...grumble grumble grumble.....bloody technology....
Not sure what is going on but having problems with card from camera.
Anywho...we went to the show on Monday. Spent a goodly amount of time wandering about looking into this and that. Here's a short account...minus pics. (I've included some lifted off the web.)
Any criticism of any of these boats is based on their newness and their cost. Even the ones I damn are in all probablity better than what I have now but then they are also a damn site more expensive.
Reality is that the SBS is a minor event in the international boat show calendar. Though I've never had the chance to visit the biggies (London, Southampton, Genoa, Dusseldorf, Barcelona ????) Sydney gets half the number of visitors as London, really only the big guys display and even then often a very small selection of boats. Total around 200 exhibitors but many of these were small stands selling gear, accessories and the like. Sadly no Swans or their ilk and of course none of the boutique European brands that we've been drooling over in this thread. I guess the top of the line sailing boats on display would have been Moody, X, Hallberg Rassey and of course the usual suspects, Beneteau, Juneau, Elan etc etc.
For us it was a good show. We spent a fair amount of time sussing out bits and pieces of hardware that are not sold at the bigger chandleries but thats not of any interest to you lot.
We had a good look at a number of boats, some gobsmacking, some disappointing. The Hanse 545 by Judel-Vroljik was a star. OK so not my cup of tea overall, but the scale of thing made it a standout. From the outside very impressive, indeed I did like the design. Interior, we've discussed this before, too much like a modern apartment though admittedly not quite as Ikea as some of the others. In its own way you have to give the designers credit for this one. What about those flush hatches ? Not unique to Hanse of course, but very impressive.
Elan - Sadly no 350. Too new to have made it downunder as yet. Shame. Had a good look at a 384. Yes I could live with one of these but it would never be my pride and joy, ultimately a bit too plastic. The thing appears well built though the joinery could have been better. Fabulous layout on deck, good cockpit, quite comfortable down below. I was quite surprised by how non claustrophobic was the aft cabin. I could be content with this though I do prefer to sleep up front. The 384 is designed by Rod Humphries, better known to me as the designer of the British Southerlys, a boat I have always liked.
Bluewater Yachts - An Australian builder of exceptionally high quality low output serious cruising yachts. I've been a fan of Bluewater owner David Bradburn since I first went on board one of his boats six or seven years ago. Currently offering a 40'er (BW420) design by legendary Australian designer Joe Adams, a Ron Holland designed 45'er and a 52'er designed by Bruce Farr, as yet none built. They only had the 40 on display and it was in fact an older boat that they had recently refurbished. I won't harp on about deck saloons, so lets presume for the moment that I am not obsessed with them, OK ? The BW 420 I could take home tomorrow. We did in fact go close to making an offer on one in 2008 but the price was too high and they would not negotiate. She did in fact sell for full asking. Not going to be the fastest boat in the world but rock solid and would make a marvelous cruising home. Every aspect of this boat screams quality even though I am not convinced by the design of the hard dodger. Admittedly it looks better in real life than on paper. You could buy a second hand BW for about the same price as a new Elan 384. No contest as far as I'm concerned.
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Dehler - It was for me wonderful to sit down in a Dehler and have a good look around. They only had two boats on display, a new series 32 and one of the older line the 45. Now I have to say that the 32 did not move me. I'm not overly impressed with this current trend towards what I think of as 'bubble boats'. Talk about frozen snot. I'd much rather the angular lines of say a Hanse 545 than the Dehler 32. OTOH, the 45 was the second boat at this show that I could have put under my arm and carried off home. Just superb. Build quality could not be faulted from what I saw. Sensible interior layout, nice cockpit and well laid out deck. If my dreamboat DS41 is as well built as the 45....I am happy. Only three DS41s ever made it to Australia btw. I'd always presumed that we would have to import one but the Dehler rep reckons there is one about to come onto the Oz market in Oz. If he is correct we'll be very interested I'm sure. Depending of course on the price.
Bavaria.....I will be very interested to see that new Farr design when it appears. I confess I have always found Bavarias to be handsome boats let down by the interior. I realise they are built to a price and I suppose I'd still rather one of these than a Beneteau or a Juneau but the joinery disappoints me.
Beneteau....had a wander through an Oceanis 40....leaves me totally unmoved.
Juneau.....as above for a DS40. Not that they are awful, just bland as bland can be. Very disappointing. I used to really like the old model Juneau Deck Saloons and sure the 50 plus footers are pretty impressive but no, not my speed.
Catalina....gee I hope Cruising Dad doesn't see this cos he has been extolling the praises of the Catalina but I'm afraid....see above. Maybe the odler ones are better than the newer. Even the hatches into the bilges were jammed on this thing.
To be honest from what I saw, the Elan was a better build than Beneteau. Juneau or Catalina. While I do still find the Elan too plastic, it would be the pick for me of the less expensive production yachts.
Salona....new , very new, to the Australian market and I really wanted to have a look see but there were too many people crawling around when we went past and I am embarassed to admit we forgot to go back.
We'll have to speak with the dealer and go have a look post show.
Moody....way out of my price league....but I've always liked Moodys. The old 425 is an old favourite. That whacko Pilot House I love, if only because it is out there while the new Classic looks a pretty fine piece of kit, little bit too "olde newe" for my liking but I suspect that this is a boat that will age well.
That's probably about it as far as the stuff we were interested in. I should have taken notes I guess but there were some lovely small daysailers on display and a vertiable horde of stink boats both large and small, almost all without exception being loathsome. I'm not really anti stink boats as such. Indeed I well admit that the day will come when I will go that way once I can no longer handle a sailing boat. For me, I'd rather be on the water in a stinker than not on the water at all. That said the current generation of frozen snot surrounded by a myriad of those vile underwater led lights just makes me want to
Oh...didn't mention multi hulls. Had a quick look at a Lagoon and an Australian built Seawind. Reality is the Wombet simply refuses to discuss the things. I can see they have appeal but she just hates them. Waste of time spending much time investigating but I really did like one little trimaran with folding wings. I forget the name right now and the info is at home. Only about 20' long but as a day sailor, occasional stay on board she would be terrific.
Rest of the time was spent looking at gear. I'll spare you the details.