Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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So lets be more specific, in the 1980's my mother and stepfather owned company that built boats in Taiwan. They were heavily involved in the design, development and construction of these boats. It meant being over there for long periods of time. Since they were not aligned with any specific yard, they would be in and out of the various yards, examining the quality of the boats being built since they were potentially contracting with these yards to build their boats. In those days the boat builders were a close knit bunch who met for dinner nearly nightly and would talk pretty openly about what they were up to, expecially since they used many of the same suppliers and tradesmen.
Because of my yacht design background, I was often involved in detailed conversations about related topics including build quality issues and the like. In a general sense, I came to understand the core issues with many of the boats that came out of Taiwan in terms of materials and methods of construction and the difficulty in getting them to adhere to even basic standards of construction in serious areas that potentially impacted some of the most basic structural, rigging and electrical and plumbing standards.
Some of this was understandable for an island republic where materials needed to imported, but some was just plain crazy. I cringed at stories like that of one yard in which an owner had paid to ship marine grade plywood to the yard for use in the subdecks, monel and stainless steel fastenings, properly rated hoses, and tinned wire in a range of sizes. The boat was being produced on a time and material contract under direct owner supervision and yet every time the owner turned his back for a day or two, non-marine ply was used in the deck, junk hoses suddenly appeared, and non-tinned wire was used for the electrical. The owner assumed they were trying to sell off "the good stuff" and make more money. But more to the point, the yard insisted none of this stuff was really necessary. But to me what makes this story significant as this story was being told, most of the yard owners sitting at that table agreed this stuff was unnecessary.
If I recall correctly, Hardin's were built under direct supervision, and so some of the really slip-shod stuff that I have seen probably was not done on these boats, and like the boat that Winn purchased, if someone went through one and really upgraded everything, you could end up with a half-way decent built boat.
That said, having sailed on these types of boats in a range of conditions, I find their motion uncomfortable, and their high drag hull forms, low stability to drag, and rig proportions really lousey at either end of the wind range. I understand that is my opinion and it represents my own personal bias toward better sailing vessels, betetr engineering, and my preference for a less rolly motion at the price of a slightly quicker motion.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 03-18-2010 at 01:54 PM.