Well, I thought I made it clear that the Coronados/Columbias/Rawsons weren't necessarily what I found ideal in a future SV but just the result of questions I asked all owners I encountered (not just new owners, inexperienced owners, first time sailors, etc.), what they liked and disliked about their boats, and I came up with certain models that people really seemed to have overwhelming positive experiences with and a definite lack of negative feedback about. With some of these people their onwer loyalty was almost cultlike, fanatical!...I'm sorry, The Columbia MkII is NOT the greatest sailboat design of all time, but I can lead you to a few people who are positive that it is, and are willing to fight about it...!
If the theory is that many of these responses are coming from inexperienced first timers who want to defend their purchases, then I would expect similar positive feedback about a model like, say, certain Catalinas, which are both popular and available cheap...but although Catalina owners did say positive things about their boats, they certainly had a lot to bitch about too.
Not trying to prove anything or say "one boat is better than another", etc, I just had a question about owner satisfaction and these models seemed to score among the highest within the limited scope of owners I could get a hold of. And Tartans, Pearsons, Ericsons, and Islanders did score high with owners I found, just not quite as high as these other models, for whatever reason. Maybe they need their own "cults"...LOL
Sometimes it's something undefinable that makes people favor one boat over another...I would never say that the '57 Chevy was the greatest vehicle of all time, but it sure is an American icon. I'm sure if Coronado owners were offered a straight-across trade for a new Beneteau or a Hans Christian, they would jump at it! But from the people I've talked to, I think they would be reminiscing about "Old Betsy" while they're cruising their "uberboat". More than once I've heard that people "upgraded" and then said they missed their old Coronado or Columbia, or even intended to go back, especially if they found their more fully accoutered boat was also a lot more trouble and expense to maintain and operate. One thing I did find in common with these boats, is that all of them are low-end boats, not very expensive compared to other cruisers in the same categories, all of them have a reputation for good performance in adverse conditions, general "toughness" and seem to have less maintenance issues than other boats of a similar year...so maybe the "owner loyalty" is due to a sense of the boat itself being dependable and delivering more bang for the buck and less problems...the owners are loyal to the boat model because in their experience the boat has given a lot without asking a lot, so to speak...
Which is kind of the reason I was doing this little "study" anyway, I tend to fall in love with a boat for it's looks, since I'm not an expert there were a lot of boat models I was unfamiliar with and I wanted to see what I could find out about their dependablility...and pretty soon I just started taking a lot of notes. Personally, I saw a Seafarer 24 recently that had such interesting lines...same thing with models like the Santana 525, to me they're really "cute" and attract all my attention, though neither would be a good choice for a cruiser. Hell, when I was young and dumb I ALMOST talked myself into a Bayliner Buccaneer...! So I need all the OWNER WISDOM I can get...!
Last edited by ShirKhan; 02-18-2006 at 08:31 PM.