Production Boats and the Limits - Page 30 - SailNet Community
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post #291 of 1997 Old 07-10-2011
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The term "production boat" is being used to describe many boats as unsuitable for offshore use. Hal Roth's Whisper was a production boat (Spencer 35) not unlike the Albergs and Cape Dory boats, also production boats. The boat I pictured above (Valiant 40) is also a production boat. I can't think of too many boats being used offshore that aren't production boats. There are a few - the Pardey's current and previous boats among them.

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post #292 of 1997 Old 07-10-2011
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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
The term "production boat" is being used to describe many boats as unsuitable for offshore use. Hal Roth's Whisper was a production boat (Spencer 35) not unlike the Albergs and Cape Dory boats, also production boats. The boat I pictured above (Valiant 40) is also a production boat. I can't think of too many boats being used offshore that aren't production boats. There are a few - the Pardey's current and previous boats among them.
Thanks, I didn't recognize it. I believe I have the Valiant on my list of preffered boats. I'm reading a book by Hal Roth right now. I have also read some of the Pardey's work and realized that they built their own boats. It's ironic that you mention the Cape Dory as being production boats. It seems the tone of the thread that production boats are fin keeled while the full keeled boats are considered slow going tanks. Aren't at least some of the Cape Dory's full keeled? And out of curiosity, how many boats have to be produced to be considered a production boat? I'm not trying to be a smart a$$, I'm actually curious. Aren't most boats, even some of the high dollar premiums built from the same molds and tailored to suit the buyer?
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post #293 of 1997 Old 07-10-2011
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The Cape Dory boats are all full keel boats. They are also a production boat - I don't think many owner changes were made except to trim and options. The Alberg 30, 35, and 37, Westsail 32, Pearson Triton, Southern Cross 31, Acapulco 40, Allied Luders 33 and 36, Baba 30 and 35, Tayana 35, Many of the earlier Bristols, some Cheoy Lee boats, some of the Cabo Rico's, Hans Christian, Lord Nelson 35 and 41, some Pacific Seacraft boats, were full keel boats.

The Spencer 35 Hal Roth sailed as well as the Spencer 42 and 44 were full keel boats.

All of the above were what I would call production boats.

There are not many full keel boats being produced today - Cape George boats are and are semi custom. Robinhood 36 and 40 were semi custom full keel boats that were fairly recent - not sure if they are around now, and the Bristol Channel Cutter is full keel - very close to the Pardey's boat, but semi-custom.

Hunter, Catalina, and Beneteau never produced a full keel boat.


A production boat to my mind is one where all boats are the same with the exception of gear options and possibly a few layout options.

A boat like a Morris is the same hull, deck, and rig but the buyer can choose most everything else. I would call that semi-custom.

Custom denotes a one of a kind.

As far as numbers produced to be called production, I don't think boatbuilding is quite as structured as the car business so I don't think there is a set number.

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post #294 of 1997 Old 07-11-2011
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This is very interesting information. I actually learned basic sailing from a friend on a Catalina 27 so that brand has a special significance to me. Given the various opinions I've read and heard from others and adding the sailing characteristics of what you are considering production boats, which by the way well describes what I picture as a production boat, I have another question. Why are production boats spoken of like they are at the low end of boats? I have heard some people speak as though they are cheap and somehow inferior. This really doesn't jive with what I've seen and read on this site. My neighbor at the marina where I kept my Endeavour 32 had a Hunter. It was 28' and I cant recall the actual model, but it was in top notch condition. A very nice boat and very well equipped. It did not in anyway appear cheap or inferior. Is there a brand, or even a boat class rivalry similar to the Ford vs. Chevy rivalry in the boating community?
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post #295 of 1997 Old 07-11-2011
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I would guess anywhere from 90 to 95% of the boats built in the last 30 or so years are "production boats".
It's not hard to see why. Economy of scale. The mold is good for many hulls and decks. Standardization keeps prices low. Even with the same hull and deck used a semi custom boat can easily double in price - see Morris, Hinckley et all.

Before fiberglass there were not many boats that could be called production, they were built one at a time. One of the few that comes to mind is the Concordia yawl built in numbers by Abeking & Rasmussen in Germany and shipped to the US. In those times sailing was for the rich or at least the well to do. Fiberglass boats changed all that. People could buy an affordable boat produced in numbers just like a Chevrolet. I can't see much wrong with that. Boats like the Pearson brothers Triton were there at the beginning - 1959.

There is nothing wrong with a production boat if it is well designed and built properly. Many if not all one-off boats have teething troubles that are soon sorted out when many are built. Over the years fully custom boats have had to have modifications because something didn't work out as planned.

A production boat if badly built or designed will quickly become common knowledge. That is a good thing too.

The present has other bonuses. Due to several factors sailing has never cost so little. For one, fiberglass boats refuse to die. Everything on them will wear out eventually and need repair or replacing but the basic boat lives. For another the economy has created a buyer's market. There has never been a better time to buy a used boat I don't think.

Both the Endeavour 32 (same hull as the Irwin 32) and any Hunter you can name were production boats. Catalina, Columbia, Cal, Morgan, and dozens of others created the buyer's market we have today by building anywhere from dozens to hundreds of each model. There were about 7000 Catalina 30's built.

There are many opinions of which boats are good and which were not. A few are based on fact but most not.

I work on boats daily and get to see the parts many including the owners seldom see. I get to see both good and not so good building/wiring/plumbing practices. Some of the more expensive boats are not necessarily the best built - but I'm not telling tales.

The best way to get a boat suited for your intended purpose, whether daysailing with some overnighting and an annual holiday or crossing an ocean is to educate yourself as much as possible. Read books that cover construction. Go to the library and get a book like Ferenc Mate's "Best Boats to Build or Buy" or "The World's Best Sailboats". Many brands are covered including Beneteau. How they are built is described in detail with many pictures. The more you know the easier it will be to see good or not so good details when boat shopping.

Then there is condition. If you are looking at any older boat the maintenance and care it has received over the years is at least as important as the original build quality. Lots can happen over several decades of owner neglect and some possibly dubious upgrades.

There are many owner's groups on the web as well that can give you a better knowledge base of the manufacturer.

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post #296 of 1997 Old 07-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Dean101

Yes it is a beautiful boat. But probably not an "offshore" boat as it doesn't have a full keel with rudder attached that many are after.

It is Bob Perry's first successful design, the Valiant 40. Known as the beginning of the performance cruisers. And an awesome boat in every respect.

..
50 years ago when the Vailant was introduced to the market it was a pretty revolutionary boat, a light and fast boat on those days and a boat that suffered the criticism of traditional sailors.

Today it's stability and seaworthiness have nothing to prove however when sailors compare a Vailant with a modern passage-maker like the Pogo 40 (or a Cigale) tend to look at the Pogo has a less seaworthy boat, some even has a dangerous boat.

Have a look at the stability curves (GZ) of both boats (the one from the Pogo is in m, the one from the Vailant in ft).





We can see that the Pogo has a bit better AVS (or LPS) and that the max GZ from the Pogo is more than the double of the one from the Vailant. Of course this is the GZ and to find the RM we would have to multiply by the weight of the boat and as the Pogo weights a bit less than half in the end the static overall stability would be pretty much the same.

Off course, static stability is only half of the picture and probably the less important half. In what regards the other half, dynamic stability, the Pogo would have a big advantage.

The Vailant 40 is a good and safe offshore boat, a modern option 50 years ago. I just want to point out that most of the times sailors tend to give an overvaluation to old boats when comparing it with modern boats when seaworthiness and offshore capability is concerned.

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post #297 of 1997 Old 07-11-2011
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Paulo

I was showing the Valiant as a "modern" alternative to the full keel "offshore" boats suggested by others. And it didn't exist 50 tears ago.

Maybe Bob will post his thoughts?

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post #298 of 1997 Old 07-11-2011 Thread Starter
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I have to say that I was definitely impressed with the Pacific Seacraft 37 Crealock we raced recently. We actually hit 9 knots on a surf in 20 knots of wind and 4' seas! And she was a very stable boat. Then, at the finish bonfire, I heard a whole lot of positive comments about the PSCs. I think most would approve of that boat as a "bluewater cruiser".

However, for me, I will most likely end up with a Bene, Jenneau, Hunter, or another Catalina (which I own now) for our cruising boat - in the 40' range. The used price point of these boats is just too good for what you get - and the modern layouts appeal to the family. We'll see.


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post #299 of 1997 Old 07-11-2011
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Pacific Seacraft boats are all good offshore boats, even the 20' Flicka.

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Change of direction

I believe my first response has been lost somewhere in the ethernet world so I will respond again. It seems that I have turned Smackdaddy's thread into a discussion of keel designs. Let me change the direction of the discussion to other factors that make a boat safe/safer for extended offshore use. Items such as cockpit size and drainage, portlight size and materials, rigging, access to thru-hulls, etc... Are the major production boat manufacturers consistently producing boats with adequate equipment or are they known for inferior quality or design in areas located above the keel? I'm curious about this. The Catalina I learned in was rented from the Navy recreation center in San Diego and it was what I will refer to as a base model boat. Very sterile interior, no real amenities, just a cabin with nagahide cushions, a tiller, and a compass with heel indicator. I have seen pictures of Catalinas that are quite attractive, stylish, and full of amenities. What production boats seem to be built to higher standards? Since it seems they are marketing primarily to sailors who stay fairly close to land most of the time and use their boats occasionally rather than constantly, do they design and build to what could be considered a median range of quality to satisfy that market, yet offer options for upgrade to a more robust boat?

I'm really getting an education in design standards here so I appreciate you guys keeping this thread alive! I'll check out those books you've mentioned. I'm still building my nautical library so they may end up on the shelf also.
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