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Tamure

Time Marches On

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We are capable of some great new boats in his country. But new boat owners are squandering that opportunity for imports or refitting old ones.

 

I'm sympathetic to what you're saying, but there's a difference between being 'capable' of designing/building something and being able to do so at an economy of scale and with cost structures that allow business owners to invest in production capacity and compete profitably with the other options. New boat owners may be 'squandering that opportunity', but that's not to say they're squandering their own hard-earned. It's quite possible that they're making entirely rational decisions.

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I respect what you are all saying. 

But I wonder what will fill our bays in another 30 years? Natural attrition will reduce our original pre-1987 yacht fleet, and the imports of today may not be around that long. 

If we are to anticipate imports evolving from low cost countries, our place in the World as a leader in boat design and construction will diminish to just another consumer Nation perhaps. 

I'm not sure of the solution either. But worthy of discussion...

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Money is a big issue, when Crusader is around 600k plus sails then going high tech is only for the wealthy few with a passion for the sport. Most professionals or small business people can stump up a few hundred k for a boat but the number thins out pretty fast when the toy is virtually unusable for cruising. Yachting needs to be affordable to get people involved and buying new boats.

 

Another factor is that yachting is a family lifestyle, if it's not then its astalavista to the wife and kids. So for a few weeks a year and the odd weekend, perhaps chartering is the way to go. Racers have the bug, appeasement is the only strategy!

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Disagree BP, we have specialised in custom race yachts and super yachts, that is to say, areas where people are prepared to pay a premium for the quality a production facility struggles to deliver.

 

Tim, I think the reasons are a combination of :

 

housing costing much more vs the average income leaving less for big ticket non essentials

 

The cruiser / racer market where the 70s and 80s boom fell is by definition an area where people can ccompromise on price / whatever and in those times I'm not sure you could easily import a boat so I think it was local or nothing.  Now the option exists and the price difference is significant.

 

And the opportunities now exist for our most passionate sailors to make a living professionally overseas, at one time they had to put something together for themselves in NZ if they wanted to sail.

 

 

Personal experience, I think there are pretty big differences in handling etc between boats of the 70s era, the 80s and the more modern boats.  Can certainly appreciate people don't want to pay the additional but like you, I do wonder what NZ would produce with a modern day variant of a cruiser racer like the 1020.

 

Have to also smile at the comments on the lines of imports not lasting, maybe and maybe not but I do recall the traditionalists and their views on the 88 and 930 when I started sailing being on the lines they were little more than tupperware dinghies and none would be around in 15 years.

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Its an interesting issue, and only time will tell who is right. 

 

IMO, the early glass boats were structurally well overbuilt. Yep, they had some issues with pox, but I've yet to hear of one sunk from that.

 

Now, as technology improves, the structural margins are decreasing. The number of cycles a boat structure goes through is better understood than ever, as are the composite cycle lives. 

 

For example, as I understand it, the current VOR 65's have load cells all over them, some embedded in the structure. 10x PER SECOND that data is captured, for the entire event (that is a LOT of data!) and available to the design office for analysis for the next round. The B&G gear on-board provides this ability.

 

So, production yachts are more a consumable item, and a "life expectancy - or useful life" can be designed into them. They should remain structurally up to the task for that period of designed life, after which they will have degraded their integrity to the point where they may no longer be safe. I also understand that this "useful life" is a bit under 10 years for at least one of the big producers. This could prove to be a real issue - who will decide when it is time for a vessel to be broken up, rather than on sold to some unsuspecting newbie?

 

Still, some of the old boats already around could be said to be past the useful life as well!

 

Just my thoughts...

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I still like the ombioncee of the hollowed out kauri log.

 And besides , maybe one fine day she'll be like a Grey Lynn cottage or an old Jaguar.... once reviled but now sought after and desired.

 

 yaaas sonny , back in the day we had a cold moulded kauri boat built in 1975... yesss thats right  seventy five....

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NZ is a high cost to build country for assorted reasons. So the only people who will build here are the 'doing OK thank you's' who will get a builder to do it. Or it'll be the home build.

 

When you think back to the construction boom times a lot of the boat were hull n decks finished off by the owners.

 

A lot of it today is the generation who did all the builds back in the 80's are now getting a little crusty. The new generation hasnot got the attention spans or desire to build. Add in most think sailing is only about speed and there is no way they could afford to build their desires. If there was a App they would be banging them out hand over fist but until Apple gets something like tat on their phone it's just not gonna happen.

 

Agree with Mark and IT's comments about builds. I'm replacing 9.8kg a sq mt with 2.8kg per square metre. The new stuff is still hell strong but will it stand up as well as the old stuff, to general bash crash and abuse that happens, I'm not to sure it will. The old stuff is very tank like and solid as with it's only real problem being it weighs the same as a fecking tank.

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