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Thanks for the reply. I had a look at the threads you suggested and found them most interesting but not a lot of help in specific terms. I think what I want to know is: if I find myself a thousand miles from anywhere and it gets really nasty, will the hull still be attached to the deck in the morning? The various attributes and advantages of different configuations, hulls, rigs etc, etc is something we have to take into consideration when choosing a boat but it would be nice to know if any of these production boats in particular have problems of a more specific nature. Does anyone have good things to say about them or perhaps even more important, not so good things to say. I assume I would be able to work up a production coastal cruiser to be a good safe blue water rig in respect to tankage, fixing the gear down and so on but faith in the structure is something I must have. Interestingly, this years Sydney Hobart was dominated by production boats and won by one. The weather was quite good but a good day in Bass Straight is a very bad day off the California coast. I'm told that a 42+ Beneteau flexed and shook and banged and had bulkheads moved but was still in good structural shape after a really bad trip to Tassie last year and the skipper now swears by the boat. I have no info on Hunters and the general opinion around here is that the Catalinas are good boats. I have really not had any bad reports of the production US boats apart from what really comes across as rather prejudical and short on fact. I am a mechanical engineer and spent a good part of my professional career in design and development in the automotive industry. I know that a Toyota is a much better developed vehicle than a hand made low production Ferrari. The Ferrari may get there first but the
Toyo is more likely to get there. An organisation making a thousand boats a year can't afford problems which result in warranty claims and thus the engineering and production methods get better and better and the problems are solved. The end of a model run is always the best ones. In my experience, we would wear out more vehicles in development than Ferrari make. The up market wet dreams solve problems by making it stronger and heavier and who can blame them but stronger and heavier don't always go together and all the up market joinery in the world does not make it a good boat. Fast and light is good. Heavy and slow is heavy and slow. I've had both and I know which I prefer. But I have not had any serious off shore experience so maybe heavy and slow is better? I doubt it but I could be convinced. I have great respect for other peoples experience and have no wish to reinvent the wheel.