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Short handed. The wave of the future.

Gunni

.
Mar 16, 2010
5,937
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
Production boats under about 44 have been set up to single hand for many, many years. 40 ‘ is a sweet spot for open water boats, suitable for all oceans. The Jeanneau 410 is an interesting hybrid that features the trendy stuff like twin rudders/wheels, reverse stem and such but it would be no easier to single hand than my 15 year old Beneteau. Jeanneaus tend to be sailor’s boats, I like sailing them, however much of what they are doing with the features on the 410 is more about a cruiser looking like a race boat. In the end a cruiser has to be a working boat for miles / days of ocean while taking care of her crew in all conditions. Many of the boats being hyped as cruisers are far too light to make comfortable boats for all conditions and days at sail. Putting the galley mid-ship would be a dud for cooking underway. The 410 has maybe one sea berth if you could rig a lee cloth.

The J121 would not be my idea of a cruiser, it is more like a Jeep with some rough comforts and oriented to the athletic kids. Nothing like the old J40 and J42, true fast cruisers. They were some awesome boats.
 

Ted

.
Jan 26, 2005
1,216
C&C 110 Bay Shore, Long Island, NY
I would have thought that slightly more traditional dual purpose boats (racer/cruisers) would have captured the lions share of the market. Although I wouldn't mind owning any one of the boats that you mentioned for racing, the "Ikea furniture" like interiors leave a lot to be desired for a family that cruises as much as it races. For 200k or more, I would expect a more substantial interior. Are families with children really buying these types of boats? In most of the ads and videos there are no ladies or children on board. I wonder if the builders are purposefully targeting the testosterone market.
 

weinie

.
Sep 6, 2010
1,297
Jeanneau 349 port washington, ny
I think critical to all this is the development of the top down furler which simplifies the process of deploying and taking down huge sails which would other be very unmanageable for a solo sailor. And while were at it we should also add competent below deck auto pilots too.
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
Oct 19, 2017
6,944
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Are families with children really buying these types of boats?
raced and cruse short handed are driving the market.
I don't know which of these statements is true, but I suspect family cruisers are a close second to the short-handed racer/cruiser. Most cruising families of the past need a boat that could be handled short-handed, anyhow. I knew several live-aboard families where both husband and wife worked the boat, but most casual cruisers were male dominated with the wife standing a watch at the helm, making meals and catching docklines. Kids help, but the ages are limited and few want to send their children out on the foredeck in a storm.
My father always made sure he had a boat he could single-hand and it will be the same for me. Different reasons though. My wife wants to learn to single-hand our boat too. It just provides a layer of confidence when pushing off from the dock. It also makes MOBs easier.

By the way, I really like the looks of these new boats.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
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Likes: jon hansen
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Production boats under about 44 have been set up to single hand for many, many years. 40 ‘ is a sweet spot for open water boats, suitable for all oceans. The Jeanneau 410 is an interesting hybrid that features the trendy stuff like twin rudders/wheels, reverse stem and such but it would be no easier to single hand than my 15 year old Beneteau. Jeanneaus tend to be sailor’s boats, I like sailing them, however much of what they are doing with the features on the 410 is more about a cruiser looking like a race boat. In the end a cruiser has to be a working boat for miles / days of ocean while taking care of her crew in all conditions. Many of the boats being hyped as cruisers are far too light to make comfortable boats for all conditions and days at sail. Putting the galley mid-ship would be a dud for cooking underway. The 410 has maybe one sea berth if you could rig a lee cloth.

The J121 would not be my idea of a cruiser, it is more like a Jeep with some rough comforts and oriented to the athletic kids. Nothing like the old J40 and J42, true fast cruisers. They were some awesome boats.
Gunni,
With all due respect to your boat, I’m curious why you think your boat was ‘designed to single hand’. Beyond the lines coming back to the cockpit, I see nothing about it that would lend to that.

Modern short handed boats will have:
Very high initial (form) stability to add stiffness while short handed
Fractional non-overplanning rig to use a single headsail in a wide wind range.
Normally tiller driven for driver comfort when hand steering
Easy Asym setup, including a simplified bow pulpit to minimize snags
Comfortable sitting/napping/sleeping station at base of companionway
All maneuvering winches near companionway
 
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Likes: jon hansen
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I would have thought that slightly more traditional dual purpose boats (racer/cruisers) would have captured the lions share of the market. Although I wouldn't mind owning any one of the boats that you mentioned for racing, the "Ikea furniture" like interiors leave a lot to be desired for a family that cruises as much as it races. For 200k or more, I would expect a more substantial interior. Are families with children really buying these types of boats? In most of the ads and videos there are no ladies or children on board. I wonder if the builders are purposefully targeting the testosterone market.
I hear you. But these boats all plane. Even the 40 footers. The trick is lightness. ‘Substantial interior’ is just that. Heavy for the sake of appearance. What is selling is lightness for lightnesses sake.
 
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TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,663
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
“That’s our job,” says Harvey. “It’s not about giving the public what they are expecting but giving them what they need.”

I'd be wary of that kind of marketing. This purchase isn't likely to be a first sailboat, I'd give the new sailboat buyer more experience credit to know what they want.

I know a guy with the means to build a new racing tri some years ago. It was a rocket on the water, all go and no comfort. It had a 10 gallon water tank to save weight. He had a family of four,...but not after a couple years. He was single. :)

I don't see a full on Race Boat as a family cruiser. But honestly, I've owned a few boats and sailed for decades. I could go for one of those as we (mostly just 2), coastal sail lightly these days. Planing would be fun at times, I doubt the foils would appeal to me though. Looks too stressful. :)
 

weinie

.
Sep 6, 2010
1,297
Jeanneau 349 port washington, ny
“That’s our job,” says Harvey. “It’s not about giving the public what they are expecting but giving them what they need.”

I'd be wary of that kind of marketing. This purchase isn't likely to be a first sailboat, I'd give the new sailboat buyer more experience credit to know what they want.

I know a guy with the means to build a new racing tri some years ago. It was a rocket on the water, all go and no comfort. It had a 10 gallon water tank to save weight. He had a family of four,...but not after a couple years. He was single. :)

I don't see a full on Race Boat as a family cruiser. But honestly, I've owned a few boats and sailed for decades. I could go for one of those as we (mostly just 2), coastal sail lightly these days. Planing would be fun at times, I doubt the foils would appeal to me though. Looks too stressful. :)
I don't think any of the boats JD mentioned would in any ways be considered family cruisers.
That being said the trickle down to cruiser lines are evident in terms... i.e. the jeanneau sun oddyssey,
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,663
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
I don't think any of the boats JD mentioned would in any ways be considered family cruisers.
That being said the trickle down to cruiser lines are evident in terms... i.e. the jeanneau sun oddyssey,
I suppose you're right. But is the new boat buyer demographic for these a single guy? A boat is a pretty big purchase. Not that many buyers with the means for a racing boat just for Dad, or maybe there is.
 
May 24, 2004
6,795
CC 30 South Florida
I looks like the sales are style driven rather than substance. It seems like it is for the "look at me, I can afford this" crowd. A light , planning hull can not provide the forgiveness and the comfortable sea motion valued by most cruisers.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
let me tell you a true story.

I was solo sailing a Pogo 12.50 to Mikinos. Pia was on board but was reading downstairs and them make lunch. The wind was blowing 20 and we were on a close reach.

The boat was perfectly flat, and we we making 12 knots on a white sail reach. Tiller driving from the rail was so fun I did not want to let the AP take over. Any maneuver I wanted to do I could do alone. Downstairs the heat was on, and Massive Attack was playing on the audio system. Lunch was ready in the full galley, and pia was comfortably reading on the long bench.

We made the 50nm passage in 4 hours. In a 40 cruising boat.

There was easy room for 2 or 4 more people, it who needs them?

That kind of a sail changes your outlook on what boats can do.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I don't think any of the boats JD mentioned would in any ways be considered family cruisers.
That being said the trickle down to cruiser lines are evident in terms... i.e. the jeanneau sun oddyssey,
All of the Pogos would. Easily. Designed for that. The First 27 is mostly sold to young families.
The 121 is designed to be weekend cruised but I’m guessing most will not.
All the others are race focused, but that’s how trickle down works.
 
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Likes: jon hansen
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I looks like the sales are style driven rather than substance. It seems like it is for the "look at me, I can afford this" crowd. A light , planning hull can not provide the forgiveness and the comfortable sea motion valued by most cruisers.
You’d be totally wrong. You can’t actually make that assessment unless you’ve been on both types of boats for serious miles and in serious weather. The vast majority of people who buy Pogos for instance are highly experience sailors who have done both and like what the future holds.
 
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Likes: jon hansen
May 25, 2012
3,846
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
speed is KING. i agree with jackdaw 1,000%. alden, hinkley, sabre, cal ............. sailboats are dead and buried.
taking a well designed older sailboat and putting all the comfort add ons so that life is easy and what do you have? a motorsailer. it's a different class of vessel.
 
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Likes: TomY and Apex
Nov 1, 2017
587
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
@Jackdaw ,
Good morning! I've found that the type of boat that dominates the market simply depends on the location in which the consumers are demanding the product. For example, in a place such as Maine or California where the water is deeper and winds are typically consistently high, a lot of the sailors that live there will have more of a reason to purchase a larger, faster boat with a deeper draft. This is simply because the conditions of their home port promotes this type of design. However, in a place such as Kemah, where I sail, the deepest the bay gets is about 10 ft., and that's a very unreliable measurement, since the muddy bottom is changing all the time. There are many days, in fact, when many of the thirty foot racers can't even get out of their own slips, much less make it into the bay without getting stuck on the bottom somewhere. Now, I do agree without a doubt that the newer, faster hulls are selling like crazy (part of the reason I want to get involved in the business), but most of the ones we see around here down south are more cruising models with a modified keel and less aggressive rig. The age of the consumer is also a deciding factor; a younger sailor who is successful in their career (you'd have to be to buy one of said boats) often feels that they need a sense of adventure and adrenaline rush every once in a while. As a whole, in fact, the newer generation of sailors, myself included, are more interested in going fast than going far. This really makes it difficult for younger sailors in the Southern Region to find a large boat that has the performance demanded, but also conforms with the naturally shallow waters of the Gulf. Any ideas?
 
Oct 26, 2008
5,020
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I can see how this trend could help cruising couples, where one really likes to sail and the other really likes to get to the destination and do something else. That would fit Sue and me. Getting further faster would be great! I love sailing performance, Sue wants to relax while on board, but she gets impatient if it takes too long to get somewhere. She wants to get to a destination and look around, hike, bike, shop, do whatever. The key would have to be on-board comfort for her. She needs a comfortable place to sleep, put her make-up on, get refreshed, fix a snack or a drink. She needs a place on deck of the boat to relax so that she doesn't have to move every time I adjust a line. Spray would be a problem and so would unrelenting sun and heat, so shelter on deck is also crucial. It needs a place to put toys, like paddleboards, yaks, dinghies, maybe even bikes.

Rarely do couples actually love identical activities all the time. Most couples can only get along with compromise. I know our relationship works that way. I have to work to make Sue happy. If the boat can't adapt for couples or family compromises, then it will typically be oriented toward a testosterone driven male, probably with only temporary partners (not that I'm knocking it ;)).

Then, the bottom line for people like me will be how well is this going to translate to the secondary market. Are they going to be re-sold for a reasonable price? Are they going to get trashed by the original owner? Will they be worthwhile to own, say 10 years to 15 years after they were built? That probably puts me out of this picture, though. I may only have 10 to 15 years left sailing.
 
May 25, 2012
3,846
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
simon, what about twin, very slippery, keels to go with the now obvious benefits of twin rudders. they might sell like hot cakes.
 
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Likes: Simon Sexton
Nov 1, 2017
587
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
twin, very slippery, keels
It's VERY hard to find those designs down here; I've found that a lot of knowledge is limited when it comes to the Texas Sailor, simply because we're brought up in our own little world where only wing, full, bulb and swing keels exist. I've only ever seen one of those twin keel designs down here, and it was really old and in the yard...she didn't look too good, either. Who knows, maybe it'll pick up! I'll have to do a little more research on that. Thank you!