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If a boat is designed and built to be "crash resistant", it will of necessity be built more heavily (slow) and more expensive than the competition. And there goes the mass market, down the drain.

If this boat costs 1% more than that boat and more 1% slower as well? Folks are gonna buy the cheaper faster boat. "But this is more rugged!" only interests a small niche of the market. I don't think that tail can wag that dog.

"Honest, honey, I don't know how I got that tatoo!"
Ahuh, and that rock was never seen, reported, or charted before. What boat buyer is going to concede that *they* are not able to avoid rocks?
 

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Discussion Starter #63
Hellosailor - look up the specs for the Hobie33 for the video I posted above. Very fast and lightweight boat, yet survives repeated grounding of the keel into the rocks - so it can be done. (As a matter of fact, a Hobie33 last year was beating most of the larger boats on actual time in the Transpac). Strong doesn't mean heavy.
 

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If a boat is designed and built to be "crash resistant", it will of necessity be built more heavily (slow) and more expensive than the competition. And there goes the mass market, down the drain.

If this boat costs 1% more than that boat and more 1% slower as well? Folks are gonna buy the cheaper faster boat. "But this is more rugged!" only interests a small niche of the market. I don't think that tail can wag that dog.
If sailors were willing to pay more and give up performance for safety then Etap would be outselling Beneteau, Hunter, Hanse, and Catalina. On the flip side, Boston Whaler still thrives, and the big car makers swore no one would buy vehicles if they were required to be safer, get better gas mileage, and pollute less. Somehow most of us got used to paying the cost to meet these standards.

Jeff
 

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I would suggest that regardless of what the Hobie33 does, the boat could be faster and lighter and less expensive if it was NOT built to survive repeated hard rock impacts. (And the keel-killer was not simply a gentle grounding, but a severe impact.)

Then there's the question of comparable price. When similarly equipped to other boats of a similar speed and capacity, trim quality, etc., what's the cost penalty to the Hobie? That's a hard one to compare, I suspect, given the variations in boats.

Good design, a fast hull, seakindliness, balanced sails...as one respected nautical architect said of one of his boats "I got lucky with that one." 3D CAD helps tremendously with analyzing the never-ending effects of heel and other variables, but when all is said and done, strength costs more than weakness. A really good designer and builder may be able to hide that in the overall cost, but it still has to be there. Whether it means "three more layers of cloth" or whatever.
The cassette daggerboard design may have some inherent advantage over a fixed keel, but then there's the tradeoff of a trunk in the middle of the cabin, isn't there? Unless you keep it short enough to hide in the salon table. And then, you've still got to get in there and clean out the trunk from time to time, I'd expect.
 

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Good points, Jeff.

"If sailors were willing to pay more and give up performance for safety then Etap would be outselling...On the flip side, Boston Whaler still thrives,"
I think Boston Whaler fills a certain market segment where the price of five gallons of expanding foam can be absorbed in the product, and it makes a nice incidental selling point. ("Honey, this one is safer, the kids can't sink")

Cars though are a different story. Very few seat belts were ever sold as options. Heck, very few cars had the optional passenger-side mirror, even when that was a $25 option of a $5000 car. Folks just didn't want to spend it. Those safety improvements were *mandated* and car buyers had no choice about paying for them.

And while I can attest that in some circumstances ABS brakes work peachy keen, and I find a grim irony in Takata airbag recalls (Would you buy a car with eleven explosive devices in the passenger cabin, built bu a former Axis power?), I'd really like to see cheaper more reliable cars that didn't have all those "safety" complications. Despite the fact that personally, I've always used the seat belts, even when I wasn't required to.
 
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