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  #11  
Old 10-09-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jotun View Post
Actually, they did the same thing with the stickers at the Strictly Sail show in Philadelphia in January. It's not a big deal, though. You tell the lady what state you live in and she gives a color coded sticker. I slapped it on my shirt and then went on a bunch of the Catalinas without a salesperson ever approaching me.

CD, a question for you. When did they start building the 309?
It is a relatively new boat... last couple of years I think. It is a bit of a paradox in that Catalina went to the vendors and told them they were trying to build a boat to replace the 30 - but wanted to meet a particular price point. Tough job, as the 30 was very popular.

They did it. It is an interesting compromise in many respects, and a good boat for the right person. If you are considering that boat, I would steer you to a 32 also. Very good sailing boat. If you want something ideal for cruising, I have always liked the 36. Not sure that they are still in production, though. I think they are out of production. However, there were thousands built and you can pick them up at a very fair price.

- CD
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2007
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My impressions

I went on Thursday. The my wife (the CO) said I didn't get enough stuff from the vendors, and made me take her back on Saturday. I love that woman....

Anyway.

My intended use is liveaboard/workaboard, and extended cruising. That tailors what I look at.

IPs. Um. I'm sure they're nice boats, but they don't grab at my heart.

Sabre. Nice. Again, I like the 386 more than the 426. It seems to make better use of available space.

Caliber. I went on both the 47 and the 40. I expected to like the 40, after looking at the layout and specs on line, but was disappointed. The deck camber on the side decks made travel forward feel very insecure to me. Also, the nav station is side-facing, and the hull curve eats up all my leg room. Since I work on my laptop most of the time, a functional nav station for long use is important. I had a strong preference, and was surprisingly taken with, the 47.

Pacific Seacraft. I was surprised they were there. Allegedly the new owner of PS, from North Carolina, was there as well. I didn't meet him, though. Very nice boats. The only thing I didn't like was that I whacked my head on the dodger coming up on the 40. On the other hand, I would want to wait a few years to establish the financial viability of the new company before dropping that much cash on a new boat!

Morris. Nice, but not really practical for me.

Delphia 40. One of my top three favorites. I hated the layout on this one, but they offer a traditional salon for the 2-cabin model. Comfortable, functional, seemed to be reasonably well built. I like the skylights. For a base price of 214,000, it seems like a good value.

Hylas. Ya know, I've always said I love the Hylas. I referred to Powerball tickets as "Hylas fund tickets." I really like the layout and looks down below (I'm talking about the 46 - no need for bigger). Good features. Good finish. That said, I've now been on the 46 three times - at the Annapolis Sailboat Show - and NOT ONCE has the salesperson on the boat said so much as "hi" to me when I stepped aboard. Clearly, I'm not part of the white trouser crowd, or whatever they're looking for. Maybe they have a five year waiting list. Whatever. I'm not going to spend 600K on a boat from people who can't be bothered to speak to me.

Grand Soliel. Nice boat. Don't care for the layout below. She feels fast, even sitting at the dock.

Valiant 50. Wow. I was disappointed. I had a hard time getting down the companionway. The hatch was narrow/short, and the ladder steep. If I had to come home to that every day, and try to get a backpack full of camera equipment down there, or carry down groceries, I'd be annoyed. Everything else was great, but the companionway made her a no-starter for me.

HR 37. This was an interesting design. Probably the best use of space I saw. They decided to drop the passageway overhead way down rather than making her profile boxy. Great finish work. Fantastic engine room! I can't see spending that much, though.

Najad 440. Holy smokes. That's one beautiful boat. Unfortunately, it costs a million bucks, literally. I prefer the CC model (personal preference). Great interior. Great features. Fantastic deck! Felt very comfortable to me. I now buy "Najad fund" tickets.

Oh, the Shannon. Again, great boat, but didn't tug at my heart.

I notice a lot of my reactions are now based on aesthetics rather than the "oh cool electronics" factor.

Cheers,
Phil

P.S. The crab dip at The Federal House is outstanding....
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2007
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Pamlico,

I think we can agree on brand building without to much problem. However, your example of Cabo Rico is good as far as it goes. How many Cabo Rico dealers are their in the US? My guess without having checked is very few, and maybe only one. You said that they really liked to talk about their product and the brand and were proud of it. Great, because if they have very few dealers, or no dealer network at all, the person talking to you could also sell you.

In the production arena they have a vast network of dealers. In many cases more than two in a large state. Like Cabo, they want to talk about a brand that they are proud of. Why not talk to someone that you may/or may not do business with? Or at least someone familiar with your area. I will also say that of the 5 major boat shows that I have been to, not once was I pressured to buy from any vendor. Some were a little more aggressive than others, but most were just fine. Certainly never hard sold at Catalina, but they did have lots of people on hand to answer my questions or steer me to someone that could.

Boat shows are certainly a way to build the brand, but do not kid yourself that they do not sell boats, and lots of them, at shows. Those show specials from the production guys sell lots of boats in the moment. Also, the dealers have a major investment at these shows, not just manufacturers. Inventory, people, advertising, etc.. They plan to get that investment back, not just build the brand.

It would be very interesting to see just how much of the larger sailboat purchasing starts with, and in many cases ends, at the show. I would bet it is a huge percentage.


Oh, and I think it was CD that was thinking that some of the Catalina line was culled down. The 27, the 310, and the 36 have been dropped....although there are lots of them out there, some probably brand new. The 34 seems to be year to year at this point. Still gives lots of size options to choose from.
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2007
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Did anyone look at the Catalinas? What Catalinas were there?

- CD
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2007
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BTW, Tommy, I knew they were going to drop the 36 per Ron, the regional sales rep for Catalina. Then I heard they still had some fbeing finished in production. Thus, not sure how dead that line is, but I know it is coming.

- CD
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  #16  
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CD, they did announce it publicly at the show per some people on the C34 website. Those boats have also disappeared from the website in the last few weeks as well.

Interesting, Pamlico does not want to be identified to sell, and Pmoyer is upset with Hylas because they ignore him. Just goes to prove the old theory about what floats your boat. Also, that Hylas might need to look into their customer friendly staff.


Learned a long time ago that appearances are just part of the equation. Worked at a retail clothing store in college. An old farmer walked into the store in bib overalls that needed some work. Everyone else ignored him waiting for the big customer to come in. We weren't busy and he seemed nice so I asked him what I could help with. Turned out that he had just sold the family farm for millions and was taking his entire family to Europe for a month. He needed some new clothes. I needed to sell some. Perfect marriage.

OH, he had three sons, 4 grandsons, and a wife, two daughters, and a grandaughter. They had all worked on the farm and they needed a wardrobe too! I made more money with that "Can I help you?" than I did in an average month.
They bought good stuff, and lots of it. My friend that worked in the womens area liked me too.

Those guys that he walked by without so much as a " Hi, how are you?", called me a lucky bastard. I just told them I was more perceptive than they were.
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  #17  
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There is a 309 on my dock at Bert Jabin's in Annapolis. It has the dark blue hull. Up close, it's a great looking boat but I just don't like the big portlight that's replaced the split port light on the old 30. They've just introducted a Mark II version of the 350. I think it also has that single large portlight. I really have a problem with those big portlights on any boat.

I am on G Dock at Jabin's. My wife and I were out for a late afternoon sail yesterday (10/08) and were back at the dock for a night on the boat when the boat show closed. We're sitting on the foredeck relaxing with a drink, when all the big Lagoon cats at the show came sailing down the way back part of Back Creek. Smallest I saw was 42 feet and the biggest was 50 feet. They ended up docking at Performance Cruising, the company that manufactures Gemini 105 Cats and Telstar 28 trimarans (I believe SailingDog got his Telstar from them). They are a stone's throw from G Dock at Jabin's. Also had a large Oyster and a large Trintella tie up on G Dock, but not near us.

Today, apparently, Lagoon had an open house and they were taking folks out for hour cruises all day because we were out for about three hours again today and they kept coming and going from about 11 through 5pm.

Great sailing yesterday and today in Annapolis. 13-16 knots yesterday and 11-15 knots today.
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  #18  
Old 10-09-2007
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I was at the show Thursday and Saturday. Thursday crowd was manageable as you might expect given the entrance price (unless you can get in free!) Saturday seemed mobbed to me but because of the heat the crowd thinned out early. So my late shift in the SpinSheet booth (which I always enjoy doing) was pretty tame.

Highlights for me:

I didn't get on that many boats this year. But I always love getting on the Morris boats. If I hit the lottery Tom will hear from me. Chuck Paine was there and I got to shake his hand. Love his designs.

I also agree with the comments about all the fancy daysailors. How big can that market be? They all are beautiful boats, especially the Friendship and the Morris (of course.) And the Sabre Spirit is nice, too. But for the money -- get real!

For a "regular production" boat, I like the Sabre 386. Nice clean lines and a nice layout.

Standard Horizon has some chartplotters with HUGE screens. Great for my eyes, but no place to put them on the boat. Will have to make do with my SH 175C.

Thursday you had to be at the JSI booth in one of the tents. They were selling some small LED lights for $2 each -- push button type with 3 LED's. Sticky back so you could put them anywhere. They also were selling for $10 a round LED cluster you could hang from almost anything to provide a good amount of light. Bought one of those. They all work on regular batteries.

I mainly toured the tents looking for deals or new stuff -- not much of either this year. Still looking for a windlass that will work on my foredeck, for refrigeration that uses almost no electricity, etc. You know, the usual stuff that doesn't exist.
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Old 10-10-2007
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CD - This was my first visit to Annapolis and the show and we went on Friday. A friend of my wife has a 470 for sale and we wanted to look at the 470 there. The shirt sticker was not a big deal. We boarded the 470, I asked a few questions and got polite answers. Nice display of their products.

A boat that caught my eye was the Seaward 32. That retractable keel would be handy in my waters in Delaware. I spent most of the day with the manufactures looking at items that I saw in catalogs or online and talking with people that new their product. One of the big benefits of the show. My award for customer service goes to Icom. I asked about the battery choices for my old M-1 handheld and was promptly asked for my address so they could send me one. Now that is customer service!!! I purchased a 502 and a 504 in the last few years. Glad I stayed with Icom. I didn't see Bushnell on the manufactures listing, but ran into their booth. I ended up purchasing their stabilized 10x30 at a good price.
All in all a great show.
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Old 10-10-2007
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My award for having the most fun display at the boat show was without a doubt Harken. They had a pedestal winch connected to a timer and timed how long it took you to get to 20 revolutions. They had a board with the names and times for the top 5 men and women. My wife got on the board with 9.5 seconds. I think she was third. There were a lot of strappy guys trying their hand and I couldn't break the top 5. But it was a lot of fun. Something different.

Also they had lots of freebies like refrigerator magnets, keychain holders etc. And we bought lots of "carryable" items like sailing gloves and shirts, even a really nice $10 Italian silk tie with a sailboat stitched in. Unfortunately I still have to wear ties everyday, so the Harken tie is now my favorite.
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