I promised you all a Valiant factory tour. I went up there a few weeks ago on a Monday and low and behold it was closed.
They only work Tues-Friday. But not all was lost. I did see a couple of used yachts (list on yatchworld) and a couple of new ones that were just finished. I got to tear through most of the yachts which was nice. I only have one sentence to say, "Hello gorgeous!"
My quick impressions. Valiant builds the yachts right from most standards. The layup is great, materials are the best, design is proven and a great support from the factory. The mast is custom built for the boat which was a surprise. I never heard of the manufacture. They use SS rods for mast support. The chainplate support is great but not as robust as the Caliber was. In addition, they are a little tricky to inspect them. The backstay comes in both non/hydraulic adjustment.
There were a few things I didn't like about the boat. It is all personal
taste. First is the anchor locker. No access from the topsides. It is small in the bow and only accessible from a small door above the V-berth or in the Pullman configuration forward storage area which makes getting to it even harder. I wonder about chain castling with this configuration. The anchor rode is feed through two stovepipes ( one for each anchor) to their respective space. The rest of the anchoring package is top notch design and equipment. The bowsprint is so robust can one say "Ramming speed!"
Second, is the stern design. Pure personal choice here. I don't like it. It makes for a very small cockpit area. With the rounding of the stern getting behind the helm one has to crawl/step onto the lazzerates to get back there. I consider this a safety thing. I believe one should be able to walk around to get to the helm. Next, I like a swim platform in the stern as well. It is personal I know but I like to get on and off the dingy without to many acrobatics, transferring goods on/off the dingy, MOB victim retrieval(another safety thing), just plain getting in/out of the water to swim, and to bath. The head and shower area. Way to small for this size boat considering there is only one onboard. Water tanks. Takes up all the space in both settee's. Lose out on a ton of storage plus weight/balance and CG with the tanks not centerline. The last thing I am not sure I like and hope some of the experts would chime in here is the V-drive transmission system. Not sure is it is a big deal but I don't understand it. It looks complicated and I didn't see where the PSS shaft seal was.
Now for Melissa's 5 star great design and attention to detail awards. Topside: Hardware, sail-plan, winches (Massive, biggest ones I have seen on a non racing boat), hull design, bow pulpit, toe rail, cabin top.
, Pullman berth, insulated sides, joinery, nav station, electrical wiring, engine room.
Final note. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Bernie's and Kate's (Rouge Wave yacht broker owners) new trick out Valiant 42 before it was to get decommission to ship back to Annapolis. Bernie himself gave me a tour of his new yacht. Thank you very much! Bernie's attention to detail in customizing his new boat was purely amazing. So was the price he paid for it too! So if anyone out there has plans on buying a Valiant I would talk to them about their modifications to make this boat at it's absolute best. BTW, He is trading in his HR 54/53 (?) for a Valiant.
(Now Captain, passed the captains course on the 767/757 aircraft. Say Hi to me if you are on my flight to the Caribbean, Central/South America out of Miami. If you offer sun downers on your boat, I might even upgrade you!
. Alex I have a special seat for you anytime