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View Poll Results: Why do production boats appear to show more wear over time than high-end boats?
Design Quality? 6 9.23%
The Typical Purcahser? 25 38.46%
Capital on hand to invest into the boat? 5 7.69%
None of the above? 2 3.08%
All of the above? 27 41.54%
Voters: 65. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 11-05-2007
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The demise of production boats

I had an intersting observation over the weekend as I shopped for baots. There are excpetions to every rule, but this is worth consideration:

I have found that, in general (with general underlined, there are exceptions), the higher end boats (Hylas, Valiant, Pacific Seacraft) seemed to have aged better than the typical production boat.

Why?

Is it:

1) Design quality? Does abuse become more apparent on production boats?

2) Purchaser? Is the typical purcahser of production boat more of a newbie and not familiar with the work involved in a boat? Are they not aware of ABYC basics, like wire nuts, soldering, basic maintenance? Thus, the boats deteriorate at a higher rate than high-end boats?

3) Capital? Do the Hylas/Mason's of the world hold together better because the typical purchaser has more capital by which to maintain the boat?

4) None of the above?

5) All of the above?
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Old 11-05-2007
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Now that I have posted this, I will say that is my opinion that most of the demise is due to the purcahser.

I personally feel most of the purchasers of the production boats veer away from high end boats because they do not see the quality in them or need to spend that much more money for a similair sized boat. Let's face it: production boats in general are more comfortable, almost always cheaper, and typically larger down below.

THus, they buy a boat not realizing the immense expense in time and capital to maintain the boat and the boat suffers.

How many people buy a Hylas as a first boat? My bet is not many/if any. They already know what they want out of a boat from previous ownership, are avid sailors, and realize what it takes to keep the boat up.

There are exceptions to the rule as any boat can be junked up, but I blame the owners/buyers.

- CD
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Old 11-05-2007
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This is a thread that will come up with a lot of posters, so I will writte as soon as I have time. Meetings all day.

But I think briefly, bad quality, low grade materials etc. make it cheap, accessible to all, cheap also means you don't care, buy another one...high end boats have better mateirals and are looked after people for what they spent on them...

A Rolls Royce will allways be a Rolls Royce, a Cehvy Cavalier will allways be a piece of crap...
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Old 11-05-2007
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I voted Design and Quality for obvious reasons. An analogy can be made with land-based buildings as well.

Which structures have survived to reach the pretigious status of being on the US Register of Historic Places? Buildings which were well designed, built using a high degree of skill and craft and constructed of the finest materials available.

It doesn't take an architect to have enough perception in knowing that production-built track houses and mobile homes will not be worthy of preservation in the future - regardless of the amount of effort and money the owners invest in maintaining them.
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CD,
I totally agree with you that it is the purchaser. If the same guy bought a Hylas it would look the same in a few years. I see a lot of different boats and owners. I see charter boats that the owner uses and say they left it clean. It may be clean by their standards, but if the charter company did not step in and clean it again, the boat would not be fit for charterers. Personally, I would be ashamed to turn the boat over to someone else in the condition I see some of them.

The same thing happens in the second home market. People buy the lake home, have a great time all summer, and then leave it for the winter. When they return in the spring they wonder why it smells and has mold. It has something to do with maintenance.

Whether boats, homes, cars, if you don't anticipate the maintenance or pay to have it maintained, it becomes a costly problem for you or the next owner. Most new boat owners do not anticipate the work involved in maintenance of the asset. Some just don't care.
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CD - I agree with your choice regarding the purchaser and that is what I voted for but I disagree slight with the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post

I personally feel most of the purchasers of the production boats veer away from high end boats because they do not see the quality in them or need to spend that much more money for a similair sized boat. Let's face it: production boats in general are more comfortable, almost always cheaper, and typically larger down below.

- CD
I think many folks do in fact appreciate the quality of high-end boats and would certainly purchase one if they could but they can't because of the cost. My C-350 was my second boat, not my first. I could have waited another 10 years or more to buy a better boat, but that's 10 years of sailing at least once a week during the season I would not have enjoyed. I also needed to take into account my wife's interests.

Last edited by SailinJay; 11-05-2007 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 11-05-2007
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Mass-produced goods are built to a price-point. The market over the last few decades has pushed towards low-priced dockominiums which are long on space but short on performance and/or build quality; what we see on the market now is the first or second wave of these boats hitting the brokers.

There's a very limited market for high end boats these days. Most American-built boats are higher priced because of labor costs for what are essentially - even in a production environment - hand-built boats. The more successful builders have either taken production offshore, or have gone to more automated production methods like Bavaria and Hanse. Even the Taiwanese yards have moved production to other locations due to rising labor costs.

The number of junk boats in brokerage (IMO) is a result of owners who either were new to sailing/boating and had no idea of maintenance costs, or perhaps they just aged to the point where going down to the yard every weekend and sanding/painting/rebedding hardware got to be too much of a chore.
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Old 11-05-2007
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Certainly a case can be made for "All Of The Above"

Here's what I see as playing into it.

First, the owners. Like someone said, the PB's tend to appear to be a greater value. And to whom do they appear that way? Those with less maritime experience; less knowledegable about proper care & maintenence; more casual about the whole boat ownership experience, etc. etc.

Then factor in what Giu was saying. Poor workmanship, materials, fit & finish, etc.

Now, combine the two. Poor material quality will have a proportionally greater reaction to poor maintenance.

The owner in our first scenario could probably destroy an HR or Valiant; but it would take longer.

A more experienced and consientious owner will probably get 3X the life out of the cheapest of production boats, simply through love and care.

There are a lot of VW Beetles from the sixties running around, and it's probably not a coincidence that they look pristine. The ones owned by the careless and loveless succumbed to neglect long ago. It's sort of Darwinian, with the fittest owner's equipment surviving.
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Alex,

I think your argument about the Rolls or the Cavalier is more elitiest than it is reality. While I agree that a Rolls or a Bentley is a beautiful machine, it is that the owners of those machines can usually afford to have them maintained, both for pride of ownership and maintaining investment value. If they were not maintained as they should be, like anything else, they deteriorate and are much more expensive to fix. There is nothing uglier than a beat up high end car like a Porshe, Bentley, etc. You feel the cars pain.

Although I don't have any desire to own and drive a Cavalier, I saw a 10 year old Cavalier with 220,000 miles on it last week that looked almost new. I think the owner obviously must take good care of his piece of crap. If he owned the Rolls it would be maintained to the same standard.
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Old 11-05-2007
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Given that those "production boats" that show well in market, or appear to have aged well are those that have had meticulous owners, I have to go with purchasers being the overriding factor.

People who have invested heavily into the high end boats should be motiviated to keep them in good shape, and will likely have the means to make it happen even if they are not inclined to do the work themselves.

But the meticulous average joe (I know, a bit of an oxymoron there) who loves his pride and joy may well keep any boat in great condition.

But that is just one factor among many, including original quality and workmanship of course.
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