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Old 09-02-2015, 04:14 PM   #81
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Swift Trawler 34, Seacocks, etc.

Now I have been on my new boat (Beneteau ST34) for 1 week, and I have been trained for the most part. First my overall impression of the boat is very positive. I have one small light bulb out, the only flaw in the boat (a reading light in the bedroom, busted filament, 50 cent bulb). The boat is very well thought out. An overabundance of storage space is noted, I was astounded by the storage. The lazarette is huge! The Onan generator is silent (can't even hear it start, have to check out back to see if it is running). The Cummins 6.7 is silent at idle and very quiet in and outside the cabin at full throttle. At idle you can barely hear it looking overboard directly at the exhaust and zero smoke! We went from St. Pete to Ft. Myers (130 miles or so) in 7.5 hours mostly at 17-18 knots through 3.5 footers. Storms were closing in abaft and we just avoided them all day, it was almost comical but they were always about 1-2 miles on our stern after we went through. We had to kick it up to 18 during the last 2 hours to stay ahead of them.

As for the seacocks, they are all bronze. I saw nothing wrong with chrome plated bronze for saltwater service as some had said they would be, but none of those are on this boat. I am elated to have bronze seacocks on this boat. All of the valves are ball valves and they all work very nicely. There are no NPT to NPS connections, nothing at all like that. As for the creaky and soft decks noted in past coms, I now know the facts. The floors throughout the Beneteau are floating floors. All of them can be lifted up and they sit on fiberglass flooring underneath, end grain balsa cored. Stiff beyond compare. Yes, the floating floors might creak if you step from one to another, but I haven't noticed that. All of the workmanship (fit and finish), latches, wipers, ice maker, AC units, windshield washers, strainers, raw water washdown, doors, hatches, ports, etc. work to perfection. The electronics are Raymarine's latest and again I am impressed, especially with the interface between the NAV gear, the AIS, the stereo, televisions, and speaker systems. My tender is an AB9.5 which fits nicely facing backwards. No problem hoisting it in or out of the drink, even though it weighs 300 pounds. I am finding all of the fittments to be of first quality, Raycor, Lewmar, huge cleats, stainless chafing rails, very stout rails around the boat, seat cushions, furniture, faucets, cooking gear (stove and oven), toilet, pumps, sound system, spotlight, backup camera, door latches, etc. The sides of the hull are very thick, someone had mentioned thin hulls; not on these boats. Light because of the end grain balsa core blocks, but not thin or flimsy by any measure. The boat came with 50' shorepower cords (two), 50' water hose, 50' cable, and is prewired for satellite and cable dish, etc.

So far my first impression is that my expectations have been exceeded. The training provided has been 2 days a delivery captain (accompanied us on the 130 mile trip), two electronics and systems technicians today for half a day, and Cummins tech scheduled for 21 September for that training. The dealer (Viage Group, Sarasota) have been amazing all along the way and they gave me a very good deal on the boat. Justin at Beneteau has been informative all along the way as well, always accessible, and responsive. For us we picked the right boat. My only mistake was buying a 15 hp Yamaha 4-stroke for my tender, it runs fine but I am used to running Evinrude ETEC motors (much smoother, quieter and more powerful). The Yamaha 15 is a real vibrator, but as I said it runs ok and the 15 hp ETEC is too heavy (it is a detuned 25 hp). Someone told me a Tohatsu is smoother (aka, Mercury, Evinrude portables). Now I would believe that! The AB boat however is outstanding!

After our first year on the boat I will report problems and how they were resolved.

Regards, Joebad
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:39 PM   #82
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Now I have been on my new boat (Beneteau ST34) for 1 week, and I have been trained for the most part. First my overall impression of the boat is very positive. I have one small light bulb out, the only flaw in the boat (a reading light in the bedroom, busted filament, 50 cent bulb). The boat is very well thought out. An overabundance of storage space is noted, I was astounded by the storage. The lazarette is huge! The Onan generator is silent (can't even hear it start, have to check out back to see if it is running). The Cummins 6.7 is silent at idle and very quiet in and outside the cabin at full throttle. At idle you can barely hear it looking overboard directly at the exhaust and zero smoke! We went from St. Pete to Ft. Myers (130 miles or so) in 7.5 hours mostly at 17-18 knots through 3.5 footers. Storms were closing in abaft and we just avoided them all day, it was almost comical but they were always about 1-2 miles on our stern after we went through. We had to kick it up to 18 during the last 2 hours to stay ahead of them.

As for the seacocks, they are all bronze. I saw nothing wrong with chrome plated bronze for saltwater service as some had said they would be, but none of those are on this boat. I am elated to have bronze seacocks on this boat. All of the valves are ball valves and they all work very nicely. There are no NPT to NPS connections, nothing at all like that. As for the creaky and soft decks noted in past coms, I now know the facts. The floors throughout the Beneteau are floating floors. All of them can be lifted up and they sit on fiberglass flooring underneath, end grain balsa cored. Stiff beyond compare. Yes, the floating floors might creak if you step from one to another, but I haven't noticed that. All of the workmanship (fit and finish), latches, wipers, ice maker, AC units, windshield washers, strainers, raw water washdown, doors, hatches, ports, etc. work to perfection. The electronics are Raymarine's latest and again I am impressed, especially with the interface between the NAV gear, the AIS, the stereo, televisions, and speaker systems. My tender is an AB9.5 which fits nicely facing backwards. No problem hoisting it in or out of the drink, even though it weighs 300 pounds. I am finding all of the fittments to be of first quality, Raycor, Lewmar, huge cleats, stainless chafing rails, very stout rails around the boat, seat cushions, furniture, faucets, cooking gear (stove and oven), toilet, pumps, sound system, spotlight, backup camera, door latches, etc. The sides of the hull are very thick, someone had mentioned thin hulls; not on these boats. Light because of the end grain balsa core blocks, but not thin or flimsy by any measure. The boat came with 50' shorepower cords (two), 50' water hose, 50' cable, and is prewired for satellite and cable dish, etc.

So far my first impression is that my expectations have been exceeded. The training provided has been 2 days a delivery captain (accompanied us on the 130 mile trip), two electronics and systems technicians today for half a day, and Cummins tech scheduled for 21 September for that training. The dealer (Viage Group, Sarasota) have been amazing all along the way and they gave me a very good deal on the boat. Justin at Beneteau has been informative all along the way as well, always accessible, and responsive. For us we picked the right boat. My only mistake was buying a 15 hp Yamaha 4-stroke for my tender, it runs fine but I am used to running Evinrude ETEC motors (much smoother, quieter and more powerful). The Yamaha 15 is a real vibrator, but as I said it runs ok and the 15 hp ETEC is too heavy (it is a detuned 25 hp). Someone told me a Tohatsu is smoother (aka, Mercury, Evinrude portables). Now I would believe that! The AB boat however is outstanding!

After our first year on the boat I will report problems and how they were resolved.

Regards, Joebad
And that's the way a delivery and shakedown cruise should go. We've had quality starts like that. So many people discourage buying new, saying all the problems you'll have and many new boat purchasers of some brands find themselves with issues at the time of delivery.

But this was done right and you're getting proper training on your boat. A new boat should be just like yours has been. I applaud Viage to this point and hope it continues.

As to the boat, the design and concept certainly hit a market looking for something like it. The delivery, the quality of the product is then the next question and I hope yours meets every expectation.

Did you use both helms?

Congratulations on your boat and happy experience. Something tells me you will continue to have good experiences on your new boat.
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:47 PM   #83
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I used the main helm mostly because it was stifling hot and the gulf was rough. However i didbmove to the bridge and lived it up there. I hope this winter most of my miles will be from the flybridge helm. It is so easy to switch depending on weather but the lower helm is very comfortable and easy to use. Visibility from both helms is exceptional.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:27 PM   #84
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As for the seacocks, they are all bronze. I saw nothing wrong with chrome plated bronze for saltwater service as some had said they would be

Regards, Joebad
How do you know they are bronze under the "chrome" (it's actually nickel).Please direct me to a manufacturer who chrome plates bronze ball valves (which are not seacocks) I don't think you'll find one. I suggest you research the markings on the valve .... you'll be surprised.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:32 PM   #85
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Joe,
Great review! Thanks for taking the time.

What other boats have you owned / operated?

Also, the max load on our tender crane is 120kg, which equates to 264 lbs. With your tender weighing 300 lbs. you could be over the limit. Just asking.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:43 PM   #86
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I've had a dozen boats, but nothing large, a 23' Sea Sprite Escapade cuddy cabin (good fresh water boat, deep prow), a 26' Donzi family cruiser-255 LXC (great boat rigged for saltwater, we did a lot of SW Florida-Tortugas excursions on that one), A Ranger Fish and Ski with ETEC 150 (most awesome boat of them all), and a number of deck, fish and ski, and fishing boats of aluminum construction over the years. Have piloted many houseboats to 90', Cruisers up to 35', etc. This is my first trawler and first diesel powered boat.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:46 PM   #87
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I saw them in some European boat seacock photos, about all of the bronze valve balls are chrome plated bronze, and some of the Euro valves were at least in the past chrome plated. Someone in one post talked about them. I had chrome plated bronze fittings on my Donzi; all through hull and above water fittings were made this way for the Donzi. There wasn't a plastic fitting on that boat. My through hull valves were bronze on the Donzi. That's all I know. If you want to find a manufacturer of chrome plated bronze valves I suggest you hit google and search. I'm not interested in them.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:54 PM   #88
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I saw them in some European boat seacock photos, about all of the bronze valve balls are chrome plated bronze, and some of the Euro valves were at least in the past chrome plated. Someone in one post talked about them. I had chrome plated bronze fittings on my Donzi; all through hull and above water fittings were made this way for the Donzi. There wasn't a plastic fitting on that boat. My through hull valves were bronze on the Donzi. That's all I know. If you want to find a manufacturer of chrome plated bronze valves I suggest you hit google and search. I'm not interested in them.
So show us a photo of the markings on your ball valves (not seacocks).
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:39 PM   #89
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Of course they exist. Sigma Aldrich makes 1/4 turn chrome plated bronze ball valves as do other valve manufacturers. If you want some I can put you in touch with Flo-Source in Mooresville, Indiana.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:41 PM   #90
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Of course they exist. Sigma Aldrich makes 1/4 turn chrome plated bronze ball valves as do other valve manufacturers. If you want some I can put you in touch with Flo-Source in Mooresville, Indiana.
So again ... show a photo of the markings on your ball valves (which are not seacocks) on throughulls without backing plates.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:57 PM   #91
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[QUOTE=boatpoker;365596]

Let up people. He's got a boat he loves. He's comfortable that it's well built and that the ball valves are fine. Let's not try to pick it apart or push him further on that subject.

He's tried to close the subject and yet he's been ordered, not once, but twice, to take a photo and show his valves.

I'm very happy for him with his boat and happy he's pleased with the quality.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:59 PM   #92
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I'm glad he's happy with his boat but neither Beneteau nor any other mass producer makes a perfect product. Hiding from serious defects like these ball valves benefits no one. The photo below shows a typical Beneteau throughull/ball valve combination. The clamps are of two different metals (galvanic corrosion), there is no backing plate, the throughull is NPS and the nickel plated brass ball valve is NPT and the throughull nut is an unidentified plated metal. Failing to face issues like these may catch up with you someday. I believe it is the interest of all owners to be aware of this issue, particularly if the boat is in salt water.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:41 PM   #93
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Would that through hull and ball valve meet ABYC standards?
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:05 PM   #94
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Would that through hull and ball valve meet ABYC standards?
- I doubt very much that it would pass the the ABYC static load test.
- ABYC requires NPS to NPS and NPT to NPT.
- ABYC also requires bonding to meet their standard (no Beneteau I have ever seen has bonded throughulls).
- ABYC also requires "seacocks" to meet UL1121. I don't believe brass can pass the strength or resistance to corrosion required by that standard.

ABYC makes to mention of galvanic incompatibility of throughulls and ball valves or dezincification of brass fixtures (other than the UL requirement)...... a significant ommission in my opinion.
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:06 AM   #95
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As a former owner of a Beneteau 411 sailboat, I can attest to their poor choice in underwater metals...at least during the circa 1998 boats. However, it was the throughhull fittings that degraded due to dezincification on my boat, not the ball valves. There was a thread circulating on the Beneteau forum years back regarding the poor metallurgy of these fittings and several documented failures. The last haulout I did on my boat before I sold it (2006), I replaced all 11 thruhulls and valves. I had three of the thruhulls snap off when the first pressure was applied to unscrew the valves! I'd call that "just in time" maintenance practices! The ball valves I removed didn't show any sign of dezincification...however, I can't attest to their metallurgy.

Hopefully, Beneteau has changed their thruhull supplier since those days. Otherwise, I was very well pleased with the boat's design, construction, performance and value.
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:17 AM   #96
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Thanks for the info.
Can't wait to get to boat and look into this. I expect that by 2012 they've taken remedial action!
They state it complies with ABYC standards.
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:41 AM   #97
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Thanks for the info.
Can't wait to get to boat and look into this. I expect that by 2012 they've taken remedial action!
They state it complies with ABYC standards.

I suspect they have corrected this by now...the parent company was aware of the earlier problems.

Enjoy your boat!!!, and don't get wrapped around the prop shaft with every little thing that can possibly go wrong with a boat....just keep doing your due diligence and regular maintenance with a questioning attitude and you will not be surprised by most problems. All boats are like my wife tells me about husbands...we all have our warts! I suspect if I could justify owning a Fleming, I could probably find something on it that this old nuclear tech would have designed better!
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:47 PM   #98
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As the original poster of this thread, we wanted to give everyone an update. We just closed on a 2002 Mainship 390. The Beneteau Swift 34 is a wonderful boat but bottom line, at 1/3 the purchase cost, we feel we made a good decision for a larger boat nicely equipped. Thanks for the many suggestions made throughout the email responses.

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Old 11-09-2015, 10:21 AM   #99
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As the original poster of this thread, we wanted to give everyone an update. We just closed on a 2002 Mainship 390. The Beneteau Swift 34 is a wonderful boat but bottom line, at 1/3 the purchase cost, we feel we made a good decision for a larger boat nicely equipped. Thanks for the many suggestions made throughout the email responses.

SloopG
Good luck w the "new" Mainship
We considered Beneteau 34 and Sabre \ Back Bay before purchasing our Mainship 34. While there are always + & - we still feel the MS was OUR best choice.

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Old 03-11-2016, 03:59 PM   #100
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I have recently joined this forum, and in reading the posts on the Swift Trawler 34, I am amazed at the "expert" opinions and advice on this boat from boaters who don't own one, and in many cases, haven't spent much time on one! I bought my ST34 in 2011, after 35 years of owning sailboats (a Camper-Nicholson and two Amels). I am very happy with it as a capable coastal cruiser, and have cruised from Mass. to Key Biscayne and back, including several offshore jaunts (rather than ICW). In 4 years, no problems of any kind, no maintenance issues (I do all my own), and we constantly get compliments on her look. Would be happy to provide input to any prospective owners.
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