Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
Thanked 112 Times in 95 Posts
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high quality yacht brands?
Nice post Phil.
I certainly agree with you when you say: "I have perceived that individual priorities are the key ingredient precipitating the wide variance of opinions about what defines a quality yacht."
But when you say "...many emphasize the more reductive trend of function over form. They perceive that a sailboat is “a priori” designed to sail and appreciate the latest engineering efforts in hull form and rig design, producing yachts with great structural integrity and the highest performance ability. "
I would like to add that a sailboat, except if it is a pure racer, is not only designed to sail, but also to live aboard. The quality and comfort of that life aboard and the autonomy of the boat will also influence its form, not only the interior, but also the hull shape.
And about sailing, there are many differences in the kind of sailing (traveling). There are the ones that want to go as fast as possible with a full crew, others want good speed but a boat that can be easily solo sailed, others want maximum comfort in a seaway others an optimized safety, for the size of the boat. There are a lot of compromises to be made (in hull shape and rig), originating completely different boats, depending on the assumed different priorities.
The only disagreement (possibly) with you has to do with this statement:"..."others appreciate the craftsmanship of fine joinery and designs that give a nod to tradition but acknowledge contemporary developments in keel/hull form and aerodynamics, albeit with little regard to weight reduction."
It seems to me that you think that weight (mass), besides the one needed to give the boat stability) is always a bad factor in a sail boat.
Although I agree that mass is always a bad factor in a racer or even in a cruiser-racer, it is not (in my opinion) in a pure cruising boat with priorities aimed to have an easy motion, maximum safety and lots of autonomy.
And I am not the only one thinking that way. Take as an example the new Swan 46. Swan are well known by their high-tec, luxurious cruiser racers (but also winning ocean racers), but recently they went to the old cruising roots and made a purely cruising boat, the 46.
The boat displaces 39 000 lbs. Compare it with the displacement of the Swan 45, a cruiser racer that comes in two versions : in the more racing version, 19 150 lbs and in the "cruiser" version, 23 920 lbs. The extra weight of the 46 doesn’t find its motive on a question of money ( kind of thinking – lighter, more expensive) because those guys don''t look at costs, just quality (both boats cost over $700 000, being the 45 the "cheapest".
It is obvious that the Nautor Company technicians believe that mass has an important role to play in a purely cruising boat and they surely know what they are doing, having lots of experience with racing and cruising boats.