There are several methods for measuring a boat's size.
The L.O.A. (Length Over All) which measures yachts from the very front of the pull-pit to the edge of the transom. The Hull Length (H.L.), which measures only the hull and the L.W.L. (Length of the Water Line), which measures only the water line of a vessel, are the most commonly used. Out of those, the most accurate -indicating the real size of a boat- is the L.W.L, not only because the water-line dictates the maximum speed a vessel can reach, but also because it realistically represents the "volume" (in cubic metres) of the boat.
The other two measurements - L.O.A and H.L.- can easily mislead as to a vessel's size. The H.L. because a higher "inclination" in the bow and the transom of a boat can "add" several feet (when no real change has been added in the vessels "volume"). The LOA is even worse, as it includes in the calculation everything sticking out of the bow or the transom.
Some twenty years ago, the boat building companies named the new models with a number that was close to the real size of their vessels. In later years, when they are designing a new vessel they tend to name it after the LOA, in order to make us believe that their yachts are larger than their actual size. As an example, the Jeanneau model of 1983 "Trinidad 47" had an L.W.L of 41,34 ft, when the 2002 model of the same company, "Sun Odyssey 52,2" has a L.W.L 41,8 feet. Obviously, both yachts are of the same size.
But my dear Jeanneau marketeers, the beautiful 53 footer you recently sold me is only 47 feet, according YOUR estimations of just a few years ago. What happened and who took off 2 whole meters from my boat?
Please notice that I mention Jeanneau as an example, but actually ALL the companies are doing the same (when I say all, I mean Jeanneau, Beneteau and Bavaria, which represent the 95% of the yacht charter market). They are all misleading us and falsely try to make us believe that their boats are larger than what they actually are.
I hear some of you saying "ok Alex, this is a marketing trick, but it is not so important, as we always know the real size of the boats".. Do we??
Recently, I've decided to re-arrange the price lists of all the boats on @lmiyachts.com and sort the yachts according their L.W.L. Here are the results: http://www.almiyachts.com/Bareboat/rental_boats.html
Don't be surprised if you see the Super Dooper 47 model of company A listed below the Awesome 42 model of company B, as this only means that the second boat is in reality larger than the other and company B is more honest when it comes to naming the model.
I thought that this job would take me only a couple of days but this estimation was far from the truth, as I discovered...
the 3rd best well kept secret of the decade
(after the DaVinci Code and Google's page ranks algorithm)
Jeanneau and Beneteau NO LONGER provide us the only accurate information indicating their vessels' real size i.e. the L.W.L. If you don't believe me, here are the addresses for their official sites: Jeanneau
. Beautiful photos and virtual videos, but not a single word for the L.W.L.
Unfortunately, I'm afraid that all the companies will follow the same methods or collapse. Because in marketing it is the "first impression" that counts. If in your mind the first impression is that the 38 footer of company A is 15% cheaper (in buying or chartering) than company's B, then company A won the game (the fact that company's B boat is larger and it should had been compared with the 41 footer of company A, is a "minor" detail and will not affect people's decisions). Company B can only adopt the same methods or extinct. If you like, take a look at Moody's
site to verify that. Total absence of the L.W.L and yacht models measured from the pull-pit to the end of the flag pole.
I believe that, since we are called to pay a small fortune in order to buy -or a great amount of money when we charter- a yacht, we are entitled to know exactly what we will get for our hard earned money. Cheap marketing methods -targeting to mislead us in our choice- are not complimentary for any company.
Thank you for your time
Alexander M. Vournas