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Old 02-22-2019, 03:45 PM   #1
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ST 50 Purchase

Our few days at the Miami Boat Show exhausted us, but we did see some amazing boats. The Beneteau had a very strong presence on the docks and displayed several Swift Trawlers including the ST 50. Its been on our radar for a while now and after walking through a couple times, it ticks off a lot of boxes for our needs.

We also had an unexpected chance to talk with a President of Beneteau Group (Jean-Paul Chapleau) while sitting in the comfortably spacious saloon of the ST50. We had great conversation hitting topics like stabilization, interior stylings, Volvo IPS performance and warrenty, long range capabilities and overall construction. It's not often buyers have an opportunity to ask executives about their products, we did and Mr. Chapleau knows the product well.

Now, with all that, I'm sure there are a few ST50 owners out there and I would love to hear from you of your experience with this trawler. Please tell me of your experience with the purchase, warrenty, survey, haul out, quality, operation and anything else a prospective buyer should know.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:13 AM   #2
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Great opportunity to ask questions!
I recently investigated an older ST42 for sale here. I`d be asking, is the ST 50 hull balsa cored below the waterline? If so, how is the core protected at the openings for the thru hull fittings?
IPS, and Volvo, both have their supporters and detractors. I`m sure others will help you on those aspects.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:32 AM   #3
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A friend of mine was crewing on a delivery of a ST with the Volvo IPS drives from Maine to Florida. They had to put off the trip two times due to IPS failures. Then the made it to Annapolis before the IPS broke down again for 3 week repair, waiting on parts mostly. Then they made it to SC before the IPS broke again. They returned home while it sat waiting for parts. The last try they made it to northern Florida before it broke and the owner gave up on the trip... Personally while the IPS is a great idea, I would never own one. I had a boat with Volvos and never again due to parts availability and cost.
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:58 AM   #4
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As Comodave says, the first hurdle to cross is the use, or not, of IPS. Doesn't matter which boat. That is the question.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:44 PM   #5
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You all have me a bit concerned about the Volvo IPS Drive systems. Do you have personal experiance with them or is this a general feeling? The IPS systems are being installed in a ton of boats from manufacturers around the world. If there was a big problem with them, I'm not sure the boat manufacturers would be using them as widely. Is it because it's fairly new technology that needs to be tested buy time, or because of the additional maintenance required of them? What about the 5 year warrenty?
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:09 PM   #6
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IPS is no longer considered new technology. It is just a different drive system with +s and -s. Cruising in the WA and BC waters presents an interesting challenge for IPS systems due to debris. IF you are going to be cruising around Seattle you should have good service there. Once headed North, questionable.


You may want to talk to few large yards that do a lot of bottom end work as to their thoughts. Also, peruse boat diesel archives. A large marine insurer may offer some first hand information as well. Warranty you ask? That is gone for the next owner.

A different question, how fast do you want to cruise say 80% of the time? The efficiency gains of IPS seem best shown on planing vessels.


Lastly, one of the pioneer IPS builders in the region is Coastal Craft. Have you looked at their boats? Worth an hour or two IMHO. And the real service/builder capability is in your back yard, not France.
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:43 PM   #7
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Pod drives on boats are definitely more reliable than the first gen when they hit the recreational boat market about 10 years ago. Their main focus was directed at people who could write a large check for a sportfisher, express cruiser, etc, but didn’t have the past boating experience or willingness to start with a smaller boat first. They needed a 40 to 50 ft. boat, now. The salesman can then claim the boat is like a video game and even their 12 year old kid can dock it after 3 weeks. Not true, on a lot of levels. Larger boats require previous time at the helm to operate, but that is another thread.

A prop on a shaft is the way to go IMO. With that said, there are people that do like Volvo’s and pod drives. If you really like the boat and the layout, it may work for you. Either way, plan on annual haul outs and a larger budget to take care of the drives.

Also, Check out some of the boat forums where these are used and see what other owners say. It will take time to really comb through there to get the full picture.
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
A friend of mine was crewing on a delivery of a ST with the Volvo IPS drives from Maine to Florida. They had to put off the trip two times due to IPS failures. Then the made it to Annapolis before the IPS broke down again for 3 week repair, waiting on parts mostly. Then they made it to SC before the IPS broke again. They returned home while it sat waiting for parts. The last try they made it to northern Florida before it broke and the owner gave up on the trip... Personally while the IPS is a great idea, I would never own one. I had a boat with Volvos and never again due to parts availability and cost.
when was this? any idea what generation / year the engines/IPS was?

i know first gen had some issues but from what ive heard kinks are worked out on newer? i dont know what year serves as the cut-off

if this was recent and on a newer boat then you have me worried!

most of the 'next' boats i am looking at that i would potentially move up to are IPS/pods ...

thanks!
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:36 PM   #9
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This was last fall that they were delivering the boat. Donít know what year the boat is but I think it is fairly new. One of the problems was that they had to have a certified Volvo technician bring out a computer and hook it up to read the fault codes. Then they had to order parts and I think even people that like Volvo will tell you parts take a while to come in. They flew out of Michigan 4 times to pick up where they left off. Finally the owner told the dealer it was his problem to get the boat to Tampa. The engines were still under warranty so they must not have been too old.
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
This was last fall that they were delivering the boat. Donít know what year the boat is but I think it is fairly new. One of the problems was that they had to have a certified Volvo technician bring out a computer and hook it up to read the fault codes. Then they had to order parts and I think even people that like Volvo will tell you parts take a while to come in. They flew out of Michigan 4 times to pick up where they left off. Finally the owner told the dealer it was his problem to get the boat to Tampa. The engines were still under warranty so they must not have been too old.
Shit thats not good to hear
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Old 02-25-2019, 03:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post

A different question, how fast do you want to cruise say 80% of the time? The efficiency gains of IPS seem best shown on planing vessels.


Lastly, one of the pioneer IPS builders in the region is Coastal Craft. Have you looked at their boats? Worth an hour or two IMHO. And the real service/builder capability is in your back yard, not France.
Our intended cruising would be slow go for the most part. Do like the opportunity to bring it up a to a faster cruise if needed for lo fer crossings or weather situations.

We have not looked at Coastal Craft yet. But seems I should at least consider this builder. I'm not set on the IPS systems and will welcome shaft drive with thrusters.

Do you have any experiance with North Pacific Trawlers? How about Northwest Yachts?
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Old 02-25-2019, 03:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fletcher500 View Post
Pod drives on boats are definitely more reliable than the first gen when they hit the recreational boat market about 10 years ago. Their main focus was directed at people who could write a large check for a sportfisher, express cruiser, etc, but didnít have the past boating experience or willingness to start with a smaller boat first. They needed a 40 to 50 ft. boat, now. The salesman can then claim the boat is like a video game and even their 12 year old kid can dock it after 3 weeks. Not true, on a lot of levels. Larger boats require previous time at the helm to operate, but that is another thread.

A prop on a shaft is the way to go IMO. With that said, there are people that do like Volvoís and pod drives. If you really like the boat and the layout, it may work for you. Either way, plan on annual haul outs and a larger budget to take care of the drives.

Also, Check out some of the boat forums where these are used and see what other owners say. It will take time to really comb through there to get the full picture.
Thanks for your feedback. I believe I would prefer a shaft driven vessel with proper thrusters.
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Old 02-25-2019, 03:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GaryQ View Post
Our intended cruising would be slow go for the most part. Do like the opportunity to bring it up a to a faster cruise if needed for lo fer crossings or weather situations.

We have not looked at Coastal Craft yet. But seems I should at least consider this builder. I'm not set on the IPS systems and will welcome shaft drive with thrusters.

Do you have any experiance with North Pacific Trawlers? How about Northwest Yachts?
You do not even need thrusters with twin screw diesel straight shaft. At least my ST44 can turn an maneuver extremely well. I do have a stern and bow thruster and rarely use
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