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Old 14-02-2021, 08:52   #1
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Need some help understanding differences...

Hi All,

My husband and I are trying to research the differences between makes of boats and we don't understand why some older boats like Shannon, Amel, Hallberg-Rassy etc are so much more expensive than many comparably sized newer boats. I heard someone on a youtube channel say that "boat snobs" look down on brands like Jeanneau and Beneteau and call them 'Plastique Fantastiques.' So I thought it must have something to do with the construction of the hull, but both the first group of boats and the second group of boats both have fiberglass listed as hull material. I prefer the aesthetic of a newer boat - a Jeanneau 45 DS for example - over the older boats but I also want to be safe. We are not planning on crossing oceans, more like coastal cruising or trips to the Bahamas - as we don't have the experience or knowledge. If someone could help me understand the difference between the more expensive older boats and the newer boats which (on the surface) look just as nice or nicer I would really appreciate it! Thank you
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Old 14-02-2021, 09:02   #2
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

You will be safe with the Jeanneau 45 etc. The older higher end boats will have a nicer (for their time) finish and probably a lot more lockers etc. But they wouldn't be "safer". I played the old safer boat verse newer "production" boat game 12 years ago. In the end all that cost me was $15k of wasted money and 2 years of time. In my opinion my 1988 "nicer" boat was a POC compared to my 2001 "production" boat far as construction goes.

But be prepared to get the standard CF answers soon to be coming your way with all kinds of justifications.
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Old 14-02-2021, 09:08   #3
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

Older boats more expensive than newer boats? Not sure I have seen that.... at least in the same size boat.
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Old 14-02-2021, 09:08   #4
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

First, it's fit and finish. High end boats are put together better. Check out You tube for the Expedition Evans video channel to learn how Beneteau glues their grid to the hull. At that point you being to understand that gluing isn't the same as glassing.

Secondly, boats are made for a specific purpose. Some are made to be the comfortable equivalent of a condo at anchor/dock/mooring, some are made to race and take the stresses of that while being as stout as they can be without trading speed for the second place trophy, and some are made to cross oceans without coming apart at the seams. Depending on likes/dislikes usually determines why people like/dislike certain types of boats from certain manufacturers.

Finally, its a form of wealth envy. Those who have it can spend it. Those of us who don't, can't but wish we could.
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Old 14-02-2021, 09:14   #5
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

So, there will be a million answers to this question, but IMHO, you need to take a look at "BLUE WATER" cruisers if you want to know the answer.

A yacht made for water sailing">blue water sailing is typically "stronger" or "better" made to take the rigors of ocean crossings. In general, it's the big $$$ determining factor. Amels and Hallberg-Rassys, for example are well known blue water boats and so keep their value.

Another factor is simply prestige - just like cars, some boat makers make boats for the masses, and some make yachts for...not...the masses. After all, a Ford and a Ferrari are both made from the same stuff.

Many modern boats you name, like Juneau and Benneteau were not designed for ocean crossings or liveaboard comfort. Liveaboard comfort is kind of an oxymoron as what makes a boat really safe underway and comfortable to sail for weeks at a time are pretty much diametrically opposed to modern boats design briefs of entertaining, open floorplans, and comfort at anchor.

Then there is sailing characteristics and hull design...I'm not going to touch that as it's the third fastest way to start a thread fight (right behind anchors, and COLREGS...lol)

All of this is super general and barely scratches the surface, but from your post, I think it's where you should start researching to understand why a Halberg-Rassy costs - and is worth - so much $$$ compared to some others.
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Old 14-02-2021, 09:45   #6
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

These two sentences make a lot of sense to me: "Some are made to be the comfortable equivalent of a condo at anchor/dock/mooring" and "Another factor is simply prestige - just like cars, some boat makers make boats for the masses, and some make yachts for...not...the masses. After all, a Ford and a Ferrari are both made from the same stuff."

So the Jeanneaus and Beneteaus are the comfortable condos not really meant to cross oceans. Just out of curiosity what is the concern of sailing these production boats across the ocean? Mast blows off? Rudder falls off? Whole hull cracks in 40 knot winds? I'm not being facetious I just would really like to know. Thank you for the replies!
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Old 14-02-2021, 09:54   #7
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

To Cheechako: I mean different brands and ages at similar sizes. An example would be a 1991 Shannon 43 on the market for $260,000 and a 2014 Jeanneau 45 that looks just as pretty for $150,000.
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Old 14-02-2021, 10:00   #8
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pirate Re: Need some help understanding differences...

Plastic Fantastic is a derogatory term that started in the 1960's as fiberglass boats started coming on the market..
Scorned by Wooden Boat owners in much the same way as early Catamarrans were scorned as unsafe toys by monohulls sailors.. which today has evolved to Condomarans..
Today production boats like Beneteau are referred to as Bendi toys by 'Blue Water' sailors who are rapidly losing the bragging rights they once had..
20 metres of Ocean going gleaming yacht just hates it when a small production boat of indeterminate age appears from half a world away and anchor nearby in his plam fringed Lagoon..
Nowt wrong with any of those French boats..
If you had said Catalina.. I could not possibly comment..

PS: I have solo'd 2 under 36ft Beneteaus from the Caribbean to the UK, the smaller of the two was non stop.. No Problems.
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Old 14-02-2021, 10:10   #9
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

Angela,

If you want to get a start understanding why Amel/Shannon/Hylas/H-R boats all cost a LOT more than Beneteau/Jeaneau/Hanse/Hunter you can start with this recent post here:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...se-246347.html

A comparison from a very old, video on the interior construction of an Amel...


I am sure a few minutes of youtube searching will uncover more factory tours. It's just a bit harder to find factory tours that are made, or narrated, by people who are not selling the boat, or just general fanboys. Just as an example, you'll find lots of sales pitches about how the "grid" system of building a boat is such a great totally awesome idea. The problem is if you want a long lived ocean crossing boat it just is not the best way to build a boat.

All boats are built to a "price point." The difference is that the mass market boats are built to a much lower price point. That extra money for the high end boat is buried in the hull construction in ways you can not easily see. I am not saying that all of these boats are terrible boats. They are not. But there are real differences.

Sometimes that construction quality comes out in other ways. We have a 25 year old Amel. The amazing thing to me compared to other boats I have sailed, is she is QUIET. At sea, in big waves, being pushed and shoved around by the ocean there is NO grinding, creaking, or groaning. NONE. It is like the boat is cast from a sold piece. Nothing moves, rubs or wiggles. And this is on a boat that has been around the world--twice...

As boats age, the shortcuts in construction become more obvious, driving down the prices of older, cheaply built boats while the higher quality boats value tends to stay high because of significant demand for a quality product that is in limited supply.
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Old 14-02-2021, 10:11   #10
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela79 View Post

So the Jeanneaus and Beneteaus are the comfortable condos not really meant to cross oceans. Just out of curiosity what is the concern of sailing these production boats across the ocean? Mast blows off? Rudder falls off? Whole hull cracks in 40 knot winds? I'm not being facetious I just would really like to know. Thank you for the replies!
MANY MANY Jeanneaus and Beneteaus have crossed oceans. They just weren't specifically designed for that. The best simple explanation I've heard is simply this - if the weather is perfect and all goes well ANY boat in good shape can cross an ocean. But what happens in a nasty storm? How do you move about down below? Make food in the galley to eat? How strong is the hull? The rigging? The steering? These "production" boats are NOT death traps, they just were not designed for this set of parameters. They may survive just fine, but...
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Old 14-02-2021, 11:22   #11
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

told the OP what was going to happen :-)
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Old 14-02-2021, 11:29   #12
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

Sorry, didn't mean to be a catalyst for any argument but I hadn't been able to find the information through research. I had tried googling "different types of sailboats" "differences among sailboats" "construction quality among sailboats" but the articles I found were either too detailed (over my head) or didn't address the information I was looking for. Certainly none addressed different brands, their competitors and their differences.
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Old 14-02-2021, 11:57   #13
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela79 View Post
Sorry, didn't mean to be a catalyst for any argument but I hadn't been able to find the information through research. I had tried googling "different types of sailboats" "differences among sailboats" "construction quality among sailboats" but the articles I found were either too detailed (over my head) or didn't address the information I was looking for. Certainly none addressed different brands, their competitors and their differences.
At the risk of triggering the YOUTUBE haters:

The youtube channel "Sailing Lady Kay" recently did a review of most of the boats that you mention, and they are worth watching for a newb.
"Sailing Atticus" seems to make quite a bit of spending money whenever he is in a remote anchorage from rebuilding rudders from some of the newer fin keeled boats.
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Old 14-02-2021, 12:10   #14
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

The cabin sole on an IP is made from tongue and groove 3/8" teak and holly planks laid by a flooring craftsman. Cabin sole in my Catalina is 3/8" plywood with a thin teak and holly veneer laid by whoever showed up that day. The common reasoning and hope is that such dedication to detail carries over to the important parts of the construction. Whether it does, and it's importance is personal opinion and preference. Personally I and most sailors I know feel "Any well found vessel should weather a storm without problem when well handled".
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Old 14-02-2021, 12:55   #15
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Re: Need some help understanding differences...

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the first video link - Just watched it and now have more information but also more uncertainty. This guy is essentially saying that you're paying twice as much for a laminated grid vs one glued in (plus a few other random items). And that with a glued grid you're much more likely to tear that grid off your hull if you run aground. As noobs we will surely run aground, many times. So...

Also looked at the comment section under that vid and half the CF forum seems to agree with what he's saying with the other half saying he's ignorant and parroting the guys who're doing the repair. Getting the feeling that few things here are straightforward...
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