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most of these boats are no longer being made (Island Packet being a more recent casualty).
Island Packet (including Blue Jacket) was acquired by Hake Yachts (builders of the Seaward retractable keel boats) last year; this was about a year after IPY and Seaward announced a cooperative deal that both lines of boats would be built at the IPY facility in Florida. Not too long after that, IPY unexpectedly shut its doors and seemed to be on the verge of bankruptcy before Hake came in and acquired them. As of today, the glossy sailing mags continue to have IPY and Seaward ads every month.

One big change at IPY: the new owner has said that you don't have to have a buff-colored hull if you don't want one; he'll make it whatever color you want!
 

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Discussion Starter #5,342
Thanks Stern - I followed that story when it was going down. The proof in the pudding will be the number of new Hake IPs sold. I'll just say that I'm skeptical there will be a boom.
 

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That all sounds good, but it assumes older methods are "better". Do you have data that proves this or is it just an opinion? I have a 16 year old Hunter that has those bulkheads set into a liner and tabbed to the hull and a small pan that is glued to the bottom of the hull in the forward and aft berths. I've pounded the boat pretty hard (much harder that I was comfortable being in) and nothing has ever come loose or broken. In fact nothing on the hull/deck/rubber structure has ever had a problem.

There are lots of "old school" methods that are still being used by custom and semi-custom builders not because they are better, but because they don't have the scale of production to justify investing in the equipment etc that modern production uses.
Sorry, the bulkhead thing just came to mind. I suppose it's just opinion, but I really do appreciate the quality lamination on my boat and the fact that it's a monocoque construction (hull and deck is one piece) with everything fiberglassed to the hull and deck (and no pan liners to hide it).
 

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Does anyone know the story on Hinckley? I just looked at their website and they appear to now only be building 2 sailing yachts - the Daysailer 42 (what the name implies) and the Bermuda 50 (more of a luxury racer platform) - with the rest of their line being motorboats. Is this right? Are they no longer making cruising boats? Wow!
It has been that way at Hinckley for many years now. In fact, they got out of the sailboat business completely for many years before building the new B50, and more recently the DS42. I don't think there are many of the B50 actually made. We saw one in Bermuda this year, but I think it was hull #1.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #5,345 (Edited)
Wow. Thanks Mark. I honestly didn't know that.

What American builders are still doing their thing (not under duress like IP and PS, etc.)? It seems like we've not got much left over here. Even from the point I started this thread in 2009 most of them have gone belly-up.
 

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Catalina is building for themselves and contracted for the Gemini catamarans. Endeavor will still build a sailcat on special order, although they are mostly powercats now. Mainecat is building power and sail cats, but pretty low volume. I think Tartan got another life. Morris has gone even higher-end, but still building. Columbia came back 10yrs ago or so and builds a one-design. Marlow-Hunter, but we won't talk about them. I don't know if Pacific Seacraft is still building new boats. J-boats are going strong, but not really focused heavily on cruising, like always. Cabo Rico, Passport, Outbound, and Caliber, although I'm not sure manufacturing is actually in the US, and I think those are low volume. Wyliecat, but again low volume. You never know when Shannon is going to pop up, but they always go back down.

Beneteau is the 800lb American boat builder gorilla now.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #5,348 (Edited)
It actually seems like there is a potential emerging market for "lower cost" cruising cats somewhere between Geminis and FP/Leopard/Leopard/etc. The list of manufacturers seems to be pretty big... but I've never heard anything about most of these guys.

If I were going to invest (which I'd NEVER do) - this would certainly seem to be a potential niche with a future.

PS - It looks like that list is WAY outdated. Many of those companies no longer exist.
 

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Don't go by broken websites - many of them have changed URL's and moved domains. Of that list, only 4 are no longer in business, although I would count Gunboat as a 5th.

None of those represent "lower cost" boats between Gemini and the next tier. Tomcat is with Gemini, Broadblue/Privilege/Nautitech/Cape Royal/Voyage/Seawind are in the same general tier as FP/Leopard/Lagoon, although there is always space to spread them out in there. The others represent higher performance/cost boats, with the exception of St. Francis, which is just a higher cost boat because of size and outfitting. Fusion is a kit build.

FP/Leopard/Lagoon/etc are actually pretty reasonably priced boats.

I doubt there will ever be another "lower cost" cruising catamaran because the margins are too thin and nobody wants them. Our Manta was considered one of these back in the day - priced competitively with Lagoon/FP, but much higher quality - and I doubt if the company still existed, they could sell a new one today.

The best way to get near this category is to build a kit boat or contract a builder to build it (the latter would probably wipe the boat out of the category, though).

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #5,350
I actually liked the Charter Cats Wildcat (of Bumfuzzle fame). It seemed like a boat that fit that niche pretty well. Of course that all went south pretty quick. Too bad.
 

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I've been watching the SDR fleet. Pretty mellow ride out there thus far.

Also, to give some perspective on these crazy edge-case scenarios some use to justify heavy, old boats...though I'm not a huge fan of their channel, here is a young couple that have been cruising the world on their FP Helia for the past 3 years. This includes crossing the Atlantic, Pacific, and now down to NZ.

Here is the heaviest weather they've faced this whole time...


There are no dragons out there - unless you own a "blue water" boat and neglect the weather.
 

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The SailNet Moderators have chosen to close this thread. Over its 8 year life, it has served the worthwhile purpose of fleshing out a range of useful discussion points, arguments and counterarguments on this topic. But it's sheer size has rendered it unwieldy so that sub-topics were lost in the sheer quantity of posts.

We do encourage members to create threads which adds *new* information in a manner that specifically addresses a current event or new piece of information that might be relevant to the potential role of production boats offshore. But we see no point in creating another thread that becomes this kind of general clearing house for the information on this topic.

Respectfully,
Jeff_H
For the moderation Team
 
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