I have to confess,when i first came across Beniguet a few years back,it didnt really strike me,yet now,i see potential. As someone who has for years had the work of preparing and rigging and launching boats over 2 tons, it dawned on me some time back that i would be getting more time afloat,and the possibility of travelling to new areas if i got something a bit smaller and a lot lighter. We have had a lot of fun in our open sail and oar boat,but lacking any kind of decking and facilities, a few hours at a time is all my better half is prepared to accept. Thoughts along the lines of a Pathfinder or 6m Whaler with canvas cuddy have been on the back burner,but something like Beniguet has just that more comfort with a wee cabin and would be an ideal weekender. The only other boat that entered into my thoughts was wee seal. I love double enders,so im in a dilemma. Im already having to wave bye bye to my double ended 3 ton Koster,and its likely the Folkboat will be next,so whatever replaces these has a lot to live up to in terms of looks and sailing performance. Having said that,i realise a smaller boat with much less weight is not going to perform anywhere near as well as either of my current boats making headway in 40knots of wind. The majority of my sailing is now done on an inland lake,so i can pick and choose when i go sailing.
The good points i like about both these boats is that the centreboard does not conflict with the interior,both have simple rigs to set up,both are capable of sleeping 2 adults for a weekend and the space for someone to answer the call of nature in privacy(no prizes for guessing whose priority that was). Both are reasonably light and could be towed by any 4 banger with a capacity of 1000kg. The trailer can be twin wheeled(rather than 4) and not overly an expensive purchase. Buying and keeping/maintaing, a braked 3500kg 4 wheel trailer is a surprising expense......not forgetting to metion the vehicle that you need to pull it.
I think the Beniguet would be the better performer in most if not all conditions,but the wee seal would probably take more in the way of heavy weather (not really a criteria). Im not particulary fond of the outboard arrangement on wee seal,even if it is an improvement of an outboard on a bracket. Vivier seems to have mastered good motor wells in the right place. The cockpit on Beniguet seems more spacious for day sailing than that of wee seal if you wanted to take out more than 4 people.
My better half loves the clinker look, and thinks the Beniguet has the spirit,if not the looks of the Folkboat, and Wee Seal the looks of the Koster,she would be happy with either....
So, plenty of wee seals been built,not so many Beniguet. What a nice dilemma to be in......what would you choose and why?