak structures, nor does it mean light-weight deck hardware. *Usually*, lighter SA/D and lower DLR boats do not offer the tankage and storage available in heavier boats, but that also does not relate to sailing ability nor structural stamina.

My 'take' on Jeanne's comments about her Jeanneau 39 is that they do not relate to a latter day Oceanus 351 or 32X. And I remember a great German skipper on our 2004 cruise in the North Sea who was sailing his Jeanneau 40 - for the 17th time! - to Norway, outside Denmark's Jutland Peninsula, a usually obnoxious body of water. (He was now in his 70's, BTW). His boat had Kevlar reinforcements, a self-tending inner jib & stay, and was set up to do what had to be done. That boat and the two boats mentioned in the original post are as much alike as cheese and chalk.

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Old 10-24-2005, 02:22 PM   #11
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I have been on board a Beny sailing from Honiara to Port Moresby so I'm not inexperianced in light weight hulls, it wasn't heavy weather sailing in my opinion, but flexing could be felt from the hull. The mast rigging suffered some stretch and from that experiance I made my previous comments. I'm not saying a Beny is better or worse than some other maker either. It is just an observation.

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Old 10-25-2005, 12:56 PM   #12
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Hey guys ( guyesses ) you still don't convince me... I will stick to my steel CC 48'er van de staddt, if ever I get back to sea . Just a personal choice and isnt it great we can all sail what we want to. However I do understand the above comments

AS our Yankee friends would say " have a good day "

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Old 10-25-2005, 08:27 PM   #13
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Hmm. Don't know the particular Beneteau's, but with common sense every sound and well equiped boat is OK. It's not the boat that's safe or not, it's the people on it that makes it safe or not. Key words are "common sense". With a lighter boat you'll be even more avoiding the hurricane season and heavy weather. That's no big deal with today's forecasts.

2 recent circumnavigiations on (recent) Beneteaus, see:

http://uk.geocities.com/divaahoy/

http://www.thomassiffer.be

Regards,

Jan
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:50 PM   #14
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Let's just be clear that a 35S5 was not built like an Oceanis, and that larger/heavier boats inherently are taxed less on tradewind Circles than smaller/lighter boats. These examples of Beneteaus doing a Circle are not IMO by themselves an endorsement of doing so on the two models mentioned by the thread's originator.

Jack
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