Re: Outrageously Good Deal of the Day, Week, Year....
chall03 said, "Now what is the exact story on the later 'rip off' boats built cheapily from stolen plans or something I believe??? How does one tell the difference, and how much does it matter?? "
That is a complicated story and frankly I have heard many versions of it. I think that the most believeable one is that there was a boat importer (Kelly) who commissioned the design with Doug Peterson, who was at that point in time considered one of the best performance oriented designers in the world. Like many boat importers of that era, Kelly bid the construction to several yards and selected one. In one version of the story, Kelly had a falling out with the yard and took the design somewhere else, and in other versions of the story, Kelly rebid the work after developing the stretched 46 version.
But whatever the version, somehow the 44 foot version remained in production without Kelly's permission. That is somewhat considered significant. Reportedly Kelly was a knowledgeable guy, who made sure that there was a higher level of quality control on the boats that he was involved in. Reportedly Kelly also continued working with Doug Peterson as the various modifications and customizations took place.
The boats that Kelly was involved in were called the Kelly-Peterson 44 and the Kelly-Peterson 46. The unauthorized versions were called the Formosa 44 or sometimes referred to as a Peterson 44 built by Formosa. Reportedly, Peterson made it clear at some point that he did not want his name associated with the Formosas. The boat in question is a Formosa and the Formosa versions typically sell for less than the Kelly-Peterson versions. (I have never heard that there was a Formosa 46 so I am a little confused about which model this is, but the 46's were said to sail a little better than the 44's)
My Mom and stepfather were boat importers from Taiwan during this period and did pretty much what Kelly did, meaning she would commission a design, shop it around, pick a yard to tool and build it, market the boats in the US and provide quality control. She knew the Taiwanese yards inside and out. Within the Taiwanese community, as a broad generality the Formosa line of boats were seen as the poster children for the "leaky teaky" reputation of Asian built boats. Talking to owners of Formosas over the years, (other then 44's) it would appear that Formosa routinely cut corners such as using black iron tanks, proprietary knock off hardware, wooden spars, using non marine plywood in the interiors, and ferrous fastenings in places where ferrous fastenings were not obvious, but also not a great choice. How widespread these practices were is not clear to me. It is not clear how much of this went into the Formosa 44's. (I have had a Formosa 44 owner swear that except for the black iron tanks, none of the other stuff was on his Formosa 44, and that there was no difference between the Formosa 44's and the Kelly-Peterson 44's) So it is not clear whether the dispute was solely about intellectual property rights and the use of the molds without permission from Kelly or Peterson, or something much worse. But whatever the case, Formosa's reputation lowered the value of these boats.
There are some shortcomings to these boats, the passage from the main cabin to the aft cabins were tight and some of the 'custom interior layouts' had some questionable 'improvements'.
But all that said, my take is that assuming that there is nothing more wrong with this boat, and the price really is $28K, and you assume that the boat only needs an engine, electronics, batteries, canvas, running rigging, sails and a bunch of cosmetic work, and it is still a real bargain for a fiberglass deck version of a really great sailing, heavy displacement cruiser.
And that was why I pointed it out.....
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 08-02-2012 at 09:47 AM.