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Old 16-06-2012, 07:16   #1
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Comparison of production sloops

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone could provide a few thoughts on the pros and cons of various current model production yachts.... Are they all the same or does each manufacturer differentiate ?

Subjective personal opinions welcome !!

The few that come to mind are; Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hanse, Bavaria, Catalina, Hunter

Thanks,
Craig.
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Old 17-06-2012, 12:56   #2
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

Craig,

This would take a book to answer in any detail. Is there something specific you are interested in?
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Old 17-06-2012, 13:38   #3
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

This helped me a lot when I was boat shopping
Sail Calculator Pro v3.53 - 2500+ boats

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Old 17-06-2012, 19:06   #4
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

Thanks Oceangirl....

An amazing amount on information on that site !

In addition to the specs, I guess what Im really after is opinions on build quality, finish, rig setup, maintenance costs etc.

I currently own a 35yr old 27ft sloop and its costing me a fortune in upkeep. Im interested in getting into a syndicate with two others in a newer lower maintenance boat that we keep for a few years then sell.

Im after a comfortable cruising yacht, that can be short handed (single handed ideally), primarily for sailing in enclosed waters, with the occasional off shore day passage in good weather and the occasional two-three night stay aboard trips. Im thinking a production yacht as they all look pretty comfortable and the resale is reasonable.

Am I naive to assume that most productions yachts are the same and the decision will primarily come down to aesthetics and personal feel?
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Old 17-06-2012, 20:06   #5
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

Craig,

Other than the various names used in different markets, these boats are the same. They in fact come from the same factory in China. This much said, you may notice some gelcoat color differences, but only if you stand close enough ...

;-)

Now seriously, the boats you listed do not differ too much. The situation is similar to modern mass produced cars like Renault, Toyota, Ford, etc..

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Old 17-06-2012, 20:14   #6
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

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Originally Posted by TopperHarley View Post
(...) Am I naive to assume that most productions yachts are the same and the decision will primarily come down to aesthetics and personal feel?
I do not think you are naive. I think you are realistic.

If there is any sailboat show in vicinity you may like to splash on an entry ticket - there you can get a very close look at some of the most popular makes.

Next step would be to have a test sail on the thing, or two, that you have shortlisted at the show.

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Old 17-06-2012, 20:55   #7
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

Quote:
Originally Posted by TopperHarley View Post
I currently own a 35yr old 27ft sloop and its costing me a fortune in upkeep. Im interested in getting into a syndicate with two others in a newer lower maintenance boat that we keep for a few years then sell.

Im after a comfortable cruising yacht, that can be short handed (single handed ideally), primarily for sailing in enclosed waters, with the occasional off shore day passage in good weather and the occasional two-three night stay aboard trips. Im thinking a production yacht as they all look pretty comfortable and the resale is reasonable.

Am I naive to assume that most productions yachts are the same and the decision will primarily come down to aesthetics and personal feel?

I just cant see how owning a newer production boat will cost less in the long run. All boats need maintenence and older boats are just simpler(DIY friendly). So should something go wrong with a newer one I would imagine that it would cost more. I could be wrong! I am a bit biased as I like older boats for their simplicity and ease of access.

Good luck with your search
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Old 17-06-2012, 23:18   #8
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

Yes there is a difference, at least I have found a difference in production boats.

One of my first boats was a US Yacht, sailed beautifully but was built very low budget. She was very frustrating to work on because of the 'domino effect'. In order to fix one thing, two or three other things would break in the process( thus the domino effect). Then I bought a pacific Seacraft, a higher quality built boat. I found the domino effect was not so prevalent. It was actually fun to work on her! I remember exclaiming to a friend " I went to rebed a cleat....and I rebeded the cleat!"

I really don't know what production boats you have way down under but good condition, well taken care of, and a builder with a good reputation is the way to go.
This is a buyers market, make a list of exactly what you want, be patient, the right boat is out there.
Hope that made sense, and translates to your neck of the woods.
Good luck, have fun boat shopping.
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Old 20-06-2012, 06:46   #9
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

The Sydney International Boat Show is at the begining of August at Darling Harbour and just about all the available boats in Aus will be represented on the water along with various boat share groups. All on your list and others will be there.

Go prepared, check dealer web sites first, start a short list, and think of size to narrow down the options otherwise you just will not have time. Second hand relatively new boats may also be worth considering, the price drops have been very significant. Dealers will have them even if they won't be shouting about them as they want to sell new ones. As I am sure you know the value of the Aussie Dollar with respect to the Euro and the USD have made imported boats very attractive again and the dealers have to try to remain competative with people importing second hand boats bought in Europe or USA. You will come away confused with much to keep you busy as you refine your options.

Seriously think about what you want in the way of comfort and looks. Sailing wise there is not that much to choose between them except for convenience features that can make shorthanded sailing much easier. Self tacking headsails are very usefull shorthanded, providing the boat has been set up by the manufacturer/designer with that in mind to maintain a balanced rig. Think about maintenance as I think somebody said newer boats say less than 10 years old tend to be more complex to fix if things go wrong but with a new boat at least you have a dealer to go back to in order to get things fixed, providing the don't fold as another has recently done.

What you are unlikely to see are the long keel more traditional long term live aboard cruising boats which many still prefer.

I know what we prefer but that is our subjective personal preference based on our experience and guided by the funds available and how we want to sail and then relax on board.

If single handed make sure the anchor chain will run freely up and down. Early Hanses had a problem here. There were fixes but they involved some deconstruction and then reconstruction.

The obvious question, what can easily be sailed single/short handed today; in my view almost any modern boat up to 50ft if properly set up with that in mind. Easy reefing, easy anchoring, easy access to data at the helm, almost all of equal importance given the type of sailing you are proposing. This is a cruising boat so think about in mast or in boom furling rather than lazy Jacks but added complexity and more to go wrong.

PS the resale was reasonable but over the last 12 months I think most would disagree. We are calculating 60% on a new boat after 3 years and that may be an overestimate unless the world economy picks up a head of steam and the Aussie Dollar drops in value relative to the Euro and USD.
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Old 20-06-2012, 07:11   #10
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

Quote:
Originally Posted by TopperHarley View Post
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone could provide a few thoughts on the pros and cons of various current model production yachts.... Are they all the same or does each manufacturer differentiate ?

Subjective personal opinions welcome !!

The few that come to mind are; Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hanse, Bavaria, Catalina, Hunter

Thanks,
Craig.
I feel they are all about the same. Using modern production methods all are pretty good in construction. Computer design methods allow all of them to build strength into areas needed. Also because most modern designs are designed for ease of assembly most have better access to areas that later need attention as all boats age.

It is just like cars. Almost all modern production cars are well contructed. "Cheap" production cars of today are better contructed than most "high quality" ones of days gone by.

What is different amoung various brands/models is the fit and finish. Just like comparing a Toyota to a Lexus.
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Old 20-06-2012, 09:59   #11
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

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(...) Also because most modern designs are designed for ease of assembly most have better access to areas that later need attention as all boats age. (...)
Sometimes not quite so. I came across some of them where access was nil in areas that ask for regular maintenance.

The rule may be generally valid, still buyer beware.

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Old 20-06-2012, 11:21   #12
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

well boats follow Murphy's laws, there is always something you can not get to easy which the odds say is the thing you are trying to get at!
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Old 20-06-2012, 11:45   #13
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

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Originally Posted by TopperHarley View Post
Hi,

The few that come to mind are; Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hanse, Bavaria, Catalina, Hunter

Thanks,
Craig.
If you held a gun to my head and forced me to buy one of these brands, I'd take Catalina. But if I knew the gun wasn't loaded I'd spend a little more for a Tartan or Sabre.
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Old 20-06-2012, 12:11   #14
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

I would look for things like: chainplate attachment and size, Are bulkheads tabbed to the hull stoutly? or just sitting in a groove in a pre made floor "pan"? , what kind of seacocks are used? gate valves? Ball valves on a stem? or flanged seacocks? etc. Not sure which of the production boats are doing it "how" now days.....
ie: a boat with tabbed bulkheads, chainplates that are tied to a bulkhead and has flanged seacocks wil be a step up fom the rest....
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Old 20-06-2012, 13:38   #15
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Re: Comparison of production sloops

I couldn't really draw a line in the sand between these producers. When we got our new cruiser we looked at pretty much all of them, and decided on the Beneteau. Not because I happen to love them, but because the range of features we wanted was most prevalent there. All boats are a compromise, it's just which ones you prefer.

But generally here are my thoughts...

Beneteau - reasonable weekend cruiser, decent deck set up, good service
Jeneau - similar quality to the Beneteau, better lay out, faster, less comfortable
Hunter - see Jeneau, but with poorer finish about the same as Beneteau
Catalina - really really wide, poor performer, but very comfortable at the dock. Good quality gear and layout

Hanse and Bavaria - not enough experience to make a determination.

Honestly though they are all very close to the same in terms of quality. The difference is much like that between Honda, Toyota, Dodge, Ford, ect... They are all pretty much in the same market, shooting for the same customers, and are very similar. There may be subtle differences that you prefer one way or the other, but I would look at them all and feel like I was getting a reasonable boat for the money.

If you have a specific intent that could sway my thoughts a little (if you want to race I would recommend the Jeneau for instance) but these are subtle distinctions.
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