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Old 28-04-2019, 10:21   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 12
Mainstream production boats - Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show

Hi all

With the plan to go cruising in about 3-5 years from now we started sailing courses but also began to look around for a suitable boat. Yesterday we drove down to Annapolis and visited the Annapolis spring boat show. For me, it was the first time for many years to be around bigger sailboats and having a chance to step on board and take a closer look. Our current boat is an open wooden sailboat 20 feet in length with a main and a mizzen so no comparison. More than 20 years ago I sailed on a Nautor Benneteau and Hallberg in the Mediterranean and during that time I had visited the German boat show "Boot" in Duesseldorf a couple of times.
Anyhow, initially I was impressed by how much these boats have "grown" without increasing their length. I had still the Nautor Swan 43 in mind in which we cruised the Mediterranean for a couple of weeks. With four adults it didn't feel really cramped back then, but we also were inside the boat only to cook and sleep and even the sleeping pretty more often than not happened on deck. Mediterranean summer nights can be pretty warm.
Now, these boats feel wide and open, lots of space. I was almost stunned by a 43 feet catamaran, how much space was available there. However, after this first impression had passed the second impression wasn't that good anymore. Granted I am in general a little bit more picky than average when it comes to the quality of workmanship, but one thing came very spontaneous in my mind, and that was the big Swedish furniture store, where one can carry away furniture in pieces to assemble them at home. Same here, great initial appearance second one not that good anymore. Poor workmanship, in the cabin no solid wood, mostly some form of laminate and not sure if the core was even marine grade plywood. On one boat the hatches in the floorboards were only covered with a thin layer of veneer while the sides appear to be raw cut. Not sure how that will stand up to dirt and seawater.
Another thing that made me wondering were sharp edges and we found many of those. Sure, they seem to be an integral part of the design idea of modern furniture, clear and sharp lines, I like them at home, but on a boat, sharp angles and edges have no business. In one catamaran we found relative sharp aluminum angles covering the front edge of the stair steps down to the berths, sure that looks cool and clean, but I don't want to use this barefoot, and I get goosebumps if I think about that my shank bone could hit those aluminum angles. Furthermore, I assume that salt and sand will make them look ugly pretty fast.
I could go on and on, endless examples.
The weather was good yesterday and the show was very busy. Many people were getting in and out the boats and there was not much time to look more behind the surface and check on the important technical details.
The bottom line for me, the first impression is great, the second not so much and unfortunately there was no time for a deeper dive into the details, but I am a little bit worried about that a deeper dive into the details would just have emphasized that second impression.
On the other hand, they are the typical blue water cruising boats used by many and have crossed every ocean following the beaten paths (OK you probably can't beat a path in an ocean... I think) so they can't be that bad.
But...are they really the cruising boat to go to every place, how about the high latitudes?

The list of stuff to think about gets longer and longer the more I dive into the matter...

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miraculix is offline   Reply With Quote

annapolis, boat, boat show, sail, sailboat

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