Join Date: Jul 2002
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Ken, an Etap is far more heavily engineered than a Hunter in that virtually all the technology that allows Etap to build a non-sinkable boat these days, affordably, had to be invented by them. They own the game. Moreover, the in-water tests they must pass are very thorough (altho'' not dynamic) and relate not just to keeping the boat afloat but also being able to sail it, flooded. And as if this isn''t enough of a challenge, they already meet some of the strictest emissions standards that have yet to go into effect in Europe re: how they handle the chemicals.
Etaps are also good sailers. Their weakness is interior volume, as the foam has to live somewhere. The bigger the Etap, the less this becomes an absolute problem altho'' even the bigger boats lack comparable storage to their (sinkable) competitors.
How do you plan to use the boat? There''s an interesting conflict, in a sense, between Etaps being the ''best'' of offshore boats because they can''t sink and the smaller ones lacking the amount of space a long passage can require. But these are clever, clever boats. I''d encourage you to try and see one of the newer ones if you can. And their newest technology is going to make the flotation cheaper to add and take even less space. These folks aren''t coasting...