[MHml] Re: Miami Sail-Off
multihulls at steamradio.com
Thu Mar 1 05:12:29 EST 2001
>From John Shuttleworth:
> For many years I have been wrestling with the problem of how to provide
> genuine performance with a reasonable level of cruising comfort. I was,
> and am, still sure that there are many beach cat sailors who will still
> want a high standard of performance when they upgrade to a bigger boat to
> go sailing with their family.
John, I hope you're correct but I don't think so. Even competitive
sailors are _rarely_ looking primarily for performance when the
family is along; they are mostly interested in keeping Suzie Belle
and the kids from mutiny when the going gets lumpy, and sailing for
speed really doesn't produce that much-desired calming effect.
So it seems to me that what you're really after is a boat that is
attractive to and can be sailed by/ with the family, but can also be
raced by the fellas on Saturdays. So now you've got a problem:
you've got to rig the boat with equipment and systems suitable for
operation by non-committed, casual, and not necessarily strong
sailors, yet which can somehow be morphed into competitive gear
for Saturdays on an hour's notice. That's a tall order.
On top of that you've got to make some design sacrifices that make
the boat less useful when it is not being pushed hard- for instance
eliminating the deck cabin- which makes the boat less family-
friendly, or reducing engine weight and fuel/water capacity. So you
arrive at a situation wherein the salesman is selling the
performance aspects to Beach Cat Bob, but in the meantime Suzie
Belle has wandered over to the next dock and is measuring
curtains for the Fountaine Pajot. Suzie will win the ensuing
There is a class of persons in this world for whom US$ 200,000-
400,000 is pocket change, and these may be your legitimate prey.
But for the rest of us, there must be a consideration of what the
money gets us, and from the performance aspect these boats are
all roughly competitive with a F-31 at one-half to one-fourth the
price. The F-31's are also weekend and vacation cruisable by
families, and since the size of the sails, anchors, etc., are so much
smaller, the difference between family-friendly and race-effective is
much smaller. And, you hike it up on the trailer at the end of the trip-
no slip fees. So I wonder if your potential market is already undercut
by a more practical, less costly solution.
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