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Old 18-12-2015, 05:47   #691
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Re: Oyster Problems?

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
The Polina Star III evidence suggests that one of the few remaining true great boatbuilders of quality, is trending towards the "just enough" philosophy, rather than the "bombproof, seaworthy, and robust, with strength to spare" philosophy. This is, it would seem, industry wide.
If this is true it's not only disturbing but we'll see more keels falling off in a not to distant future. Buying an older boat and doing a complete overhaul and refit would be the best option in terms of quality and engineering.

Ninja edit.
Most of us like to look at sailboats despite being happy with our current boats and I'm no different. I found this on YouTube when checking out a Danish boat builder. I don't know enough to speak to this but perhaps someone else could comment? It looks good from what I can tell.



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Old 18-12-2015, 05:51   #692
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Re: Oyster Problems?

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Pollux,

Why these issues of different builders are related is the yacht industry across higher volume lower cost right to low volume high cost builders seem to be taking advantage of the cost savings afforded by modern design methods. Modern design allows detailed analysis of small features to compute stresses and strains. By the "lean method" the unneeded parts are trimmed away or moved in the design phase until the structure is just enough to satisfy the forces. This results in a lighter, faster and less expensive boat.

The problem is that across the spectrum of builders from lower to higher cost some builders seem to be misapplying the "lean method". They are forgetting (intentionally or otherwise) that the material they use and the environment of use have significant variables. It seems clear that there is a lack of appreciation for the uncertainty that surely exists with yacht design. But modern design methods (which are in fact more than 200 years old) have provisions for dealing with uncertainty and these designers and builders are either not using them or not applying them correctly.

Further, there is among the posters of this thread a disturbing division. There are those who say that margins of safety should be employed in cruising yacht design such that the keel never ever will fall off. Then there is a group who say its ok right now because only a very few fall off. And we should accept it because of the net benefits (lower cost, faster, lighter, etc.). To me that's a bright line difference of opinion. Which opinion is right matters greatly. If future readers of this thread are incapable of figuring that out then I have just cleared it up for them.

You're welcome...
I never saw nobody saying what is highlighted regarding keels, maybe you have not understood well or maybe i am not paying attention and in that case I ask you to post a quote of someone expressing that opinion.

Certainly I don't think that way and the idea I have among those two groups is that one defend that the keels should sustain hard groundings without any need to be verified after or to be repaired and other defends that keels should not fall off on any hard grounding but that after hard groundings they should be carefully verified as well as all boat structure and that is normal that after an hard grounding a keel or keel structure should need some repairs.

Also in what regards what is an hard grounding opinions diverge, some say that an hard grounding can be done in sand if the contact is at high speed and the sand slope or sand obstruction a considerable one. Some would say that hard groundings can only happen on coral or rocks.

Also some consider that an hard grounding is a frequent affair while others say that most good sailor will very rarely, if ever, ground hard a boat on his life time sea experience.

Once I saw a completely bent keel on a recent Wauquiez 40s, observed that the integrity of the hull was perfect, including the seal between the keel and fiberglass, but the boat was being sent to the factory (it was a new one) to the structure to be checked and the keel to be rectified.

The first group will say that the boat is a defective boat because sustained damage on a hard grounding, the second one will say that it is a good boat because it sustained a very hard contact with rocks at 7k, bent the keel but the keel did not only remained strongly attached to the boat as the boat had not suffered any water ingress.

Regarding design of boats I see also two groups:

One that say that modern built methods are, in a general way, inadequate, being them used in expensive boats or in production boats and that the industry should return to old methods of building boats, building heavier and poor performance sailing boats, kind of a return to the past and stop all advances in what regards Naval Architecture design or use of new techniques and materials.

Other say that on a general way modern designs are very successful sailboats, well built, lighter and sailing better, not excluding that in some rare cases, like the one of the Oyster mistakes have been made and that is very important to determine the nature of those mistakes for not to happen again.

Regarding the last case and lighter boats it has been widely said on this thread that many high quality brands, like Swan, Solaris, Grand Soleil, X- yachts or Wauquiez have made thousands of lighter boats than the ones made by Oyster type of boats, made an incredibly big number of miles (all boats put together) without experiencing any problem, with the keels or otherwise.

That should show that modern designs can be built in a successfully way, but it seems it is not the case with many that still claim for good old heavy boats built with old methods, boats that nobody seems to want since the few ones that are on the market are dying out.

Regarding keels and groundings, the opinion of an expert with more than 35 years of experience.:
7 checks after grounding a yacht

A final point: In what regards modern sailboats it does not make sense to put on the same level boats that cost 2 or 3 times more than others. It is obvious that it is expected a much better quality building from brands that make much more expensive boats and it is rightly assumed that the better quality does not regard only a better quality interior but also a better built quality.

It is way it does not make any sense to mix Oysters with Bavarias in this discussion but it makes sense to discuss them taking as comparison with similar typed and priced boats, like Halberg Rassy, Discovery or Amel, all modern boats with a modern built.
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Old 18-12-2015, 05:59   #693
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Re: Oyster Problems?

I bet pretty much all boats build now days have been designed by a naval architect, including all the boats that people saying are build to minimum (which means that they are built to handle the designed stress).

What we never really hear about is input from actual builders that forums are always saying are cutting corners etc .

I bet if we really had a break down of the costs of boat construction we would find that the cost savings of some extra fiberglass isn't much in the big picture. And from that we would also learn is that builders don't under-build to save costs as much as they build to the design stress of the boat.

I bet we would also find that the cost of building a a same size hull is about the same for all builders once it adjusted for volume discounts.
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Old 18-12-2015, 06:03   #694
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Re: Oyster Problems?

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Further, there is among the posters of this thread a disturbing division. There are those who say that margins of safety should be employed in cruising yacht design such that the keel never ever will fall off. Then there is a group who say its ok right now because only a very few fall off. And we should accept it because of the net benefits (lower cost, faster, lighter, etc.). To me that's a bright line difference of opinion. Which opinion is right matters greatly. If future readers of this thread are incapable of figuring that out then I have just cleared it up for them.
I don't remember anyone saying it's OK because only a very few fall off. I see the difference in opionin between the ones who say keel structure should tolerate many hard groundings without damage and the ones who accept that modern designs (well starting from the 70's) may need structural repair after a hard grounding, but should never loose their keel, if repaired when needed. Even the latter is very far from accepting a few losses, but can understand that eventually it may happen, if the boat is neglected (not repaired/inspected after groundings).

Then to the point of material savings as a suspected cause of too flimsy structures. I think that the cheapest way to make a boat is to use a lot of cheap material and as little as possible man hours. Cheap polyester resin and glass fibre have quite a low price and the material cost of it is not a big part of the total cost. Probably spray lay-up is the cheapest option, but that has almost dissappeared from sailing boat industry (expcept HR). It is still used for many motor boats, at least the smaller ones which have a harder need to keep the costs minimal.
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Old 18-12-2015, 06:10   #695
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Re: Oyster Problems?

Of course after a collision above or below the waterline any boat should be inspected and repaired if necessary. But the keel should not fall off and it should not require an immediate trip to the yard to verify the keel integrity. All cruising yachts should keep the keel safely attached after any incident. A cruiser should never have to worry if their keel has been damaged to the point of causing loss of the boat. I realize that many readers and even some naval architects will think I am crazy for having this view and that's ok.

I appreciate that it is necessary to rapidly inspect and repair the often inevitable keel damage due to groundings of modern yachts. But that understanding does not make it an acceptable state of affairs.
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Old 18-12-2015, 06:28   #696
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Re: Oyster Problems?

Question could be, what kind of priorities seduce buyers, and I bet you a 6 cold pack that is not how the hull is made or the strength, its accommodations and amenities by far ,,, Then some boat builders are presure to show some big margins of profit, and the you get what you pay for....
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Old 18-12-2015, 07:01   #697
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Re: Oyster Problems?

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Then some boat builders are presure to show some big margins of profit, and the you get what you pay for....
There aren't many sail boat builders making any profit, not to talk about big profit. Far more have bankrupted.

I don't know the US builders, but in Europe Bavaria and X-Yachts are one of the very few who have done financially well. Bavaria did extremely well before 2008. Beneteau, Jeanneau and Dufour have not done so well. If they save, it's more to about staying alive than making big margins of profit.

Bavaria bought Dufour and Grand Soleil in 2010. If I remember correctly Jeanneau was very close to bankrupty when Beneteau bought it as was Dehler when first Etap and then Hanse bought it (Etap bankrupted). Najad has gone out of business numerous times etc.

Around here there is a saying: If you want to be a millionaire in boat business, you have to start as a billionaire. The very seldom exception is the founder of Bavaria Yachtbau who became a billionaire when he sold it after about 30 years. The founder of Oyster did OK as well.
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Old 18-12-2015, 07:20   #698
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Re: Oyster Problems?

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Originally Posted by jmaja View Post
There aren't many sail boat builders making any profit, not to talk about big profit. Far more have bankrupted.

I don't know the US builders, but in Europe Bavaria and X-Yachts are one of the very few who have done financially well. Bavaria did extremely well before 2008. Beneteau, Jeanneau and Dufour have not done so well. If they save, it's more to about staying alive than making big margins of profit.

Bavaria bought Dufour and Grand Soleil in 2010. If I remember correctly Jeanneau was very close to bankrupty when Beneteau bought it as was Dehler when first Etap and then Hanse bought it (Etap bankrupted). Najad has gone out of business numerous times etc.

Around here there is a saying: If you want to be a millionaire in boat business, you have to start as a billionaire. The very seldom exception is the founder of Bavaria Yachtbau who became a billionaire when he sold it after about 30 years. The founder of Oyster did OK as well.
I think when people talk about how "profitable" a company is, they look at the corporate entity itself, and all salaries/wages/etc are a "loss" in this math. A company doing quite well, but having an intensely over-inflated compensation package for their executives, can cry about how "unprofitable" the business is.

My gut is the executives themselves over at oyster have not been losing their shirt. In fact, they'll probably come away from this single, poorly executed, lethally underbuilt/underdesigned model, making more money than I'll make in my lifetime.
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Old 18-12-2015, 07:43   #699
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Re: Oyster Problems?

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I think when people talk about how "profitable" a company is, they look at the corporate entity itself, and all salaries/wages/etc are a "loss" in this math. A company doing quite well, but having an intensely over-inflated compensation package for their executives, can cry about how "unprofitable" the business is.

My gut is the executives themselves over at oyster have not been losing their shirt. In fact, they'll probably come away from this single, poorly executed, lethally underbuilt/underdesigned model, making more money than I'll make in my lifetime.
Amen
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Old 18-12-2015, 09:22   #700
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Re: Oyster Problems?

It's true that the yacht building industry is intensely unprofitable. You have to dig deep into the weeds to figure out why this is so. But the bottom line is there are too many builders for too few knowledgeable buyers who demand and are willing to pay for a quality cruising yacht. In the past the "reputable" builders, by and large, looked out for the relatively few unwitting customers by only building high quality safe yachts. Even then we can find several examples where that did not happen. Today the number of unwitting customers outweigh the ones who know what they should buy.

As wealth expanded globally a lot of yacht building companies sprang up or expanded rapidly touting "new design methods" or "space age materials". Due to their lack of history they had to offer their product at a price below the competition. New manufacturing methods such as "lean" were sold to the established builders as the 21st century way to defend their diminishing profit margins. As someone else said it is either do or die. Well people have died (thankfully not on Polina Star III) and will continue to die until something changes.

The yachting industry is not the only one where problems like this have happened. The recent fiasco with Takata air bag inflators is a case study in how "lean" only works if the right input data is used. They found a "much less expensive" material to burn that creates the gas that inflates the bags. Unfortunately the long term stability of the material did not factor as much importance as the lower cost. The material absorbed moisture over time and the explosive effect greatly increased to the point that the metal bits around it were blown apart with lethal effect. In a horribly ironic twist, drivers were killed or maimed by a device that was mandated to help save them in an accident.

One way we can all help the yachting industry get its collective head screwed on straight is to clearly articulate the requirements that are "deal breakers" for cruising yachts. Keels that must be inspected and professionally repaired after a grounding is my "deal breaker". I steadfastly hold to the view that the keel should never fall off. If there is a collision so severe that the entire boat breaks apart then I would expect the keel to sink holding tenaciously onto its attachment and a majority of the remaining hull. I never want to see photos like those of PS III or CR ever again...ever.
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Old 18-12-2015, 09:41   #701
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Re: Oyster Problems?

I am completely on board with transmitterdan.

Yachts hover between production and custom and try to exploit the benefits of "assembly line/ factory production" approaches. However, truth be told they are not assembly line builds. There is little to no proving or testing and the engineering appears to be more of an art than a science. There is no way that a properly designed or engineered yacht should drop its keel... especially without and impact/grounding. PERIOD full stop. Oyster screwed up.
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Old 18-12-2015, 09:58   #702
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Re: Oyster Problems?

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we would also learn is that builders don't under-build to save costs as much as they build to the design stress of the boat.
I don't completely disagree however I do believe they build to the absolute minimum stress level as pushed by the bean counters. A perfect example is jeanneau, Dufour, Beneteau, Bavaria installing brass throughulls and ball valves ar $100ea. instead of the much more expensive proper bronze seacocks.

Unfortunately the vaunted CE standards have created this monster (among others) by allowing seacocks to have a lifespan of 5yrs so these builders can claim they build to the legally required standards. If you don't think that's engineering to the minimum standard I can't help you.
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Old 18-12-2015, 10:06   #703
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Re: Oyster Problems?

Well if we start with the Brass DZR stuff in EU boats we have thread for a while...
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Old 18-12-2015, 10:41   #704
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Re: Oyster Problems?

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A perfect example is jeanneau, Dufour, Beneteau, Bavaria installing brass throughulls and ball valves ar $100ea. instead of the much more expensive proper bronze seacocks.
There are many much more expensive brands using the same throughull materials. It's strange, since there are rather cheap alternatives like these: Tru-Design : Discount Marine, Ships chandlers, boat supplies, inflatable boats, electronics, hardware and everything else

Then again I haven't seen a single failed one except in the magazines or net. Maybe due to the fact the this end of Baltic Sea has only ~0.5% salt.

Building cheap is nothing new. During the 70's and 80's there were many brands built cheap in Sweden (e.g. Albin, Maxi etc.) and Finland (e.g. Guy, Sunwind) and in bigger series than any brand builds now. Large inner liners and moduls were often used as well as spray lay-up. These were sold to people mostly new to sailing in way bigger numbers as the current market. Very few of those were profitable and most had a history of several bankrupts. Most did not survive the depression in early 90's. Since then the remaining Swedish and Finnish sail boat builders have targetted to much higher price market and also increased the boat sizes. And many actually make the boats in Estonia or Poland.

It's interesting to look at the boat prices 25 years ago. X-Yachts, Finngulf and Arcona, which where more quality oriented even back then, where much cheaper than Bavaria and most French brands. Then prices of the "quality brands" started to rise much more rapidly than inflation or wages while Bavaria and French brands prices did not rise at all or rised very slowly.

By 2008 the prices of these three (and other similar) brands where about twice the cost of Bavaria, Beneteau etc. Hard to blaim to buyers for buying the cheaper ones (as they did during 70's and 80's). Then 2008 started the problem years, during which many "quality brands" like Najad, Finngulf, Dehler, Etap, Sweden Yachts etc. banckrupted and quite a few never came back.
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Old 18-12-2015, 10:59   #705
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Re: Oyster Problems?

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By 2008 the prices of these three (and other similar) brands where about twice the cost of Bavaria, Beneteau etc. Hard to blaim to buyers for buying the cheaper ones (as they did during 70's and 80's). Then 2008 started the problem years, during which many "quality brands" like Najad, Finngulf, Dehler, Etap, Sweden Yachts etc. banckrupted and quite a few never came back.
As I said, the market has chosen.

I do give kudos to the remaining production builders in that their marketing effort has been superb. If I ever have swamp land to sell, I'm hiring those guys.
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