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Old 28-06-2016, 06:13   #1
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Hello all

Hi All,

I am new to the forum; 33 male from The Netherlands. I am not entirely new to sailing (did some lake sailing in smaller dingys when I was younger) and have sailed through sailing schools over the past year. This summer I will be skippering my first Cruise in the Aegean sea, to which I am looking forward.

With that introduction behind me, let me be direct as a Dutch and ask a question to the wisdom of the group:

In the long term my wife and I are interested in buying our own boat and doing some water sailing">blue water sailing. In preparation I am trying to get a better grip on the different cruiser yachts available, both for Monohulls or Cats (we havent yet decided which one we would prefer, likely it will be a Cat).

However, within each category (I know that Monos are very different from Cats, so not asking for that) there is A LOT of choice. How do I really find out what the differences are between the different shipyards? I mean:

What are really the differences between boats built by Beneteau (f.e. Oceanis) or Jeanneau (f.e. S.O.) or Amel/Dufour/Hanse/etc? I have read many posts here that talk subjectively. Is there any such thing done/available? I am talking in terms of quality, durability, ability to withstand storms, ease of maintenance, etc.
Similarly between the Cats; Antares vs Fountaine Pajot vs Lagoon/Leopard/Catana etc.

Nice to meet you all and thanks in advance
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Old 28-06-2016, 08:47   #2
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Re: Hello all

Welkom Juch,

Your question is a common one even for experienced sailors. There are hundreds if not thousands of boat builders and tens of thousands of different models. Some builders have changed quality over time resulting in some models from that builder being excellent, well made boats and some not.

There is no secret short cut to finding the answer. The only answer I know is ti read as much as possible the opinions and experience of other boaters, learn as much as you can about what makes a good boat and once you have a basic foundation of knowledge then ask questions of other boaters.

I am sure you probably realize this but just to emphasize one problem with asking other boaters for opinions. 99.9% of boaters will have an opinion, often strong opinions, about boats and anything boating related. So when you ask a question you might get dozens of answers that may completely disagree with each other. In that case you just have to read the information and judge for yourself which is applicable to you and which is most accurate.

But don't despair, this is all part of the fun. Learning and questioning will teach you a lot and in the end will make you a better sailor.

Met vriendelijke groeten
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Old 28-06-2016, 12:34   #3
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Re: Hello all

Thanks for your extensive reply. Not the answer I was hoping for, but the one I should expect I suppose.

What is your views on these boats? Do these shipyards in your view fit in a spectrum of "cheaper" (Bavaria?) to more exclusive (Amel?)?
Which are your favorites and why?


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Old 28-06-2016, 14:34   #4
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Re: Hello all

Hi Juch,

Sorry to disappoint.

Think of it this way. What if you grew up in the middle of Outer Mongolia and had never driven a car? Then moved to Rotterdam and wanted learn to drive and buy a car. To make it more complicated there are thousands of different cars, some that only made a 30-40 cars.

Boats are very much like that. Also, to answer your next questions I will ask some back.

1.What do you want to do with the boat? Do you want to race or cruise? Do you want to sail around the world or around the Caribbean? Do you want to cruise the canals like Amsterdam to Arnhem or North Sea to the Mediterranean. Will you sail far north to Iceland or far south to Cape Horn where you will certainly encounter stormy weather?

2. How many will be on the boat? Just yourself? Yourself, partner, four friends, two dogs and a cat?

3. Budget? Always an issue. Are you shopping for a Rolls Royce or a Toyota?

Again, think of it like cars. Do your tastes run to Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, minivan, sports car, big sedan?

This will help narrow the search and make the potential much, much smaller.

You ask about Bavaria vs Amel. You will find a very wide range of opinions in this area. You are asking to compare a large volume manufacturer that makes what many call a "production" boat (Bavaria) with a smaller manufacturer of what is generally acknowledged as a higher quality boat (Amel). Other production boat makers are Beneteau, Jenneau, Hunter, Catalina and at least a dozen more. There are widely publicized cases of some production boats having structural problems, for example a couple of Beneteaus have had lost rudders. Does this mean that all Beneteaus are cheap junk and may sink at any time? Of course not. There are dozens of Beneteaus sailing around the world that still have their rudder.

At the same time, I have not heard of an Amel rudder falling off.

I already mentioned a few production boats so here's a few top end models. Please note that both lists are far from complete and there are dozens and dozens more to add.

Oyster, Hallberg-Rassey, Swan, Morris, Hinkley, Malo.

Again, some will be like a sports car (Swan), some like a luxury sedan (Oyster).
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Old 29-06-2016, 02:06   #5
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Re: Hello all

Hi Skipmac,

That is exactly what I am asking. I am trying to get an understanding of/ a translation of shipyards into something like car brands or car types.

To continue the analogy, I am not looking to get a Porsche or Ferrari among boats. I would be looking for a comfortable sedan that doesnt sail like a brick. A bit of performance would be nice. (LIke a BMW 3 series or 5 series).

Eventually we would like to do some bluewater sailing (i.e. crossing the atlantic, crossing the indian ocean/pacific). But we will first do more coastal (ie. Carribean, Meditereanean).
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Old 29-06-2016, 20:20   #6
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Re: Hello all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juch View Post
Hi Skipmac,

That is exactly what I am asking. I am trying to get an understanding of/ a translation of shipyards into something like car brands or car types.

To continue the analogy, I am not looking to get a Porsche or Ferrari among boats. I would be looking for a comfortable sedan that doesnt sail like a brick. A bit of performance would be nice. (LIke a BMW 3 series or 5 series).

Eventually we would like to do some bluewater sailing (i.e. crossing the atlantic, crossing the indian ocean/pacific). But we will first do more coastal (ie. Carribean, Meditereanean).
Hi Juch,

I understand what you're trying to determine but with boats it is almost impossible to give a complete answer. There are hundreds if not thousands of boat builders and to summarize the quality, style, design, handling, etc, etc, etc of all would be the subject of a fairly large book. One additional complication is some builders make a lot of different models with some that are high performance racer/cruiser, some heavy and slow. Some builders that manufactured boats for many years might make good quality boats for some period and for various reasons, usually financial make really bad quality boats for some periods.

If you want a boat that's solid, safe, comfortable for cruising but still has very good performance then the Oyster line made in the UK is hard to beat. However, even Oysters made some models that were more comfortable, some faster, some more practical cabin layout, etc.

You should also look at the Hallberg-Rassy or the Malo from Sweden. Pacific Seacraft in the US is also a solid, very well built cruiser with reasonable performance.

There are dozens more that will fall into this category. Maybe some others will chime in with more suggestions.
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Old 29-06-2016, 20:29   #7
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Re: Hello all

You will likely make your mind up quickly. Mono or cat.

A charter on each should be enough for you both to choose.

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Old 29-06-2016, 20:29   #8
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Re: Hello all

Forgot to mention there are a number of custom and semi custom aluminum yachts, many built in France like the Boreal. Boréal Yachts : des Tropiques aux Grands Froids
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