Passport 40 Review w/John Kretschmer - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-18-2009
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I think this series is great! I agree with an earlier post that mentioning some negatives would be good. They all have negatives! Would love to see more reviews, although I wonder why... I've bought my boat, and unless something completely unexpected happens, it'll be my last...

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post #12 of 18 Old 03-19-2009
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Originally Posted by Moonfish View Post
Question is: Would you like to see more "Used Boat Notebook" (classic plastic) types of video boat reviews w/John K? And if so, any particular models?

The idea John and I have had is to take 10-12 classic bluewater boats (most probably from his book), review them similarly to the Passport 40, and create a DVD. His publisher could even bundle the book and DVD together as an option. We think it's a good idea, but if there isn't going to be a market for it, we won't invest a lot of time and money in creating it.

Thanks all!
I would definitely be interested in a DVD compilation of John's reviews. I have read and re-read both of his "Used Boat Notebook" books over and over again. The DVD would be a great complement to the books. His written descriptions are great, but the video adds depth, visual details, and perspective on the boats that are difficult to capture in a book.

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post #13 of 18 Old 03-19-2009
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For what it was that was pretty damn good.

I'd also like to see discussion on some of the problems that can be faced with a boat of this age.

Old iron tanks can be a really nasty surprise in these older Taiwanese boats and while I too love the look and feel of a teak deck if that deck is near to needing replacement the buckazoids required are not small.

Again with these older Taiwanese boats some of the orginal fittings were somewhat suspect but one would figure that by now they would have been replaced. For me therefore that is not so much of a problem.

Pricing is something that would be very hard to assess. Within twelve months any price quoted, even as a guide, would be way out of date. Leaving price out of it is I reckon a good move.

For what it was ? Length determines amount of detail. I'd be happier to see it twice as long with more detail but that is after all a commercial decision but me i'd be happy to pay more and get that detail.

Good job overall though and a great concept. It's amazing in this day and age that no one thought of this before now.

Other boats ? Where to start. I'd like to see the Norseman 447 by Bob Perry, Valiants Passports and Tayanas go without saying I guess, some of Ted Brewers would be good both his more traditional designs as well as his pilot houses and also some of the less well known designs such as the Fraser 41 that is a really viable alternative to the Passport but for less money. Then of course there are the Europeans. Hallberg Rassey, Najad and Nauticat would be of interest but what of the 90s era Beneteaus and the like ?

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post #14 of 18 Old 03-19-2009
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Very interesting and well-done video. Although it runs 10 minutes we didn't get to see and discuss the underbody. Cons and Pros are always interesting. Prices and availability will, unfortunately, date the review. Great start!

Personally I'll like to see a Gozzard reviewed.
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-20-2009 Thread Starter
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Thank you to everyone who responded! It sounds like we might be on the right track, at least in terms of interest. I'll address some of your ideas, and see where it leads...

1. Negatives - I agree, especially if there are any glaring deficencies. Although as much as John was waxing poetically about the Passport 40, I'm not sure if there really are any for that boat! A few people mentioned the ills normally associated with Taiwan-built boats. Not all boats built there had those problems. Granted, the boat we were on was an '86 and she was in perfect shape, but there weren't any tell-tale signs of water intrusion, soft spots, loose stanchions, no black iron tanks or the like. However, if we do more of these and we're on a CT or Formosa for example that does have a history of certain problems, we will point them out. And that goes for sailing characteristics, too.

2. Prices - A few people touched on that. It would be dating the information, and we would want a decent shelf life for the review.

3. Specifications - Yes, I think it would be good to include at least basic specs and some line drawings/graphics. Xort said it best, though, a video is SHOW & TELL. Too many numbers and stats would bog something like this down. My inspiration (other than I just want to go on as many boats as I possibly can!) was that we can find just about anything online about most of these boats - statistcal data, etc. - but we really can't get "a feel" for what they're like. My own experience is that I may think I have found a particular boat I'd like, then when I am aboard I know it's not quite like it appeared in the broker's pictures, or that it sails like a pig. I'm hoping this can be a resource that keeps someone from flying 1,000 miles to look at a boat in person and be disappointed... (yes, personal experience).

4. More videos? I hope so! We had John say "...our continuing series..." in case we do more. And we'd like to, it's just finding the time (he is SUPER busy and I already have more than enough to do) and the money (travel expenses, time is money, etc.). But, when John gets back from Bequia we'll chat about the things you all have said, including the enthusiastic response to the idea in general.

5. Other boats - Good suggestions. We'll keep the list. We'll probably start with boats that are in one of his Used Boat Notebooks, though, so that the video acts as a supplement to the more detailed written piece. I'm actually envisioning a couple of DVDs, in two volumes to go along with both books. But from there, I can see a DVD on liveaboard or coastal cruising boats, maybe one on more "custom" boats, too...

Thanks again. We'll keep you posted on what we come up with.

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post #16 of 18 Old 03-21-2009
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That was great! I would love to see more.

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post #17 of 18 Old 03-21-2009
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John's great at this

I've seen at least one of his Lats&Atts TV reviews (I think it was a Hunter). He has a natural gift for delivering this message. This is a great idea, and if John can devote the time I think you have the potential for a great product.

I do agree that you guys need to guard against these reviews turning into infomercials. It's easy to say good things about the Passport 40, but obviously there are plenty of negative things to say about plenty of Classic Plastics. I'm still waiting for the day to read a review of someone who says, "stay away from this boat." Bob Perry is the only public reviewer I'm aware of who actually says negative stuff about boats.

Anyway, as I said, John has a knack for this, and after you do a review series, think about doing a cruising series. Not reviewing boats, but about making the trips. If he's not already, John should take footage of his various trips with paying customers. That would make an awesome DVD -- getting ready to make your first offshore passage, sailing transatlantic, crossing the Gulf Stream, cruising to the Bahamas, etc. I know others have made videos like this, but IMHO, John would do it better.

By the way, when you talk to him next, say hi for me, and I hope Quetzel is doing well with her new rig. His tagline is so perfect for him -- never lost, just hard to find. That guy has more going on at any given moment than anyone I know. He's one of the few people I know that makes me look idle!

Good luck, and I look forward to buying your DVDs.

Dan Goldberg

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post #18 of 18 Old 03-21-2009
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As an owner of a Passport 40, I have to say that I do like his choice of first boat to review. HOWEVER, he needs to make sure that people understand that their can be radical differences in different models of the same boat.

The Passport 40, for example, was a semi-custom boat fit for each owner. Ours is quite a bit different from the one he reviewed. Some differences? Our V-Berth is pretty much the same, but in the main cabin - we do not have a wraparound settee. Instead, we have a much larger table, and the engine is under that. You want good engine access? You can pull the sides off all the way around, lift up the top, and you just have a skeleton frame around the whole engine. It's incredible! What else... our nav station faces aft and doesn't have a dedicated seat. As a result, we can use the starboard side seating as a full lee berth - we put a lee cloth in and it works great. Moving farther aft, the aft stateroom has a day head - both a Crittenden head and a sink. We've removed the head since our kids use the room and need the storage, but it would make an awesome underway head. Further aft... most Passport owners put heavy duty inserts, factory built, to connect the side seating in the cockpit to the aft area. This way, you can completely stretch out in the cockpit. I'm 6'2" and there is room past my feet for people to sit.

From a sail rig perspective, the Passport 40 was built to have an inner forestay. Our version doesn't have it, but over 50% of Passport 40's are "cutter" rigged. I put cutter in quotes since the measurements aren't quite spot-on for making it a cutter. Another radical difference in Passport 40's is the forward configuration. While we have the V-berth, there is a pullman berth version with the head forward.

I'm not stating all of this to specifically address the Passport 40 review, but rather to illustrate how different the same boat can be. I think it's important for people looking to purchase one to know. At least make a mention at the start of a review for a semi-custom boat that it IS a semi-custom boat, and the layouts can differ radically. You might also consider using Sailnet or other resources to ask current owners some of the good and bad about a boat. I'm sure that people would love to hear what actual owners have to say. Overall, though, that's one beautiful review!

s/v "Pelican" Passport 40 #076- Finished Cruising - for the moment -
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