Aqua-Star Watch this Space

glenndraper

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We are just starting out on a great adventure and it occurred to me that others might like to join us.
We are going to purchase a new boat - she will be 65 ft long and we shall keep up this Diary throughout all the build process.

Well what a great day we had - We decided to Fly to Guernsey to view for ourselves the new Aqua Star 65 - We had looked at the website and I can tell you now - it does not do the actual boat justice.
The position so far - We looked at and fell in love with, a trader 65 but after logging on to Paul Gludys blog and all the nightmarish things that had happened with his Trader we were very scared to continue with Trader. The problem was that the Trader offered everything that we could possibly want
1. Stern double owner’s cabin
2. Bath in owner’s loo
3 fabulous aft seating
4. Well laid out Salon with plenty of space
5. Loads of room in the engine room
6. Looks like a small ship

So you can imagine that it was with some trepidation that we boarded the baby aero plane (twin turbo props) at Gatwick for the 50 min flight to Guernsey. We were met by the M.D at the airport and he drove us to his factory.
Surprise No. one - Yes his factory - They build the whole boat in Guernsey, including "Hand Laying" the glass fiber hull.
Surprise No. two- On the way he diverted to the port to show us the new 65, just having her final fit out-Well what can I say - Jill and I looked at each other and in that moment we knew the flight was well worth it!!
Firstly the 65 has ALL the above good points PLUS some - but secondly and more importantly Geoff the MD was a really nice chap - he was so helpful answering all our questions that he must have heard a thousand times with real enthusiasm.
We left the first 65 to view a 70 that had oak flooring that we thought we might go for - and go for it we shall - it is superb!! We both agreed that we likes the birds eye maple which although is a "special" it stands alone in magnificence!
After 2 hrs and much debate Geoff took us to the Factory and we were able to view the 6 boats he had in production all in various states of build - it was truly fascinating.
Aqua-Star can only make 6 boats at a time due to space - but there is also the molding shop- this is where they hand lay the glass fiber moulds - Jill and I felt so lucky that we had found a REAL ship builder so close to GB.
We left Geoff with the task of putting together a preliminary quote - we both realized that Geoff’s quote was going to be higher that Traders quote but we made it clear to Geoff that he would have to take our beloved Fairline Squadron 59 in part ex. The flight home was uneventful (thank God)
we shall post next on receipt of the quotation. Watch this space



Well we now have the 1st quote for the new Aqua-Star 65 - What a shock! The main problem is that it is considerably more than we had thought. The price offered for our beloved Squadron is also lower than we have been offered by Trader.
I think that this stage is THE most important stage in buying a boat.
The problem with the quote is that lots of things on it are EXTRAS and we had understood them to be standard - we have decided to write to Geoff and ask for explanation as to the quote.
We have not dismissed the idea of purchasing the new boat but we are going to HAVE to reduce the price somehow. It is the best part of 1.5 million pounds + vat and when one considers that we were originally looking at the new sunseeker 60 at .987 mill + vat - this is a big step! Agreed the Trader was 1.360 mill
But this is a further step and I’m running out of stairs!!!!!!
We sent begging letter to Geoff at Aqua-Star and await response. Watch this space


Just a thought if any one out there knows an Aqua-Star owner who could be persuaded to make a post I would be so grateful - you can imagine I am about to make one of the most important decisions of my life and any advice would be very much appreciated - come to think of it does not necessarily have to be an Owner any one who has professional knowledge of Aqua- Star - We would be so grateful to hear from you.
Watch this space


Hi all,
We are sooooooooo excited we have just booked a further flight for a SEA TRIAL of the Aqua-Star 65 we fly out again on the 27th and stay overnight. We are taking a VERY dear friend who has a boat in Spain along side us. We really can’t wait to find out how she performs in the British waters (I hope it is a force 6 or 7 we shall have to see. This will be the only time I will be wishing for bad weather !!!!!! We believe a sea trial to be paramount to our final decision - we have sailed our Fairline Squadron against quartering seas of about 2mtrs on the way to Smir in Africa (just a short hop from Gib. whilst not requiring copious amounts of toilet paper it is not something I care to repeat. That said she did get us there!
I am counting the days when we set forth on the next leg of choosing our new boat.!!!!!
Watch this space


Tomorrow we fly to Guernsey for the Sea Trial of the Aqua-Star – Interestingly one of the formites on this forum has decided he would like to join us as he is also interested in Aqua-Star (after viewing a Trader)
He will be very welcome on our adventure!!!
Watch this space
 

andyball

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Thanks Glenn

I wish you bad weather tomorrow /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif and hope she lives up to your hopes - also that an agreeable price can be found.
 

glenndraper

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Hi Paul and Andy - Its just my luck - a solid high over the whole of the country and likely to be there all week end, O,well perhaps all you formites could blow as hard as possible in a Southerly direction - ALL TOGETHER NOW ---------- /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

duncan

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thanks for the picture Glen - bad news on the weather front looking at it though - 12knots ENE isn't going to do a lot.

from memory not a lot of tide to play in either (relatively of course over there!) A trip round Alderney timed to get the worst out of both the Swinge and Race is your best bet but it won't show her true colours
 

benjenbav

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I hope you have the energy to keep posting throughout the process. It should be fascinating. And of course I hope it all goes smoothly for you.

Where you currently stand sounds familiar. I can't speak from the perspective of shipbuilding but in the construction industry equivalent you are the client who has been shown all the swoopy curved glass and the architect's signature twiddles. Of course they all look great but when they are priced they are prohibitive.

So it's time to bring in the project manager with the hobnailed boots to do some value engineering. Do you need that extra or do you want to save £50k etc?
 

nyx2k

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So it's time to bring in the project manager with the hobnailed boots to do some value engineering. Do you need that extra or do you want to save £50k etc?

that is an excellent idea. could save a small fortune
 

Oen

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Glenn,

Regarding the price, you might simply wish to bite the bullet and look forward to safe comfortable cruising in a boat which demonstrates how true it is that you get what you pay for!

A wonderful boat in a different league to the others you mentioned.
 

Bajansailor

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Glenn, you had said :

"It is the best part of 1.5 million pounds + vat and when one considers that we were originally looking at the new sunseeker 60 at .987 mill + vat - this is a big step! Agreed the Trader was 1.360 mill"

I think it would be rather unfair to try and compare a Sunseeker against a Trader or an Aquastar - apples and oranges analogy?

OK, so an Aquastar is 140k more than the Trader. Surely that 140k is peanuts in relation all the advantages to be gained by building in Guernsey rather than Taiwan?

In view of the Ocean Deep saga, if I was going to order a vessel from Taiwan I would insist on having my own Project Manager on site for the whole duration. His job would be to supervise the complete build, from laying up the hull to carrying out final sea trials in Taiwan before shipping.

IMHO, I doubt there would be any change left out of 140k by the time the Project Manager's fees and expenses have been added up, never mind all the hassles for the Owner re having a vessel built on the other side of the world.

Aquastars have a very solid reputation for seaworthiness, build quality, and pretty much everything else - I know which Builder I would choose if I had a choice between the ones you have mentioned! That 140k would be money well spent to ensure peace of mind, in my opinion.
 

glenndraper

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Thanks for that Benjenbav: I know exactly what you are saying but some of the things that became "extras" were
1. port powered capstan on stern "Standard" but not the Starboard?????
2. When MBY did the wright up it highlighted the wonderful BOW and STERN thrusters that were Hydraulic and did NOT indicated that these were "EXTRAS" when indicating the Price??
ETC ETC
I think that the following are essential and should be standard
1. Stabilizers (Active)
2. BOW and STERN hydraulic Thrusters
3. Second generator (small that can handle basic needs)
4. Bimini Top
5. aft deck full canvas enclosure

Unfortunately all the above are extras.
 

jfm

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Good luck Glenn

One small point. you make a big deal of building in Uk and hand lay up ("Surprise No. one - Yes his factory - They build the whole boat in Guernsey, including "Hand Laying" the glass fiber hull")

All the UK builders (Princess, s'seeker, fairline, Sealine, etc)do the same- make the hulls and fit out on site. Nothing special there.

And traditional "hand" lay up is hardly a claim to fame. Some 21st century technology like vacuum bagged etc would be loads better...
 

glenndraper

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JFM you will note that ALL the makes you highlight are Planing boats - we were looking for semi displacement and MOST of those are manufactured in Taiwan - the problem they face when using Vacuum Bagged method is that it is very critical that the moisture levels are controlled and we all know that Taiwan have at certain times of the year up to 100% humidity - what does that tell you???? /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
 

Major Catastrophe

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Hi Glenn, I am looking forward to reading about your build, as you are to getting it delivered.

I know what you mean about the 'extras', when I enquired about a Botnia Targa, the extras list was just under two pages long and many of the items on it I would have expected as part of the standard build.

I imagined what would happen on delivery.

"Steering wheel? Mr Catastrophe, you never specified the steering wheel when you ordered the boat."

Good luck and I hope you have no TC style problems.
 

Gludy

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There are only about 6 builders in the world that seem to be able to properly do the vacuum bagged hulls .....’ I think Marlow are one.

Th truth is that there are very few boats out there that fit in with what Glenn is looking for. In fact the Aquastar, the Marlow, Horizon ....... that’s about it in that size range.

I personally would have my own surveyor monitor the build of any boat, be it an Aquastar or a Marlow ....... maybe I have now become too cautious but that’s how I feel now.

I challenge anyone to come up with an SD hull boat about 65 feet long that could be in the race, apart from the ones mentioned above?
 

Bajansailor

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You threw down the gauntlet re finding other SD hull boats around 65', so I thought 'No worries', should be able to find some - but have realised that there is not an awful lot out there really......

However here is one that is 62', built in the USA, has 2 x 500 hp diesels, can cruise at 18 knots, max 22 knots, and has stacks of accomodation - have a look at :

http://www.portsmouthmarine.com/PowerCat62.htm

(sorry, couldn't resist throwing in a cat!).

Changing tack, Little Harbour Yachts in the USA do not appear to be building new boats any more, which is a shame - I guess they were just too expensive. However there are some second hand versions of their vessels at http://www.lhyb.com/yachts.asp?cat=power

I am sure that American boats must be quite attractive now to folk in England now, in view of how the pound is so strong against the dollar.

(Re comparing motor boats, I am no expert, but the impression I get is that comparing Aquastars with eg Traders or Sunseekers could be a bit like Raggie folk comparing Hallberg Rassys with (say) Bavarias......)
 

Gludy

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But these cats are not even built yet and there is no history of support.
They get ruled out very early because of those basic considerations.

There really is very, very little to choose from. The gauntlet is still down and it has not been picked up! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 
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