ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?
Regardless of ratings and marketing hype, I think the different builders have very different philosophies in the design and construction of their boats. The resulting boats are as different as the underlying philosophies.
If you closely look at (let alone sail) different builders' boats, you can set a sense of what those philosophies are, and which one may best fit yours.
For example, one builder may encourage the designer to package maximum space, comfort, and convenience with minimal cost in their boats. If you sit in the cockpit, you are struck by the spacious and comfortable seating, maybe highlighted by some stern rail seats. Go sailing, and when the boat heels, suddenly there's no where to sit, the comfortable seats dump you into the open cockpit with no foot bracing, and the rail seats are useless. A cockpit that happily hosts a party of twelve at the dock, but at 20 degress of heel, everyone is hanging onto something just to stay in place.
Down below, you have a regular condo feel, nice fabrics and bright wood with modern finishing. Are there any handholds on the cabin top? How about sea bearths? Do the forward and aft cabins have island queen beds that allow you to walk 270 degrees around them? Any bunks with leecloths? Do the doors, storage bins and access panels all have positive lock catches? So it all looks great until your down below and someone is heeling the boat again. You find there's not a bunk you can sleep in without rolling out, nowhere to sit without holding on to something, going forward means bouncing off the settees, and meanwhile various cabinet doors are opening and shutting as they wish.
After a while you start thinking, how soon is this trip ending?
Figure out whose philosophy best matches yours, production boats are not cut from the same cloth at all.
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