Trying to compare Jeanneau 54DS & Beneteau 57

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by zamibc, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. zamibc
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Israel

    zamibc Junior Member

    Hi All

    I am a new member of this forum, I am a commercial skipper, own a Jeanneau Sun Odessy 40, and a Catalina 22. I reside in Israel, and I am Economist & Urban Planner (UCLA).

    I am starting to "Dive" into this huge field of yachts charactheristics and design.

    I am familiar with all the common ratios, but still find it very difficult when coming to eveluate 2 design and 2 yachts.

    The major "players" in Israel market are:
    Beneteau, Jeanneay, Hunter, Duffur, Bavaria, & 4 new Hanse in the last 4 years, (I am interested only in sailing yachts), they account for 95% of all new sales.

    What I am trying to acomplish is a method to evaluate the design, construction, sailing ability, etc. of the yachts menthioned above.

    How do I go about doing it?

    Can anyone help with specific comments abouy the different yachts?
    A systematic way for evaluation?

    The case on habd is a client who is considering the J54DS and the B57, who one make a choice? (that is not the outcome of "love" for The boat?)

    I appriciate any guidance and help on that subject


    zami ben-Chorin
  2. Karsten
    Joined: Jun 2004
    Posts: 184
    Likes: 8, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 33
    Location: Sydney

    Karsten Senior Member

    O.K. I'm going to be in trouble after this...

    The boats you mentioned are all made for the mass market as cheaply as possible. Remember - most people can't sail but manufacturers still try to sell boats to them. They all float reasonably well and go well under motor. They are mostly located in the marina and if they are taken out you can fit quite a lot of people and beer on them.

    It depends what you want to do with them. If you want to fit as many tourists as possible on them go for the bigges and cheapest with the most bunks. If you want to go sailing with a smaler crew buy something smaler with less bunks for the same price from manufacturers not mentioned above. If you want performance look at the sail area to displacement ratio. I think the "First" line is quite good in this regard.

    These boats are quite good for charter operations or beginners. If you are more experienced you will find the quality and performance of other yachts much better but they also cost more.

  3. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 2,303
    Likes: 185, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2281
    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    Comparing Sailing Yachts
    Numerical comparison

    First you can compare physical dimensions; length overall (LOA), length waterline (LWL), beam (B), and draft (D). Length overall is a general indicator of the size of any vessel, being that boats are roughly 1/3 their length wide, and roughly half the beam deep.

    A good measure of the actual size of a given vessel is to multiply length * beam* depth (deck to top of keel). This is a cubic number giving a rough indication of the actual size of a vessel. Length should be (LOA + LWL)/2. I’ll guess at a depth of 7.5’ for both boats.

    The B57 is 53.5*16.33*7.5 = 6552.
    The J54 is 50.62*15.92*7.5 = 6044. About 8% smaller.

    Waterline length tells you about how much internal volume is available, as overhangs beyond the waterline offer little useable space. Waterline also indicates speed potential, displacement speed being roughly equal to 1.34 * (square root of LWL). The ratio of LOA/LWL tells you a little about the intensions of the design. A long waterline in comparison to LOA means a more modern style design, but also probably means higher wetter surface, which is slower in drifting conditions. Which is why most modern cruising boats are under power in less than 5 knots of wind. But the longer waterline reduces wave making and so reduces resistance at higher speeds.

    Beam to length ratio tells you about stability and comfort, both at the dock and underway. The wider boat is more stable at low heel angles, the wider boat is roomier inside, and the wider boat has a quicker motion in a seaway. The narrower boat has less stability at low heel angles, but better ultimate stability, the narrower boat has less interior space (especially visually), and the narrower boat has a more gentle motion offshore. Since sinkage is proportional to waterplane area, the wider boat (with a larger waterplane) will be a better load carrier.

    LWL/D ratio can give some indication of the performance potential of a given design. Given equal amounts of ballast, a deeper keel may mean better stability and pointing ability, but it will also mean potential structural worries and practical problems.

    Displacement is difficult to use because the published figures are notoriously inaccurate. You really have no idea if any equipment, liquids, stores, crew, etc. are included, and if so, how much. But displacement is a key factor in any comparison of boats. Displacement/Length ratio, or D/L, gives you an indication of how heavy the boat is for her length. Generally the higher D/L means slower motion and less change in performance with loading. Lower D/L numbers are associated with quicker motion and higher performance.

    D/L = (disp/2240) / (.01 * LWL) ^3
    Sail Area/Displacement is the next useful ratio, as it gives some indication of the horsepower to weight ratio that you are dealing with. Higher SA/D ratios, say 18, mean better performance in light air, but more attention to reefing early. Lower numbers, 15-16, mean a more forgiving sailplan, but require larger light air sails, which increase handling problems, or use of the engine. Sail Area/Displacement is usually calculated using 100% of the fore triangle. ((I * J)/2)

    SA/D = SA/(disp^2/3)

    Capsize Risk is another easily available ratio that can be used to compare different boats. It is not perfect, only an indicator, it assumes lighter displacement boats are easier to capsize and wider hulls are more resistant to quick righting. See above where I mentioned higher ultimate stability for narrower hulls. A C/R number less than 2.0 is desirable for offshore cruising, lower is better.

    C/R = B / ((disp^1/3) /64)

    The seagoing comfort of a particular vessel will lie in her motion, how fast she will roll or pitch. Fast is uncomfortable, slower is better. Motion is dependent on weight and waterplane area. Designer Ted Brewer distilled these factors into a motion comfort ratio, The numbers, essentially weight divided by the size of the boat, range from 5.4 for a Lighting (not very comfortable) to Nina, a 59’ schooner at 74 (very comfortable). A good medium would be Finisterre at about 45. The Colin Archer Rescue Ship is about 66, an indication of good comfort in a seaway. Modern racers are at less than 30.

    CF = disp/ .65 * [(.7 * LWL) + (.3 * LOA)] * (B^1.33)

    These easily obtainable numbers are some factors to use in numerical comparisons. If you have access to a lines drawing or employ a naval architect, further numerical analysis would be possible.

    As always, I welcome comments or correction.

  4. asathor
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 154
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Minnesota

    asathor Senior Member

    Used boat

    I have been looking at prices on boats in northern Europe ( I want to cruise there at retirement) and while it is higher than in the states there are some fine used boat out there that are much better built and better performing. Just think of it - it would hardly be punishment to have to sail your boat home from Sweden or where ever you find it.

    You also have to look carefully at ventilation - none of them probably have enough for your location and you will not feel nearly the pain taking a can opener to a used boat compared to a new one.

  5. condor
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: connecicut USA

    condor Junior Member

    Production boats

    Your commentary about production boats is simply not correct. A Mercedes is a production car. So is a Porsche. These are safe, fast and excellent. A lot of engineering goes into them. The engineering is spread over thousands of units. The designs are new. Computers assist.

    Excellent boats can be produced as well. The designers Farr and Group Finot to mention a couple are the best in the world. Production technigues are CE certified and ISO 9000. Engineering must cover many hundreds of boats and warranties back them up.

    There is a historical mythology out there about custom boats. Sure Hinckley makes lovely a boat. They build about five of each model a year and some of the designs are twenty five years old. Rolls Royce makes a nice car, also. But I would not bother to own one. Too expensive. You are paying for exclusivity.

    I have a Beneteau 57 on order. I have a 473 now. Is it an Oyster 56? No, but it is a safe, fast, well built boat supported by good dealers and a powerful factory. I get answers 24/7 on the internet from the factory and have had parts air shipped for next day installation. The Oyster 56 is twice as much much money. I simply cannot reconcile the price.

    I have been in heavy weather, big seas and high winds. The Beneteaus don't break, they don't leak and they sail well. My 473 was designed by Group Finot, and it is a terrific sailer.

    Just as in the auto industry 80 years ago, the small specialty makers will go away. We will be left with the large manufaturers which have the resources to make modern designs and deliver at a price. One only has to look to Little Harbor and Bristol to see the way this goes.

    Meanwhile I love my Audi A8 four wheel drive "production" car and you can keep the Bentley.
  6. orkunt
    Joined: Sep 2005
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: İSTANBUL

    orkunt New Member

    happy with 57?


    I read your message and see that you ordered a beneteau 57. I wonder if you happy with the boat.

    I looking to buy a new boat for our familly which s going to be our first. Each summer we rent wooden sailling boat 30m (we call here gullet) and we think its time to buy one. Since you are experianced with boats, do you think its good idea to start with big one?

    We also participate sailling races ( for fun nothing for big competition ) how you see b57 performance.

    Any advice most welcome

    Thank you for your time

    orkun :)
    Joined: Nov 2004
    Posts: 1,068
    Likes: 18, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 321
    Location: The Netherlands

    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    Janneau and Beneteau do belong to the same company that owns half of the sailingyacht manufacturers in France, with production sites also in Poland. Most of the Janneau's are manufactured/assembled there.

    The designs are good and fast, with the today's standards of luxury etc. and quality up to a certain extend. You cannot expect, speaking in terms of production and quality, that for example a Beneteau can compared with a Nordia, A Contest, or an Oyster. Even you cannot compare (in longevity) a Mercedes with a Renault, so to speak. But the French will give you value for money. On the other hand, there are other boats than Beneteau's and Jeanneau's that are worth considering, maybe a bit less flashy but giving exellent quality. I contest the thinkin that the smaller firms will disappear; even not in the automobile industry the smaller luxury car-companies like TVR, Wiessmann, Morgan etc. Blossom as never before.

    It is the distinguished yacht connoisseur who looks through the glitter and the glamour and buys the boat to his liking. You can get superboats if you are able to buy from the designer a design, going to the cascobuilder for a casco, going next to the technique and fitter, then to the carpenter and painter, then to the riger and you have your own one-oof for the same price as a mass-production boat, having a custom made yacht instead of the everyday's design.
    In this process I ca give you for the same value a "One-off" entirely custom-made with only the best materials and parts available.

    That's the other end of the story.
  8. condor
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: connecicut USA

    condor Junior Member

    BIg Boats, modern designs

    Bigger is actually easier. Modern equipment, roller furling, bow thrusters, GPS etc. and electric winches change some of the old thinking. A big boat is more stable, more confidence inspiring and faster. You get less beat up fromthe motion and are able to work in a more relaxed setting. With a bowthruster, even docking is easy. In the old days the idea was to break the sail plan up in little peices so that it could be managed. With power equipment the more modern trend is simply two big sails, keep it simple.

    I suggest bigger. Yes there are those who believe you can only really learn to sail in a dinghy, and they may have a technical point. But for your wife and family to like it, a dinghy is just not going to get you there.

    Designers have learned a lot about boats in the past twenty five years. In fact one could suggest that much of the former thinking has been replaced. Boats now have short overhangs, broad beams and square sterns. Fin keels and spade rudders prevail.

    Purists will extol the value and safety of the older designs. Yes they are stable, but at the expense of speed and handling. Fast is afe. I just did Berumda to Newport on a Farr 50 and we did it 3 1/2 days. Inside one lovely weather window. Hanging around out there for a week is a good way to bump into bad weather.

    So I believe in big and modern. I frankly wouldn't even bother to sail a boat under 40 feet. No fun. Little boats are so slow they are all but useless except for day sails. While they have unlimited range, they take so long you can't use it. Big boats can actually get places. At 9-10 knots you can do 200 miles a day and 600 in a long weekend.

    There is nothing like owning your own boat. I have chartered and I spend the whole time learning the boat and fixing things. On your boat you know where every line and switch is. Much more relaxing.

  9. condor
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: connecicut USA

    condor Junior Member


    I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

    However, have you ever driven a TVR or a Morgan? Exactly my point, they do some things very well, but the heaters don't work. They simply do not have the engineering and production base to support modern comprehensive designs.

    Of course the Oyster is a better boat in almost all respects. (I am off to the Newport boat show to see the 62 and lust after it.)

    However, here is my basic problem. The Oyster 56 is about $1,600,000. in the water. The Beneteau 57 (when mine shows up in a month ) will be something around 1/2 that price.

    I don't live on board. The boat is simply a hobby. I have other things to do ( like put three kids through school).

    I went to France to see my boat under construction. It is basically all hand built ( except for the interior furniture which is cut on a computer router). It has taken 8 months to build. The people are knowledgeable and serious. It is only a production boat in the sense that they have an organized approach and move the boat through stations. Also, it is very hard ( read impossible) to get the factory to make any changes to the basic design. However, virtually the entire boat is hand made. The factory is not like a car plant. More like how they build airplanes. At any time there are 5-9 people working on her. They are not rushed. (It is after all France.) Great care is exercised.

    She is a lot of boat (Farr design). She will do what I want. The most important element of sailing is the skill and judgment of the captian anyway. Beneteaus don't break. If the boat will stay in one peice, I can do the rest.

    I just sold my 473 Beneteau in 60 days for about what I paid for it. There seems to be a lively aftermarket. I hope to have a similar experience with the 57. I see odd boats sit for years on poppets waiting to be sold.

    Certain aspects of the Beneteau have been skewed toward the popular market. Some of its passage making ability is compromised by dock side features like big beds and large interior spaces. But then my wife likes it and she only meets me when I get there anyway.

    One alternative is to buy an older Oyster. The problem, and I looked at this carefully, is that to get down to the price range of the B 57 I have to go back twenty years. There is no comparison between a 20 year old boat (even a great one) and a brand new good boat. Systems and materials have improved. Designs are better. Things like hoses, etc. are of better materials and twenty years younger. I have chartered older boats and spent whole weeks patching burst hoses and chasing down leaks.

    I'll take new.


  10. D'ARTOIS
    Joined: Nov 2004
    Posts: 1,068
    Likes: 18, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 321
    Location: The Netherlands

    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    I have had them all: TVR, Jaguar, Ferrari, ISO, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Alpine, Aston Martin - you name it. I had even pre-war cars like Armstrong-Siddeley, Delahaye and Rolls Royce. When I was younger, I was difficult to satisfy. Now I drive an Alfa Romeo, that's good enough. I do not anymore have the income I used to have and my appetite for fun and fast has vanished. (almost)
    What you say is true - if not, no of such Beneteau's were sold. Basically, the price difference is created by the fact that the total volume of Madame Beneteau's enterprise allows to buy in large volumes and prices of raw materials are going down a lot. The mark up on the larger yachts is minimal - it is their prestige that counts.
    Smaller production yacht mfr co's needs to have higher mark ups on boats, are generally working inefficient in one way whilst working very efficient in other ways.
    Nevertheless, I have looked closely at the Beneteau, for I am in the market as well for a 50-60' but their exterior lines could not arouse me.
    The flaws of their slightly less quality do occur only after many years, long after you have sold your boat and the boat is at is 2nd or 3rd owner.
    All you say is basically true and the differences are only subtile ones, and the designs are definately good. Nothing wrong with that.

    I have made up my mind and I have chosen for the older type of boat, although my budget allows me to buy a more expensive one. I am almost 60 now and hopefully I can sail 10 or more years in comfort, in a boat that is to my liking. She lies presently on the westcoast of the US, so my way home will be a long one, if I am back home, Holland or France I will permanently live on board.
    Today'sailors do have wifes and the modern woman looks for comfort rather than for sport and requires equal comfort in a yacht as they have at home.
    So I do perfectly understand you.
  11. condor
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: connecicut USA

    condor Junior Member


    Yes, you raise a sad point, the new designs are not all that beautiful. They have functionality. The older desings, say a Hickley or Alden, are simply beautiful. Graceful pointed ends, rising sheer, deep bulwarks. Lovely bright work.

    It is hard to get excited about the aesthetics of the new boats. Beneteau at least still looks like a boat, Hunter has given up althogether and the boats look like space vehicles.

    Fat boats with square transoms and flat bottoms are no prettier than fat women with big butts. But that is the design wave of the future.

    I was next to a Little Harbor 60 in Nantucket this summer and she is just lovely. My Beneteau 57 is not as pretty by any stretch.

  12. D'ARTOIS
    Joined: Nov 2004
    Posts: 1,068
    Likes: 18, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 321
    Location: The Netherlands

    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    I am in process of buying a Morgan 54' by name of RAGE; look at the pictures I posted at "an expensive thrill" then you know what I mean.....
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: ISTANBUL

    DENIZCI New Member

    Hi Condor,
    I am a new member from istanbul and also a young sailer. I am planing to buy a Jeanneau 54DS and would like to know why you have decicded for B57 and not for 54DS.
  14. condor
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: connecicut USA

    condor Junior Member

    Beneteau 57 and Jenneau 54

    I just chartered a Jenneau 54 in the BVI for a week. Here are my comments. Nice sailing boat. Very pretty to look at. Great cockpit. Fabulous saloon. There are some low points. The aft owners cabin is a nightmare. The ceiling is too low and you spend the whole time hitting your head. The two split aft baths one shower one with toilet are silly. Since the cockpit is so huge the traveler and some sail controls are very far away from the helms. It really is a two person boat to sail. Galley is great. Systems are Ok but without a central engine room, they are sort of spread all over the boat. Sea worthy and solid. No issues on safety or stability. A good boat. Just a tad odd in the layout down below. Shot people might like her more than tall.

    I just took delivery of a Beneteau 57. So far I have motored her 120 miles and am now commissionering her (delivery off a container ship with no sails). I am also writing the owners manual. I am not truly objective. I would say this. For not much more money it is a lot more boat. While it appears that the B57 is only 3 feet longer than the Jenneau 54, this is not accurate. The Jenneau loses three feet to the swim platform. She feels like a 50. The B 57 is really a sixty since the swim platform drops down and out three feet. So the boats are really very different sizes. Also the B 57 wieghs 50,000 pounds the Jenneau about 39,000. So my perception on size is accurate I think.

    The aft cabin on the B 57 is perhaps the best in boating under 75 feet. Truly huge. The saloon is great. The trade off is the somewhat smaller center cockpit. Then again, the B57 can truly be single handed, easily since (mine has the central pedestal steering) everything is within arm's reach.

    So I voted for the B 57. As noted I am not truly objective. I liked the Jenneau and would have no reservation about taking her around the world. I just thought the aft cockpit makes the aft cabin too strange. The deck saloon arrangment adds little to the floorplan. You really can't see out the windows to the harbor while dining anyway.

    I have yet to sail the B 57. But she is a Farr design and I have spent a lot of time offshore on a Farr50. I hope she sails like a big sister to that very seaworthy and seakindly boat.


    The Condor

  15. aitchem
    Joined: Sep 2003
    Posts: 73
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Aberdeen UK

    aitchem Junior Member

    excellent marina/posing yachts
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.