Originally Posted by goboatingnow
I don't mind knowledgeable criticism, but just " having a go" at production boats, especially French ones, seems to be a feature of CF, usually by people who have either never sailed across any serious body of water
, or never sailed these boats.
Some observations: A friend of mine has just acquired a 2002 Dufour
36 Classic. It's a beautiful boat, and has been immaculately kept, but I was interested in the construction details. It looks very good indeed and I see in it all that I would like to see in a coastal cruiser capable of handling a blow, if not necessarily crossing oceans. Every line and conduit is clearly labelled. Wire gauges to items like the Lofrans windlass
are right-sized. Access to plumbing
and electrics is easy and roomy. Clever ideas abound. She sails
very comfortably as well. I was reduced to "I would put in a mast
step to reach the halyard
in the Stack Pack and maybe a handrail in the companionway
..." Trivial stuff.
The same friend looked at a 2011 Hanse for about the same money
last year. This was a nearly new boat. Sunlight gleamed through core
voids in the hull. Bulkheads had closely clustered holes for hose and control tubing, right beside breaks in the tabbing. There was other evidence of shortcuts and quality control issues visible even to the non-surveyor. Ill-fitting floor panels
lacking positive lockdowns. Sticking drawers. Cheap
laminates. This boat was listed, however, at a higher price
than the Dufour
. Superficially, they were similar. "Under the hood", however, the older Dufour makes the almost-current Hanse look borderline dangerous.
To my mind, therefore, it's not the design
of modern production boats, it's the execution
: I see unforgivable sloppiness and "cheap-outs" even in boat show
models. The French industry in particular is under enormous pressure to cut costs, and we are sailing in the results.
For a boat to twist itself apart internally is suggestive that it was built with insufficient reinforcement to me. But, as has been pointed out, bad seamanship can destroy good boats.