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Old 02-13-2020, 08:36 AM   #1
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Beneteau Swift Trawler Quality

We are considering a 2005 Beneteau ST 42 with twin Yanmar 370’s. Like all boats, there are a number of trade offs to be considered. My main concern, however, is that I’ve heard several people say “Beneteau has quality issues”. However they are never able to tell me what they are. They’ve just “heard it.” Does anyone OWN or have FIRST HAND knowledge of these boats? How would YOU rate the quality? Thanks, Bill.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:05 AM   #2
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My take on the question? TF tends to be a congenial and comfortable site to hang out and lightly discuss recreational marine things. Calling out another's boat based upon dock talk or third hand information is not always politically correct for this site.

But, jumping all over their anchor or instruments is OK. Just leave their boat brand alone. Remembering of course that the best of boats can be hammered down by an uncaring owner.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:37 AM   #3
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My take on the question? TF tends to be a congenial and comfortable site to hang out and lightly discuss recreational marine things. Calling out another's boat based upon dock talk or third hand information is not always politically correct for this site.

But, jumping all over their anchor or instruments is OK. Just leave their boat brand alone. Remembering of course that the best of boats can be hammered down by an uncaring owner.
I am confused by this: should you not ask for information about a prospective purchase or should you not respond to those who do? Or both? And why, beyond political correctness?
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:38 AM   #4
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I appreciate the feedback. I'm really not trying to hammer Beneteau. Frankly, I really love the ST. However, I'm nervous given the dock talk I've heard. I find that often it is ungrounded, which is why I'm hoping a Beneteau owner or someone who has had first hand experience can tell me what, if any, their issues are/were. What I'd like to know is "what should we be very careful to check in a survey" because it's a known problem (like water intrusion in a Mainship flybridge is a pretty common problem).
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SMLBill View Post
I appreciate the feedback. I'm really not trying to hammer Beneteau. Frankly, I really love the ST. However, I'm nervous given the dock talk I've heard. I find that often it is ungrounded, which is why I'm hoping a Beneteau owner or someone who has had first hand experience can tell me what, if any, their issues are/were. What I'd like to know is "what should we be very careful to check in a survey" because it's a known problem (like water intrusion in a Mainship flybridge is a pretty common problem).
I think it would have been better had you just come and asked the question and not referenced the dock talk.

Dock talk says Bayliner is trash. Users are overwhelmingly happy with their Bayliner cruisers.

Beneteau has it's issues but many happy owners. It's popular to malign Sea Ray but they're the largest selling boat over the last 20 years.

I would suggest a search of this site as we have many ST owners and they've documented well the issues they have had. You will also find those same owners still like the boats in spite of the issues. I'd check carefully what year their boat is as well as 2005 does represent the early years. That means likely more issues, but it also means on a well maintained boat the problems may have been addressed by previous owners.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:19 PM   #6
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We love our ST44.
The quality is good and she is a fine boat.
We have had major issues with the quality of the shafts and props though! See my post on this. Whoever makes these items for Beneteau needs to have their contract terminated.
Beneteau also gave us very poor service regarding this issue.
Other issues have been few and minor - fixed by a replacement part.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:50 PM   #7
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I think it would have been better had you just come and asked the question and not referenced the dock talk.

Dock talk says Bayliner is trash. Users are overwhelmingly happy with their Bayliner cruisers.

Beneteau has it's issues but many happy owners. It's popular to malign Sea Ray but they're the largest selling boat over the last 20 years.

I would suggest a search of this site as we have many ST owners and they've documented well the issues they have had. You will also find those same owners still like the boats in spite of the issues. I'd check carefully what year their boat is as well as 2005 does represent the early years. That means likely more issues, but it also means on a well maintained boat the problems may have been addressed by previous owners.

It is interesting you should say that, it wasn’t until I walked around the docks in the PNW and BC that I learned that Bayliner made a pretty well regarded boat. I owned a small outboard Bayliner as a first boat and was not impressed n opinion reinforced by discussions at the launch ramp. But talking to owners of the bigger Bayliners and others along the docks changed my mind.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:17 PM   #8
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Help! I only mentioned “dock talk” in response to a reply that used the same term. I never mentioned Bayliner or any other boat. My request is to OWNERS, current or prior, of Beneteau Swift Trawler 42’s, or to individuals with DIRECT, PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE of those boats. Please, don’t hijack the thread with digressions into irrelevant topics. I want to know what I should be certain to check out (like the very relevant comment made about spongy decks). Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:21 PM   #9
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It is interesting you should say that, it wasn’t until I walked around the docks in the PNW and BC that I learned that Bayliner made a pretty well regarded boat. I owned a small outboard Bayliner as a first boat and was not impressed n opinion reinforced by discussions at the launch ramp. But talking to owners of the bigger Bayliners and others along the docks changed my mind.
I remember once when I was a kid listening to a guy at the marina who was trying to decide what brand boat to buy. He said he was told Bayliner was nothing but a piece of junk. I asked who told him that. It was the salesman at the Sea Ray dealership. Duh.

We need another Bayliner. Why do I say that? Bayliner may have saved the industry. When they started they made a lot of boats affordable to people who otherwise couldn't have gotten into boating. Today, outboards are doing that a bit. And Beneteau has done much of the same for those who couldn't afford the other boats of that size on the market. But then is that really so different from their sailboats? Often maligned by those owning more expensive sailboats, but opening sailing up to so many people.

While not a customer or potential customer, I'm extremely happy Beneteau introduced the Swift Trawler and I'm glad they've now introduced the Antares. They've done more than any other builder today in making various types of boats affordable to more people. Brunswick stopped Bayliner from doing so in the cruiser market. Now Sea Ray is pulling back with their largest boat 35'. Glastron (now owned by Beneteau) has always been one of my favorites simply because they still offer an 18' with motor and trailer for just over $25,000, but Bayliner has a 16' Bowrider with a 60 hp motor for $17,000.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SMLBill View Post
Help! I only mentioned “dock talk” in response to a reply that used the same term. I never mentioned Bayliner or any other boat. My request is to OWNERS, current or prior, of Beneteau Swift Trawler 42’s, or to individuals with DIRECT, PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE of those boats. Please, don’t hijack the thread with digressions into irrelevant topics. I want to know what I should be certain to check out (like the very relevant comment made about spongy decks). Thanks!
I'd suggest you play with the search function here or use the google site search. You'll find dozens of threads on ST's, started by ST owners.

I will toss one other thing out and that is you will see where owners have had trouble with warranty services. Follow carefully though and you'll see the issues have almost always been with dealers, not with Beneteau. Some are even former dealers now. It's much like Sea Ray owners having trouble with Marine Max service. The distinction is important to note.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:59 PM   #11
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We have a 5 yo ST44 with 750 hrs. One must remember we all bought a production boat and not a custom yacht. We have had a few minor issues but when weighed against the enjoyment we get - we just take it in stride. As previously noted, all production boats have issues.
As a side note, 8 years ago we saw a ST42 and said that we wanted that boat but bought an ST34 and then shortly moved up to the ST44.
Sea keeping quality is perfect for us and we always travel just the captain and me and only once off of Barneget Inlet did we decide to tuck in and wait for a calmer day. Fuel economy is excellent- just about 1 gal per mile even at 22 mph.
f we were to move up, I would take a hard look at the ST50
Good Luck
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