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Old 12-07-2008, 07:27   #1
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Production cats versus custom

I get the impression there is a significant bias towards production cats over custom built.
Would this be a fair comment? If yes why is it so. A fear of the unknown maybe or expected backup from the manufacturer?

I must admit I tended towards a production boat during my early research into which cat but as I progressed my bias moved toward custom. Given the myriad of info I have now reviewed I would never go production unless it was from a very select group of, read expensive, manufacturers.
As most lighter boats need a core I wouldn't touch one that is made in a mould unless it was resin infused regardless of the core material.

Mike
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:56   #2
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Mike,

I am also bias on custom, because I have bought one. When I tell others the boat is wood, they are amazed. They are also impressed with the fit of the interior. My interior design is quite different with the master berth sitting with one corner at the mast. One side is a shop, drying room, storage, head, and shower. The house contains a dedicated nav station, salon, & galley with tons of storage. The boat has so much storage I can't use it all. The strbrd hull contains a forward berth 10ft.X5ft pantry, a head, and a rear guest berth. Seperated from the living quarter towards the sterns are a seperate motor compartments. These motor compartments will hold 2 men to work on the motor. Access for the boom to reach the motors if needed.

It is a given a production boat is much slicker to look at. When I first had the boat hauled the yard manager told me it was the strongest he had seen as of yet. Not a bit of flex as she was placed on her keels. I have been on several production boats, and I really like the looks of most, but I am extremely happy with what I have.

There are always the exceptions, and an example is Fastcat, but that is so far out of my reach! I bought what I could afford with cash, and I always enjoy it when other cats cruise close by to take a look. She has a distinct look, a good sailor, and in many ways the builder built her of many compromises. A boat is about compromises. You can have the fastest, heaviest, slowest, lightest, prettiest, ugliest, least expensive, most expensive, and the list goes on. I believe I am in many ways in the middle somewhere.

When it is all said, and done. She's mine, she's paid for, and I sail the hell out of her with a big $heet eating grin on my face
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:15   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
It is a given a production boat is much slicker to look at.
Sorry I can't agree with that
OK the production boats may have more moulded in features but going by the production boats I have seen, mostly froggy boats, the fit and finish was lacking.

Mike
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:26   #4
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I also had a Simpson catamaran, which was heavily damaged by Huricane Isabel. It was extremely rigid, but light weight. Surveyors and insurance underwriters turn up thier noses at custom built boats, as do brokers and most buyers. The same reasons would apply to home built airplanes and cars, unless they are famous enough to be recognizeable by name. I suspect there are more Simpson 10Ms on the water today than there ever were Outremers, but the insurance company wrote it off.
As a result, I paid more than twice as much to replace that boat with a production cat. The next owners faced a far more complicated repair than they would have with a conventional molded figerglass hull.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:41   #5
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sandy,

Good points on the insurance, and a conventional molded glass boat. This is a small look into my personality.

When I first bought the boat she was 9 different colors. I immediatley started elimination colors, and was going to paint her white to avoid the heat of the tropics. My wife said to me that since it was my boat, bought before she came along, that I could paint it any color I wished. Then it would look like every other catamaran out there.

LOLOLOLOLOLOL, I couldn't have that, because I think a wee bit differently, so I stuck with the color red, only changed the scheme of it. Here is a pic after I changed from red headsails, and a cream mainsail cover. My point being not all of us have conventional thinking. Nor do all of us have conventional desires. Yes I pay more insurance, but when the surveyor told me this boat could break icebergs. I was convinced it was the boat for me.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:28   #6
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sandy,

but when the surveyor told me this boat could break icebergs. I was convinced it was the boat for me.
I had a Simo and am building another bastardised version now

Roger does tend to overdesign his boats and then a lot of owners add a bit more "strength" for good luck.

I've gutted mine

Dave
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Old 12-07-2008, 13:47   #7
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You would expect that a person who is building a boat to take himself and his family to sea would take a reasonable degree of care with the building.

Some hung over backpacker working a chopper gun for $10 an hour on a production line might not.

Actually a home-built Oram 38 was recently surveyed for a buyer. The only fault found was that the flares were (just) out of date. The surveyor told the builder that production boats are generally appalling, and in no way comparable.
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Old 12-07-2008, 14:02   #8
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With production boats as with home build boats you can find quality differences and I would presume that in most home build boats more care is placed in making the boats safe , lightweight and good finished. In most production boats all interior parts are made in a mould to save time but the actual finish in general is not great , wood veneer is seldom used since it is expensive to install, doors are made from marine ply or fiberglass with veneer instead of foam veneered , it is all a matter of economics.
A boat builder producing 100 cats a year or more will for sure try to save every minute possible , even it it costs extra weight or general looks and quality.
Producing a high production number cat in the 40 ft size costs around 4000 hours in this production environment while producing the same size cat in a home build environment depending on finishing quality will cost 6000 to 12000 hours.
If this cat is also resin infused and spray painted instead of hand laminated with gell coat add another 4000 hours .
If lots of nice finishings are done like veneer thru out add 1500 hours.
These are alll rough numbers and mayt differ from one builder to the other.
I know a Maxim 38 took 6500 hours to build from start , a FastCat 455 is around 15000 hours and we are trying to get this down to 12000

Greetings
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Old 12-07-2008, 15:26   #9
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Like this?????????????????????? Ceilings through out the boat look the same. The upper left corner of the picture is reflection off of the wood.
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Old 12-07-2008, 18:11   #10
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You would expect that a person who is building a boat to take himself and his family to sea would take a reasonable degree of care with the building.

Some hung over backpacker working a chopper gun for $10 an hour on a production line might not.


Actually a home-built Oram 38 was recently surveyed for a buyer. The only fault found was that the flares were (just) out of date. The surveyor told the builder that production boats are generally appalling, and in no way comparable.
I agree, I have walked off many a job when having witnessed the slap-dash approach used by some production and semi-production builders who had no interest in lifting the bar to a better standard.

Anyone can hide a crap build under under a layer of bog and paint, timber veneer and fabric.

I was quite proud of the fact that my last cat was never finished below so you could still see every plank, glasstape, cove etc etc. It gave me a sense of strength to see the raw bones with nothing to hide them.

And I have to say my standard is nothing out of the box, no better than most other so called "amateur" built boat's, which IMHO is better than most production boats.

For the "amateur" guy building for himself its a thing of beauty, a passion, their child.

For the guy on the factory floor (in a lot of cases) its just a job, something to pay the bills, gee, some have never even been on boats.

Just because someone is payed for their labour does not make it a "Professional" build.

Dave
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Old 13-07-2008, 01:27   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Like this?????????????????????? Ceilings through out the boat look the same. The upper left corner of the picture is reflection off of the wood.
Beautifully done and my preference anytime , you have made your boat like a thru liveaboard with all the cozyness that in my eyes is needed to enjoy life on board.
I cannot stand plastic interiors , I am sure they are easy to keep clean for chartering but not warm or pleasing to the eye.
You interior gets my vote

Greetings

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Old 13-07-2008, 02:39   #12
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With production boats as with home build boats you can find quality differences and I would presume that in most home build boats more care is placed in making the boats safe , lightweight and good finished. In most production boats all interior parts are made in a mould to save time but the actual finish in general is not great , wood veneer is seldom used since it is expensive to install, doors are made from marine ply or fiberglass with veneer instead of foam veneered , it is all a matter of economics.
A boat builder producing 100 cats a year or more will for sure try to save every minute possible , even it it costs extra weight or general looks and quality.
Producing a high production number cat in the 40 ft size costs around 4000 hours in this production environment while producing the same size cat in a home build environment depending on finishing quality will cost 6000 to 12000 hours.
If this cat is also resin infused and spray painted instead of hand laminated with gell coat add another 4000 hours .
If lots of nice finishings are done like veneer thru out add 1500 hours.
These are alll rough numbers and mayt differ from one builder to the other.
I know a Maxim 38 took 6500 hours to build from start , a FastCat 455 is around 15000 hours and we are trying to get this down to 12000

Greetings
Gideon
thats a truly amazing amount of hours i couldnt contemplate building a boat if thats how long it would take me, luckily for me it didnt take that long
sean
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Old 13-07-2008, 02:55   #13
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thats a truly amazing amount of hours i couldnt contemplate building a boat if thats how long it would take me, luckily for me it didnt take that long
sean
That means that you chosen a more efficient design to build and you are a fast builder.
It also makes a diffrence if you build a 38 ft or a 45 ft cat
Greetings and happy sailing with your new cat

Gideon
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