New Sailboats.

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Mychael, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Mychael
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Melbourne/Victoria/Australia.

    Mychael Mychael

    I went to the Melbourne sailboat show today. Nothing in size compared to what you get in Europe or America but fun just the same. It was only $5 to get in.

    It's interesting to view the fancy new boats with the eye of now having some years sailing with my own boat. You see a lot of things differently.

    For instance of all the brands I looked at only one had cup and crockery holders in the cupboards designed in such a way as things would not slide around.
    All these boats are beamy with large volume lounge areas and not one had a central roof mounted handhold below decks to assist with getting from one end of the boat to the other when it's heeled.

    All had large volume lockers for boaty type stuff but they were just that, large volume, no partitions, things would roll around and slide to an end and be hell to get to, all "out of sight out of mind" type storage, nothing designed for quick and easy access. Of the open shelves in the lounge area they were not very deep and only had small fiddles, you could not fit much in them at all.

    None of the boats provided (as standard) any sort of shelter for the helmsman, the helm area on all them was exposed and pretty much required the helmsman to be standing all the time.

    Some had a transverse double bed in the main cabin which in my opinion would be rubbish to sleep in when there was swell.

    Quality of finish varied greatly also. The Catalina I looked at was the cheapest and looked it, a lot of laminated ply with unsealed ends was used in the contruction below decks. The companionway stairs were of the shape and size that in my opinion invited a slip in heavy seas. None of the boats except the largest has (in my opinion) very heavy standing rigging.
    The Bavarias were finsished off nicely but I felt the Dufor was better built and better laid at below decks.
    I thought the Elan was poorly made, cupboard doors and draws were binding and the boat was brand new. The current trend/fixation with having a wheel on all the boats often made for a tight squeeze getting past without standing on the cockpit seats.

    I did like the engine access on most, far better then many older designs and soundproofing looked first rate.
    Considering all the lights and electrical gear on modern boats most only offered a single house battery as standard which I thought very poor.

    The Hunter seemed to be okay but I noted it has very high freeboard I thought it looked a bit slab sided and wonder how they sail.

    The Delphia? looked like it might have promise but again some of the woodwork could have been better.

    We don't get to see nearly the range of new boats here in Australia as people overseas do but in the end I could not help feeling that of those I saw There was none I'd rush out to purchase. If I had to pick I'd go for the Dufor but if I had the money to buy any of those types that were there I think I'd more likely hunt down an older style boat and spend the money refurbishing it.

    What we did get to do and was a highpoint for me was to be given a tour of the "Sea Shepard" which for those of you that saw the news was the boat that prevented the Japanese whaling ship from continuing it's dirty work, at least for a while.

    Mike
     
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Many of us share your disappointment with modern products, sailboats included. Older people, particularly those who are craftsmen or have been craftsmen in the past, seem to have a better eye for quality than younger folk.

    Many of the boats, that are sold, will be merely marina queens and rarely leave the dock; thus a skipper friendly helm station is not a high priority. Real quality construction costs big money. Everything seems to be built down to a price rather than up to an admirable level of quality. Hell, I can not seem to buy a toaster that will last more than a few months.

    Also, perhaps accomodations were designed by "interior decorators" rather than seamen. Houses in the US are designed to appeal to the tastes of women rather than men. No doubt some of that has spilled over into boat building. Double bed athwartships ? Sheeeesh !
     
  3. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Pontevedra, Spain

    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Yeap! Big volumed, fancy looking, what would be said not really seaworthy boats by some. But what's to blame? Those are conceived for the nowaday's fast growing share of the market: people with light-coastal-cruising-in-nice-weather and high-level-services-marina-lifestyle in mind. Manufactures/designers just follow the wake.
    Cheers.
     
  4. Mychael
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Melbourne/Victoria/Australia.

    Mychael Mychael

    Yes, I was reading an article in a British boating magazine that bemoaned the fact that there were few "middle range" boats available for the buyer.. Lots of "high end/high price" items and choices in the much smaller "day sailer" range but nothing in the middle.
    I even wonder if there could be a future niche market for private boatbuilders to buy/re-furbish then re-sell on older style boats. Could it be done more cost effectively then getting a brand new boat??
    As a buyer it would be my choice, already I've decided that I will just keep upgrading my current boat to suit my needs as opposed to holding on to it few a few years then up-sizing to something newer.
    What does everyone else think? Especially you small boat yards, do you reckon you could make a living buying and selling restored boats as opposed to building new ones??

    Mychael
     
  5. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Pontevedra, Spain

    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Such an activity already has been tried by professionals around here, with little success to my knowledge (except for some very special restorations), because of the 'slippery' demand of used boats. People buying old boats do that either because they are not wealthy enough to buy new for the size, or because they are knowledgeable and handy aficionados, and in both cases do all restoring/updating works mostly by themselves.

    Cheers.
     
  6. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Ohio

    longliner45 Senior Member

    this is me ; like I have stated early on ,,it took me 9 years to find my boat , it is a older spencer from vancouver Canada (1969 ) she is not complete yet ,but I think she will fare better than most new boats her size,surly I could afford a new boat ,,but seaworthyness,is a main factor for me,Im just not seeing any real boats these days,,,,,,,,longliner
     
  7. Mychael
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    Mychael Mychael

    I guess there is not the huge market... I thought there would be people with enough knowledge to recognise that new boat "a" would not meet their needs but that they also did not have the time/space/skill to totally overhaul and re-fit quality 2nd hand boat "b". It would now be an interesting time to start a new poll... How long do people generally keep their boat before selling an upgrading. Might try to do that later.

    Mychael
     
  8. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    well mychael ,,I think there is more people like me ,,more interested in sailing ,,,than sitting at the dock. the problems will arise later when these folks ,get a tast of sailing ,with their 40 ft dock barg,and start to actully go sailing ,,,,and find out what a boat is,,,or should be .........longliner
     
  9. Mychael
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Mychael Mychael

    It surprises me that people would get into a hobby without knowing something of it first. Maybe that's just me but I learned about sailing and how much I liked it by taking up a mates invitation to go out with him.
    Granted you learn more as you get more deeply into it as to how I now view new boats with a more critical eye having owned my own for a while.
    Maybe Ii am placing too much of my own perception of things but I am sure that had I the money then I would scource out an older boat of proven design and pay to have it completly overhauled as opposed to just buying something new.

    Mychael
     
  10. Torvie
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    Location: western australia

    Torvie Junior Member

    Mychael, I have come up against the same problem. We were looking for a small cruiser that could also be raced a bit, around 30-35'. New boats seem to be designed for the charter market, mild conditions and sleeping only at anchor, or else all out racers totally unsuited to shorthanded sailing or family cruising. Many production boats would also need a lot more work to bring them up to what we considered a reasonable spec/equipment level.

    We have now solved the problem to our satisfaction by buying a new S&S 34. It is eminently seaworthy and cruisable, but also not that slow and rates particularly well under IRC (in fact very competitive with the new "IRC specific" Beneteau 34.7). We do sacrifice the separate double aft cabin but I question how great these really are in most 34 footers anyway. Otherwise we can have all the mod cons we like but in a sensible package, with modern lightweightconstruction (vacuum infused foam sandwhich vinylester hull and deck, weighing 600kg less than the old models).

    Unfortunately, it is not much cheaper than any other new boat (around $300,000 fully equipped, slightly more with all the racing good gear). I looked at the cost of buying a second hand one, stripping and refurbishing. I think it would be around $50-$70,000 cheaper if done properly with new interior, equipment, engine, rig, sails etc, but it would still be a 30 year old hull and have the resale of a second hand boat. Of course, you could reduce the cost by keeping more second hand gear but that was defeating our purpose. I figured the extra cost worth it to have the new hull/deck/furniture and the exact internal layout and equipment we wanted. Hull layup is next week and we will see how things go cost wise with the fitting out.
     
  11. Mychael
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Mychael Mychael

    I believe that the sparkman and Stevens designs have a good reputation.It would be fun to see your built being created from the start.

    Mychael
     

  12. Torvie
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    Location: western australia

    Torvie Junior Member

    Thanks Mychael, I have promised to write an article in due course for the Sparkmans & Stephens Association and for the S&S34 Association (www.ss34.org). There are some details about the new boat on their website and on the Swarbrick Yachts website but they are relatively basic (although a few good photos). I am happy for information to be spread as I do believe it is possible to acheive some compromise between the virtues of proven seaworthy designs and some of the advances in modern construction and fit out. Of course, all boats are a compromise and ours might not suit everyone. I am going away for a few days and will then have a look at how things are going.
    Regards, Simon.
     
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