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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Best Built Boats?
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-09-2006 06:33 PM
Rickm505 I think that everyone loves their boat and probably feels it's the best boat for him/her. So what is the measure? Performance, sea keeping, or is it quality?

The way this post began, best built is the question. So, what are our boats made of? This article by a well respected surveyor is a real eye opener and in my opinion is a must read. Hurricanes hits are a great way to determine what a boat is made of.

http://www.yachtsurvey.com/Fiberglass_Boats.htm

Rick in Florida
04-09-2006 02:05 PM
JMHawkins Well, Sailingfool, I was using "solid" to mean "not balsa" so if that makes me clueless in your eyes, so be it.

I am a bit confused however why you would call someone clueless on the forum. I would've thought a sailing forum would be free of the normal Internet flame wars.

An IP31 has a D/L of about 250. That's generally considered "medium" by most boatbuilding 101 books I've read. It's also roughly what a Catalina 310 weighs in at. A Hunter 310 has a D/L around 180, suitable for it's club racer/weekend cruiser role. A Pacific Seacraft PH is over 400 - the real heavyweight.

Merc2Dogs has it right - suitability wasn't the question. He thought "best built" meant fewest problems, judged by owner complaints. That seems like a pretty good definition. My boat is only half as old as his, but it's in great shape too. Our owners group has very few repair issues beyond ordinary wear and tear. Most of the conversations are about the best way to add upgrades.

But, as both Merc2Dogs and I said, "Best built" will mean different things to different people, so if what it means to you is "lightest" boat, then by all means, enjoy. There are days when the wind is blowing all of 5 knots that I resort to the Iron Genny myself. I plan to deal with that by getting a 180% Drifter this year.
04-09-2006 01:09 PM
sailingfool John,
It’s great you enjoy your unbridled enthusiasm for IPs. My personal opinion is that a builder whose boats are unquestionably overweight and slow can’t be the “best” of anything, or even very good, as far as sailing boats go. But I admit to being not too well informed on IPs, as I never actually even looked at one (why would I…), My opinions are solely based on the fact that day-in and day-out, when I see an IP, it’s usually under power, especially when passagemeking,.,,What can I say, that’s what I see…

As to your enthusiasm, your comments are somewhat clueless…for example, no builder makes solid decks, even going back to the first Pearson Triton. Here’s what IP says about their construction “Decks utilize Island Packet’s PolyCore,® a proprietary coring material for reduced weight with increased panel rigidity…”This fact is about as “boatbuilding 101” as they come, so you might read some more books before offering opinions on the “best”…
04-09-2006 03:36 AM
JMHawkins I don't think Island Packets - other than the new 40 footer - qualify as motorsailers. Light winds can be a problem, but just get a bigger sail

As far as "best built" - that's going to mean different things to different people, but IPs are certainly "well built" if sturdiness is your criteria. The decks are solid core (no balsa), the hulls are strongly built, the deck-to-hull joint is sturdy, the mast is keel-stepped, the rudder and propeller are well-protected by the full keel, balast is internal. I read a story about an IP (35 I think) that was T-boned by a similair-sized powerboat (about 18,000 lbs) doing 18 knots on autopilot. The powerboat hit the IP at the shrouds and drove up over the rail. The starboard shrouds and lifelines were carried away, and the IP was dismasted by the collision. The powerboat slid off the rail and immediately began sinking as the bow was a mass of shredded fiberglass. A towboat was luckly near-by and got several bilge pumps into the powerboat to keep it afloat long enough to be towed into the slings and hoised out of the water.

The captain of the IP cleared away his tattered rigging, fired up the engine, and motored back to the dock. There were three surface cracks in the hull at the point of impact, but no leaks as the cracks did not penetrate the hull.

I won't argue that they're the "best built" boats. But they're good enough for me.

-John
03-26-2006 02:13 PM
merc2dogs Why does it seem that every question regarding quality of about a boat get turned into suitability issues?

The question was best built, not best suited, best built would imply the boat with the fewest owner complaints as to structural failures, best suited would be for whatever purpose intended, and have a different answer for every situation.

my triton is well built, everything is solid, and I realy have no comlaints as to the construction, I admit it is not suited for some uses, but as to construction, there's not a lot that was wrong with the way it was built
my boat is approximately 40 years old, and is as solid as the day she was made, no soft spots in the deck, mast beam is still in great shape, stantions (except where they caught an oak trees when some moron cut it down) are still in factory condition, does show some wear here and there, but hey, it's 40 years old, I'm starting to show some wear at 45 so can't complain.

suitability is not equivelant to build quality.

I'm a carpenter, and while I generaly go for the best built tools, many of the best built ones are unsuited for my use, table saws for instance, I use a small bench style tablesaw, not of the best build quality, but it is immensly suitanble for my use, the best built one would seldom be used by me because I'd need a few friends to help me move to the jobsite, best suited is one I can put in the back of the truck and carry around myself.

my method of finding best build quality is to find a group dedicated to that boat, and spend an afternoon browsing it, if I find most questions are about how to fix something or getting a better replacements for a bunch of constantly breaking factory parts, it would indicate that there are some serious build issues. If there are few repair questions, it would imply the opposite


ken.
03-26-2006 01:32 PM
Rogertheengineer
Best Built

What is the best built car?

I quote that to demostrate that there is no correct answer to your question. All boats are a compromise. Factors include size,bigger tend to be more seaworthy eg a wave that bothers a sailboat would not bother an aircraft carrier! Cost-inevitably everthing is dictated by a budget. Volume, traditional narrow beamed long keel boat beat well but diffficult to manouver and more cramped inside. Ventilation -many opening portholes etc for hot climates but every one a potential problem for leaks and a weak point in a storm. I could go on for pages but suggest you learn a little about yacht design and suggest the book by Steve Killing who was involved in a number of America Cup boats.

It looks to me that you are expecting to find a preferred shortlist, the best way would be to sort out what you intend to do and find others who have done it. If there was one answer to your question there would only be one make of boat sold.
03-21-2006 01:41 PM
sailandoar
Good Old Boat Magazine

Look into "Good Old Boat Magazine". We recently gave away seveal years of back issues and were always thrilled with the articles and premise of the publication.

Most folks don't really want to go out and spend BIG $$$ for a new boat such as are advertised in the many of the popular boating magazines. Instead, imagine a magazine devoted to "Good......Old....Boats". They feature different designs in each issue and do an analysis on design, construction, attributes, problems/issues, market $/availability.

If you were to look through their back issues on their webiste and find some of your boats of interest it would be a valuable resource. Your could buy back issues or post for someone who has the issue to send it to you etc etc.

http://www.goodoldboat.com/
02-28-2006 06:43 PM
PBzeer Why does the phrase......different strokes for diffferent folks .......keep playing in my head? A better question would be...what's the best cruiser or racer or motorsailer or....ad infinitum. Not to mention....best built how? In other words, it's an open ended question without a definite answer.

Interesting reading though!

John
02-28-2006 06:19 PM
TrueBlue
Motorsailers

Denr,
IPs are straddling that proverbial motorsailer/sailboat fence. I'll tilt the scales with the popular quote: "Nauticats are the best built motorsailers in the world".
02-28-2006 06:18 PM
sailingfool I thought IPs were actally trawlers with sticks taller than the typical trawlers! That's one of the great things about sailing, you can always learn something new. Denr, Thanks for the clarification on this.
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