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Old 27-02-2010, 19:44   #1
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Where Are the New-Build Small Cruisers ?

You'd think with the crap economy that at least some of the better respected builders would be at least offering smaller models (<30ft)? Or, are customers who can afford a new 'anything' more likely just to spring for the extra length? THe smallest IP is now 36 ft, when they have built 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 34 footers in the past. Other companies too. I know there's exceptions, but why is the average boat length not getting smaller ?
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Old 28-02-2010, 01:56   #2
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Old 28-02-2010, 04:05   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tellytulear View Post
You'd think with the crap economy that at least some of the better respected builders would be at least offering smaller models (<30ft)? Or, are customers who can afford a new 'anything' more likely just to spring for the extra length? THe smallest IP is now 36 ft, when they have built 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 34 footers in the past. Other companies too. I know there's exceptions, but why is the average boat length not getting smaller ?
People want bigger and bigger and more and more creature comforts. What was a standard size for crossing oceans 30 years ago is now considered too small.

I think it's a bit more complex than that though. During the 60's, 70's and 80's the market was flooded with smaller boats. I think it's tough market. To start selling new built 25-28 footers a mass, they'd have to be either cheap or very innovative.

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Old 28-02-2010, 04:21   #4
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I honestly agrre with your assesment that the majority of people who would be looking at new Island Packets would most likely be looking at larger boats. Even so called "low end" boat like Catalina, Hunter and Bene's are big bucks brand new. At least to a middle of the road income guy like me.
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Old 28-02-2010, 05:01   #5
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I'm biased, but you really should look at the 'old' Snowgoose.
For a third of the cost you get a sound, proven, world cruiser with decent speed.
Add half as much again and it's as good as new, some would say better.
And accepted everywhere just like the classic car. There' nothing on these new boats that wasn't proved by the Prout brothers many years ago.
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Old 28-02-2010, 06:02   #6
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Maybe that's part of it - cats give more space per length, and maybe some who are otherwise looking for a shorter boat end up going mulithull.
Me for one wants a monohull for a bunch of reasons. I have an 18footer that I've done some decent distance on, but as a dinghy its not meant for open water and I''ve surfed uncomfortably down one too many waves (even though a pair of guys just did the Northwest Passage in one - crazy - which I think is one of the reasons that the designer Chuck Paine no longer wants his name associated with this former project of of his). Anyway, I need a keel !
No complaints from me , mind you, I love the presence of a bunch of boats on the used market, but would be tempted to look at new ones if the price was within reason
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Old 28-02-2010, 06:11   #7
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Why don't builders build smaller cruisers? They can't make any money on them.
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Old 28-02-2010, 06:57   #8
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Quote:
People want bigger and bigger and more and more creature comforts. What was a standard size for crossing oceans 30 years ago is now considered too small.
It's fair to say there never was a standard and there isn't one now. Too small can be defined based on the smallest boat to ever do it. 10 ft covers both major oceans. Gerry Spiess did say he almost went insane in the last days across the Pacific. It's not about the size or anything standard.

Looking deeper it really is all about the money. The money being spent on new boats, the cost of production boats, and semi custom boats built to order. When you cross reference the three it comes down to small boats are expensive to build on a custom order basis. No compaines are putting the resources into building high end boats and waiting to sell them. They would be fools to do so. It's why new boat prices are not moving very low.

The recent revival of the Dana 24 brings back a great design and an exceptional build but it's by no means a cheap boat or even affordable. Not all small boats are that small. The IP 31 is a huge boat and length is only part of the dimension. The cost of making a boat is not totally proportional to length. The people that can afford a new IP want more than a small boat or too few of them wanted smaller boats.

Even still, the major production boat companies are moving toward a more build to order type process to control costs. Production boat companies are not out to build around the world small cruising boats. They are out to make boats for recreational boating and the number of potential buyers that fit the profile don't have to include those that want to sail around the world. While models of the boats can and do travel great distances it is not the main segment of the market that desires to do so. So in the new boat market - it is not about you.

I would say the standard has always been that people want the most comfort they can afford. It was true in the 1500's and it still is true today. Recreational boating is not quite 200 years old. Early recreational boating was exclusively a very very rich man's adventure until even the early 1900's. Boating today is still not cheap, but it is more accessible.

Finding a boat and making it work for your purposes is your own task. Compromises between budget and comfort are your own. There are a wealth of used hulls out there that can be made seaworthy for travel. They are not obviouly waiting for you and they require a fair bit of time and then effort to really make them ready and more importantly - your own. You need to add more time and money too. Such is the curse of those not rich. Maybe you won't go around the world or maybe you might try. You could however be out there sailing some place to some place else.

Sailing is mostly about showing up and it matters little where you are going because you are already there. Should you be passed on the water by a new IP485 know you both have the most important thing in common - showing up. It does not have to be standard. The desire to be average is clearly over rated.
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Old 28-02-2010, 08:02   #9
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well put Paul. Thanks for your insight. I have an old barn - just screaming for a boat to put up and fit to my needs
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Old 28-02-2010, 08:34   #10
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Consider that most of those under 30 foot entry-level boats, buildt & sold in the 70's & 80' are still around - and selling for from <$5K to <$40,000. Thatís a lot of current competition, for that market, which those boats didnít face (when new).

I believe that the ďaverageĒ cruiser is on a larger boat, than they were in years gone by.

First organized by Jimmy Cornell, as a way for mostly small, shorthanded sailboats to make a safer Atlantic crossing the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC); the average size of the sailboats making the trip was 39 feet, in the early years. The first year, the last boat in was a 24-foot Dunkers sailed by Dave Shipton. It took him 33 days.

Average boat size now looms in the 50-foot range, with the largest in 2005, Kalikobass II, measuring 104 feet. The smallest boat in 2005 was a Vancouver 32 sailed by Mark and Natalya Ricketts of Great Britain. Twenty-nine percent of the boats (2005) were longer than 56 feet, up from 25 percent the previous year.

ARC ➥ Event Information for World Cruising Club: ARC
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Old 28-02-2010, 08:41   #11
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As long as I could find little beauties like these on the used market for a not cheap but reasonable price, I can't imagine any of the production builders producing something I'd rather have.
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Old 28-02-2010, 11:50   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
It's fair to say there never was a standard and there isn't one now.
"Average" is the word I should have used

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Old 28-02-2010, 12:04   #13
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Fantastic post Paul!
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Old 28-02-2010, 12:28   #14
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There are plenty of 30' NEW boats around, and many 30- and many 30+.

I think since most people buy the new boats 'on mortgage', the size does not matter. If they can a credit line for a 36 footer they will by the 36 footer, not a 30 footer.

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Old 28-02-2010, 13:43   #15
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The change to larger and larger boats seems to have alot of generators, i.e., plastic mass-produced hulls, cheap gps positioning, relative prosperity, exposure and growth of the cruising life (magazine covers of boats and bikinis), etc. The where has the crusing counter-culture gone thread is probably large-part nostalgia for the first generation of cruisers subsequently popularized by an ever increasing number of media outlets of all sorts. (I'm really amazed how youngsters are always online, anywhere at any time. Of course, I worry about them should/when the electricity goes down for [gulp] days at a time.

Now, the majority of left coast southbound cruisers aren't just buying a boat for a lonesome awesome adventure of sailing across oceans, but seemly are buying a lifestyle where they will hang/dock primarily with other cruisers, staying on a well-worn path, and and having friends and relatives flying in to visit.

And, of course, at least until lately, there was easy credit. The US ran a negative savings rate for at least a decade before the 08 credit crash. Most spending more than they made for quite a long time. So larger boats, for comfort, for guests, enabled by credit made it inevitable. At least in part, it occurs that one of the reasons there are so many more women willing to go cruising in recent times, is ... larger boats.

I'm struggling a bit with that issue now, being 6'2" and getting older I would like a larger heavier boat than I would have even 5 years ago. But don't want to buy on credit, with it's attendant Ins.Co. restrictions on where I can go with it, which limits the size to what I can pay for with cash. I've been patient letting prices fall a bit further, but I'm feeling it will be soon, I'll make that choice. Cheers, Jon
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