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2013-03-15

Introducing "the one-fingered boat"

What's the current phrase? "I'll just leave this here":


Behold the brave new world of recreational sailing. This design from a very reputable firm is  conceptually divorced not only from our own experience of sailing, but in most respects (apart from the clever stowage notions I like to poach from newer designs) is very different from the direction we are going with our refit, which is notable for the complexity involved in making things simple, strong and enduring

So for us, "one-fingered" has a particular meaning in this superficially harmless product spiel, and quite another when put against the agenda of a sail voyaging family planning to be several thousands of kilometres from the nearest Swedish electrician.

And a sailing family, I might add, have come to appreciate the implacable enmity of electrical circuitry and salt water. Or even Lake Ontario's dampness, really.

I have considered Halberg-Rassy to be, along with Oyster and Swan Nautor and J-Boats, to be in the top tier of production builders. You can reasonably predict who I consider to be in the bottom tier. If they've gone this route, it must be because "the market" demands it. No builder of such an unlikely and fickle purchase as a forty-odd-foot sailboat can afford to ignore potential buyers, even if they require the largest sort of training wheels and soft-spot helmets. So the absence of a peek into the engine/machinery spaces, or a look at where the vast amount of batteries must be stored to power this push-button boat is perhaps purposefully absent. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" should be on every bill of sale, perhaps.


An early meeting with the Hallberg-Rassy focus group, perhaps?

So here's a little test for readers, a little "market research" for this benighted boat blog, if you will. There are no right or wrong answers, merely opinions.

Watch the video and submit answers to the following questions:

  • 1) What is interesting about this design, and why?
  • 2) What is questionable about this design, and why?
  • 3) What is problematic about this form of new yacht review?
  • 4) Would you consider purchasing this boat, or a boat similar to it for your own use?

Answer any and all. If I get sufficient response, I'll consider sending a small, nautically themed prize to the best (meaning in this case most insightful) reply. Consider it my own form of market research, in this case to reveal biases of the readership of a sooty, overextended and cold boat refitter trying to stay a half-step ahead of his own ignorance and talent for self-injury.

Clearly, and rarely, with this video,  I am somewhat at a loss for words here, although I did find notable that the question "how does she sail?" is not asked until the final two minutes.

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