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Old 22-12-2013, 17:55   #1
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Production Boats

I've noticed something, almost everyone loves to bash the production boats, especially Hunters. Seems there is a special hatred for them.
Except their owners, why? Are they really pieces of crap that the bulkheads will fall out at the first hard blow? Do the bows oil can in a chop? Keels fall off?
This is sort of tongue in cheek. I'm looking for my first sailboat, one that I will learn on and never venture very far in. And to be truthful the Admiral will probably have more say in it than I will, and what seems to draw her is a less than ten year old production boat.
Are these things really junk? Or are they merely Chevrolets and the Lexus crowd likes to turn their noses up at them?
I don't want something that will lose it's keel or have some other catastrophic failure when they reach fifteen years of age, so should I stay away, do they fall apart that quickly?
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Old 22-12-2013, 18:01   #2
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pirate Re: Production boats

Naah.. they're okay for coastal cruising.. some even cross oceans.
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Old 22-12-2013, 18:03   #3
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Re: Production boats

You'll die if you ever go offshore in one.
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Old 22-12-2013, 18:13   #4
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Re: Production boats

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I've noticed something, almost everyone loves to bash the production boats, especially Hunters. Seems there is a special hatred for them.
Except their owners, why?
because it is a sport, do a thread search

you should still look at the Hunter 356 & 40.5 based on your other thread!
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Old 23-12-2013, 05:45   #5
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Re: Production boats

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because it is a sport, do a thread search

you should still look at the Hunter 356 & 40.5 based on your other thread!
Why not the 380?
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Old 23-12-2013, 06:06   #6
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Re: Production boats

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Why not the 380?
if you like it get it
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Old 23-12-2013, 06:29   #7
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Re: Production boats

I think when people hear production boat, then tend to cheaply built although this is not always the case.

For me personally, when I think production boat, I think a boat that was conceived as much in the minds of the marketing department as in the mind of the builder. Lot of potential downfall there.

The original brochure for my boat shows berths for nine people. While it is possible nine people could sleep aboard my boat, I don't think they would sleep very well, or that they would want to do it for more than a night or two.

I would be much happier now if at the time the boat was built, most people who were buying boats were cruising couples who very rarely had not more than two guests aboard only occasionally.

A forty footer with two heads each with its own shower? Awesome! Well, not really. First thing we did was rip one out to make more room for all our crap. I would be happier if it had one decent sized head with a usable separate shower than two heads which are both too small to be useful.

Another big problem with production boats is the use of fiberglass pans whic provide the basis for much of the interior cabinetry and furniture. The problem here is that it limits access to portions of the hull a bit more than is common with a stick built interior.

Those problems aside, love my boat!
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Old 23-12-2013, 06:56   #8
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Re: Production boats

I don't get the two head thing myself, but have pretty much consoled myself to the other one being the spare, sort of like having a spare tire in a car.
I do like the separate shower stall that is on the 380. 40.5 doesn't have the shower separate does it?
I expect to go look at a 40.5 this week or weekend, thanks for the tip.
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Old 23-12-2013, 07:15   #9
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Re: Production boats

I have been sailing a 1983 Hunter 33 in Lake Pontchartrain for about six or seven years now, with only the usual maintenance stuff. We had a new bottom put on her a couple of years ago and there were no blisters at all. We did lose the jib during a tornado, but I think we had left the sheets loose because we were repainting the deck. The Yanmar still runs like a sewing machine, and overall we just haven't had any problems with her. I retired about a year ago and will be moving to Florida and am planning to step up to something bigger, and I am probably going to go with a Hunter again. But then I also drive a Ford pickup.....
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Old 23-12-2013, 07:22   #10
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Re: Production boats

I sometimes wonder if the purpose behind having two heads is so that when you fill up one of the ridiculously small holding tanks, you have a spare. Because, you know, it's always good to have redundancy in your essential systems!
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Old 23-12-2013, 07:24   #11
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Re: Production boats

A lot of production boat bashing is just based on regurgitating old design ideas and "conventional" wisdom. Somewhere along the line, a list started to get put together about what made a "solid, blue water" boat and tons of people just keep repeating that stuff.

Boat design is a complicated animal. Add in that it is primarily accomplished by computer generated models now and you loose even more people. As others have said, marketing also plays a big part in the design. Usually more so on the interiors but marketing can influence other factors too. I was privy to a conversation recently with some of the builders of Freedoms about how much the sales guys influence certain aspects of the designs. Selling the boats definitely had a much bigger influence then most people thought.

People also tend to discount the advantages that production building brings. People used to think you needed inches of glass and resin to get a strong boat. Then production building came up with, or made available at a lower price point, vacuum bagging techniques, multi-direction fiberglass cloth and better resins. Another thing that is often overlooked is the ability to get new parts without having to get them custom made.

I think most of the digs on production boats come from two areas. First, those who can afford custom boats. Hey, they have to justify all of the money they just spent. Second, from armchair sailors who want to tell you what the "perfect" boat is and it's not one you can afford. That way they can stay armchair sailors don't have to worry about getting out there. If you actually get out "there" you will see a lot of production boats of all shapes, sizes and conditions.

Hunters do seem to get a little more beat up than others. But you can hear plenty of people doing the same to Catalinas and Bendy-toys . IMO, Hunters get bashed for taking risks. Hunter has done some things that were just not done on boats prior to them trying it.

For instance the overhead arch for the mainsail controls. They first did it with fiberglass. Well, that might not have been the best idea. Some of those boats had issues. They changed to the metal arch and I don't know of any complaints since then. It's a great concept and they seem to have it down. Hell, even Beneteau is copying it now.

They also have masts without backstays. I have heard people continuously bash this. But when you ask them what is their favorite sailing catamaran, they almost always name a boat that uses the same concept. When you point that out they don't really know what to say.

One of their other risks is the hull to deck joint. They roll theirs out while everyone else is rolling in or overlapping. Personally, I don't like it. Seems to be to exposed to me. But I know plenty of people sailing them that are happy with it.

I would sail in any of the production boats. And I would venture offshore based on my opinion of that particular boat, not a general class of them.

Fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 23-12-2013, 07:32   #12
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Re: Production boats

2 heads? His and hers? Actually at first it seemed like a bit too much on a 39 foot boat but we have grown to love it. You'd be amazed as to how many times it's come in handy to have a spare. It might be a bit much if you're tied up all the time but when you're never in a marina and have to remove the hoses in one of the heads two really saves the day.

And I have been through the bucket drill in a one head boat. Head pump broke just a few days before we were expecting guests. Had to board a wreck to find spare parts and epoxy it together. Luckily it was easy to find a production boat wreck.
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Old 23-12-2013, 11:51   #13
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Re: Production boats

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
For me personally, when I think production boat, I think a boat that was conceived as much in the minds of the marketing department as in the mind of the builder. Lot of potential downfall there.

Yeah that kind of sucks. Because if the marketing people have input to the design you end up getting stuff that people like!
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Old 23-12-2013, 12:14   #14
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Re: Production boats

Not all production boats are panned.

If you want to see how a boat is built and finished look inside the lockers and behind the liner. Be careful if you run your hand in there you might come across some unfinished fiberglass strands that'll splinter you or cut your hand.

Good luck on whatever boat you choose.
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Old 23-12-2013, 12:29   #15
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Re: Production boats

I come form a power boating back ground and my Father in Law once designed for Hatteras and for Century.
I assume the production boats all use chop guns to lay fiberglass? I thought I read that Catalina at least hand laid their glass?

I'm only looking for a five year boat, not the boat I hope to die in, and Coastal cruise only during that time as until I retire, I won't have time for anything else.

Oh, and the hull to deck joint concerns me, but as I haven't heard of any separations, maybe it's adequate?
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