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  #11  
Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
What exactly is a production boat?
All boats are 'produced' in some fashion - and no, I'm not being deliberately obstinate here.


.
Henry Ford ensured that all boatbmakers are using production lines in some form or another. I have never met in my four years cruising anyone in a no expenses spared, one off 40 to 60 footer. They dont exist. If someone has that sort of money they probably would go 65 plus feet.

If all boats that we are talkng about are Production boats, then its all price point. Lower price point to upper price point. Those that can afford the upper price point boats, well and good. I am not snotting your ability to earn money, or your ability to save, be economical to be able to purchase a higher price point than me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arf145 View Post
It doesn't seem to me that sea berths are usually all that important if you're cruising somewhere like the Chesapeake Bay)
Well, i have never been in Chesepeake Bay unless you count the few miles from the mouth to Norfolk. I have never needed a sea berth in my 35,000 nms on Sea Life nor the other boats i have been on.

Sex is something thats importnat to many couples. A sea berth is not conducive to sex. Why have a sexless bed if you dont need it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
I remember seeing a Jeaneau at the boat show w/ pressboard cabinet doors and vinyl stickon veneer. Wanna guess how long that will last in a humid environment?
Then dont buy it.
Theres no law that says you must buy a boat you see at the boat show.
If you dont like it then dont buy it.
If you saw a deficiency in your mind at the boat show wouldnt others see it? Were Jeanneau hiding it? No. It was on display.


In the supermarket I can buy the beans from the highest priced company, or the home brand beans for cheaper. You and i know there is going to be differences in the beans or how else could we have saved a dollar on the cheap ones? You dont need a brain transplant from a higher universers to work out beans, why does one need it on boats. Buy what you want and can afford.

Low price point boats have opened the ability for people to buy a sail boat that only a few years ago was the realm of the rich and super rich.
Now with low price point boats and electronics normal average, every day people can cruise the world in higher safety and more comfort than those who did it 30 years ago. Perhaps thats the bug bear... Those that did it in the 70's or 80's dont like the uniqueness of their adventure diluted by all the Johnny Come Lately's.

Well I am one of those Johnnies. My goal on these forums is to get as many people out there doing it too and reading my new book: "Circumnavigating! It was Nice. Nothing Bad Happened."

So for those reading this thread: yes you can do it on a Cataline 40 or a Hunter 40 or a Beneteau 39. I know. Nothing bad is gunna happen.


Mark
PS Im not writing a book but thats the title I would use... It wouldnt sell too many books! To sell a book its gotta be called STORM! Or SURVIVAL!! Or DEATH BY BENETEAU! Or F ME that was a ROGUE WAVE!
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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 12-23-2012 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post

Today's production boats are far more better in design, manufacture and tighter spec than the old stick built boat in the 80's. Beneteau, Jeanneau, Catalina and hunter are still in business. It means they did something right. I can't imagine how much R&D have goon into the production. I doubt the Mom and Pa operation of the yesteryear boats can compare.
Sorry, but such blanket assertions are simply meaningless... To suggest that a Valiant "cannot compare" with a Beneteau because the latter is still in business, is absurd...

All things being equal, I'll take a stick built boat over one with a liner/pan construction, or conventional shaft propulsion over a saildrive, every time... Many of these features seen on newer production boats today, are largely a result of the drive to streamline the production process, make the build more economical, more than necessarily being an advancement in design, or construction...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
If anyone thinks the old blue water boat is much safer in crossing the pond is dreaming. A fifty foot wave has no respect of any boats in it way. We are better off to avoid and run fast with a good seamanship and plans.
I recently finished up the coastal delivery of a popular modern production boat... The deck and cockpit ergonomics were so poor as to be, IMO, downright dangerous in anything other than moderate conditions, in protected waters... Leaving the cockpit on that boat, offshore at night in dirty weather, no way... Again, to suggest that an "old blue water" would not be much safer than a modern production boat designed from the inside out in that regard, is simply nonsense...

Having said all that, I'm sure there are many production boats out there today that will suit the OP for his intended purposes, just fine...
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Either you like it or not, using real solid wood is a way of the past since it is not sustainable. Particle board and glue have improved significantly over the year, your concerns are unfounded. WHy don't you ask the dealer give you a piece of board and you can soak it in salt water see what happens. You will be amazed.

Today's production boats are far more better in design, manufacture and tighter spec than the old stick built boat in the 80's. Beneteau, Jeanneau, Catalina and hunter are still in business. It means they did something right. I can't imagine how much R&D have goon into the production. I doubt the Mom and Pa operation of the yesteryear boats can compare.

If anyone thinks the old blue water boat is much safer in crossing the pond is dreaming. A fifty foot wave has no respect of any boats in it way. We are better off to avoid and run fast with a good seamanship and plans.

The questions that bother me the most is how to stop water entering when the boat turtled.

I am just sayin'
Quote:
Either you like it or not, using real solid wood is a way of the past since it is not sustainable. Particle board and glue have improved significantly over the year, your concerns are unfounded. WHy don't you ask the dealer give you a piece of board and you can soak it in salt water see what happens. You will be amazed.
Maybe your past not mine. My furniture at home is made of solid wood...no veneers...no particle board. Why should my boat be any different. Yes you pay for quality for sure and thats a choice you have. What is better the real think or the glued together reproduction. Thats your choice. As far as sustainability it requires a larger carbon footprint to fabricate the modern day woods and finishes than real wood. In addition real wood will eventually decompose...not so with plastics so thats a moot argument.


Quote:
Today's production boats are far more better in design, manufacture and tighter spec than the old stick built boat in the 80's. Beneteau, Jeanneau, Catalina and hunter are still in business. It means they did something right. I can't imagine how much R&D have goon into the production. I doubt the Mom and Pa operation of the yesteryear boats can compare.
There are production boats Hunter, Catalina, Jenneu and Benetau that are still in business you can have your particle board there.


Then you have the mom and pops still in business Tartan, Sabre, C& C, Caliber, Island Packet, Not your run of the mill production boats ( some dont even consider them as such) who still use quality woods, have superior designs and major R&D monies and modern designs. They are still in business too and are very solvent companies.

Quote:
If anyone thinks the old blue water boat is much safer in crossing the pond is dreaming. A fifty foot wave has no respect of any boats in it way. We are better off to avoid and run fast with a good seamanship and plans.
A true statement, a 50 foot wave as no respect for any boat, any age. I would rather be in a heavier boat, well designed for sea motion, than in a boat all the weight was taken out of it to save money.

Buying a boat is trade offs, quality, budget, use etc. I would never denigate someone whole decided to by the mass productuion boats vs the more expensive ones. All sail, all have customer followings.

There is a difference though, you get what you pay for. Check the resale numbers and % depreciation. Of the first tier production boats Catalina holds its value the best. All of the second tier hold their values.

Dave
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Question becomes, "what is a production built boat?" To me, if it got listed in one of the granted out of production, "Worlds best boats" then it is a production boat. Oyster, swan, Morris are some of the higher priced production built boats. Jeanneau, beneteau, catalina et al are some of the lower price point built boats. The question becomes, what price can you afford?

Reality is, ANY of the current produced boats over 35' excepting a few cases due to design, will probably handle ANY current plans for one to cross oceans etc. They might not like Katrina style storms. but with todays forecasting etc, one should not get caught in a Karina.

While many say IP's are great boats, You could not give me one! A morris, swan, oyster etc, yes, same with jeanneau, beneteau and some of the other shall we call them Chevy/ford/dodge style boats. maybe even a Hunter.....probably not due to I do not like the look. But they would work.

Look at the ARC. Which brand has more boats than any other? vs which has the least? Jeanneau is #1, both for the atlantic arc, or the round the world arc. Oyster one of the fewest, probably due to cost. The Caribbean 1500, probably a bit different numbers, due to where the boats are built and what is built in NA. but still, more typical lower price point built boats than Oysters or equal. So with this in mind, overall, you can get from point A to B in a typical production built boat, be it a high end, or one of the lower price point boats.

I have a mid 80's Jeanneau, it will and has crossed oceans. Granted my personal boat has not crossed oceans, but others have!

Marty
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post

So for those reading this thread: yes you can do it on a Cataline 40 or a Hunter 40 or a Beneteau 39. I know. Nothing bad is gunna happen.
Not according to capt Ron. "
"Might as well go cause if something bad is going to happen it will happen out there."
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Selecting your boat is a bit like selecting your home or your car. If you have unlimited funds, you can have whatever your heart desires, but if you are short on funds, you have to look at the low end of the spectrum.

For a boat, it seems to me that you can narrow the problem quite a bit by:

1) Define how much money you have to devote to this hobby or endeaver.
2) Will you be using the boat for coastal (inshore, close offshore, down to Bahamas, etc) or will you need "bluewater" capability (crossing oceans, circumnavigating)? Be honest.....not that many people circumnavigate. In tractor language, do you need a John Deere farm tractor (coastal) or a Caterpillar bulldozer (blue water)
3) What size will you need or do you want?
4) Will you buy used or slightly used or new....used = older Mercedes that you can maybe rebuild, slightly used = volvo or Lincoln, new = Chevrolet or Ford....all for same money.
5) Get one that you think is good looking...it'll give you pleasure just to walk down to the dock to admire it and think how lucky you are. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it's what you like, not what others suggest.

Talking about Morris or Oyster or even Island Packet makes no sense if you can't afford one.
If you are really going off shore (crossing oceans and circumnavigating), you have a different set of requirements ...extra heavy construction and rigging, lots of storage space, cockpit and equipment with ample backups for such a journey (wind/solar cell power, watermakers, radar, tankage for water and fuel, windvane steering, electronics, etc.), and so no one will be offended, handholds everywhere, and maybe a pilot berth. And, a third category is racing...will you be primarily racing? If so, you have a third set of demands...special sails and go fast design, etc.

If you will be going the coastal route, then the new designs with condo cabins and large cockpits make a lot of sense. That's where most of the production boats are ....Catalina, Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter, and others., and realistically, that is where most sailors are...you'll like the space and features. Even today's very large, high end boats are going the same way....look at the magazines.

There's lots of snobbery in boating....some of those old shoes that people talk fondly about are like that old Mercedes that has 250,000 miles, bent fenders and rust, with smoke coming out of it. And when they meet you, in your new Ford or Chevy, they tend to turn up their noses, after all, they have a Mercedes. Same with boats. The major boatbuilders, in my opinion, know better than most of us what most people want or need. They do a pretty good job at it too, giving a lot for the money. Truth is, most of the people that have an old shoe, it is because it's all they can afford, and there might even be a touch of jealously that your new or like new production boat (Catalina, Hunter, Beneteau, etc.) has all those nice new features that they don't have.....buy older, you can get a bigger boat, or same size boat of fancy brand for the same money as the new or like new C/H/B. Your choice, whichever you like (you are buying for you and not what people on this list might like for themselves).

For a good number of years, reading and listening to people, I steered away from C/H/B because I tended to listen to all those tales about those boats, in some way, being substandard. Then one day, I faced how I would use the boat, decided that I wanted a new boat instead of an old one that I had to rework, I wanted one of a certain size, and had a certain amount of money that I was willing to put into this hobby item. I looked around, and the C/H/B group fit just fine. I bought a Catalina. Having owned it for 12 years and being completely satisfied with it, I now believe most of that talk about C/H/B being somehow inferior is a bunch of baloney. And Catalina (and I suspect all boat builders) have improved their offerings greatly over the years.

And could you take a C/H/B type production boat offshore on a long passage. My guess (and people seem to be proving it) is yes. Would it be the best for such usage, probably not, but in reality, it might be better than some older fancy brand boat that has been "upgraded", especially where the upgrade was by an amateur owner. If you look at some of the things that pull into port that are set up for long range cruising, there's a lot of junk that, somehow, successfully makes it. And also lots of really nice fancy boats that other people can afford, but perhaps not me or you.

A final thought: The beauty of sailing is that any of us, whatever our financial means, can enjoy sailing. If you have a few hundred dollars or a few million, there is a boat out there for you. The pleasure comes in the sailing, not how much you paid, or how big, or how fancy your boat is.

Less someone gets their shorts uptight and ask what my qualifications are, none. Just a guy who has been messing around for years. It just my opinion.
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

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a final thought: The beauty of sailing is that any of us, whatever our financial means, can enjoy sailing. If you have a few hundred dollars or a few million, there is a boat out there for you. The pleasure comes in the sailing, not how much you paid, or how big, or how fancy your boat is.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Quote:
A final thought: The beauty of sailing is that any of us, whatever our financial means, can enjoy sailing. If you have a few hundred dollars or a few million, there is a boat out there for you. The pleasure comes in the sailing, not how much you paid, or how big, or how fancy your boat is.
Good and true statement

Dont feel you have to settle either. You should " really like "the boat you choose. Some people like to follow the crowd and some like to be unique, some people like the designs with the raked bows and reverse transoms, some like the new plumb bows and teardrop windows, some like traditional ( like Victorian Homes) and some like modern. You can find all in a large number of used or new boat builders.

Some people choose the off brands because of quality differences. They may prefer to buy something a few years older because they like the warmth and feel of wood inside, the equipment is of higher quality. Its a trade off. Many people are very fond of the brand of boat and will stay loyal to their brand. Some see the value of a Mercedes 3 years old rather than the new Chevy. I dont think it would be fair to characterize people make choices because of snobbery as we are all brothers in sailing and I cant imagine buying a boat so I could be a snob about it unless it were the Maltese Falcon.

I see the beauty in all boats, but I dont have envy for boats I decided not to buy new or not, only for the 52 Outbound, The Hylas 56, The hinckley 42 SW...those I truly cannot afford to buy.

You get what you pay for. Sometimes thats not apparent when new but it is after 15 years or so in terms of repairs and resale value. Look for safety but most of all love it so you go sailing on her. No boat has everything but the boat you choose should have everything you like.

Choosing a boat is a very personal experience I have found and seen. I have bought two and am looking fopr my third. No matter what anyone advises me, I will choose like I bought my first two and like I have bought my houses. When I get on the right one, I know..makes no difference in the nameplate....after all you boat for many is like your second home. The most important factor is does it make you smile.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

I have always been the 'Production Boat' proponent on Sailnet... especially Catalina. SO I suspect many of these comments will shock some folks. I still am a fan of certain models in each production builder, as much as I am not a fan of many models in each production builder. I think there are some great low-volume production builders, and there are some that I think really are junk. That in mind, here goes my opinions:

First, the build quality and finish out of a production boat (Bene/Jeaunneau/Catalina/Hunter) does not even compare to the high end builders. I kept both of my boats at the Valiant yard (380 and 400) and would not have my boat outfitted anywhere else that I know of. Not only did they know their stuff, but they always erred on the overbuilt side. There was a thread running here about anchor rollers a few days ago or so, where Mainesail showed a bent AR. I bent mine under on my 380 too during a very bad storm (95 kt straightline winds). DIdn't hurt the boat, just the roller. Well, I had my friends at Cedar Mills (Valiant) rebuild me a new anchor roller that was NOT going to get bent. Ever seen the AR on a Valiant or a Cabo? The bow will rip off before that thing bends under. And sorry... got a CS across from me. No comparrison. This is just one example. I have many others. THe bottom line is that the higher end production builders could afford to make those things that strong and there really is a big difference in their build quality in many things (not all things).

Second, there is a difference in philosophy when building a higher end production boat. FOr example, for those that have never toured a high-volume production boat yard, everything is already exactly layed out where it goes and literally fits into a perfect mold. It is an assembly line of workers, where each one has a set job and there is a long line of boats going down a row. Reminded me of Ford. At Valiant, however, they would have one boat up and build it from scratch. It was the same workers, each with their own strengths, but they built the boat in more of a 'garage' setting versus prodution line setting. THere was a lot more attention to detail. Most important here, if not one of the most important things of many of the low-volume/high end builders: they install their interior components AFTER installing the furniture. Seem like a little thing? Nope. Not for any of us that have ever had to do a major repair or replace. Because they install everything after the fact, it is realtively insured to be able to come out. That becomes very important down the line when components start to fail and have to be replaced. I remember one boat in particular of the high-volume builders that had tie rods going through the middle of cabinetry and the chain plates buried on top of the cabinetry. Not if, but when, the chain plates start leaking, you not only ruin your cabinetry but you also have a massive repair to rip them out and rebed. Terrible design. To be fair, I have never had anything on any Catalina I have owned that was not abloe to be removed. As the Tech Editor for the C400's, I am not aware of anything that cannot come out of these boats and be replaced. And do be aware, that not all low-volume builders shared this philosophy. Try pulling out the black iron fuel tanks on some of these old boats. I am not downing the other high-volume mfg's, just have never had first hand experience.

Third, I am not a fan of many of the new production boats. Many of these cockpits are very unfriendly to be at sea. THe new trend with everyone but Catalina are these large seats behind twin helms that do not slope, no coamings, no sloping coamings, pittiful little lazarettes, HUGE freeboards, marginally sized rigging, masts with inmast that leave no room for a wrinkle (it will happen), piss poor handhelds (if there are any at all). Down below, handhelds are marginal and often do not run the length of the boat, curved settees (I do use our settes as sea berths and have), horrid furniture... some with sharp angled edges, minimal cabinetry for storage, Ikea level wood, Above-waterline holding tanks, and poor ventilation. I have more things I can list, but since I just came off another (new) production boat an hour or so ago, these are the things that went through my mind. I honestly think it takes being on a boat, living on a boat, or spending some time at sea to pick these things out. I suspect the typical buyer at the boat show with little experience would not recognize many of the things I don't like. In fact, many of these things I don't like may well be big positives for them. My concern is that should they choose to take this vessel cruising, or do any long distance sailing, they will face real frustrations. As I will say later, many of the deficiencies of many production boats for long distance cruising and living aboard can be fixed. Many of the things I see with these new boats cannot.

Fourth, just because you have a high-end vessel doesn't mean you wont have issues. For example, I have an acquaintance who traded in his Catalina 36 on a Valiant 50. He was very frustrated with the lack of diagraming of his wiring and the runs. Some were where they shouldn't be and others were not where they should. That's what happens when you build a boat in that manner (explained above). On a Catalina, for example, they can prety much tell you to the millimeter where your wiring, plumbing, (enter item of choice) is located on the boat, what is a retrofit, and get it to you. Do NOT underestimate the incredible value in that. Catalina runs a fulltime shop where they take orders on boats LONG out of production, walk the owners through the issues they are having, and either get them parts and ship them or they help them locate a suitable alternative. There's not much that is going to happen on your Catalina they can't help you with. Also, because of the large volume, you have large owners groups and lots of avenues for problem-resolution outside of the manufacturer. Again, this is an enormous benefit of Catalinas at least that is too often downplayed.

Fifth, I find too many of the typical bluewater cruiser to be HORRIDLY slow. I also think this is often downplayed by others who often comment, "I'm cruising. I don't care how fast I go. I'll take my time." Bologna. Speed and a good performing boat is your friend. THe difference of just a knot can have a huge impact on your cruising. You might need to try and outrun an approaching storm or front. You are exposed to the elements much less. You will run your engine less because your boat does well under sail, thus increasing your potential range. THere are a multitude of reasons to have a good performing boat, but I cannot think of a single reason not to. Yet, many of the favorite boats often chosen on this forum cannot get out of their own way. THey make good SOG 5-6 kts. In some places, having that low of a SOG AVG means you are either leaving in the dark or arriving in the dark... neither of which make good sense to me.

Sixth, I am shocked at the prices of boats today... especially high-volume production boats. For example, the new 445 (the only Catalina I like as well as mine) is realistically going to be approaching 400k once you get it out the door and outfitted. You might get it under that some. I am quoting a dealer friend of mine. $400k? Really?? And even the low pricepoint Jeaunneus are 200-300k. Can you even buy a reasonable cruiser today, 36-38 feet, new, for under 200k? Geez... and that doesn't even include outfitting!!! Suddenly the price of many of these lower-volume production boats doesn't sound so bad. From where I sit, sailing sure seems to be getting more and more expensive and exclusive.

Lastly, a sailboat is filled with third party equipment. Your pumps, hoses, winches, spar, lines, engine(s), wiring, lighting, tanks, faucets... etc, etc, etc... that is all third party stuff folks. Yet I have read on here and elsewhere that a member is pointed away from a relatively new production boat for some old blue-water relic simply because of name. Even design and construction has changed over the years. As a broker friend of mine (and very well travelled sailor) said to me just the other day: buy newer. There is nothing wrong with some of those old boats, but you better darn good and well know what you are getting into beforehand. Because outside of the hull/molding, there's not a lot more about that boat that wasn't bought from a vendor and may well be the exact same piece of equipment as you have in your production boat. Buyer beware.

Just a few of my opinions,

Brian
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Old 12-24-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Well written Brian especially your last three points.
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