Maybe the Oceanis are cheaper than the C400's. But a c400 new is running 250k, base price. By the time you add bottom paint, or air cond, delivery, taxes, wind depth and speed, etc... you will hit the 300k mark or very close to it. Now you might say that you do not need that stuff, but my experience is that very few people really sell off with a base model. We dropped an easy 30k in extras (and I did most of the rest myself afterwards) when we bought our 400 in 05.
.. a new Valiant will easily push 400k. I am not saying that is not a solid boat and top notch, but that is a loooootttt of money. For the casual shopper, they would ask why pay that kind of coin for a boat that is half the size down below of the typical production boat (length-length) when they can have a production boat, new, with all kinds of amenities, for maybe hundreds of thousands less?
Now Paulo - you and I can try to explain the many difference and build quality and hardware and lifelines. We can discuss the hull and laminate schedule. We can talk about system access. We can talk about the considerable cabinetry and all that stuff. And they will look at you with glazed eyes and say, "I am not planning on sailing around the world."
... But I firmly believe that purchasing a Valiant to be coastal or island hop is a mistake. It is the wrong boat. It is tight down below and expensive. It does not have a lot of hatches for ventilation. It is slow. It is hard to have people over on because the cockpit is small. Getting on and off via tender is more difficult than a sugar scoop. Swimming off the back is harder because it is harder to get back on board. How many more reasons do you want!?? Wrong boat. However - to do long distance cruising, or a circum, it is the right boat. Many of the things which are a negative to the island hopper are a positive to the passage maker.
So buy the boat for the intended purpose. It does not mean you cannot circum in a bene or island hop in a Valiant. What it means is that there will be many costs involved (in comfort or money) to make the boat work beyond its intended purpose. And I shall also say that is ironic that I almost always see the Catalinas and the Hunters and Benes out sailing or anchored out... and rarely see the others. Is it because there are so very few of them? Or, could it be, the person bought the wrong boat for that purpose and now find themseslves no longer enjoying sailing or do not want to be cramped and uncomfortable anchored out on an island? Everyone has their own opinion, but I believe the latter.
Coming back to where this thread started for Melissa, I like my 400 of '04 better than the new 400's. They made some mod's that I do not agree with. I like my boat much more than any of the other models that are new - bene, hunter, or Catalina. I have many reasons for this, many of which you might guess, so I will leave them there. The only boat I might consider trading my 400 for is the new 445. But before I even considered that, I would want to see how she does offshore and if she really is as fast as they seem to make her out. But when you start talking about breaking the 300's-350's (or more considering what I have on my boat that would have to be switched over), I suspect I would move into a more customed sailboat like a used Hylas or Mason or Taswell. But our destinations may very well lie on more distant horizons than our boat was really designed for so our needs are different than most people.
These are my opinoins only.
Brian, these are only our opinions, I suspect they are informed opinions, but nevertheless just opinions. Two informed guys can have different and justified views about the same subject.
About your boat and the Oceanis, I don’t believe they are in the same price league. The basic price for an Oceanis 40 in Europe, with sails and 20% taxes (I believe you pay less) is around 140 000 euros and if you buy the boat on the right time, they will offer you a discount of at least 10% (or equipments in that value). I believe the Catalina has as standard more equipment, but with more 45 000 euro you will have a well equipped Oceanis. Taking into account the discount, the final price would be around 225 000 USD. I believe the difference in price has to do with different scale of operation, intensive use of robots, but also with a better equipment on the Catalina, the kind of equipment you value (size of winches, more ballast/displacement ratio, better finish and so on).
You don’t like the way new Catalina models are going, because they are going in the way Beneteau are: Basic inexpensive boats with a well designed interior (with just fair quality) for the casual sailor. And they are going that way, as you have said in previous posts, because that is the boat that most buyers want. They will not pay a lot more for a boat that, regarding the way they are going to use it, will do exactly the same thing the more expensive boat will do.
Regarding prices and boats, take a look at the Beneteau price list:
Take a look at the price of the Beneteau Figaro, a 34ft monotype basic racer. I believe the price does not include the sails and the boat comes with a very Spartan interior,
and compare it with the Oceanis 40 price. They cost about the same, I mean the 34ft will cost a lot more if we add the sails’ price.
Imagine both boats on a boat show….99,9% of people would find that the Figaro is incredibly more expensive. Of course we know that they are both made by Beneteau and that the profit margin of the Figaro is probably a lot smaller than of the Oceanis. We know that the prices reflect the quality of the boats in what regards sailing and strength.
You can make a cruising boat with the same strength (ballast/displacement ratio) and quality used on the Beneteau Figaro, and add a very good interior, but the price would be so high that only very rich men could have one. There are at least a line of cruising boats that fits that bill: The cruising line of X-yachts:
Xc 42 Â· The new Future Cruising Range
They are a lot more expensive than the Valiant that you were talking about and they don’t have any of the disadvantages that you were pointing, regarding coastal cruising…except the price, but that is a insurmountable disadvantage for almost everyone
Even if a manufacturer builds a decent basic cruising boat (the way you and I understand it) it would not be a match, regarding sales, to more basic boats. Bavaria has made one, the Vision 40. That boat has a very good Ballast/displacement ratio, a good equipment, is fast, strong and seaworthy and has a very interesting price. Of course, it is more expensive than the Bavaria’s (so called) cruising line, that corresponds to the Oceanis line.
The Vision line is a complete disaster in sales and I believe they will finish it soon. People don’t see a reason to spend more money on a boat in things they cannot see and that probably they would not need.
Bavaria-Yachtbau :: vision: Technical Drawings
You talk of buying a used good cruising boat, but if you buy a used boat with more than 10 years you will have a lot of expenses (and trouble). There are a lot of things that start to break or need substitution at around that time, and expensive things like the electronic, rigging and sails. If you buy a 5 year old used very good cruising boat it will cost you probably more than a new Catalina.
I suspect that in Europe the sailboat market is a lot stronger than in the US (I believe you have a bigger motorboat market). I believe that here there are more sailors and that has permitted some medium size manufacturers to explore the long range cruising market. Here if you have the money and really want to cruise extensively you normally buy one of these:
Allures yachting, votre voilier aluminium
Alubat - des bateaux en aluminium Ă* vos mesures
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The RM yachts are particularly interesting because they are the choice for the less wealthy and also for the ones that like to cruise fast. The typical French long range sailor (and there are a lot of them), chooses an aluminum centerboard (Ovni, Allures) or a RM. The smaller RM, the 35 ft, is already a true oceangoing boat.
If you don’t have the money…well you just adapt one of the big mass production boats to the job. Most of the manufacturers and dealers can provide you with the right options. It will be expensive (something as 50% more than the basic price of the boat) but a lot less than one of those boats. I believe that’s why you see a lot more of mass market build boats out there on the ocean: Money, or the lack of it.
It will not be the same, but that´s the difference between having a relativelly new boat... or not