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Old 28-09-2013, 07:31   #31
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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Originally Posted by squirty34 View Post
I understand the argument about vested interests, but how many people never make the leap into cruising because they come across this issue of lack of transparency (and personal experience shows this issue comes up really quickly) and decide the risk is too large.
We have looked at about 20 boats now. We've seen some nice looking boats and some doozies. But even the nice looking boats raised the question, what CAN'T we see. We didn't run across one broker who voluntarily disclosed even one of the boat's problems. It was up to us to find them. We went from being excited about buying a boat, to being skeptical about buying a boat because the risk was so large.
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Old 28-09-2013, 08:08   #32
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

If you are in the market for a boat, make a comparison list of 5 boats with similar dimensions from different boat builders. Build a spread sheet, and enter all information supplied by the manufacturers; price, keel depth, lengths of various components, etc. Start narrowing down each design features. You'll come up with a lot questions, at the end of your analysis. While it helps a great deal to have an understanding of Structural Analysis, most boat buyers have not studied that discipline. Your next step is to consult with an engineer/marine architect for the weakest-link of these boats. What you will get out all of this...the type of materials used to build the boat, load distribution study that causes stresses and breakage, ease of accessibility in servicing the engine and the electrical system, among others... The next step is to sail the boats you picked, a week at a time through chartering. That is the crux of it!

I would never hire someone, who has neither studied boat building/design nor has any basic engineering knowledge of marine systems, to survey a would be purchase; I would be wasting my time and money.

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Old 28-09-2013, 08:18   #33
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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Part of the problem is that in the Internet era, we are used to that good information is free, even if the source has a cost in obtaining the information.

But sources needs to get revenue, so with lack of expected revenue from the readers, they will have to finance their operation from adverisers.
This comment is essential for everyone to understand, and not just in this specific case of boat reviews. People increasingly forget that nothing is free. We have this explosion of "free" things; credit card points, air miles, gas bonuses ... Someone is paying the bills. If you aren't, then you need to think about who is, and how that influence inevitably drives things. (BTW, the same is true for "free" places like CF, where Google appears to be paying some of the bills).

In the case of reviews published in glossy magazines or on fancy websites, the influence is obvious. Few commercial "journalistic" publications will ever bite the hand that feeds it -- and that hand IS NOT the reader. Bloggers and Facebookers are not free of this influence. Most are blatant appeals to sponsors. Brokers are sales people. They get paid when the boat sells, so their influence is clear (and that goes for a buyer's broker as well). A good surveyor that you find and pay for is probably the best "reviewer," but even here their will be biases you (and even the surveyor) may not be aware of.

Current owners can be a good source of information, although I'm not sure this would qualify as "professional," and the confirmation bias is obvious (it's what leads to so many fights here on CF). Former owners are better sources of information, b/c the need to be right is reduced, but not eliminated.

So what are you left with? As others have said, use multiple sources, try and understand what influences are at play (and it's not only the $$ influences), and use your own eyes. Best of all, be comforted in the fact that confirmation bias pretty much ensures you'll love the boat you finally pick.

P.S. My boat is the best .
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Old 29-09-2013, 08:07   #34
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The reveiws in most magazines are basically ad's to return the favor for the boat companies paying for ad's in the magazine. They most often will point out a couple things about the boat that are mildly negative, but you are right, they are pretty low on real facts and analysis.
OK, but in all fairness let's ask the question, are there any truly BAD production boats made today??? Even one?

You may have seen that 20 years ago, but with everyone doing their research online, and competition so fierce, anyone making substandard boats would go out of business pretty quick.
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Old 29-09-2013, 08:34   #35
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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OK, but in all fairness let's ask the question, are there any truly BAD production boats made today??? Even one?

You may have seen that 20 years ago, but with everyone doing their research online, and competition so fierce, anyone making substandard boats would go out of business pretty quick.
I think it was in a recent Cruiser's World that they discussed through hull fittings and their quality. In it they said Benneteau (and maybe others) follows European standards regarding the quality of the thru-hulls. Those standards require their life to be rated for FIVE YEARS! That means they could fail in as little as two. If the boat doesn't float, it's a bad boat.
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Old 29-09-2013, 10:12   #36
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Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
If you are in the market for a boat, make a comparison list of 5 boats with similar dimensions from different boat builders. Build a spread sheet, and enter all information supplied by the manufacturers; price, keel depth, lengths of various components, etc. Start narrowing down each design features. You'll come up with a lot questions, at the end of your analysis. While it helps a great deal to have an understanding of Structural Analysis, most boat buyers have not studied that discipline. Your next step is to consult with an engineer/marine architect for the weakest-link of these boats. What you will get out all of this...the type of materials used to build the boat, load distribution study that causes stresses and breakage, ease of accessibility in servicing the engine and the electrical system, among others... The next step is to sail the boats you picked, a week at a time through chartering. That is the crux of it!

I would never hire someone, who has neither studied boat building/design nor has any basic engineering knowledge of marine systems, to survey a would be purchase; I would be wasting my time and money.

Mauritz
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Your suggestion while undoubtably technically correct , is very impractical for most people. Engaging architects etc , very difficult as the architect will not have the information necessary to analyse the boats. Then chartering 5,6 7, boats not to me to on many types simply arnt available as charter nor may have the configuration you need.
The whole process could cost you more then the boat




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Old 29-09-2013, 10:14   #37
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Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post

I think it was in a recent Cruiser's World that they discussed through hull fittings and their quality. In it they said Benneteau (and maybe others) follows European standards regarding the quality of the thru-hulls. Those standards require their life to be rated for FIVE YEARS! That means they could fail in as little as two. If the boat doesn't float, it's a bad boat.
If there rated for 5 , why woud they fail in 2. Not one to over debate this , but there an awful lot of 5+ years boats afloat in the med !!!


I think commercial reviews in mags etc are just what they are. Why expect anything different
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Old 29-09-2013, 12:09   #38
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

Brass thru hulls are crap, they don't belong on sailboats but that aside looks like most high volume builders in Europe use them.
I agree that almost any sailboat ever built could probably sail the milk-run in good weather so your hearing all kinds of reports of succesful crossings. It doesn't mean that all these boats are great offshore boats so you should do as much due diligence as you can before you make your final decision. Your the one writing the cheque so don't depend on others to decide for you. The further afield that you plan on traveling and the longer your staying out there the more important it is to buy some old fashion quality. Good luck in your quest.
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Old 29-09-2013, 14:57   #39
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The fact is that most reasonable sized modern boats will circumnavigate or happily sail UK or Baltic waters ( which is quite high latitude ) , given good skippering , attention to maintenance and judicious upgrading of certain systems.

After that most boat choices boil down to personal choices ( or hang-ups) or perhaps more correctly your wife or partners choice lol !

That's what " professional reviews " view as their audience

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Old 29-09-2013, 15:06   #40
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Bite the hand that feeds you... never see that hand again... or any others most like... even the dumbest dogs know that...
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Old 29-09-2013, 16:36   #41
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Delivered a cat a few years ago which recieved BOTY award from Cruising World...clearly they never actually sailed this boat...it was loaded with bad design ideas. Canceled my CW subscription...just another worthless ad rag now.
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Old 30-09-2013, 09:34   #42
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post
I think it was in a recent Cruiser's World that they discussed through hull fittings and their quality. In it they said Benneteau (and maybe others) follows European standards regarding the quality of the thru-hulls. Those standards require their life to be rated for FIVE YEARS! That means they could fail in as little as two. If the boat doesn't float, it's a bad boat.
Unless it's a very recent change, I wouldn't be terribly concerned. There are thousands of Beneteaus built in the 1970s still sailing.
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Old 30-09-2013, 09:38   #43
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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Delivered a cat a few years ago which recieved BOTY award from Cruising World...clearly they never actually sailed this boat...it was loaded with bad design ideas. Canceled my CW subscription...just another worthless ad rag now.
What kind of cat was it?
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Old 30-09-2013, 09:47   #44
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
OK, but in all fairness let's ask the question, are there any truly BAD production boats made today??? Even one?

You may have seen that 20 years ago, but with everyone doing their research online, and competition so fierce, anyone making substandard boats would go out of business pretty quick.
no I dont beleive there is anymore truly BAD boats
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Old 30-09-2013, 10:19   #45
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post
I think it was in a recent Cruiser's World that they discussed through hull fittings and their quality. In it they said Benneteau (and maybe others) follows European standards regarding the quality of the thru-hulls. Those standards require their life to be rated for FIVE YEARS! That means they could fail in as little as two. If the boat doesn't float, it's a bad boat.
Care to explain your logic on why a 5yr rated item would fail in 2yrs?

While it's possible to get early failures, when you rate something for a 5yr life, that typically implies that it's unlikely to fail until well after the 5yr limit.
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