Beyzano is a 2001 Beneteau Oceanis Clipper 473 but commissioned in 2002.
She has had 3 owners. We were told the first owner only took her out of the marina in South Wales about 10 times in 3 years. The second took her across the Atlantic on the 2007 ARC and back again in June 2008. A few days after she returned we bought her. We have used her extensively since then and now live on her.
We spent a lot of time researching what type of boat would best suit our needs and travelled many miles in our search for the “perfect boat”.
We first looked at older, long keel and supposedly, more solidly built boats, as that’s the type of design recommended on most cruising forums, but after looking over quite a few we realised that the majority were in poor condition and needed a lot of maintenance.
Next came the centre cockpit boats like the Moodys and Westerlys, they have the luxury of great aft cabins but at the expense of cockpit space and we hope to spend more time on deck than sleeping. They also lack locker space above deck and generally have smaller saloons. We also felt that stern to mooring could be difficult for a crew of two as the person on the helm can’t easily pass ropes to someone on the quay.
A Najad, Halberg Rassy or Malo would have been great but we would have had to buy a much smaller or older boat for it to have been within our price range. The Beneteau 473 was one of the few boats that we both took to immediately, for a production boat she is well built and in fact they stopped making them because they were too expensive to manufacture. She has plenty of storage space below and on deck, a good size galley and a huge cockpit. She sails fast and we always feel safe and in control. I’m sure there are boats that have a hull shape better suited to ocean sailing and others that are more solid but many 473s have crossed oceans and in fact until recently it was one of the most common boats taking part in the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. It also has many recommendations online from delivery skippers and owners. We reasoned that we will only spend about 10-20% of our time on long ocean passages, so things like a large cockpit for entertaining and plenty of storage space was higher on our list of priorities.
The next task was to find one and we travelled all over the country to look at the few that came up for sale. Some were tatty and had been used for racing, and others sold before we got to look at them, but we were lucky to see one just go on the web and dashed to see it immediately. Someone else had viewed her the same day but was waiting for their partner to come and look so we had to make up our minds quickly.
As she had returned from an Atlantic crossing the day before she was looking a bit tired but we could see that all she needed was a good clean, so we made our offer.
We have upgraded some of the deck hardware, fitted higher quality mainsheet blocks, upgraded standing rigging, Dynema main and genoa halyards, 25kg Spade anchor with 90mts 10mm chain.
The main was replaced a few years ago with a fully battened sail from Quay Sails and we replaced the 140% genoa last year with a 120% one from Crusader, because we felt it was easier for a crew of two to manage. We also have a cruising chute and a spinnaker that we will probably never use unless we have a large enthusiastic crew.
An additional fuel tank, water maker, keel cooled freezer, heating, 3kw generator, Duogen water and wind generator, extra batteries and a water maker have been added to make life aboard more comfortable.
The navigation equipment was upgraded last year and includes a Raymarine E180 chart plotter with AIS and a repeater below at the chart table. Unfortunately the radar will not talk to the plotter because apparently it’s too old. For communications we have both VHF and SSB radio and we are thinking about a satellite phone, but it’s unlikely that the finances will stretch that far. In the end, they did!