Beneteau can trace its boatbuilding roots back to France in 1884 and became a major player in the fiberglass boat market in the 1960s.
Although the company still has its headquarters in France, today, they are the world’s biggest manufacturer of motor and sailboats.
The company produces more than 10,000 hulls a year, ranging in size from 14 to 62 feet.
Beneteau is trusted by thousands of boaters and sailors worldwide, and over the years, Beneteau boats have proven to retain their value better than any other brand of boats on the water.
Here’s How Reliable Beneteau Boats Are:
Beneteau has been manufacturing for over 130 years, concentrating on fiberglass boats since the 1960s. Beneteau boats are considered well-made. Their mass-produced boats have the buying power to offer quality at lower prices and a skilled in-house workforce to improve their designs.
How Long Do Beneteau Boats Last?
How long Beneteau boats last is a complex question and will come down to which type of boat (motor or sail), where and how the boat is used, and how well maintained the boat is kept.
However, there is no reason why a well-maintained Beneteau should not last 50 years or more.
A quick search for older Beneteau boats on the internet came up with sailing vessels for sale that they built in the 1970s, especially the Evasion 28, which was one of Beneteau’s first successful models.
Interestingly, despite the Antares motorboat range being brought out about the same time, the oldest Antares boat found was from 1991. This could be down to several reasons; namely, not so many were built as Beneteau was more famous for its sailing vessel designs.
How long a Beneteau boat will last is the same as any other brand of boat – how well a boat is maintained. As the boat ages, systems will get old, and they will need to be repaired or replaced.
However, regular maintenance and cleaning can make a yacht last longer, and, particularly on a boat, prevention is better than cure.
Are Beneteau Boats More Reliable Than Similar Brands?
Beneteau is generally considered to be a mid-tier boat despite offering high-end models. Other similar brands include Bavaria, Catalina, Dehler, Dufour, Hunter, and many more.
They have always been considered leading innovators of boat design and building techniques. No other boat builder is considered as efficient as Beneteau.
In addition, Beneteau works with some of the world’s top yacht designers and, with their prototypes, has competed in some of the toughest yacht races in the world.
The knowledge learned from these races (including the Admiral’s Cup) and how these prototypes have performed been carried over to their production boats enabling Beneteau to provide their customers with competitive and extremely reliable boats.
Plus, what about the Beneteau warranty compared to other brands?
Beneteau offers a three-year warranty on all parts and a seven-year structure and hull warranty, which is transferable to a second owner. Compare this to the warranty offered by Dufour, a contractual warranty of two years from the date of receipt of the boat.
Note: Please ensure you read the small print and follow all instructions to keep any warranties valid.
How Much Maintenance Is There On Beneteau Boats?
Regular maintenance on a boat is essential for crew and personal safety and the long life of your boat, and Beneteau is no exception!
The following are the basic maintenance tips for any boat (including Beneteau):
Maintain Your Boat’s Hull:
You will need to regularly clean and polish your boat’s hull to protect it from sun damage and inspect it for any other types of damage.
If your boat is not trailered and sits in the water, you will need to clean off any growth like barnacles or seaweed, which can impact your boat’s performance.
Regular painting and anti-fouling will need to be applied to protect and maintain your boat’s hull, but follow the manufacturer’s advice.
Maintain & Service Your Boat’s Engine:
Nothing is more frustrating or frightening than turning your boat engine’s key, and nothing happens.
You may need to rely on your boat’s engine in a difficult situation, and it could save your life (and that of your boat).
Make sure you change the oil and filters regularly (normally every 50 hours) and have it serviced professionally at least once per year or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Clean & Check Your Batteries:
If you rely on a battery to start your boat’s engine or need lights or engine controls after dark, then make sure you are on top of your battery maintenance.
Keep the contacts free from corrosion and monitor battery voltage levels. Different batteries will need different types of maintenance, so make sure you read the manuals.
Maintain & Check The Rigging:
You should regularly check the running rigging on a sailboat for any signs of wear and tear, including chafing.
You can visually inspect the standing rigging from the deck; however, if you do a lot of sailing and especially racing.
You will need to have a rigging expert check from the top down.
Regularly Inspect Your Sails:
There are different types of sails for the different types of sailing, but looking after your sails is the best way to prolong their lifespan.
Try to tension or trim them correctly, so they are not flapping in the wind or are too tight. Wash your sails if it’s possible.
Inspect them for any tears or stitching coming loose and have them repaired as soon as possible.
What Are The First Things That Break On These Boats?
With more than 130 years of boatbuilding experience behind them, it would be surprising to find a ‘first thing to break’ on these boats.
In addition, Beneteau’s are used in charter fleets worldwide, so they must be pretty robust and easy to sail to stand the test of this challenging market.
However, that’s not to say that things don’t break.
Yet, having gone through various sailing and cruising forums, we could find no common thread about the first thing to break on a Beneteau.
Instead, here are a few most common issues that these boats face:
What Are The Most Common Problems With Beneteau Boats?
Beneteau Boats are built to a high standard using quality materials, fixtures, and fittings, but will always find problems with boats no matter the brand.
Nevertheless, the quality control of the newer Beneteaus seems to be up to standard, and there are very few complaints about their new boats.
If you delve a bit into the older boats, there are a few common problems to look out for:
Fibreglass Hull Delamination:
This is a common problem on many older boats, not just Beneteau boats. Beneteau uses a hull sandwich lay-up which uses layers of fiberglass and laminate.
Over time, exposure to the elements, including sea, wind, and sun, can cause these layers to separate or delaminate.
Boaters can easily repair small patches of delamination, but if not caught in time, it can be a complicated and costly repair.
Weak Or Soft Deck Patches:
Beneteau, just like many other brands, uses a cored deck for its lightness and strength.
However, if water seeps into this cored deck, it can cause the inner core to rot, resulting in weak or soft spots on the deck. Water getting into the core can be caused by cracks in the gel coat or the wearing of the caulking on the through-hull fittings.
If caught early enough, you can easily repair these soft spots.
However, if left unattended, a soft deck patch can result in deck failure as there is so much pressure from the deck and rigging fittings, or you could fall through the deck where you are normally supposed to walk!
Metal corrosion is a common problem on any boat, not just on a Beneteau; this is particularly true on older boats.
Any metal, even stainless steel, can corrode when water, sun, and oxygen are exposed.
However, you can reduce the chances of metal corrosion by polishing any metal components regularly, keeping them out of the sun when not in use, and regularly inspecting any metal components below the waterline.
If you are looking for a new or second-hand Beneteau, there is a great variety of boats to choose from.
So unless you are against Beneteau per se, you should find a Beneteau that ticks most of your boxes. Plus, looking at the different boating and cruising forms, there are many thousands of happy Beneteau owners out there.
Due to the longevity and reputation of the brand, if you are looking for a good price/quality boat, you can’t go wrong with a Beneteau.