What makes an "Old Shoe" an Old Shoe? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-22-2009
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What makes an "Old Shoe" an Old Shoe?

There's been some debate since Giulietta posted this term but no attempt to define what an Old Shoe is or isn't. Take Oh Joy for instance. She was built in 1961 as a wooden yawl, displaces 14,500 # and has a waterline of around 26'. However, I've seen her maintain speeds of 7.5 upwind and as much as 9 downwind before surfing. She's been clocked at 14 surfing in beam seas. So, is an Old Shoe a full keel boat? I don't think so cause Oh Joy has full keel with a cut away forefoot. Is it the performance range in certain wind ranges? Westsail 32's are notoriously slow but can sail comfortably when other boats are getting thrashed.

Let's nail this down...
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Old 04-22-2009
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To me its the sailing performance i had a Victoria 18 ,first new boat i ever owned and it could not sail out its own way which lead to buying the first J24 as we kept seeing them pass us in pretty moderate conditions when we could not get anywhere on the 18


And there are boats like the Dana 24 moored near me and while i am sure it would be the way to go in a storm it takes a storm to get the boat going
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Last edited by tommays; 04-22-2009 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 04-22-2009
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Tommays, I hear ya!

I own a Beneteau and have been out in conditions that made me wish that I was out on my buddy's Island Packet.
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Old 04-22-2009
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Every well-designed boat will meet its designed purpose. Sometimes that involves speed with little priority on comfort or stowage, and sometimes that means an almost-galleon-like ability to stow enough stores and gear to go to Antarctica and back safely, but at a pace some would consider doddering.

Any boat must be evaluated in this light: Does it meet or exceed what the owners desired to do with it? You can't call the 1930s-designed and 1950s cruised Wanderer III or Tzu Hang "old shoes", by this measure, even though they were conservative, relatively slow boats, because they went where no small yachts had cruised before, and despite getting smashed about, neither sank nor killed their crews in very adverse circumstances. They were even on occasion raced for fun.

Some modern production cruisers don't do ANYTHING well, because they are a compromise between being racers vs. cruisers, entertainment centres vs. working sailboats, and condos vs. cruisers. You could call them "new old shoes", I suppose, because they are at their best left in the "shoe box" formed by two dock fingers.
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Old 04-22-2009
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Hey, when the Old Shoe thing popped up it was meant to be derogatory but was it in reality a back handed , albeit unintentional , compliment ?

I like old shoes.

Old shoes are comfortable.

Old shoes have character.

Keep 'em well polished and in good condition and an old shoe beats a new shoe hands down.

As for boats, for me they are meant to be holistic. Its not just how fast, its not just how roomy, its not just how big, its not just how much money. Its a combination that makes you feel good about yourself and your boat.

So does your boat make you smile ? Answer yes, then within the definition originally suggested, its not an old shoe.
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Old 04-23-2009
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From reading earlier posts about "old shoes" it seems to me an old shoe is any boat that some other smart-a$$ with a fancy boat thinks isn't as good as his.

If your boat (or the one you want to buy) meets your needs in terms of speed, comfort, safety and operational cost then it's a good boat even when the said smart-a$$ says it's not.
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Old 04-23-2009
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If it's YOUR boat it'a an Old Shoe!!
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Old 04-23-2009
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Are you talking to me? Are you talking to ME? Ya must be talk... oh wait, I've seen that movie. Nah, ya ain't talking to me, not about this old girl anyways...



Old shoe she ain't...
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Old 04-23-2009
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Possibly a Portugese idiom, and idioms don't translate well. I took it to mean sailboats designed largely by rule of thumb, lofted with battens, and styled after certain traditional uses and aesthetics. Might be easier to stipulate what isn't "old shoe": computer-designed hull forms with fine entries, no overhangs; wide beam carried all the way aft; crisp chines & flat bottoms for planing; deep, high-aspect keel with bulb; wheel steering, preferably two; bright, low-fuss interiors; more electronics than a video arcade; high-aspect, roachy, full-battened main; sprit or prod for reaching headsail & asym; tech-fabric sails throughout.

A Jeanneau 42 is not an old shoe. Looks more like a blindingly-high-tech basketball or tennis shoe endorsed by billionaire athletes. Which is fine if you play that sport, or if you want to impress other people. I stand on a concrete floor all day, so all I care about is something with solid stitching, hard-wearing leather uppers, good traction, and arch support. If I can find that at KMart prices, all the better.

Old shoes probably look like herring boats: long overhangs, bluff bows, lots of sheer, boxy or bubble coach roofs, low volume, tumblehome and pinched sterns. No carbon, short masts, skeg-hung (or God help us, keel-hung) rudders. Hanked-on headsails, tiller steering, a distinct lack of cup holders. You may have to stoop belowdecks, and you may need to look at shroud telltales or a masthead fly because someone failed to provide you with digital apparent-wind dials.

I'm cool with all that. As others have said: old shoes fit the purpose, and I have better things to do with my money than plonk $200 on a pair of Zoom Kobe IIIs, ya know? They look like they were made by Beneteau.
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