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Another one bites the dust...

Ross S

.
Oct 20, 2011
120
Precision 21 Great Sacandaga Lake
Well, yesterday I got an email from Precision Boatworks stating that they will no longer be producing new boats. After 40 years and more than 5,000 boats produced from 13 feet to 28 feet the owners are retiring. Precision Boatworks is relocating and will only be providing replacement parts and warranty support for existing boats. Although nothing has been said I have to imagine that arrangement has a finite period of time, perhaps a couple of years.

They also manufactured the Colgate 26 and I have no idea what may be happening with that boat in the future.

I bought my Precision 21 new about 8 years ago and it's been a terrific boat with great support from the factory when I had questions. I'm going to miss that! Anyhow, it's a pretty desolate market for new pocket cruisers right now. To be honest, I'm not even sure who is making any right now? I think Com-Pac still has the Eclipse? Of course the venerable Catalina 22. I think Hunter still has a couple of small boats, but I think those are more daysailors than pocket cruisers.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
That's a bummer. They made nice boats. Still producing? Beneteau grinding these out, along with the ASA First 22 training boat. Helps that they sell world-wide where both are popular in Europe.

Beneteau First 20
first-20.jpg


Beneteau First 25
first 25.jpg
 
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Ross S

.
Oct 20, 2011
120
Precision 21 Great Sacandaga Lake
I've been very pleased with the quality of my Precision 21 and it's a good sailing boat too. Fast for it's size, especially downwind when you can retract the centerboard!

Yeah, I think having a European market helps tremendously. The First 20 and 25 looks pretty sweet! Probably nice sailing little boats. If I was in the market, I'd look hard at the 25.
 
May 24, 2004
6,769
CC 30 South Florida
Precision is one of the brands of Boat Works LTD, just like Hobie and Marlow Hunter. I would say they re scaling back on the less productive brands. The boat molds should be actually quite valuable as the design is very solid and would like to see someone else acquire them and continue to produce the boats. Or perhaps BW will sit on them to prevent another competitor. we'll see.
 

Ross S

.
Oct 20, 2011
120
Precision 21 Great Sacandaga Lake
Precision is one of the brands of Boat Works LTD, just like Hobie and Marlow Hunter. I would say they re scaling back on the less productive brands. The boat molds should be actually quite valuable as the design is very solid and would like to see someone else acquire them and continue to produce the boats. Or perhaps BW will sit on them to prevent another competitor. we'll see.
Where do you get that from? I had been under the impression that it was still privately owned by the Porter brothers who opened it in 1978. I know that Bill Porter is still associated with the company as I was talking to him this morning about the news of the closing and he's going to be running the replacement parts business now.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Yeah, I think having a European market helps tremendously. The First 20 and 25 looks pretty sweet! Probably nice sailing little boats. If I was in the market, I'd look hard at the 25.
Its a great boat. Roomy, stable, and fast. Its a re-rigged (fat top main) version of my First 260, which has been in production since 1996. We race it and cruise it in equal measure, its great at both.
 

Ross S

.
Oct 20, 2011
120
Precision 21 Great Sacandaga Lake
Its a great boat. Roomy, stable, and fast. Its a re-rigged (fat top main) version of my First 260, which has been in production since 1996. We race it and cruise it in equal measure, its great at both.
Good to know. At the moment we're content with our 21 but have not ruled out the possibility of going to something a little larger in the future. But we'd be a couple years out from that. We're close to paying off the house and we want to finish paying it off before upgrading any toys! Also, I think we may be putting in for a slip at the yacht club on the southern end of our lake. The smaller size will help us get a slip sooner as they can fit us anywhere. Sometimes the larger boats on the waiting list have to wait longer for an appropriate sized slip to become available.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Good to know. At the moment we're content with our 21 but have not ruled out the possibility of going to something a little larger in the future. But we'd be a couple years out from that. We're close to paying off the house and we want to finish paying it off before upgrading any toys! Also, I think we may be putting in for a slip at the yacht club on the southern end of our lake. The smaller size will help us get a slip sooner as they can fit us anywhere. Sometimes the larger boats on the waiting list have to wait longer for an appropriate sized slip to become available.
Gotcha. While the First 20/22 is about the same size as your 21, the First 25 is a BIG boat. With its lifting keel it can be ramp launched (with the right ramp and gear) but shes much happier in a slip. Its a great couples boat.
 

Ross S

.
Oct 20, 2011
120
Precision 21 Great Sacandaga Lake
Gotcha. While the First 20/22 is about the same size as your 21, the First 25 is a BIG boat. With its lifting keel it can be ramp launched (with the right ramp and gear) but shes much happier in a slip. Its a great couples boat.
You're saying all the right things! Sounds like the 25 could be a winner for us when we're ready for the upgrade. She'd be in a slip all year, but I like to have a trailer for winter storage and the option for self launch and retreival. I like the lake we're on, but the marina services are pretty limited. There's really only one marina that can launch and retrieve a deep keel boat and I don't like being at the mercy of a single company/person.

In the meantime, I'll have to do some day dreaming. I wonder if there'd be one close by to look at? I'll have to check around.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
You're saying all the right things! Sounds like the 25 could be a winner for us when we're ready for the upgrade. She'd be in a slip all year, but I like to have a trailer for winter storage and the option for self launch and retreival. I like the lake we're on, but the marina services are pretty limited. There's really only one marina that can launch and retrieve a deep keel boat and I don't like being at the mercy of a single company/person.

In the meantime, I'll have to do some day dreaming. I wonder if there'd be one close by to look at? I'll have to check around.
That the deal. The lifting keel is really well designed, and allows 'trailerability' with the pointing ability of a 6 foot draft when down. Ping me anytime you'd like to know more. I know where a couple of the 25s are, but I've never sailed in your area. If you ever get to Minneapolis, come join us for a sail or a race. Here's two vids to give you a flavor in the mean time.


 
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Ross S

.
Oct 20, 2011
120
Precision 21 Great Sacandaga Lake
That the deal. The lifting keel is really well designed, and allows 'trailerability' with the pointing ability of a 6 foot draft when down. Ping me anytime you'd like to know more. I know where a couple of the 25s are, but I've never sailed in your area. If you ever get to Minneapolis, come join us for a sail or a race. Here's two vids to give you a flavor in the mean time.


Awesome, thanks! I will do!
 

FDL S2

.
Jun 29, 2014
421
S2 7.3 Fond du Lac
That's a bummer. They made nice boats. Still producing? Beneteau grinding these out, along with the ASA First 22 training boat. Helps that they sell world-wide where both are popular in Europe.

Beneteau First 20
View attachment 154478

Beneteau First 25
View attachment 154480
Jackdaw, the boat im currently salivating over is a First 265-I would actually love a 260, but I think you have the only one in the US!
I know the 265 is older than your 260, but is it similar in design, except for the keel?
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Jackdaw, the boat im currently salivating over is a First 265-I would actually love a 260, but I think you have the only one in the US!
I know the 265 is older than your 260, but is it similar in design, except for the keel?
You are correct I do! The original owner (whom I bought her from) bought her in the UK when he was living there and brought her back.

The 260 actually replaced the 265. The 265 is actually quite a bit larger and has much more of a 'mini-cruiser' interior, hot and cold running water, propane stove etc etc. The change was part of recognizing that people in that length want less amenities and more performance. The 265 is a nice boat, its hard to go wrong if you find on that has been maintained. The thing to remember is its a 25.6 foot boat with all the associated costs of a 30 footer. Most people end up saying they want 30. But it is a sweet boat.

The 260 design is quite different. A very tall non-overlapping rig with a jib replaces the genoa, and the hull is very wide and flat, like a volvo boat. Dual rudders and a deep lifting keel make it very very stable. We often go downwind at 9+ knots and its no big deal.
 

FDL S2

.
Jun 29, 2014
421
S2 7.3 Fond du Lac
You are correct I do! The original owner (whom I bought her from) bought her in the UK when he was living there and brought her back.

The 260 actually replaced the 265. The 265 is actually quite a bit larger and has much more of a 'mini-cruiser' interior, hot and cold running water, propane stove etc etc. The change was part of recognizing that people in that length want less amenities and more performance. The 265 is a nice boat, its hard to go wrong if you find on that has been maintained. The thing to remember is its a 25.6 foot boat with all the associated costs of a 30 footer. Most people end up saying they want 30. But it is a sweet boat.

The 260 design is quite different. A very tall non-overlapping rig with a jib replaces the genoa, and the hull is very wide and flat, like a volvo boat. Dual rudders and a deep lifting keel make it very very stable. We often go downwind at 9+ knots and its no big deal.
Thank you! A few weeks ago I looked at a nice 265 and "a 25.6' boat with the costs of a 30 footer" is what I saw, just didn't realize it until you said it. I was surprised at the freeboard and the amenities-I kept thinking "wow, there is a lot of crap down here that can break." And at 26 years old stuff will be starting to break.....but it is a beautiful boat so I'm still enamored.
Count me in the group that wants performance before pressurized hot water.
Thanks again for your expertise.
 
May 24, 2004
6,769
CC 30 South Florida
Where do you get that from? I had been under the impression that it was still privately owned by the Porter brothers who opened it in 1978. I know that Bill Porter is still associated with the company as I was talking to him this morning about the news of the closing and he's going to be running the replacement parts business now.
Ross you are correct, Boat Works LTD just seems to be a large dealer of various brands in new York. For some reason I had in my head that Precision had sold some years ago and I tried googling the company that had acquired them. I have not been following the goings at Marlow Hunter either so no bells rang in my head. I always liked the design of the Precision 23 with the fixed short keel centerboard combo and do wonder what will happen with the molds? If you talk to Bill Porter it would be interesting to find out what plans they may have for those molds. Thanks for the correction.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Ross you are correct, Boat Works LTD just seems to be a large dealer of various brands in new York. For some reason I had in my head that Precision had sold some years ago and I tried googling the company that had acquired them. I have not been following the goings at Marlow Hunter either so no bells rang in my head. I always liked the design of the Precision 23 with the fixed short keel centerboard combo and do wonder what will happen with the molds? If you talk to Bill Porter it would be interesting to find out what plans they may have for those molds. Thanks for the correction.
They might sell the molds, but it seems unlikely. While good boats, the designs are old, and new boats would compete against used models with no differentation. There are smarter ways to get into the boat building business.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Thank you! A few weeks ago I looked at a nice 265 and "a 25.6' boat with the costs of a 30 footer" is what I saw, just didn't realize it until you said it. I was surprised at the freeboard and the amenities-I kept thinking "wow, there is a lot of crap down here that can break." And at 26 years old stuff will be starting to break.....but it is a beautiful boat so I'm still enamored.
Count me in the group that wants performance before pressurized hot water.
Thanks again for your expertise.
If you find one you like, and the boat will fit your needs, I’d go for it. The people I know that have owned them love them. And there are few things sweeter than driving a mid-20s Finot designed tiller boat from the side deck. The ergonomics are perfect. JM Finot used to own a 260, and he nailed it on that boat for sure.
 
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FDL S2

.
Jun 29, 2014
421
S2 7.3 Fond du Lac
They might sell the molds, but it seems unlikely. While good boats, the designs are old, and new boats would compete against used models with no differentation. There are smarter ways to get into the boat building business.
Agreed.
The molds could be used as a platform for a modified hull/deck design but changing a mold correctly is not easy. If you want to build an updated version of a Precision your best bet is to buy the model you want to update and modify the hull, deck, keel, etc to your liking, test it to make sure it's balanced and does what you intend, then made molds of that. It is not a quick or cheap process.
I worked for a powerboat manufacturer in the 90's and spent a lot of time grinding, glassing and lake testing changes to hull designs on the "plug" boats that were used to make the new molds.