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Beneteau First 40.7


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#1 Dr.Sailgood

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:05 PM

Any comment on the Beneteau First 40.7?
What are the strong and weak points?

#2 SMP

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:09 PM

Sail well to IRC when set up right.

Too light and flimsy in stock trim for any serious off-shore work.

#3 the truth.

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:26 PM

I know most of it, more specific requests and i'll tell ya....

#4 tuf-luf

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:30 PM

VERY generous IRC rating... ONLY when sailed to it though (as said earlier).

#5 Mr Adventure (aka craig)

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:39 PM

and one of the uninspiring boats ever when you sail one

big difference between worked boats and stock boats though

#6 Polaris

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 09:42 PM

Fast in moderate air upwind. IRC promotes it.

#7 B.J. Porter

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:46 PM

Any comment on the Beneteau First 40.7?
What are the strong and weak points?


Need some out of the box tweaks and updates...but a fun boat.

Downwind performance in light air could be better.

Mind the steering system, especially if it has one of the JP3 ones.

#8 Jambalaya

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 06:27 AM

A lot of boat for the money - especially if you like to mix cruising with racing. Decent fleet in the UK - all set up slightly differently with different IRC ratings. Usually a good turnout of boats for Cowes week. Commonly owned by charter companies and private owners who like to charter their boats out from time to time. Pretty good boat for offshore and passage racing.

#9 Leka

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 07:10 AM

Sail well to IRC when set up right.

Too light and flimsy in stock trim for any serious off-shore work.



Can we have more specific info?

A few of them have done the Syd-Hobart and not appeared to have suffered too badly.

Agreed that they were probably not in stock trim.
Other than the issue with the older ones and steering, anything you can recommend that is a MUST DO for heavy offshore weather.

These are still on my top 5 list to buy.

#10 tuf-luf

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 12:54 PM

What else is in your top 5 list?

#11 Activator

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 01:18 PM

Sailed one last weekend for the 'first' time in the Euro Champs held on the Solent in predominately light winds. We were in a circa 2000 boat and scored 3 bullits and a third. Older boats seem as competitive as the newer ones, a lot depends on the the three spreader rig and the sails. Hydes and North were fast. Funny sailing on a boat with a spinnaker pole after nearly 17 years of asymmetric sailing. Wow the VMG angles are small in comparison.

#12 pin head

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 01:43 PM

They are a nice racer/cruiser. we have a OD fleet, their weak point is down wind in light breeze.

#13 Bump-n-Grind

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 01:59 PM

Never owned one, but have raced on them a few times in the Caribbean. I think they're a pretty fun boat in 20+ others will say they are too tender. Ya need a good main trimmer with good upper body strength. I'm not really what "stock" on these boats means..
They all appear to be different to me, but I've never been in a venue where they were racing strict one design. The differences are mostly in the rig(mast height, # of spreaders). So if you're looking to do one design racing you may have to reconfig.

and as stated earlier, they are a pretty big bang for the buck. I think if I were looking at that size boat, I would have to consider a J120 also for offshore stuff

good luck with the search

#14 Mrs Leka

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:11 PM

What else is in your top 5 list?


Leka here at home on Mrs Leka's account.

Don't want to hijack a good thread, but..............

Jarkan 39
Older Swan
BH 41 (and not because it's you asking ;) ..........sailed on one for Cowes Week and a Fastnet campaign that lasted 3 hours.........steering broke and retired. Only positive was we made it back to the Anchor before closing)
FT10

Of course there are many variables and unknowns for now, but the 40.7 just about ticks all the boxes.
Mrs Leka's approval is required, so I'm guessing it won't be a FT10!!!! (pity, they look a bit of fun)

The main criteria are:
Must be Hobart capable (realise the FT10 would not be ideal, but I think the fun factor would be higher and compensate)
Must be Mrs Leka capable............... :lol:

When we get to that point we will have a look around as there surely will be others in that sort of range.
The world economy will dictate the timing, but will book accomodation in Hobart for 2015.
(F*&k, that would be sweeeett!!)

Also in my mind is something smaller OD. Maybe Etchell or something similar just for a boys toy. A HCW 24 hr would be great.

Sydney/Hunter is the anticipated roosting ground, so tis a grand plan..................But hey, you can dream.
Working on making this one a reality.

#15 NoStrings

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 05:36 PM

There are about 9 threads about the 40.7 and it's high and low points. I'll tell you about one of them in SF.

1. Phantom Mist is about 1100 lbs lighter than the other 3 regularly raced 40.7s on SF Bay. As a result, her IRC rating suffers a bit. Where did that weight loss come from? Resin in the layup. A collision last year highlighted the fact that there were areas in the hull that were dry.

2. Stock Lewmar mainsheet traveler is grossly undersized. We blew the end stops off of it on a delivery.

3. So are the mainsheet winches, and ours began to pull through the deck. You'll want to check this area and that around the primaries for crazing. Then go below and pull the headliner so you can see what kind of backing those winches have. It's frightening on the stock boats.

4. The companionway hatch is held in place by two plastic dogs that break off easily if you close the hatch with a bit too much vigor. Once their gone, the hatch ends up in the cockpit.

5. The deck panel forward of the companionway hatch is NOT screwed down. It's bonded with 5200, and as the boat twists (and it does twist like a mother upwind in a big sea), that panel can spring loose. Pt. Sur isn't the S-H, but I took one hell of a lot of H20 through that panel coming up the coast two years ago.

6. Some boats (White Dove for example) had a deeper, higher aspect rudder installed. It greatly improves the behavior of the boat. The stock rudder sucks.

7. The stock lee clothes won't hold a starved gypsy in place when it's sporty outside.

8. The aft cabins are so fucking big you can fall to your death while you're asleep if the boat tacks, gybes, or crashes.

9. The bulbous coach roof really hinders movement about the deck. Do you really need standing headroom for a giant?

Upsides:

1. There's a lot of room to screw below decks.

2. There's a bunch of room in the bilges to install the additional battery capacity needed to do any serious offshore racing. We had two Group 27s on board in the stock config., one for the starting batt., the second for the house.

3. The cockpit is very workable once you get the camping lockers off the boat.

#16 SMP

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 05:57 PM

Will second most of NS has to say. I don't know the specifics about the boats that have done the S-H but my guess is they have done a fair bit of internal structural work to stiffen things up. There is a reason they are nicknamed Bendytoys and Beachballs. The rudder issue makes a big difference. Farr designed the boat for one rudder and Beneteau just took one off the shelf that was close to save a bit of money. I have a few coastal miles as well as sailing a stock one from Hawaii to CA a few years back and have to say they are reasonable boats. If I were to do serious off-shore I would want a boat that has been beefed up and has the Farr rudder. I want to be a Bene hater but I kinda' like the 40.7. Our sail back to CA only took 14 days. They all leak like a sieve, even the Oceanis series.

#17 Damp Freddie

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 10:23 AM

Both the 36.7 and the 40.7 have done as designed. Good IRC machines, so in other words YAWN

There are enough mediocre owner-drivers in the recorded performance handicap areas to keep that down too.

#18 Yard Dog

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 03:00 PM

What else is in your top 5 list?


Leka here at home on Mrs Leka's account.

Don't want to hijack a good thread, but..............

Jarkan 39
Older Swan
BH 41 (and not because it's you asking ;) ..........sailed on one for Cowes Week and a Fastnet campaign that lasted 3 hours.........steering broke and retired. Only positive was we made it back to the Anchor before closing)
FT10

Of course there are many variables and unknowns for now, but the 40.7 just about ticks all the boxes.
Mrs Leka's approval is required, so I'm guessing it won't be a FT10!!!! (pity, they look a bit of fun)

The main criteria are:
Must be Hobart capable (realise the FT10 would not be ideal, but I think the fun factor would be higher and compensate)
Must be Mrs Leka capable............... :lol:

When we get to that point we will have a look around as there surely will be others in that sort of range.
The world economy will dictate the timing, but will book accomodation in Hobart for 2015.
(F*&k, that would be sweeeett!!)

Also in my mind is something smaller OD. Maybe Etchell or something similar just for a boys toy. A HCW 24 hr would be great.

Sydney/Hunter is the anticipated roosting ground, so tis a grand plan..................But hey, you can dream.
Working on making this one a reality.


I owned a 40.7 for years and loved it. It's a fun boat to race and Mrs Leka will like it for the Bene amenities.

That said, there are some issues. The rudder post in earlier models is weak and subject to failure. Google "Making Waves", a local boat whose rudder post shattered and the boat sank on an offshore delivery off the east coast. Before you buy one, pull the rudder and check the post and bearing, and be an absolute prick about it. As noted earlier, the boats leak. It's an issue because the bilge is tea-cup size and the bilge pump quickly overwhelms it. Put her on heel, and there is water sloshing everywhere. Now, this is just me, but I thought that all that water sloshing around was not fast, and I'll bet Mrs. Leka won't like it, either. The running rigging supplied to the original owner is crap. If it hasn't already been replaced, replace it and give the seller the stink eye and less money. You already know this (or should), check the electronics. There were some pretty bad "boat show specials" cobbled together for some boats from the tired shelf in the parts barn, and some owners kept them or put them back on.

If racing is the main thing, look hard at the BH 41. I don't know the boat, particularly, but I raced against one here and it has a gift rating under PHRF that no matter how well my boat was sailed we could not overcome. I lost races by one to three seconds against that boat, and we raced her hard. IRC does not favor that design, however.

Swan? Make sure it's an older one or buy stock in a company that makes sand paper. You might break even.

#19 Leka

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 09:37 AM

What else is in your top 5 list?


Leka here at home on Mrs Leka's account.

Don't want to hijack a good thread, but..............

Jarkan 39
Older Swan
BH 41 (and not because it's you asking ;) ..........sailed on one for Cowes Week and a Fastnet campaign that lasted 3 hours.........steering broke and retired. Only positive was we made it back to the Anchor before closing)
FT10

Of course there are many variables and unknowns for now, but the 40.7 just about ticks all the boxes.
Mrs Leka's approval is required, so I'm guessing it won't be a FT10!!!! (pity, they look a bit of fun)

The main criteria are:
Must be Hobart capable (realise the FT10 would not be ideal, but I think the fun factor would be higher and compensate)
Must be Mrs Leka capable............... :lol:

When we get to that point we will have a look around as there surely will be others in that sort of range.
The world economy will dictate the timing, but will book accomodation in Hobart for 2015.
(F*&k, that would be sweeeett!!)

Also in my mind is something smaller OD. Maybe Etchell or something similar just for a boys toy. A HCW 24 hr would be great.

Sydney/Hunter is the anticipated roosting ground, so tis a grand plan..................But hey, you can dream.
Working on making this one a reality.


I owned a 40.7 for years and loved it. It's a fun boat to race and Mrs Leka will like it for the Bene amenities.

That said, there are some issues. The rudder post in earlier models is weak and subject to failure. Google "Making Waves", a local boat whose rudder post shattered and the boat sank on an offshore delivery off the east coast. Before you buy one, pull the rudder and check the post and bearing, and be an absolute prick about it. As noted earlier, the boats leak. It's an issue because the bilge is tea-cup size and the bilge pump quickly overwhelms it. Put her on heel, and there is water sloshing everywhere. Now, this is just me, but I thought that all that water sloshing around was not fast, and I'll bet Mrs. Leka won't like it, either. The running rigging supplied to the original owner is crap. If it hasn't already been replaced, replace it and give the seller the stink eye and less money. You already know this (or should), check the electronics. There were some pretty bad "boat show specials" cobbled together for some boats from the tired shelf in the parts barn, and some owners kept them or put them back on.

If racing is the main thing, look hard at the BH 41. I don't know the boat, particularly, but I raced against one here and it has a gift rating under PHRF that no matter how well my boat was sailed we could not overcome. I lost races by one to three seconds against that boat, and we raced her hard. IRC does not favor that design, however.

Swan? Make sure it's an older one or buy stock in a company that makes sand paper. You might break even.


Thanks for that.
I have been working on a checklist for boat shopping and have added a few points that you raised here.

Yes, A good BH41 would be nice. Good style, proven performer and can be had for a reasonable price.

An older Swan may be a bit pricey, but would be nice to have.
As with all of these things it will be a compromise.

#20 Life Buoy 15

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 12:05 PM

I have owned a BH 41 for 5 years and had 2 40.7's in my charter/sailing school fleet for several years. Both 40.7's crossed the pacific on their own bums (one 3 times!) so I question the 'not fit for offshore' comments. They are extremely popular in the sailing school world. Agree totally about the rudder issue. The stock rudder sucked. Overall the beach balls a very good boats, (you will certainly enjoy the delivery back from Hobart more on a 40.7) but they are fairly boring to sail. The BH 41 is one of the most enjoyable boats to steer up wind you will ever drive but not competitive on IRC. We still give the 40.7s a polish on the water though. If you do go down the BH 41 path you will have some $$ to spend. They are getting pretty long in the tooth now and motor/electrics/rigging will need some attention. I wouldn't swap my BH for a 40.7 put it that way. Hope this helps!

#21 SMP

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 05:25 AM

Both 40.7's crossed the pacific on their own bums (one 3 times!) so I question the 'not fit for offshore' comments.



Have you actually sailed one across the Pacific your self? I have and I'm not sure I would do it again. (as I said, IN stock trim) Had to heave to in 50 kts of breeze one night and I thought the boat was going to shake it-self apart. Like I (and others) said earlier, I like the boat, BUT I think it needs a bit of massaging to make it a Good boat. I have also sailed the BH 41 quite a bit as well and it nose dives a hell of a lot faster than the Bene. That said, I would take the BH off shore before the Bene.

#22 ducky

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 01:13 PM

Both 40.7's crossed the pacific on their own bums (one 3 times!) so I question the 'not fit for offshore' comments.



Have you actually sailed one across the Pacific your self? I have and I'm not sure I would do it again. (as I said, IN stock trim) Had to heave to in 50 kts of breeze one night and I thought the boat was going to shake it-self apart. Like I (and others) said earlier, I like the boat, BUT I think it needs a bit of massaging to make it a Good boat. I have also sailed the BH 41 quite a bit as well and it nose dives a hell of a lot faster than the Bene. That said, I would take the BH off shore before the Bene.

what boat doesn't feel like it's going to come apart in 50 kts ? a fucking westsail will scare you in 50 kts! :o :o

#23 tacksea

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 02:14 PM

Both 40.7's crossed the pacific on their own bums (one 3 times!) so I question the 'not fit for offshore' comments.



Have you actually sailed one across the Pacific your self? I have and I'm not sure I would do it again. (as I said, IN stock trim) Had to heave to in 50 kts of breeze one night and I thought the boat was going to shake it-self apart. Like I (and others) said earlier, I like the boat, BUT I think it needs a bit of massaging to make it a Good boat. I have also sailed the BH 41 quite a bit as well and it nose dives a hell of a lot faster than the Bene. That said, I would take the BH off shore before the Bene.



1994 Sydney Hobart , Raptor (BH41 hull #2) was placed first overal in a top fleet

#24 Le Shark

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 03:53 PM

So weve established the stock trim is poor - No surprises there - But what are the top boats changing?

Anybody in here with any experiance in this? Im talking things like sailplan and hardware changes here really as opposed to stiffening for serious offshores etc.

The boat im currently involved with is carrying a masthead S2, A5 and the old fractional S2 with 1x Masthead, 1x Fractional and 1x Genoa halyard on the standard 3 spreader rig with a standard length pole. The boat does a pretty even mix of inshore round the cans, passage races and offshore.

New kites and some hardware upgrades are on the cards for next season, what should they be looking at?

#25 frozenhawaiian

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 05:37 PM

having trimmed main for a racing season I can say without hesitation that the stock traveler and stock mainsheet winches are sadly undersized. but I loved sailing on it, the owner had gotten a longer pole and bigger kites so downwind was a lot more fun.

#26 willsailforfood

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 06:17 PM

what boat doesn't feel like it's going to come apart in 50 kts ? a fucking westsail will scare you in 50 kts! :o :o


Our S&S 40 feels safe as houses in 50 knots, on bare poles or hove to with storm jib and trysail. It's not fast as some sleds, but we hold our own on ORR/IRC/PH..puke..RF and I can't fall to my death from anywhere in the boat (unless we stand it on the stem vertical). I can always lay two hands on something I can support myself with. In 40 knots we're hooting and hollering with glee as we surf down wave faces well past our hull speed.

I've been on a beachball in 40 and I was seriously concerned. The boats are so fucking soft in places I have had serious worries about them stoving in when falling off big waves in very confused seas. I wouldn't take a 40.7 offshore without SERIOUS upgrades. Those winch backing and companionway issues would scare me shitless. A hole in the boat under the primaries (or track on one 36.7 I saw torn apart) could be a game ender in a big sea.

I'm sure there are a lot of them that have crossed oceans or done big offshore races. Maybe they were just lucky. I have had passages that I could have done in a Laser they were so tame, a year later I have made the same passage and wished I was on a navy battleship. Having crossed successfully, once or thrice is no indication of a yacht's seaworthiness.

If one of these sunk offshore because the rudder failed I would be VERY seriously concerned. I value my life and that of my crew/family far to much to take those kinds of risks with a boat that was underbuilt. Imagine what's going to happen if you hit a big shark at speed with that rudder, just like one boat we know did in the first leg of this year's Mini Transat last week.

My $0.02 for what it's worth.

:WSFF

#27 Mr Adventure (aka craig)

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 02:06 AM

Bh 41 vs 40.7

No question or issue

One is nice to sail the other is a benetoy

There would be no aspect where the BH 41 was not the far superior boat

#28 huwp

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 03:21 AM

We had a Distinction with the bigger 2 spreader rig.

Went for longer pole and larger kites.

Carefull with large shouldered kites in wind and waves, the things are a piece of shit to keep under the spin downhill unless you have the bigger rudder.

Main winches were ok and up speced the traveller purchases and rope. Upspeced the jib car pullers, upspeced the pole down fucker.
We carried Doyle sails 1-4 headsails, had 3/4oz and 1/2oz mastheads, also had 1.5 hounds kite as well as A sail

#29 Reflex Sailor

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 09:56 AM

Both 40.7's crossed the pacific on their own bums (one 3 times!) so I question the 'not fit for offshore' comments.



Have you actually sailed one across the Pacific your self? I have and I'm not sure I would do it again. (as I said, IN stock trim) Had to heave to in 50 kts of breeze one night and I thought the boat was going to shake it-self apart. Like I (and others) said earlier, I like the boat, BUT I think it needs a bit of massaging to make it a Good boat. I have also sailed the BH 41 quite a bit as well and it nose dives a hell of a lot faster than the Bene. That said, I would take the BH off shore before the Bene.



1994 Sydney Hobart , Raptor (BH41 hull #2) was placed first overal in a top fleet


A gaff cutter won the 1925 Fastnet - doesnt mean it can do so again.

#30 Leka

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 10:25 AM

Both 40.7's crossed the pacific on their own bums (one 3 times!) so I question the 'not fit for offshore' comments.



Have you actually sailed one across the Pacific your self? I have and I'm not sure I would do it again. (as I said, IN stock trim) Had to heave to in 50 kts of breeze one night and I thought the boat was going to shake it-self apart. Like I (and others) said earlier, I like the boat, BUT I think it needs a bit of massaging to make it a Good boat. I have also sailed the BH 41 quite a bit as well and it nose dives a hell of a lot faster than the Bene. That said, I would take the BH off shore before the Bene.



1994 Sydney Hobart , Raptor (BH41 hull #2) was placed first overal in a top fleet


A gaff cutter won the 1925 Fastnet - doesnt mean it can do so again.


I don't think you can read too much into the raw results.

2003 'First National' won the Hobart race. A 40.7, although its pretty well ackowledged that this one had every conceivable 'tweek' and upgrade possible done.
I beleive it was later campaigned as 'Mr Beaks Ribs' until they upgraded to a 44.7.
I'm sure some on here know more about this than me.

Anyone know where the original 'First National' is now?

#31 Leka

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 10:38 AM

I do not know Michal Spies, but some good quotes from his 2003 win.
(He was also co-skipper on Nokia in 1999 when she set a new record.)

Quote < http://rolexsydneyho...ws.asp?key=1420 >

Spies put the win down to sticking to a fairly simple game plan.

Push the boat, keep her pointing to Hobart at 95% of her maximum speed, 100% of the time. We were tactically sound. We didn't go out on any limbs. A couple of boats took a flyer here and a flyer there and they paid short dividends but then the next flyer they took came back to bite them.

Yesterday we had 12 hours of hard spinnaker running and for six hours we were right on the edge. We knew we had to keep pushing it to stay with the boats we had to beat."

First National Real Estate is a Beneteau 40.7, the hugely popular Farr design that has sold some 500 boats worldwide. Spies has heavily optimised the boat though.

We've worked hard to get the rating down. If I listed all the changes we've made it would take a couple of foolscap pages, he said.

I like to think she is the fastest of the 500 of her type, he said, but we can take her back to Sydney and it will only take us two hours to transform her back into a boat you'd happily cruise for a week in. If there is such as a thing as a freak boat these are probably it.

So will Michael Spies be back for Hobart number 28? He doesn't even take a breath. 'Yeah. Of course.'

<Unquote>


I would love to see the 'couple of foolscap pages' of changes!!!!

#32 Dr. Sailgood

Dr. Sailgood

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 04:17 PM

I know most of it, more specific requests and i'll tell ya....


What are the specific weaknesses on the hull, is it depending on the production years?
Heard first few years there were some troubles on the hull's.




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