Originally Posted by bobperry
You don't get it.
I like to design unique, very well built custom yachts for discerning clients.
Check out Cruising World magazines recent Top 40 Production Yachts of all Time. Three of the top ten boats were my designs. The number one boat was my design. I know production boats. I have thousands. Literally thousands to my credit.
But now I like unique custom boat projects where the build can be amazing and the end result a boat that reflects the client individual approach to life on the water. Beneteaus are out of the question. They are nice boats but they are not for my clients. I would happily do another production boat but it would have to be in a style I liked. I hope that no one is getting the idea that I don't like any Beneteaus. There are some models that I find quite appealing. Others not. I take them individually.
Yes I understand quite well what you say but as you pointed out you once designed to the main market, boats that could appeal to many and whose cost make it affordable. The builders of that type of main market boats chose you to design them. I am talking about boats like the Tayana or Valiant and several others that were mass produced and sold in great numbers.
Neither am I taking out any of your relevance as one of the more important NA from the XX century one that in America pushed the boundaries of cruising boat design and give at that time to the general public, meaning sailors, the boats they wanted, better sailboats.
I am only pointing that by our own choice, or not, you are not working on that main market sector anymore and are working on a niche sector that you call your comfort zone. Nothing wrong with that specially if that makes you happy and it is what you want, but the designers that work for Benetau or Jeanneau work not only that niche sector you chose but the main market, performance cruisers, solo racing and crewed racing.
It seems odd and inelegant to me that you consider their work regarding the main cruising sector (in a general) in a negative and depreciating way. I find also odd that you talk about having to design boats in a style you like. An Architect designs for clients not according his particular tastes but according to client tastes and since Beneteau and Jeanneau work the main market that means the tastes of the vast majority of sailors.
Particularly regarding the Oceanis 38 that you considered looking like "a bloated tennis shoe look"
, it is designed by Conq that expressed in an article what was was his take regarding aesthetics and that is a pure functionalist one: what makes a boat sail better is beautiful. Regarding sailing and that boat many things were taken from solo racers, that him and Finot had been designing from ages and the boat had ended up having the look of a solo racer adapted to cruising. That according to Conq is a positive aesthetically characteristic since in a functionalist way a top racing boat is beautiful by definition and I (like Conq) believe that the fact the boat looks a bit like a solo racer will have a positive response in what regards general tastes. Sailors will like it.
Regarding the type of clients you have that you describe like "discerning clients", they certainly are rich and want luxury boats but they are also quite conservative in their tastes. A discerning taste may also means a taste for speed in cruising and a boat easy to sail solo (with a luxurious interior) and it seems to me that, contrary to the other NA that also designed by Beneteau and Jeanneau, none of your recent clients has that type of discerning taste.