Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Southern California
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within the industry we define builders in 3-4 categories:
Production Builders - Macgregor, Catalina, Beneteau, Hunter
Series Builders - WD Schock, Morris, Tartan, Sabre, Hinckley, Alerion Express, Swan
Custom Builders - many small and large shops.
Contract Manufacturers - these are the guys that build boats for the marketing focused sailboat companies (J boats being most well known of the marketering focused )
Within each category one will find a surprisingly narrow range of quality in the build, but a wide range of designs and capabilities.
High Performance Blue Water racers ( ie the Schock 40 ) are going to be built as light as possible and therefore will be minimally robust, just tough enough to make it safely, but make damn certain you survey every inch of the vessel after every major race.
Low Performance Blue Water Cruisers - ( Island Packets ) will tend to be overbuilt and require less care than the Schock 40, but are going to be slower and more comfortable.
Quite honestly, nearly all production boats are more floating condos than sailing vessels. The production builders need to appeal to the checkbook holder in the family (ie Mom ). They also have to battle very tough price points. This means that the production boats builders value engineer many hidde. Items on the boats, but lavish the budget on interior touches ( gimmacks ? ) which will sell the Wives