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  #171  
Old 12-29-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Thanks, Dave - but I hate to burst your bubble... I'm certainly no "expert" on sailing yacht design...

My knowledge of the subject is pretty paltry compared to someone like Jeff H, for example... and, I really appreciate the perspective of a guy like Paulo, he has a much broader understanding re design than I do...

All I can really offer is my personal anecdotal "impressions" of the variety of boats I've sailed... Those have informed my own opinions on what makes a good boat, of course, but I'll admit they are pretty subjective, and tailored to the type of sailing I prefer to do... ....
Thanks Jon, the appreciation is mutual. I don't think that I disagree with you most of the time. I understand what you are saying and why you are saying it. Sometimes I find you do too big generalizations

The idea that all the mass production boats are the same makes no sense, even in what regards main brands they have different designs that are optimized to do better different things. They are all very well designed since they are designed by the better NA but evidently since they are different you have to chose the one that fill better your sailing tastes and type of cruising, even in what regards offshore cruising. The idea that a non production boat is always better in what regards seaworthiness than a production boat makes no sense too.

It all comes to design criteria and what one wants from a cruising boat. Certainly they have more luxurious interiors and in some case have a better build but in others we stay only with a better quality interior and finish. Regarding design they are not better designed and many times have an inferior quality in design.

Even in what people see as an ideal bluewater cruising boat, the ideas are very different and the boats also. I understand your perspective regarding that but others will prefer to have a boat as seaworthy as the ones you like, not as comfortable in a storm (even if not less safe) but way better and faster 95% of the time. Look for example at the boat Jean-Pierre Dick, one of the most experienced sailors around, designed in partnership with a good NA for bluewater cruising.



You may think that the guy is crazy and that is an isolated case but the guy is not crazy neither this is an isolated case but a very common one:

Ourson rapide

Spirit Of Adventure 65 Blue Water Cruising Yacht : Owen Clarke Design - Yacht Design and Naval Architects

Regarding this one a letter from the client to the NA:

"Dear Merf and Allen

Friday last week, I and my friend Ecki arrived well in Auckland around 0200 pm on the mooring of the customs....

In exact 12 days we sailed 2483 m ( may be more, because I calculated it only in the charts day by day). We have had wind till 45 kn and the ship was sailing very safe with the solent and 2 reefs in the main on an angle to the wind of 120 till 140 degrees. In this strong wind we have got a speed of around 16 kn in the top. The ship was always easy to control and to handle. ...

Also the interior is fine designed. On the whole trip we have had always a good lunch easy to prepare and to work in the galley. The idea to adjust the beds in the aft cabins is also super. When the ship was heeling, we adjusted the angle and it was fantastic to sleep well.

... All is running well. The ship should now stay in NZ till April 2005. Than I´ll start to an other trip. But the destination is not quite fixed. About this I have to talk with Elke.

So I will confirm you once again this ship is really my dream. Thank you. It was the right decision.

...

Kind regards

Peter"


I understand the design criteria that is not fa away from a Pogo cruiser or a Cigale and if I planned to circumnavigate by the trade winds such kind of design would be in my horizon.



There are a member that has one of those and says wonders about the boat. This is not certainly a marina boat and is made to cruise fast and to far away places.



Personnaly as I do not plan to do that I prefer a better boat upwind and less good on downwind sailing but the point is that many experienced sailors prefer those boats as bluewater voyage boats. I am sure it is not your case even if your perspective of what should be a bluewater boat is far from be a lonely one...but certainly not the only one

The reason I have posted those hull pictures was to show that modern boats don't have all the same type of hull even if a less discerning eye assume that they are all the same. Someone that took an interest in boat design is able to see those differences and understand why they are different (and for what purpose) and that does not certainly mean that any of those are badly designed boats. I am sure you can see the differences looking at the hulls and can understand that in what regards rocker probably the First is closer to the Trintella than to the Hanse and also that the Trintella is a modern hull, being an older designed keel the only outdated part.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 12-29-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
This is always a strange nuance on forums...that some readers like me won't simply "believe an expert like Jon".

First, Jon would have to be essentially saying that what he's writing is indisputable, infallible gospel. I don't think he's saying that. He can certainly correct me if I'm wrong - but I think he's giving his opinion...which is undeniably hard-won through a tremendous and very respectable amount of experience. Yet, what he writes is his opinion, colored by a lot of nuance by his perspective and tastes, and the complex definitions of what we're trying to nail down (e.g. - "what is blue water really"?) - hence these debates.

Second, there would have to be this strange rule that only readers more experienced than Jon could dare question his opinion. And, again, I don't see where he himself holds out this standard.

If you've noticed, Jon is pretty patient about going through arguments with guys like me - pointing out areas where my assumptions are wrong, accepting certain things I argue if they hold water, etc.

He doesn't throw a hissy fit, incensed that "inferior sailors" dare question his papal decrees (like others have in the past). He just debates it - and we all learn a lot. That's cool.

Jon's a tremendously experienced sailor and we're lucky to have him around here. But he's a sailor...he can take a punch and swing back. He doesn't need a security detail. That's why I like the guy.
Thanks Smacky....not sure where the other assumpotions you stated are...and I also have a right to support statement Jon has made, just like you have the right to disagree.

That doesnt mean I am his security detail. He certainly doesnt need one for sure.

Quote:
Second, there would have to be this strange rule that only readers more experienced than Jon could dare question his opinion. And, again, I don't see where he himself holds out this standard.
Dont really see where that was being said, must have been your interrpretation of it. I think what I said is that I value his opinon and thought what he posted was true IMHO....more than yours in this case, as I think his experience far out weighs yours. Not sure that constitutes a hissy fit if you aimed that at me.

Thats nice that you all let us know how highly you think of him and explained what he says ...kind of like his security detail right?

I think I have the right to my opinions also, however unfounded they may be. Thats the beauty of SN. Even non sailors like me with no experience can post. So now I expect the usual personal attacks right.

I stand by what I said,,,there is always a strange nuance on some forums...some will not beleive what experts or people with a lot of experience say..sometimes it appears its because of the person saying it and sometimes it because they simply have made their minds up already and want to just argue their own points.

Dave
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Last edited by chef2sail; 12-29-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Thanks, Dave - but I hate to burst your bubble... I'm certainly no "expert" on sailing yacht design... (grin)

My knowledge of the subject is pretty paltry compared to someone like Jeff H, for example... and, I really appreciate the perspective of a guy like Paulo, he has a much broader understanding re design than I do...

All I can really offer is my personal anecdotal "impressions" of the variety of boats I've sailed... Those have informed my own opinions on what makes a good boat, of course, but I'll admit they are pretty subjective, and tailored to the type of sailing I prefer to do... However, they do tend to fall pretty much in line with the sort of recommendations of offshore sailors like John Harries, John Neal, Bill Siefert, Ferenc Mate', Beth Leonard, and so on - including the various authors of John Rousmaniere's book, which I've cited repeatedly here...

One of whom was some guy named Olin Stephens, he sounded like he might have had some idea what he was talking about... (grin)

Another highly recommended read is Steve Killing's YACHT DESIGN EXPLAINED... Even some guy named Bob Perry admits that one's pretty damn good... (grin)
I agree Jon. I have high regard though for someone who actual sails the boats ober boat design. JeffH of course is very very knowledgeable about design and that coupled with the many boats he has actually sailed is what makes his contributions so valuable. Paulo is also very detailed and exact about his feelings about boats and has a goood handle on them ( although I think he is fixated on the Hanse 415 and only European boats)( meant as a complimet Paulo).

I wish he would post more on the boats I see here in the States more as his critiques are insiteful

While theoretical knowledge is wonderful. I really value actual sailing on them to be more telling for me You and Jeff have that experience (jeff also has a lot of theoretical too). I want to know what it was like underway in real life conditions. I want to know how many have had structural problems, material construction problems, how many have lasted over the years. Some want to know how to get every 10th of a knot out of them, most however are looking for a boat that handles all points of sail fairly well and is constucted to handle the type of sailing they do the best. You do a lot of the same type sailing I do and want to do, thats why i listen carefully to your analysis of the boats you have been on, no bubble burst there. Having actual sailing comparisons to other boats is helpful to me right now especially as I am looking to find our last boat.

I beleive I have sailed on enough boats to know which ones scare me somewhat in terms of longevity and taking heavier weather over a long period of time. While I agree a lot of the newer designs that Paulo talks about are invarieably better sailing machines, after I have owned it for 20 years as I have owned my present boat, what will it look like then? There are very few production boats around from the 80s that are worth much. Yet the C&Cs, Tartans, Sabres, CS PS still are around and sailing. There is something to be said for that longevity and it speaks to their original quality as well as design.

I know what the differences between a 15 year old Tartan, Sabre, CS, Moody, Creaklock and a similar age production boat are. Historical data provides that.

JOon keep your reviews coming they are very insightful. Dont worry about your bubble...or halo
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Last edited by chef2sail; 12-29-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
.. Paulo is also very detailed and exact about his feelins about boats and has a goood handle on them ( although I think he is fixated on the Hanse 415 and only European boats)( meant as a complimet Paulo). I wish he would post more on the boats I see here in the States more as his critiques are insiteful

While theoretical knowledge is wonderful, i really value actual sailing on them to be more telling, and you and Jeff certainly have that.
Well, I do actually sail for many years and sailed many thousands of miles in different sailingboats but you probably do not know that.

Regarding the Hanse 415 I guess that you have understood it all wrong. That would be a boat that personally I would never buy or favor.

That does not mean that I don't find it very well designed regarding the things he was designed to perform. With that I do not mean that it is not an offshore boat: Counting this year that's the second time the boat finishes the Hobart, that is mostly a upwind race in nasty seas, precisely the thing that the Hanse 415 does worst. If he was no problems doing the Hobart, I mean the thing he does worst, you can imagine that the things he was designed to do better he does them really well. That's why I like the boat.

Regarding mass production mainstream cruisers, if it was for me, I would chose easily the Jeanneau 409. That of course does not mean that the Jeanneau 409 is a better boat, just more adequate to my sailing and cruising grounds. I could easily recommend the Hanse over the Jeanneau to other sailor if I knew that it would fit more its sailing and cruising style. Both boats are very well designed and have strong and weak points in what regards sailing, but I have already said that before.

Personally if I could, I would not chose any of them but a slightly more expensive performance cruiser, not only for the better performance in lighter winds but also by the superior stability and for the more efficient controls they provide regarding sail shape and sail control.

Among them I would chose a boat particularly good in upwind sailing. That's why the boats I had looked closer were the Salona 41 and 38, the J133 and J122, the Grand Soleil 43, the Comet 41s and the Elan 380. I have tried many of them before decided for the Comet and I chose the Comet because that's what I could find as a better deal on the used market. I could have had any of the others if I had find a better deal. I love them all.

Regarding the american boats I have not any bias, as I have said J boats were on my short list, it happens that when you talk about American boats you talk normally about older designs and regarding those I think the same regarding 10/15 year old European designs: They are outdated and outperformed by more modern designs and have also more interesting and modern interiors.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 12-29-2012 at 02:42 PM.
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Well, I do actually sail for many years and sailed many thousands of miles in different sailingboats but you probably do not know that.


Regarding the american boats I have not any bias, as I have said J boats were on my short list, it happens that when you talk about American boats you talk normally about older designs and regarding those I think the same regarding 10/15 year old European designs: They are outdated and outperformed by more modern designs and have also more interesting and modern interiors.

Regards

Paulo
I know you sail...and i have seen your stories about the differing boats too I am sure you have much experience

I dont think your biased to Euorpean boats, its all what you get to see and what you have around you. Many of us in the US dont get to ever see to many Alumnum boats, Hanses, Amels, etc.

Not sure that Tartan, C&C, Sabre, Caliber, Island Packet would agree with 10-15 year old designs.

Other than Bennetau and maybe Jennaeu why is it do you think that these far superior European designed boats havent penetrated the US/ Canadian markets?
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

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Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
I'd like to ask those sailors like Jon who have experience on a lot of different boats to comment on what boats have had a comfortable motion, what boats have been a misery and what design elements each had in common.

My question is not about speed or performance but about reasonable comfort for the crew.
OK, here are a few of my favorites over the years... People who tend to favor the "performance" end of the spectrum, will no doubt roll their eyes at a couple of these (grin)...

One of the biggest misconceptions about "Seakindilness" and Comfort, however, is that such boats are necessarily slow... In my experience, all the heavier, more sea-kindly boats I like, are always surprisingly, deceptively fast... I'd consider my own boat to be such an example. Extremely heavy for her size, one can see from the pics I've posted, more than half the damn thing is below the waterline... And yet, still a pretty slippery hull form, she's made it out to Bermuda in under 5 days (including 10 hours hove-to in the Gulf Stream), not bad for a boat only 25' on the waterline... Offshore, she certainly has the "feel" of a much bigger boat, and a very nice motion, in general...

One of my all-time favorites was an Alden 38 named SEAFLOWER. I ran her down to FL and back 4 or 5 times, and to Maine and back each summer from her home port of Stonington, CT...



Very interesting design... the appearance of an Aage Nielsen above the waterline, but with a modern split underbody... Beautifully built in Denmark, that boat was a delight to sail, and surprisingly quick, and would have even been quicker with a conventional main, as opposed to in-mast furling... I loved that boat, and I see she's for sale, once again:

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...&access=Public

I'd never sailed a Valiant until 2 summers ago... First surprise, was how nicely she kept moving in relatively light air (this was a 42, a better performer than the original 40, with a bigger sailplan) After taking it to the islands last year, I became a believer, just an incredibly seakindly boat offshore... And again, surprisingly fast...

The day after we arrived in Bermuda, the same Trintella named VALOUR that I referenced earlier arrived in St Georges (different owner, now) We both wound up leaving together a few days later, she was bound for Tortola, us for Antigua... Granted, in the strong NE conditions we had for the next few days, our sailing angle was marginally more favorable, but still... Monitoring their daily position reports to Herb, we were making virtually identical 24 hour runs... Again, not too shabby for a boat 8' smaller, against a performance design from Ron Holland with a massive rig... One day, we even outpaced them, making something like 168 NM to their 160...

As I mentioned earlier, I've always liked Ted Hood's designs... He's probably still one of the best examples of a guy who actually sailed the boats he designed, and vice versa... Back in the day when Bristol was still in business, I used to run a lot of their boats, and had a client with a 55' that moved around a lot... Another wonderful boat, with a hull form very similar to this smaller Bristol from the Hood office (Dieter Empacher, chief designer)

View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com

In general, it seems tough to go wrong with most any design from Alden, McCurdy & Rhodes, Hood, and so on... In short, the sort of hull forms described in the article by John Harries cited earlier...

And then, of course, there is Sparkman & Stephens... The one boat I've sailed that stands above all the rest, in terms of being the perfect blend of seakindliness, and performance, came from their office...

The magnificent Seguin 52 FAIRWEATHER, built by Lyman-Morse... i only had the pleasure once, but it was a pretty fair test - a trip from Annapolis to Charleston, out around Hatteras, at the end of January...



Another classic design about the waterline, but a modern, but moderate underbody... Very fine ends, compared to most boats today... I see she's recently been sold, as well...



http://www.lymanmorse.com/boatDetails.php?boatID=37

Incredibly well-mannered and balanced, even in a good breeze, she could be steered with a couple of fingers... Solid as a rock, of course - if I ever hit the lottery, my boat will be built by Lyman-Morse...

That boat was a reminder of one of the sorriest trends in modern sailing yacht design... Namely, the demise of the pilot berth...

FAIRWEATHER had a pair amidships, they were like climbing into a Pullman berth on the Orient Express... One of the greatest pleasures I've ever experienced under sail, was catching a catnap in the leeward pilot berth on FAIRWEATHER, as she shouldered along at 8-9 knots in a big swell off Cape Fear, and the water rushing by inches from my ear...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 12-29-2012 at 06:38 PM.
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

C'mon Jon comparing anything built by L-M is simply an UNFAIR comparison... The Seguin series are tremendous vessels in all aspects including price..... Still tough to find any yard that builds a better boat than L-M...
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
....

Not sure that Tartan, C&C, Sabre, Caliber, Island Packet would agree with 10-15 year old designs.

Other than Bennetau and maybe Jennaeu why is it do you think that these far superior European designed boats havent penetrated the US/ Canadian markets?
I like a lot the new C&C 101. I have posted about the boat twice on interesting boats thread. I hope they can modernize the rest of the line with the same design quality they have been capable of produce on the 101.

I don't think we can call IP modern designs, with the exception of the Blue jacket that could be a great boat if some idiosyncrasies were taken away. Caliber are also old designs.

I like the Sabre 426 and 456 but they are really upgrades of older models and even so the 426 has already 10 years. Good boats but nothing exciting or truly modern about them, hardly new designs. The new Tartan is using an old hull from C&C. I guess that the one that is making more modern boats is Catalina. Good boats, well built, that I think could be improved a lot if designed by a major NA. Then you have the jboats and the Corsair that are so well designed that sell almost as well (or more?) in Europe than in the US. one of them, the J122 is even made in Europe.

Regarding European boats I guess that you have also Hanse, Bavaria and Halberg Rassy. American market is not so big in sailing boats and if boats are not made there the transport and tax will make the boats expensive. Besides American market is very Conservative comparing with the European one and many European boats would have only very marginal sells in the US. I see many European builders more interested in the Asiatic market than in the North American one.

It makes more sense for an American client of a specific boat (not mass market main stream) to buy it in Europe and sail it to US. I see many Americans doing that, some on this forum. this way they cut the dealer share, the transport to US and can probably get a boat for less 40% than if they buy it, imported in the US.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 12-29-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
OK, here are a few of my favorites over the years... People who tend to favor the "performance" end of the spectrum, will no doubt roll their eyes at a couple of these (grin)...
OK, those are some boats that would be great if I won the lottery. How about something for us mere mortals?

Seriously are there production boats in the mid-30 to mid-40 foot range that stand out in your mind for reasons good or bad -- the boat you mentioned that did so poorly in the Chesapeake comes to mind. And I wouldn't be surprised if the same brand is represented in both the best and worst categories.
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

I think I could learn to live with that RM1260.

I think I'd prefer that "structure" in something other than galvanized steel though - that has a proven history of problems. I think I'd pay the price for aluminium or SS or something better.
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I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken, opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.

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