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post #1967 of Old 10-29-2013
Tim Newman
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
Kind of makes you wonder what the definition of "yacht" is. I will grant you that it is a boat. I think Brent designs boats certainly not yachts..
Quite. I'm somewhat of a lurker on here, not much of a sailor, but I've read most of this thread...

And yes, it is possible to build a tank of a boat and supplement it with parts scrounged from a scrapheap which can just about be called a "yacht". However, most people don't want to take this approach to boating, and aesthetics on yachts are considered by most to be hugely important. Certainly, it is the aesthetics of yachts which first attracted me to them.

By way of analogy, I used to be a Land Rover enthusiast, and bought an old 1973 Series III ex-military Lightweight. It was a beast of a machine, huge girders welded into a ladder for a chassis, leaf springs off a bus, bull-bars from the set of Mad Max II, it was indestructible. I had heaps of fun fixing it up myself and hanging out with the other Land Rover enthusiasts, and although it looked rough and handled even worse, there was a certain beauty in its simplicity and ruggedness.

That said, I didn't spend half my time trying to explain to Porsche owners that although their cars may look much better, they would come off second best in an argument with a breeze-block wall...something which (I proved this) would not be the case with my Land Rover. Different people like different cars for different reasons, aesthetics are very important to some people, ruggedness and simplicity for others, and you make compromises on different qualities to find something suitable for the discerning individual.

It's why I find Brent's protestations on here odd: it's like a Land Rover owner trying to persuade Ducati riders of the virtues of four wheels and a chassis left over from a Victorian railway bridge. I'm actually quite impressed by the ingenuity of the home-made steel boats, and the reusing of scrap metal to make all the various bits, it is an interesting and innovative way to get yourself out to sea and requires no small amount of skill (I'm an engineer myself). But the vast majority of people don't want a boat which looks as though it was constructed during an episode of Scrapheap Challenge, even if it means that they could potentially come off second best against a stubbornly unsympathetic shipping container idling in the bay. Each to their own, and all that.
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