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  #11  
Old 02-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstern View Post
Down to just one finger of that big marina? Wow, that is sad. Will they have the sailboat vendors' area at Bayside again, or have they consolidated that into the Civic Center powerboat vendor display?

In the past the sailboat vendors were at bayside and the rest at the civic center. Need to go to both depending on what equipment you are looking for. There is a free bus that runs to both. I just found out today the catamarans will be at Bayside this year. So that is welcomed. It will interesting to see if the bring all the cats or just a few without having to go to Ft Lauderdale.
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Old 02-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
In the past the sailboat vendors were at bayside and the rest at the civic center. Need to go to both depending on what equipment you are looking for. There is a free bus that runs to both. I just found out today the catamarans will be at Bayside this year. So that is welcomed. It will interesting to see if the bring all the cats or just a few without having to go to Ft Lauderdale.

I was looking for new boat graphics one year, and thought I would be able to find a vendor at the sailboat area. Turns out that there were none at Bayside, and I didn't feel like doing the shuttle bus thing. I did however buy a new soft vang from Garhauer at the sailboat vendor area at a really great price.

Despite the fact that I live in Connecticut, I have probably been to the Miami show more than any other. The show often takes place during the school vacation week, and we would make the trip to visit my father in law. Things change; my kids now go to a private high school with a completely different vacation schedule, and sadly, my father in law died last year. I don't see myself going to the Miami show anytime soon, so Melrna, please give me a full report! I will have to be content with the Newport show in the fall.
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Old 02-17-2011
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I just got back from the show and it was a huge let down to sum everything up as far as the boats quality are concern. I will get into more detail later after a least a case of beer to get over what I saw. But here is some general observations.
First all the boats are starting to look a like. The European styling is taking over most of the boat lines. Eye brow windows vs ports on the side commings, big eye brow windows on the coach roof. This all translates into real nice views of what you are sailing but absolutely no ventilation what so every. The windows heat up the cabin it is like having a fireplace in the salon. Well says the astute sales person "look we have window shades to cover them all up!" So much for the view. Without the AC running in the tropics one will roast. Enough said. I won't even touch on the upkeep of the all that Lexan to keep crazing and scratches off.
The interior styling is going more and more European IKEA style. I just want to puke.. Ok I really did.. No for real , I really did. Partial board with some nice wood veneer. Call me old fashion call me an old salt but really enough is enough.. The manufactures have cut a lot of corners in their wood working department to keep cost down. The good news is there is some real nice styling out there, and some good thoughts into the design but they won't last long outside of occasional use of a weekend sailor.
Bluewater sailing boats. My last rant for now. They are a fast becoming a dying breed. In order for one to get a descent new bluewater boat one has to have lots of money read over $350K-Million with a Caliber at the low end and Hylas/Passoport at the high end. Otherwise one has to get buy a used boat, usually out of production to get below the $200k range. The Catalina/Morgan 440 is gone after the last boat is being built as we speak.
This is the US market not the European one (Paulo). Now for my 3rd beer.
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Last edited by Melrna; 02-24-2011 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 02-18-2011
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North American Sailor is at the show and is posting daily updates at nasailor.com. Let us know if there's something you want us to cover / ask and we'll do our best. Agree that the show is smaller for sailors - definitely smaller than Annapolis and Newport but there are several new boats here that we will be viewing and test sailing - j 108, beneteau sense, Catalina,etc.

MikeinLA, I've been to shows in Newport, Chicago, Annapolis and Miami and Annapolis is the biggest and best. It's a sail-only show and the atmosphere is great. Plus everything in town is walkable and the fall weather is beautiful. So that would be my rec. Miami is great for the weather but then you get that already in LA.
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Old 02-18-2011
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Melrna,

I was going to post about the show and, well, you summed it up pretty well.

Personally, I have never seen so many ugly, non-seaworthy top-heavy boats (AND shoddy workmanship) in one place at one time.

It's almost like it is all about the giant motorhome on the water down below and the stick up above is more of a "status symbol". Honestly, the old adage about difference between a pontoon boat and a catamaran is a truism now. Those wide-butt beneteaus were the last straw, I looked at one and left.

I will be at the show tomorrow again, not quite sure why - but I have tickets already. Might go look at powerboats because (gasp) I find their styling less disagreeable.

If anyone wants to meet up for whatever reason (or - talk navigation software) - wave here or pm
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Old 02-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomvangdc View Post
MikeinLA, I've been to shows in Newport, Chicago, Annapolis and Miami and Annapolis is the biggest and best. It's a sail-only show and the atmosphere is great. Plus everything in town is walkable and the fall weather is beautiful. So that would be my rec. Miami is great for the weather but then you get that already in LA.
Thanks Beth. I'm making plans to finally go to Annapolis this year. I'm not really looking for a boat, but I love a good show. Kinda glad I skipped Miami now. I was afraid that it would be like the west coast shows and sounds like it is. Hunter, Beneteau, Lunch, Catalina, Jeaneau, the ONE Island Packet....DONE. 20 years ago I could spend the day at the little Newport Beach show looking at Passports, Spindrifts, Hans Christians, etc. Those days are gone, I guess.

Mike
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Old 02-18-2011
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Speaking of which.
As I was walking around, looking at floating contraptions, there were a few boats to the side that looked more modest and even relatively seakindly. Then I realized those were Hunters!
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  #18  
Old 02-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinLA View Post
Thanks Beth. I'm making plans to finally go to Annapolis this year. I'm not really looking for a boat, but I love a good show. Kinda glad I skipped Miami now. I was afraid that it would be like the west coast shows and sounds like it is. Hunter, Beneteau, Lunch, Catalina, Jeaneau, the ONE Island Packet....DONE. 20 years ago I could spend the day at the little Newport Beach show looking at Passports, Spindrifts, Hans Christians, etc. Those days are gone, I guess.

Mike
Indeed they are.... Seattle and Vancouver were the same, regardless of the scale of the show itself....
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Old 02-20-2011
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Melnra/Brak,

I agree with you to an extent. I don't consider any of the boats on display in Miami to be true offshore cruisers, except the Hylas and maybe the Island Packets. At Annapolis you saw more boats with traditional interior wood and styling (like the Sabres, for example) than in Miami.

The Beneteaus, Jeanneaus, etc are aimed to the weekend or Bahamas cruiser, who is frankly doing more buying than the offshore long-term cruisers. I don't have a problem per se with the interior styling considering that even an offshore cruiser spends the majority of their time at anchor. Why not be comfortable down below? But I am interested in how they sail - Melnra, how was the Jeanneau? We are taking the new Beneteau out on Wednesday for a test sail.
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  #20  
Old 02-24-2011
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Jeanneau 409 and 42DS -
I spent considerable time on these boats. I had mention earlier I was going to do the delivery for the 409 but due to health reasons I was unable to join the crew. So the sailing characteristics are unknown to me personally. This was an upsetting defeat for me in not being able to sail these boats.
The new 409 I was excited to see due to all the hype in the all the sailing magazines. It is a gorgeous boat with good sheer, low freeboard and dynamite topsides. I will start this review topside and then go below. Starting at the bow of the boat the anchor set-up is good. A good deep locker than can be easily divided, with a hidden windlass. What kept this from being excellent was no cleat in the locker nor for safety reasons the tie off for the anchor rode was at the bottom of the anchor well and impossible to reach in an emergency. When I check the forward cleats for backing plates there were none. The non-skid topside was excellent with good room on the side decks to move forward. However, I felt the coach roof hand holds were hard to reach and inadequate. Furthermore they did not go completely forward. They are recessed into the coach roof to make for a clean un-obstructive deck but I felt they should be more accessible. The forward hatch to the V-berth is large. It is total Lexan without frame support. It is not a straight piece of plastic but with a curve face plate. While it looks pretty and lets in sunlight I can see that it will be easy to scratch. The rest of the topsides I cannot say enough about; well designed. The whole topsides forward of the cockpit is clutter free. All the lines are cover in a channel back to the cockpit. Standard Sheldon Mast for which I like. This boat had the new Harken Re-wind winches. Very cool piece of equipment. The cockpit was both comfortable and functional. Two nice lockers under the settees plus another on under the port helm seat. The one thing I loved on this boat was the Chart plotter was up high on a gimbal mount that I can read, program and see without bending over/sitting on the cockpit floor like on other models. The 409 had additional storage in aft cockpit floor for a life raft or dockside gear. With German sheeting back to cockpit, it is an easy boat to handle. Like the other critics of this boat, only one winch in the back that has to serve double duty for the jib and main sheets. The performance package adds a few things for which I think are important. One a bigger jib for sailing in light air and going downwind. Along with that comes additional sheeting track on the deck. Better running sheets, bigger winch, adjustable backstay, spinnaker set-up to name a few are the other options.
Here is what I don't like. The Lexan glass on the topsides. Both in the v-berth and aft berths hatches I can see getting scratched real easy and hard to replace down line. No dorads or ports. There is very poor ventilation for the tropics on this boat. The mid cabin hatches face aft. According to Jeanneau they had to do that to get the A class ocean rating. So getting fresh air in the salon area is next to impossible. One of my biggest pet peeves is the short lifelines. Just above the knee is not only to short but dangerous in any seas. Another thing I didn't care for was the single shroud attachment point. I am sure it is engineered to some level but it looked like it can come apart at a moment's notice. The rod comes down from the deck to a U-shape flange where the rod can rotate and move that was then attached to the stringers on the hull. I have seen smaller 20' boats with stronger support for the mast than this set-up. But like I said, I sure some French engineer will say it is strong enough for ocean sailing.
Down below: I really like the layout of this boat. That is all I can say that is good about it. The styling while IKEA in nature seems to have taken over the boating industry and not my style, I can see others liking this type of design. What I found was it was only skin deep. When I took this boat apart I was hugely disappointed so much I had to walk away from the boat for awhile to collect myself. It seemed like it was all a facade. Minimum material used and the cheapest found. It felt like the whole interior was particle board with some veneer over it. Strings were used to hold open the doors, 1/8 plywood for the top coverings under the beds and settees, floor boards so badly made I wanted to scream. It was all shame because this could be a really great boat.
The cabin layout for a 40' boat is great. The v-berth is big, with plenty of storage. The optional desk is real nice and functional. They used every space available for storage including places to put shoes. The aft berth is great also for guest. One of the things I really like is the storage room set-up on the port side. Reminds me of the Catalina 445 set-up but not as nice(40' vs. 45' makes a world of difference). The one head is large with a separate shower area. I felt storage here was lacking. The settee cushions in the salon were lacking in both material and cushion thickness. Not sure what they were thinking here. The new dining table is an engineering marvel. I really like this table and the way it unfolds into a bigger table or how it comes down to make up an additional bed. There is even a nice little storage unit for my favorite rum.
The galley is a little small for a 40' boat. I have seen a lot better. One thing they could have done is a fold out table on the end, to give more workspace. The refrigerator is nice and big but lacking in any freezer space. One of the best things I like is the extra row of storage bins they added to this model along the hull wall.
The engine access was good but Jeanneau didn't put any fuel filters in for the engine. You heard me right NO fuel filters. When I asked Jeanneau what is up with that, they said " with the boat selling all over the world, every region has their own unique fuel filters, so we don't put one on.!" WTF over and out! There was no automatic fire extinguisher like the other brands have. One has to asked where else did they cut corners.
The rudder is composite frame with foam. Those that followed the Hunter story from the early 2000-2005 models knows that did not work out well for them. This rudder stock looked worse than what the Hunters had. When I asked them about how it is made, I was told they just roll up fiberglass like one does a newspaper. Since I used to work in Composite technologies for DuPont, I almost lost right there. So back off the boat for another beer, to regain myself. I never returned.
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