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  #11  
Old 02-23-2005
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high quality yacht brands?

Dr. Mattito,

Now that you have several opinions on this topic, would you mind telling us what you''re trying to get at? Are you trying to select your next boat, or is this just for general edification? Your post reminds me of one several years ago now by a certain Capt. Denr in which he posed a question along the lines of "if you had a million dollars to spend what boat would you pick?"

Just curious what you''re trying to accomplish?
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Old 02-23-2005
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high quality yacht brands?

I grew up sailing but didnt pay a lot of attention to most boat brands when I was a kid, save a few that I would see on a regular basis in Galveston Bay.

My father and I are getting back into sailing again after an 8 year hiatus and he suggested looking at an Island Packet. I had no idea as to whether that was a quality cruising yacht or not.

It made me start thinking...what are the very high quality cruising yachts out there? I simply don''t know. Maybe if I were an avid reader of Cruising World or Yachting magazines I wouldn''t have had to start this thread.

This was not meant to be a "if you had a million dollars" thread, and if that is the case, I am sorry. This was only for my own education so that I would know what brands are considered some of the highest quality cruising yacts. I have looked at some of the boats online after gettting the responses, and I have to say that Malo is one of the most beautiful brands of boat that I have ever seen.
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Old 02-23-2005
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high quality yacht brands?

Malo''s are beautiful, and for what it''s worth, Nigel Calder (check out his books if you''ve been away from sailing that long) is having a Malo built for himself. His prior boat was a Pacific Seacraft. He knows boats and doesn''t pick junk!

As for Island Packets -- people either love them or hate them. Your call. I wouldn''t own one but that''s just me. As I often say on here -- other opinions may vary.

Lots of choices out there, many questions to ask yourself, and decisions to make. Will you mainly day sail, go for weekend trips, week long trips, etc.? Coastal cruising, or blue water? How many people? How much $$$ do you want to spend? Lots of basic stuff you need to think about.

Good luck!
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Old 02-24-2005
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high quality yacht brands?

I am not sure that I would recommend an Island Packet as a boat to get ''back into sailing on''. There has been a lot of discussion about these boats on this and other sites, and what ever else you might say about IP''s they are not terribly responsive sailors and certainly not a particularly good choice for a boat to hone skills on.

As to your bigger question as to what manufacturer''s offer a quality boat, I think at the heart of it is the bigger question, "What is your definition of quality?". Here there are bound to be a wider range of opinions than one might think. To me a major piece of what makes a boat a ''quality boat'', has to do with the engineering and the choice and use of materials that goes into the final boat. A piece of what makes a quality boat in my opinion deals with sailing ability and ergonomics. In that regard a lot of boats that seem to routinely get the ''quality boat''
seal of approval in the court of general opinion really do not fit my own criteria for what makes a quality boat. It is the really lousy ergonomics of the deck plans and sailing ability of the Island Packet combined with their somewhat crude engineering that would take them off of my list of quality vessels.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 02-24-2005
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I have perceived that individual priorities are the key ingredient precipitating the wide variance of opinions about what defines a quality yacht. Some focus on tradition and are attracted to older designs based on wooden boats with split rigs and sprits. Along this path, 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. Beyond this divide, 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 submit that there are yacht builders of the highest quality who produce examples of each of these yacht forms. I think PCP summarized the categories very well in an earlier post to this thread, from a cost perspective. However, from a design perspective it is a different discussion.

Certainly, one must understand what he expects his yacht to do. The term “quality” can be applied to anything from an all out racer to a high latitude global cruiser and every degree of cross breed in between, AND one could find a quality yacht to fit the bill.

Inquiring about “quality” sailboats introduces a form of bigotry originating from the biases of sailors communicating personal preferences based on their own experiences. It offers little basis upon which to compare sailboats until one’s personal preferences are known. -Phil
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Old 02-25-2005
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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.


Paulo

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Old 02-25-2005
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Paulo- If you believe “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”, then this statement goes far in defining your preferences in the yacht design continuum. It becomes apparent to me that creature comforts play at least an equal roll to sailing performance in your ideal boat. The degree to which one is willing to allow interior accommodations to influence hull shape, for example, goes a long way toward establishing priorities and establishing criteria to meet individual needs. Some may, and do, reverse this equation.

As you say, it is absolutely true that there are many kinds of sailing, or traveling, that people wish to do. This is precisely my point, that there are quality yachts built for various intended purposes. One cannot define quality simply in terms of design type. They are separate subjects, often intermingled in these discussions. And to make matters more complex, within these types of sailing purpose, there are divergent design aesthetics that appeal to individual sensibilities differently. Ergo, Malo may build a quality yacht, but all quality yachts are not necessarily built like a Malo, or like Swan, or whatever other brand we may name. “Quality” is a difficult to discuss in general terms. We tend to define it based on taste, aesthetic appeal and personal preference. We know it when we see it, but it’s real tough to achieve complete consensus. The discussion would be easier if it were first reduced to boats of a specific purpose so that we are all talking about the same thing. Or else ask the question; “What traits are common to all high quality sailboats, regardless of purpose?”


One maxim I do believe to be universally true is that excess weight above the waterline is always bad. Ballast weight should be maximized as deeply as possible while all other displacement contributors should be minimized to the extent it is possible within the design parameters. What the optimum ballast / displacement ratio should be is a little beyond this discussion, but any increase in displacement, other than ballast, creates a chain reaction which feeds upon itself; necessitating more powerful sails, which require even more ballast for stability, which demands stouter structures, which add more weight yet… you’ve heard it all before.

The intuitive argument has often been made that increased displacement produces better motion comfort. Some also feel that it’s necessary for robust construction. Both of these claims are false. I do not believe that Swan intentionally built the 46 to be heavier, only that they were appealing to customers with different priorities. Luxury equipment and solid wood joinery are not light and the people who are drawn to this yacht place a higher priority upon these things than sailing performance, simple as that. They did not make the boat heavier to improve motion or strength.

As it has been stated here before, if you are willing to pay for greater displacement, which is another way of saying “a bigger boat”, and you wish to maximize motion comfort, buy a longer waterline length instead. You will get more interior space and greater speed as a free bonus! If you care little about these things and wish luxurious appointments and systems galore, buy a Swan 46. My guess is that either of the Swan 45s will be much faster, more comfortable and easier to sail too, but I certainly don’t know that from the experience. Priorities, my friend. -Phil
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Old 02-26-2005
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"What traits are common to all high quality sailboats, regardless of purpose?"

That''s easy: ($),$$$,$$$!
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Old 02-27-2005
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I have been reading with interest about the cruising yachts. Two days ago I passed an Island Packet - he had all sails up, I had mine reefed. I guess my boat is faster. Point is commparissons- my boat is heavier then most, but sails well too. I do not rock at anchor like the "corks" that are sometimes around me. So racing means one thing, cruising means another. About cruising sailboats, sometimes older is better. An older boat in good shape survives the daily use of crusining, offers tougher interiors and the designers gave thought to day after day use, where a racer might not have many creature comforts.
If this thread is about new boats, well great, but older ones might offer more to the cruiser. By the way, I own a Passport 40, and its fabulous for living on board!
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Old 02-28-2005
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Phil and pmills, Dr Matito remains silent about what he wants so I am going to continue this agreeable discussion in another thread that is basically about the same issue that we are discussing, I mean the one on General Discussion: "How heavy is too heavy".

I want only to tell Phil that he misinterpreted me.

You have said, quoting me:

"Paulo- If you believe “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”, then this statement goes far in defining your preferences in the yacht design continuum. It becomes apparent to me that creature comforts play at least an equal roll to sailing performance in your ideal boat. "

No, you are just guessing and you can not assume this from what I have said, and your guess is wrong.

About autonomy ( meaning by that, capacity to cross oceans or sail in remote areas with a family, or staying away from marinas), for that you need big water and fuel tanks, lots of supplies.

Let''s imagine that we are talking about a 38ft cruiser racer. Normally a boat like that is designed to carry around 100L of fuel and 150 of water. If you put in that boat a normal capacity for an ocean cruising boat, let''s say 350L of fuel and 400L of water, you are increasing (and only in this particular) the weight of the boat in 500kgs. If you join the weight of four or five people, more the weight of the supplies, dinghy, ocean life raft, extra batteries and electronic equipment, you are going to see that the maximum carrying weight of the boat (manufacturer defined), that in a boat of this type is around 1000kgs is exceeded for more than 50%. If you put all this extra weight in the flat hull of a cruiser racer (that is not designed for it) you are going to end up with a sluggish and probably dangerous boat, a boat that will not sail well.

If you start with a Halberg- Rassy, that comes standard with that kind of tank capacity and is designed to have, for the same size, more than the double of the carrying capacity, you end up with a boat that sails well and with a boat that is doing precisely the thing that it is designed to do.

Of course, the hull of a cruiser racer is different from the one belonging to a modern ocean cruising boat, and that has to do (not only, but also) with the weight each boat can carry and that has to do with the autonomy of each boat. That is what I mean.
(I know, from other post, that you think that if you need more carrying capacity, one should buy a longer boat, not a heavier boat. I think there are a lot of reasons to have a boat limited in size and I will clarify that view in another post.)




About hull shape and "quality and comfort of the life aboard", you thought that I was talking about "interior accommodations to influence hull shape", and that would never cross my mind. I was thinking in being able to cook and eat with the boat in motion, or not being thrown off the bed, not to speak of using the WC…. that kind of thing.

I was saying that a hull shape of a cruising boat is not exclusively determined by speed issues (sailing as fast as possible), but also thought and shaped to give a comfortable motion, that permits some degree of comfort of the life aboard (traveling).

Paulo
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