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mvicsail 01-01-2002 10:24 AM

Difference in boat prices?
I understand that one of the factors that affect boat price is the level of build quailty/redundancy. A boat built for true blue water crusing vs a boat built for gunkholing.

What I don''t understand is the difference in price between boats that I thought were in the same category.

For example, the Benetaue First series which i see are regularly entered in the fastnet (a 40.7 goes for what about 250K?), then something like the aerodyne 47 450K, and a Hinckley Sou''wester 43 above $800K. The prices are probably a bit off and obviously electronics and sail package has to have something to do with it but still there seems to be a big difference in price beyond those factors.

I am planning to buy a boat about 4-5 years from now that will be used for blue water passages and entering things like the fastnet and am having a hard time setting a rough budget (ie will I need to save $300K, $600K etc for the boat).

VIEXILE 01-01-2002 12:58 PM

Difference in boat prices?
You are comparing apples to seagull droppings when you compare a Hinckley SW 43 to a''s a very well thought out, well constructed down to each detail and the other is a mass-produced boat. You pay for the attention to detail and quality, with few, if any, surprises or problems. Elegance in consideration of each detail. Either boat will generally get you there....

RobHoman 01-01-2002 04:44 PM

Difference in boat prices?
While I am sure that there are some quality issues to be considered.....there are also issues like "some people will pay any amount of $$ for what they think is prestigious".
And they don''t really have a clue......

For instance: logo''d clothing vs non-logo''d clothing....

mvicsail 01-01-2002 04:52 PM

Difference in boat prices?
I suppose that is what I was getting at.

One could pay $80K for a top of the line BMW or $300K for a Ferrari with the actual performance difference being negligible (or at least not worth the extra $220K for most people).

What I am looking for is the equivalent of the BMW, not the Ferrari. A rock solid boat(that will stand up to the seas as well as any other boat of its class) that is reasonably comfortable (i.e. not a stripped down racer) that I will be able to do a transatlantic crossings in with relative comfort (I am not expecting it to be like home but better than camping), lots of funs sailing rather than living in the thing, and that is capable of doing races like the fastnet (not looking to win just to finish). I am wondering what I have to budget for that type of boat?

BigRed56 01-01-2002 06:46 PM

Difference in boat prices?
Ahoy mvicsail, Big Red here , answer three questions for me will you? One what do you sail now or what have you owned or chartered in your life. Two what car do you drive now? Three what makes you think you could save or not save the difference in prices 250k - 850k in the next five years? But I''ll take a guess that your a reasonably paid middle aged person with a lot of classy magazine subscriptions a computer and little piss ant life filled with grandious dreams? Close or what? Big Red 56

mvicsail 01-01-2002 07:14 PM

Difference in boat prices?
Avast Matey, have sung lead tenor roles in notable opera houses around the world (specializing in Verdi) and am currently taking a prolonged vacation from professional singing to raise my young ''un myself. I''m in my early 30''s and drive a ''94 Volvo station wagon and I have the same grandiose plans that I have had for the last 10 years as far as sailing is concerned, ever since I grew up sailing Mirrors back in old blighty.

Since then I have bare boat chartered(mostly daily charters with a couple of weekend charters) as much as demand for my services allowed, which granted wasn''t much, mostly in the 30-40 ft range on Lake Michigan, St Lawrence, the Med, the channel(skippered), and the Chesapeake so as you can see I am still very much a novice and know it (and am dedicating a good deal of time over the next 4 years to remedying that with the two crew who will be doing the first transatlantic crossing and fastnet with me).

I will keep my own counsel as far as manging the pieces of eight if you don''t mind.

Now how about taking a guess at the answer to my question if you feel qualified to do so, if not I can do without your wild guesses as they don''t amount to much.

Have a great 2002 ya scurvy bilge rat :-)

Jeff_H 01-02-2002 03:24 AM

Difference in boat prices?
This is a pretty complex question requiring a longer answer than I have time for this morning, but I will see if I can take a stab at it.

First of all, I agree with the above posters that you are not comparing apples to apples, with a comparison of Beneteau First 40.7 Aerodyne 47, to a Hinckley Sou''wester 43. Perhaps a fairer comparaison would be a Beneteau First 40.7 at $225K to a J-120, Farr 395 at $325K or Aerodyne 38 which I understand is closer to 400K since these are more similar in size and type.

In the interest of time I will just talk about how boat prices are derived. The price of any boat includes a number of costs that are not in real materials. When my mother and stepfather had companies that developed boats and imported them from Taiwan, approximately 15 to 20 percent of each boat''s cost was designing, prototyping (building mock-ups and developing details) and tooling (building molds and patterns for every non- mass produced peice that went into the boat)the boat. This was a long process typically taking 6 months to a year of money going out but none coming in. A mass production company like Beneteau has the resources to use computer driven cutters and shapers, to reduce the labor involved in fitting every piece but developing a new boat is still an expensive process.

Mom tended to use ''Yard Designers'' who were paid the prevailing wage in Taiwan. Beneteau tends to use ''world class designers'' like Bruce Farr, and Groupe Finot. These big design houses would be far more expensive, but I think there is more value than simple ''name recognition''. Design firms like Farr and Finot have a lot invested in research and development of their work. While much of this ''experience and research'' is performed at a particular client''s expense, we live in a competitive world and so some of the cost of maintaining this up to date knowledge base, retaining the necessary top people and equipment, is a real cost that these top design houses have to incur and pass on to customers. I doubt that Mom paid as much as Beneteau for each design.

Mom might sell 15 to 25 of one of her models. Beneteau seems to sell something well over a 100 of most of their models. I would guess that the greater volume and their ability to afford better technology probably brings the cost per boat down to something well less than 10% of the cost of the boat.

Mom''s boats were built over seas, like Beneteau. Shipping and import duties were somewhere around 15% of the cost of the boats as well. A company like Beneteau who ships a lot of boats may get a break here as well.

Then there is marketing. In Mom''s case, this was nearly 5% of her costs of operation. I ahve no idea how that relates to bigger companies. I will avoid getting into thier profit amount except to say that it was doubled when they sold a boat directly vs having a dealer sell the boat and commission it.

By the time we get though all of that the hard costs of the boat represents only 60% to 70% of the sales price. Big companies like Beneteau have really great buying power. They can probably afford to use name brand hardware for the same price Mom was paying for oriental knockoffs.

But here is where our examples come in. If we look at the boats that I suggest are closer to apples to apples you can begin to see where the price differences occur. Lets look at the Farr 395 vs the Beneteau 40.7. These are both Farr designed and approximately the same length, but delivered and ready to go comparably equipped, they are close to $100K apart in price.

To begin with the 395 comes standard with a carbon fiber rig, and a retracting carbon fiber spin sprit. The Beneteau has neither. This is probably a $20-30K difference right there.

While both boats were engineered at Farr, the Beneteau depends on lower tech solutions. Like all production Beneteaus, the Beneteau 40.7 is a non-cored hull. The 395 is a vaccuum bagged, cored hull. A cored hull is more expensive to build but produces a lighter stiffer hull. The 395 uses higher tech resins and laminates allowing a further weight reduction for the same strength but at a higher cost. If I remember correctly the 395 is more or less 4000 lbs lighter than the 40.7.

The 40.7 uses a molded pan that includes molded in longitudinals and athwartship frames. I am not sure about the 40.7 but many of the recent Beneteaus use a high tech adhesive to glue in the bulkheads. (Allegedly, the bulkhead will fail before the adhessive.)This is construction technique represents a major cost savings over the hand glassed in longitudinals, bulkheads and internal framing of the 395. When you get into recesses of the 395 you see a nicely finished view of the interior of the hull molding. When you look at most of the recesses on the Beneteau, you see a molded pan. While the pan requires tooling up costs, it greatly reduces labor and so saves a lot on a mass produced boat.

The 395 has a lot of cored interior components reducing weight further but greatly adding to cost and assembly time.

The 395 is loaded with really neat racing details. The Beneteau has some really nice cruising details including the convertable cockpit which really works wonderfully.

I believe that the keel foil on the 395 is an alloy with a lead ballast bulb. The 40.7 uses a single cast iron casting for both.

And so it goes. The Farr 395 can probably get more money partially on exclusivity, but I doubt that there is a much bigger profit margin on the 395 than the 40.7.

It''s late and I need to get into the office.
Good luck with your long term plan.

BTW, I was delighted to note that you were a tenor who specialized in Verdi. When I was growing up, Dad would tune into the Texico Opera of the Week while we worked on the boat. Old ''Joe Green'' (as we called Verdi)was our favorite.

BigRed56 01-02-2002 07:04 AM

Difference in boat prices?
Ahoy , scurvy bildge rat here, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind or in Jeffs answer. Im not sure who mom is but his answer is a pretty good snapshot of the industry. Sailboat manfacture has little to do with reason. Does it matter to you how many third world humans it cost to build your dream boat ? Are you skilled enough to be able to work on your own boat or have enough money and lack of conscience to kill a few more peasants to not have to strain you voice by sniffing Styrene fumes to get the comfort and finish you desire? I mean really go by a reasonably priced boat and see if you and yours can hack it. See Jeffs list of 100,000 dollar boats and get wet. Let me ask you a question, who do you think owns Sailnet anyway? Lastly before anyone gets upset I admit to testing your skin thickness because in the real world your worth is deceided by the boat you own.

Big Red 56 cutlass at the ready, grappling hooks away, now if I could just get this GPS to work I''d be a real threat.

plehti 01-02-2002 07:40 AM

Difference in boat prices?
I''m not at all famiar with US boats but I know quite a bit about European rivals. For a quite a time Swedish boats like Najads, Hallberg-Rassys, Sweden Yachts and CR Yachts have been pretty competitive priced thanks to weak Swedish currency. And at least from my point of view the quality of them is simply great compared to the quality of mass production boats like Beneteau, Jeanneau, Bavaria etc. Personally I have just invested into a CR400DS and I''m simply happy with it and the service I got from the shipyard...

mvicsail 01-02-2002 08:04 AM

Difference in boat prices?
Thanks for your thoughtful and interesting response Jeff. I have been a lurker and occasional poster on sailnet for the last two years and have to say that you are one class act. Doesn''t surprise me at all to learn that you enjoy Old Joe Green :-)

I would be willing to pay up for safety but not really for speed. If something like the Beneteau is as safe, in terms of the failure point of its components and structure, as a more expensive and lighter boat then I would be very happy with the Beneteau as I am not looking to win anything, just for a rock solid boat that can make good time. For example, you mentioned something like a carbon fiber rig, is this just lighter or is it also less likley to come down than the rig that comes with the Beneteau in bad seas?

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