Should I Buy a Beneteau Oceanis 38.1?

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
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Hi. Thanks for chiming in! I respect, enjoy and admire all forms of sailing. However, I am, through and through, a monohull sailor. I guess that attitude is grounded in the basic fact that multihulls do not "pop back up" if they turn turtle. Then there's practicalities: docking space is an issue; 2 engines; can't point upwind; you're going so fast all the time that you have to stay "on the edge" and remain intensely focused without letup, etc. Monohulls are more forgiving, safer, easier and more convenient to deal with...and frankly, all I know. My only experience on multihulls is sailing Hobie 16s when I was a teenager.
A multi will bankrupt you …dockage, shipyard fees , insurance …

don’t go there
 

Big E.Z.

New member
Hi, Big. E.Z.! Many, many thanks for your your comments, photos, and especially for your invitation to check out your excellent-looking boat. What a huge help! Exactly what I was hoping to see. I note some things in the photos. First, the arch. I also hate the look of the thing and have struggled to decide if I get one. I note you have removed the cockpit table and have the mainsheet block on the cockpit floor, which provides the best sheeting angle for the mainsheet. For sure, this looks so much better for sailing and sure as hell looks more natural. Do you miss the cockpit table at all? Do you use it at all or does it pretty much stay ashore in storage? I have to say: the teak decks look superb...I just might have to do the same. One thing I hope I can get Beneteau to do for me on the "Downwind Package" which adds a bowsprit: I want the new sprit they are putting on the 40.1 and larger boats that has the anchor hanging underneath the sprit; currently, the sprit for the 38.1 has the anchor roller adjacent to the top of the sprit, not underneath it. For sure I don't want the double anchor roller they were putting on the 38.1 through 2020 (I believe yours has it), as I want to fly spinnakers and a Code 0.

I am going out for a sail today on a new 38.1, so can't wait to see how it feels! I can assure you: If I don't like the way the boat sails, I will not get it- period. It's been pretty breezy here on the San Fransicko Bay recently so I should be able to get a good test. Your comments about its performance give me hope that it won't be an absolute dog. I'd love to see a video walk-through of your boat. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] as I would like to ask you about a hundred questions! Thank you again for speaking up- I so appreciate it!
I will send you an email. I read further on, I am glad you like the boat. We have been able to reach 32 degree AWA consistently. We also have a very fine looking dodger that's going on this weekend for the trip to SC. We have a custom awning that I saw on the First 53 at the Annapolis Boat Show. You can google that. I took a picture to my local canvas guy and asked if he could make that for me and he did. It's only for at anchor or on the dock but it is sooo much nicer than a Bimini. We use a Code Zero and Spinnaker from the same Selden furling unit. I would definitely like a proper sprit. It would be great if you could work that out with the dealer. You may have to do that aftermarket. My cockpit table is in my shed in case some future owner wants it. We have a folding teak table that fits nicely in the HUGE cockpit locker. There is a snap shackle on the mainsheet. Just move it aside and set up the table. We also told them not to install the helm seats, but I have them. They just add wait and clutter and I sail from the side anyway. I'll reach out.......
 
I will send you an email. I read further on, I am glad you like the boat. We have been able to reach 32 degree AWA consistently. We also have a very fine looking dodger that's going on this weekend for the trip to SC. We have a custom awning that I saw on the First 53 at the Annapolis Boat Show. You can google that. I took a picture to my local canvas guy and asked if he could make that for me and he did. It's only for at anchor or on the dock but it is sooo much nicer than a Bimini. We use a Code Zero and Spinnaker from the same Selden furling unit. I would definitely like a proper sprit. It would be great if you could work that out with the dealer. You may have to do that aftermarket. My cockpit table is in my shed in case some future owner wants it. We have a folding teak table that fits nicely in the HUGE cockpit locker. There is a snap shackle on the mainsheet. Just move it aside and set up the table. We also told them not to install the helm seats, but I have them. They just add wait and clutter and I sail from the side anyway. I'll reach out.......
Got your email- thanks! We will be talking!!
 
Although this thread has pretty much shot its bolt, in case anyone gives a hoot, I met yesterday with the local Beneteau dealer and they advised Beneteau has released its new pricing on all models for 2023 and announced a significant change. Effective immediately, Beneteau will no longer offer ANY teak decks, including cockpits and swim platforms! A major about-face, as they've offered teak decks for decades. Done. No more. Not even a $1M+ new order can get teak decks. "Fini" as the French would say. Something about an ongoing civil war in Burma, not wanting to support irresponsible forestry practices, etc. I'm trying to wrap my head around it because I was planning to go all-teak decks, and now I have to accept that IF I want this boat, with "teak" decks, I'll have to go with synthetic material. I was initially bummed, but now as I've thought about it, I am now A-OK with the fake teak. It's lighter, less expensive, looks and feels like the real thing, never fades so always looks beautiful, requires zero maintenance, and yeah- it's "greener," too.

Next, to no one's surprise, all prices have increased by around 10-12%.

Also, you no longer have to purchase the shitty Dacron sails; you can choose your own sailmaker and the sails you want for your boat.

As I move forward with this project including taking delivery and commissioning the boat in the south of France next spring, perhaps I will post some updates and photos.

Or perhaps not. We shall see.
 

Matagi

Ambassador of the Republic of R'lyeh
Although this thread has pretty much shot its bolt, in case anyone gives a hoot, I met yesterday with the local Beneteau dealer and they advised Beneteau has released its new pricing on all models for 2023 and announced a significant change. Effective immediately, Beneteau will no longer offer ANY teak decks, including cockpits and swim platforms! A major about-face, as they've offered teak decks for decades. Done. No more. Not even a $1M+ new order can get teak decks. "Fini" as the French would say. Something about an ongoing civil war in Burma, not wanting to support irresponsible forestry practices, etc. I'm trying to wrap my head around it because I was planning to go all-teak decks, and now I have to accept that IF I want this boat, with "teak" decks, I'll have to go with synthetic material. I was initially bummed, but now as I've thought about it, I am now A-OK with the fake teak. It's lighter, less expensive, looks and feels like the real thing, never fades so always looks beautiful, requires zero maintenance, and yeah- it's "greener," too.

Next, to no one's surprise, all prices have increased by around 10-12%.

Also, you no longer have to purchase the shitty Dacron sails; you can choose your own sailmaker and the sails you want for your boat.

As I move forward with this project including taking delivery and commissioning the boat in the south of France next spring, perhaps I will post some updates and photos.

Or perhaps not. We shall see.
Teak IS an issue, good to hear that you are open to alternatives.
The price bump: 12 % higher but WITHOUT the sails?

It looks like they are trying to clean their order book by force.
I know you love this design. I will not try to talk you out of this, our tastes are far to different.
Still. Please look at some alternatives, will you? Please.
 

Diarmuid

Super Anarchist
3,568
1,582
Laramie, WY, USA
Right now, anything freighted with ONLY a 12% bump is a bargain. I've been paying 2x to 3x for cabinet hardware, if you can get it, which is not easy. I recently paid $280 for some lazy susans that normall retail for $110; and I had to buy them from three different vendors on eBay, b/c none of my wholesalers had any in stock. Even the US headquarters of Rev-A-Shelf had none, and no idea when they'd get more. Supply chains are starting to loosen up and prices come back toward normal, but yeah. Builders I work with were paying $65 a sheet for freaking OSB: a garbage panel product that normally retails for $12.
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,787
1,136
San Diego
Yep - "just in time" inventory has collapsed from covid & shipping problems. I've got a client needing a new Yanny saildrive leg - none available in US at present, next mythical shipment already sold out.
 

Veeger

Super Anarchist
Yep. Having recently purchased a new Beneteau, I’ve been privy to a few of the ‘issues’ they’re facing. They now have a separate production line for boats that are ‘missing’ a few parts. They get back in line again once the parts come available. Yanmar engines, gensets, and keels being somewhat hard to come by…
 
Right now, anything freighted with ONLY a 12% bump is a bargain. I've been paying 2x to 3x for cabinet hardware, if you can get it, which is not easy. I recently paid $280 for some lazy susans that normall retail for $110; and I had to buy them from three different vendors on eBay, b/c none of my wholesalers had any in stock. Even the US headquarters of Rev-A-Shelf had none, and no idea when they'd get more. Supply chains are starting to loosen up and prices come back toward normal, but yeah. Builders I work with were paying $65 a sheet for freaking OSB: a garbage panel product that normally retails for $12.
Interesting and I felt the same: I wasn't shocked by the price increases, sort of anticipated it. November's midterm elections can't come fast enough.
 
Yep. Having recently purchased a new Beneteau, I’ve been privy to a few of the ‘issues’ they’re facing. They now have a separate production line for boats that are ‘missing’ a few parts. They get back in line again once the parts come available. Yanmar engines, gensets, and keels being somewhat hard to come by…
Interesting. I am planning to make a recon trip to Brittany after the new year to visit the factory. Then head south to the Med to meet the peeps at the boat yard, and scout out marinas. A tough road ahead for me.....;)
 
Let’s start with the boat…. FUCK NO! Look at the cabin, looks great! Now imagine being below decks and she gets hit by a wave. There are no handholds!! Moved a Bene 36.1, she got rolled, I went flying and almost got knocked out (world was going black). Consider the Jeanneau line, similar style and price point, and better build.
Or move up to a Tartan.

As to fuel jugs, I regularly deliver boats using 5 gallons jugs. Why? Easy to stow and if I lose one, it’s only 5 gallons. Just be sure to have a jiggle siphon onboard. They make fuel transfer easy and clean.
Hi. Thanks for your comments and sorry for not replying- I missed it.

Let's start with (my choice of) boat: With all due respect, FUCK YES!

It really comes down to personal tastes. I just like Finot-Conq designs- and they don't design shitty slowpoke hull shapes. But the boat has to be properly set up to sail smartly so as not be a "woofer." No arch, taller rig, North 3DI sails, top-notch running rigging, chop the table below in half, remove the aft cabin doors and replace with canvas drop-down doors, (eventually) replace all floorboards below with lightweight composite floorboards with glued faux teak decking- all of these things will make this boat "not your average" Beneteau. I just wish they'd sell me a carbon mast (they won't).

You are 100% correct about the lack of handholds down below on a Beneteau 38.1. Not to worry- I will have that rectified during the commissioning process. Oddly enough, the larger models have 2 excellent overhead "subway" style handholds running the length of the salon parallel to the centerline. Why this isn't on a 38 is a mystery, but I will definitely address it from the get-go.

I have some war stories about getting thrown around below in big seas- hell- see the horizontal stainless bar protecting the stovetop on my current boat in the photo? That sucker has racked up 5 broken ribs, on 2 different people, during trips to and from Hawaii, so your point is well taken.

Agree on 5 gallon fuel jugs and having a "jiggling" good siphon hose. We've used them for all our deliveries. They are easy to safely secure at wherever it makes the most sense to place them, and the size isn't so big and unwieldy to handle refueling- which typically is being done in light conditions, because you are motoring (duh).

Thank you again for sharing your observations and ideas.

Phase 8 - new stove, hinged cooler doors 2.JPG


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IMG_3912.JPG


IMG_3911.JPG
 
Or pounding upwind...but don't confuse him with the facts, his mind's made up! :p
I'm just kidding, it's your boat Rudedog, and may you lov

After a few yrs of maintenance you will be overjoyed at not having teak decks
I'm sure you're correct. Based on my own binge researching, it appears this is the faux decking to zero in on.


Anyone have experience with this product?
 
Teak IS an issue, good to hear that you are open to alternatives.
The price bump: 12 % higher but WITHOUT the sails?

It looks like they are trying to clean their order book by force.
I know you love this design. I will not try to talk you out of this, our tastes are far to different.
Still. Please look at some alternatives, will you? Please.
Hey there! Yes, we do have different tastes- my mind is made up- but not to worry. I can assure you my boat will not only perform quite decently, it will be one of the coolest Beneteau 38.1s on the planet. Guaranteed. If you check my current boat out on Yachtworld.com soon, you'll see what kind of obsessive-compulsive, target-fixated freak of a boat owner I really am. But I always try to keep an open mind, so if someone shows me a design that makes me swoon, I want to see it- I'm not under contract yet!

Yeah, the price bump excludes (those worthless, ugly-as-sin Elvstrom Dacron) sails. Inflation is real, and frustrating.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
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I'm sure you're correct. Based on my own binge researching, it appears this is the faux decking to zero in on.


Anyone have experience with this product?
Teak or fake teak causes your boat to overheat …..add air conditioning or go with white gel coat decks

And only ever sail a white hull boat
 
Teak or fake teak causes your boat to overheat …..add air conditioning or go with white gel coat decks

And only ever sail a white hull boat
Thanks for those words of advice. Air conditioning. On the 2022 price sheet, it was an extra $13,500. Now, due to "supply chain problems," Beneteau will pre-wire and install AC ducting only, for $9,000, so basically, that blows up the budget. Oh dear, I may have to suffer. I get that a white hull deflects the most solar energy. However, white hulls are ascetically boring. While I'm not going for a dark hull, my daughters really want me to go with Awlgrip's "Seattle Grey."

1660579431335.png


I was leaning to Empress Blue

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or Bahama Blue

1660579635557.png


I dunno....got several weeks to mull this over. It really gets down to personal taste, I guess.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
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A modern veneer teak deck lasts ten or 15 years

When time comes to sell your boat the deck will be poor...no value ....and cost the next owner big money to remove and replace

As for color of the hull... dark colors rapidly burn and get Chalky...again, in 10 or 15 years when it’s time to sell your boat will look old
 

CapDave

Member
399
322
Sint Maarten
Sounds like a fun adventure! I understand that you're focused on sailing performance - I get it.

For me, the most important aspect of sailing performance is light air. Sure, the heavy air top speed potential of my boat is awesome, and we've enjoyed it many times. But the ability to keep sailing when winds are light and seas are smooth while others are forced to motor to get anywhere is even better. Most mass market "fleet" boats (no matter which designer-du-jour they're branded with) handle like pigs in heavy air (or the crew can't tolerate it) and can't sail in light air - leaving only a very very narrow conditions window for sailing.

OK, that rant off my chest - next, priorities. You say you've done some long passages, so that's great that you have that experience. But you don't mention liveaboard and you don't mention companions. Living aboard a boat for more than a holiday or a passage is quite different. Stuff you just don't care about suddenly becomes critical, especially if you try to maintain a cruising agenda. First - you need enough water (maybe watermaker too) and fuel and electricity (charging & storage). That means payload carrying ability. Then you need a fair amount of tools and spare parts to avoid having your cruise interrupted too often. That means payload. Then you want to go to the tropics, you are really going to want shade. A week without, that's a lark, a season without, that's melanoma. That means payload and windage. Then you want to go to Nova Scotia, that means heat. Payload. Then you need a decent dinghy with a decent size outboard and fuel, it's your car. Payload.

Sure you can camp out on a boat - I used to do that 45 years ago. I didn't have any of this stuff. Without it, my wife wouldn't cruise with me. Nor would most folks unless they're hard core camper-cruisers, a pretty small contingent.

My point is you can't put this cruise-in-comfort payload on a small boat unless it's designed to carry it, and carefully thought through. With a few exceptions, high performance small sailboats make poor liveaboard cruisers, they just aren't configured for liveaboard, and they can't carry the payload. The exceptions tend to be at the top of the price bracket for any given size, where outsized amounts of money are used to optimize the tradeoffs.

I can go into way more detail on all this, but I'll stop there. I've spent nearly 15 years cumulatively living aboard while cruising and passagemaking, so I'm pretty opinionated!
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
6,228
1,226
worldwide
Sounds like a fun adventure! I understand that you're focused on sailing performance - I get it.

For me, the most important aspect of sailing performance is light air. Sure, the heavy air top speed potential of my boat is awesome, and we've enjoyed it many times. But the ability to keep sailing when winds are light and seas are smooth while others are forced to motor to get anywhere is even better. Most mass market "fleet" boats (no matter which designer-du-jour they're branded with) handle like pigs in heavy air (or the crew can't tolerate it) and can't sail in light air - leaving only a very very narrow conditions window for sailing.

OK, that rant off my chest - next, priorities. You say you've done some long passages, so that's great that you have that experience. But you don't mention liveaboard and you don't mention companions. Living aboard a boat for more than a holiday or a passage is quite different. Stuff you just don't care about suddenly becomes critical, especially if you try to maintain a cruising agenda. First - you need enough water (maybe watermaker too) and fuel and electricity (charging & storage). That means payload carrying ability. Then you need a fair amount of tools and spare parts to avoid having your cruise interrupted too often. That means payload. Then you want to go to the tropics, you are really going to want shade. A week without, that's a lark, a season without, that's melanoma. That means payload and windage. Then you want to go to Nova Scotia, that means heat. Payload. Then you need a decent dinghy with a decent size outboard and fuel, it's your car. Payload.

Sure you can camp out on a boat - I used to do that 45 years ago. I didn't have any of this stuff. Without it, my wife wouldn't cruise with me. Nor would most folks unless they're hard core camper-cruisers, a pretty small contingent.

My point is you can't put this cruise-in-comfort payload on a small boat unless it's designed to carry it, and carefully thought through. With a few exceptions, high performance small sailboats make poor liveaboard cruisers, they just aren't configured for liveaboard, and they can't carry the payload. The exceptions tend to be at the top of the price bracket for any given size, where outsized amounts of money are used to optimize the tradeoffs.

I can go into way more detail on all this, but I'll stop there. I've spent nearly 15 years cumulatively living aboard while cruising and passagemaking, so I'm pretty opinionated!
Yah , Payload

thats the problem with lightweight speedsters and small boats

even a disciplined, weight conscience seaman needs a pile of gear, tools, fun stuff, spare parts…..

all this stuff must have logical storage….not in the ends of the boat and not all over the deck
 




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