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Old 02-10-2013, 07:09   #61
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

Hi Robert,

I have taken no offense or opinion personally, I agree with you that my idea of informed is different to others. I have appreciated this discussion and it is good to highlight how difficult it is for new buyers to seek out good information.

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the Miss
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:12   #62
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

In an effort to beef up my own knowledge about various models and technologies I too bought subscriptions to a few mags (eg., Multihulls Wold, Cruising World, etc...). I have to say, I'm somewhat disappointed by nautical journalism in general. I find automotive journalism to be light years ahead in terms of content and style. Too bad.

That being said, I do find some tiny tidbits of wisdom in a few of the reviews. Not much though. Articles are often about how well the boat sails and what a surprising amount of space it has (particularly for a boat that sails this well) and that they made 12 knots in 20knots of wind.

In the "pros / cons" section of a recent Multihulls World review I did find something that at least motivated me to Google what the heck they were talking about. Under "cons" they sighted:

- Acess to the transverse bed perfectible

for the Nautitech 482.

Oh, and by the way, I'm still trying to figure out what the heck they're talking about.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:34   #63
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no I dont beleive there is anymore truly BAD boats
dave
This is very helpful advice (not!) for all potential buyers out there. gbn says there are no truly bad boats. Probably don't need to ask too many questions before you make the big payment for your boat after you sell your house.

Never mind that the largest charter companies have had problems with brass thru-hulls from some big French manufafacturers. They have been tested and were just brass which is not good for such a use. After all it is just copper and zinc (often CuZn36 which is 64% copper and 36% zinc)

So, taking gbn's opinion as fact can lead to some unpleasantness.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:21   #64
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

I wonder how many magazines will be around in 10 years. The main sailing mag in Sweden (Segling) just announced that they will stop their publication.

Internet changed the game for most printed media. I'm not sure if boat magazines have found a new buisiness model that will be successful over time. Relying to an increasing part of advertising revenue do have its limitations, but with so much free information floating around on the internet. what is there.

The main problem for magazines might be the inherant high cost of printed and physical distributed media. I think they are scrambling for a success recepie.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:22   #65
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This is very helpful advice (not!) for all potential buyers out there. gbn says there are no truly bad boats. Probably don't need to ask too many questions before you make the big payment for your boat after you sell your house.

Never mind that the largest charter companies have had problems with brass thru-hulls from some big French manufafacturers. They have been tested and were just brass which is not good for such a use. After all it is just copper and zinc (often CuZn36 which is 64% copper and 36% zinc)

So, taking gbn's opinion as fact can lead to some unpleasantness.
If all you can focus on is brass seacocks , then you'll little to be doing. All European manufacturers use similar seacocks , a few at least use DNZ . It's a fault of the current RCD. ( which is being changed )

Having said that , this problem is much more acute in the US because of the , IMHO , abyc rules on electrical safety. It's far less of an issue in unbonded fittings common on boats built solely to RCD.

In fact you might like to point out a European manufacturer of bronze seacocks. Even blakes is DNZ.

If you were to accept your definition of bad , you'll rule out almost every euro boat from rassy down

European sail boats utterly dominate the worldwide salling marketplace. Hence my original comment that you will not get a really " BAD" one, these days holds true. ( market forces and all that )

At least understand what you are talking about
What I meant by bad was that today virtually everything is built sufficient to do the vast majority of mainstream sailing tasks

If you like to reference the charter issues with seacocks please do. Equally perhaps you could point me to the hordes of boatyards all over Europe replacing millions of seacocks ( not)

The reality is , which grp , and unbonded fittings with not AC earth and DC connection , brass fittings are lasting quite a long time, I've seen Beneteaus with 15 year fittings that are still " OK ". Yes it's not a great practice , I'm not defending it. But it's the reality , just like the use of un tinned wire which is common , yet I don't see that been pulled out either.


To return to the original point. Sailors buy boat like they buy cars. Do you undertake a detailed engineering analysis of a car , no you don't. , sailors but boats the same way. Hence the non technical reviews

Most sailors have no way of evaluating technical information about hull construction , Neither is simply " more" the same as " strong ". Hence its useless to provide such information on a 2-3 page mag review.

I think the criticism of mags is misplaced. They are catering to the misty eyed wanna bees , not a few hardened cynical types.


Dave
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:01   #66
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

a while ago I paid for a couple of comparisons of boats I was interested from Multihull Dynamics. The reports predict performance based on a number of ratios etc. I found them informative, but of course nothing on build quality, liveability etc.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:22   #67
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All European manufacturers use similar seacocks , a few at least use DNZ . It's a fault of the current RCD. ( which is being changed )
The RCD (recreational cruise directive) is minimum standards, so you can't say a quality decision based on consumer ignorance is the "fault of the current RCD." Minimum standards. And it will be changed because it has proven to be a problem.

Which builders are using DNZ? That probably costs as much as bronze, and I doubt the big ones are.

And there was a directive from Moorings that I saw at one time that alerted their people to the issue and recommended replacing the brass seacocks on their boats.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:59   #68
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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The RCD (recreational cruise directive) is minimum standards, so you can't say a quality decision based on consumer ignorance is the "fault of the current RCD." Minimum standards. And it will be changed because it has proven to be a problem.

Which builders are using DNZ? That probably costs as much as bronze, and I doubt the big ones are.

And there was a directive from Moorings that I saw at one time that alerted their people to the issue and recommended replacing the brass seacocks on their boats.
Jeaneau use 85 5 5 5 for a lot of valves , which is red brass, 35% zinc and 5%tin for dezincification protection. In the US where they may build to ABYC and the problem is exacerbated , they have switched to plastic.

I dont know if any builder is usually yellow brass, on my benny I was told it was red brass , or admiralty brass, anyway any 8 years when inspected it was still good.

The RCD ( Recreational Craft Directive) is a problem in that it was written before all teh ISO small boat specifications were finished, Hence there is several ways a manufacturer can meet the RCD , using ISO is one, putting up a technical argument is another. Its somewhat like ISO9000 for boats. But its becoming more of a build standard as the ISO specs mature.

Fundamentally , if you talk to European sailors or dealers, you simply dont get the level of concern that US and to some extent UK sailors have about the underwater fittings.

Thats not to say its a good bad or indifferent decision, but the "proof or the pudding is in the eating" and you do not see 1000s of boats on teh hard getting their brass fittings replaced, nor do you see insurance companies demanding replacement or marinas in Europe full of sinking boats.

Partly this is because (a) the dezinification process on average is slower then some would have you expect and (b) the lack of bonded fittings and especially AC /DC interconnection removes a lot of impressed current issues, which actually cause huge problems in the US. You rarely see galvanic isolators in Europe , yet with brass fittings , you'd think they'd be every where. !!. This is a similar argument to tinned/untinned wire for example.



Yes of course all boats should be built with the best of everything , but cost plays a factor.


This is why I think criticism of magazines for "trivial " examinations of boats is unwarranted . Most boats are bought for "lifestyle" reasons or specific functions like racing. Very few people are technical about boats, so its rather like saying you'd buy F1 racing boats from a review in AutoCar.

These magazines pitch to the generality of users, who mostly buy by looks and personal preferences. Often in fact if you compare new boat in the popular 37-45 range the boats are very similar, all can be got with different sail configs, deck gear etc. Whats left is really the way the cushions are arranged and these reviews are what thats for.

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:48   #69
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

Ideally a builder would build up to a reasonably high standard not down to a price. A really good builder would not need Government minimum standards because he would exceed "minimum" standards as a norm.
Now that's in the ideal world and we don't live in that world so companies like Bavaria have set a pricing bench mark that other builders are trying to meet. There is only one way to play that game and that is to build to minimum standards.
Because most of us are wanting the best price we can get we drive companies to behave this way by buying lots of their products so we can't complain when they do. Sailing is probably more affordable that it ever was and the designs keep getting better and that's not a bad thing. Just don't be a fool about it and think your going to pay a Chevy price and get a Cadillac because we all know that's simply not going to happen. I was visiting a German fellow today by the lift and he was asking me where he could get his teak decks replaced, seems his 7 year old Bavaria was built with teak veneer and it was delaminating. He was good about it and suggested when he bought the boat he knew he was buying price. I said nothing because I don't criticize another sailors boat to his face but he's facing a real large bill right now because he bought price and not quality. For many of us, this is our only option and that's OK because while the quality may not be great the value has never been better.
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Old 03-10-2013, 15:51   #70
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

10% of owners only knowing about glass and motors is a bit harsh. My experience is around half would have a good idea on this. Cost of ownership is another issue altogether. I would think only 10% have a good handle on what their boat really costs including depreciation and opportunity cost.

My experience is owners tune out when this subject gets raised as they don't want to know, and brokers avoid it or when pushed gloss over it.

Further, I have yet to see any review refer to the subject in any detail and I doubt I ever will. Its human nature to focus on the positives and ignore the negatives.
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Old 03-10-2013, 17:22   #71
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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Further, I have yet to see any review refer to the subject in any detail and I doubt I ever will. Its human nature to focus on the positives and ignore the negatives.
I've read reviews that mention bad winch or line placements or bad leads etc. few reviewers are going to criticise things that might just be seen as a personal preference.

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Old 30-12-2014, 12:24   #72
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

Well its been a while but thank you so much for your thoughts. Looks like I am not the only cynic in the world. Pressing on with the research as fast as possible. Thanks again for your input and humour.

Andy

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Old 30-12-2014, 14:31   #73
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

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.... few reviewers are going to criticise things that might just be seen as a personal preference.
....or that reflect negatively on a paying advertiser's product.

Case it point: I've only ever sailed one boat that I just did not like...a Nautitec 44 (catamaran). It was given a BOTY award by Cruising World. The basic boat is good but it was outfitted with many bad design ideas. A buddy and I did a short delivery of one, we both disliked the boat, and were happy to leave it at the dock in the end.

He even tried to fake being asleep once so he wouldnt have to take his watch at those terribly placed helms in snotty weather, but I caught him grinning. ;-)

I cancelled my CW subscription after that...and put their email ads on my SPAM list.
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Old 30-12-2014, 18:52   #74
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Re: Professional Boat Reviews- Is it me?

Boats are grouped regarding different types and among the same type many times the differences are not so big and certainly less than from type to type.

Regarding choosing the type, some chartering will do wonders.
To have a look at the interiors, quality and so on, go to boat shows, if possible to Dusseldorf (in less than a month) and you will see almost all of them, at least the European ones. Go to Annapolis to see the American ones.

So the first thing it would be to know what type of boat you want, before choosing the right boat on that type. If you choose big production main market cruiser, you chose a type, if you chose voyage boat, you choose another type, if you chose a performance cruiser you chose another type, a medium weight luxury cruiser another, a cat (performance or condo) another and so on. All this has to do also with your budget, since the main market mass production boats are the less expensive (for the same size).

Regarding magazines they are not all the same and it is not true that some magazines do not say negative things about the sailboats they are testing but most of the time you have to read between the lines and took on consideration positive comments. I read a lot of magazines and I would say that in what regards accuracy and meaningful information I would say that the one I find better is the German Yacht.de. They have the test available on PDF files downloaded at a low price and since it is a very old magazine and has two editions by month, the number of tests is huge.

Then I would put at the same level Yachting World, Voile Magazine, Voile and Voiliers and then most of the other European sail magazines. The American ones don't seem a model to me, specially because never conduct comparative tests and all boats seem equally good.
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