Would she suit your style of sailing?

Tim Good

Well-known member
Joined
26 Feb 2010
Messages
2,797
Location
Bristol
In YM we are treated to a couple of articles each month where they assess if a boat is "suitable for your style of sailing". Usually in "New Boar Test" and Me And My Boat".

At the end of each they give a number of stars (out of 5), for Creek Crawling, Coastal, Off Shire, Trade Wind and High Lat Adventure.

Has anyone figured out how they judge this as I seem to always look at it and disagree. I can list some examples but just picked up an old copy while sat on the loo and this time the Contest 42cs gets 4 stars for High Lat adventure!

Really!? It doesn't have a skeg hung rudder, keel is very much fin and not encapsulated, it's a sail drive, standard sloop rig, a huge flat transom the size of an elephants backside and two poncy wheels. Not sure it would be my first choice for Greenland.
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
40,539
Like all scoring systems that do not have a measurable base they simply represent the compilers' personal views, both in their construction (ie what is seen as important) and in the allocation of scores. It is an attempt to deconstruct the characteristics of boats in relation to how different users may view them. This particular scoring system replaced one which scored the features of the boat (rather than the usage characteristics) on a scale of 1-10 and then added them up to give a score out of 100. Heavily criticised for giving equal weight for example to sailing ability and galley layout. Inevitably it meant that boats with very different characteristics ended up with the same score.

All these impressionistic scoring systems are subjective, even if using numbers give the appearance of objectivity, and the scorer (such as Snooks, who uses it most in his reviews) will try and explain why he allocates a particular score - as he has done here on one or two occasions. We buy boats based on a mixture of characteristics of design, some of which can be measured, but others based on our own views and our subjective assessment of its suitability. So choosing my new boat was a mixture of a spreadsheet to compare specs, study of the numerical data on design, visual inspection, talking to owners and finally imagining myself owning each and using in the way I intend. I would have been happy with any of the three short list, but the final choice just felt more "right" for me than the others.

Any review reflects this type of process and given that people choose different boats, it is not surprising that some might disagree with the reviewer's assessment, however it is expressed.
 

Tim Good

Well-known member
Joined
26 Feb 2010
Messages
2,797
Location
Bristol
Like all scoring systems that do not have a measurable base they simply represent the compilers' personal views, both in their construction (ie what is seen as important) and in the allocation of scores. It is an attempt to deconstruct the characteristics of boats in relation to how different users may view them. This particular scoring system replaced one which scored the features of the boat (rather than the usage characteristics) on a scale of 1-10 and then added them up to give a score out of 100. Heavily criticised for giving equal weight for example to sailing ability and galley layout. Inevitably it meant that boats with very different characteristics ended up with the same score.

All these impressionistic scoring systems are subjective, even if using numbers give the appearance of objectivity, and the scorer (such as Snooks, who uses it most in his reviews) will try and explain why he allocates a particular score - as he has done here on one or two occasions. We buy boats based on a mixture of characteristics of design, some of which can be measured, but others based on our own views and our subjective assessment of its suitability. So choosing my new boat was a mixture of a spreadsheet to compare specs, study of the numerical data on design, visual inspection, talking to owners and finally imagining myself owning each and using in the way I intend. I would have been happy with any of the three short list, but the final choice just felt more "right" for me than the others.

Any review reflects this type of process and given that people choose different boats, it is not surprising that some might disagree with the reviewer's assessment, however it is expressed.

Are you a lawyer? That was very articulately put sir.
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
one which scored the features of the boat (rather than the usage characteristics) on a scale of 1-10 and then added them up to give a score out of 100. Heavily criticised for giving equal weight for example to sailing ability and galley layout. Inevitably it meant that boats with very different characteristics ended up with the same score.

Ten percent of the score hinging on the design of the chart table always seemed absurd to me :)

I take this kind of pseudo-scientific numerology about as seriously as I would the women's-magazine quizzes that purport to tell you all sorts of things about yourself from answering A, B or C to a list of random questions :). It's not serious analysis, just a mildly entertaining filler format.

Pete
 

jwilson

Well-known member
Joined
22 Jul 2006
Messages
5,987
I wonder what sort of score Bob Shepton's Westerly 33 or the Carr's 1905 gaffer "Curlew" would get for "High latitude adventure" ??
 

Daydream believer

Well-known member
Joined
6 Oct 2012
Messages
18,767
Location
Southminster, essex
the Contest 42cs gets 4 stars for High Lat adventure!

Really!? It doesn't have a skeg hung rudder, keel is very much fin and not encapsulated, it's a sail drive, standard sloop rig, a huge flat transom the size of an elephants backside and two poncy wheels. Not sure it would be my first choice for Greenland.

I would not turn one away, but there again the furthest north I have been is Peterhead (& that is a pretty alien place )
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
40,539
Are you a lawyer? That was very articulately put sir.

No - but similar. 30 years of teaching and supervising social science research up to doctorate level so plenty of experience of people constructing measurement instruments that reflect their prejudice, but dressing them up as "objective" and even "scientific".

As Pete says, not to be taken too seriously, although I have to say the reviews (and scores) of the three boats on my short list chimed in pretty accurately with my own assessment, and the reviewer was the same each time. Guess he had a good feel for what potential buyers were looking for.
 

roblpm

Well-known member
Joined
30 Mar 2012
Messages
7,299
No - but similar. 30 years of teaching and supervising social science research up to doctorate level so plenty of experience of people constructing measurement instruments that reflect their prejudice, but dressing them up as "objective" and even "scientific".

As Pete says, not to be taken too seriously, although I have to say the reviews (and scores) of the three boats on my short list chimed in pretty accurately with my own assessment, and the reviewer was the same each time. Guess he had a good feel for what potential buyers were looking for.

At the risk of thread hijack what are your shortlist boats then and how did they score?!
 

snooks

Active member
Joined
12 Jun 2001
Messages
5,147
Location
Me: Surrey Pixie: Solent
As with all scoring systems, where something has to be judged, the star rating is open to interpretation. I like to judge the boats on what our average reader would expect a yacht to do. Yes there will be those who sail around the world in Laser radial, but that's not what the majority of people would use one for.

So here's the criteria I tend to use when scoring the new boat tests, based on how they would cope with "imaginary" trips:

Creek Crawling RM890
Is her ability to get to Truro, dry out against a wall and spend some nights tucked up a shallow creek on the Fal and dry out in the mud or on a beach.

Costal Port Hopping XC35
Cruising along the Cornish coast, a stop off at the anchorage for a quick dip (the sun is out by now) then a spot of lunch in the cockpit before a quick beat to windward (Cornish weather again) to spend a night on a mooring, in a marina and anchored in the Helford. Also with the odd cross channel trip. This one also takes into account how she handles under power, and what she'll be like to handle in harbours/marinas

Offshore passage making Rustler 42
Is her ability to deal with a nasty trip from Falmouth to Ireland - with no wind then rough weather. To include cooking on board, no power (have to resort to charts and pencils) and another problem – undefined like a major ingress of water – so bilge pumps and getting to all of the hull, liferaft stowage etc. and then having the storage for the kit you’re likely to need for that sort of sailing and how easy it is to fix it all.

Tradewinds voyaging Discovery 55
I see as over 10 days living on board without stopping, blue water sailing, with the rig (down wind ability) and self sufficiency of long term cruising. Also extended Caribbean Cruising, can you fit a bimini and all sorts of cruising kit.

High-latitude adventure Garcia Exploration 45
Is up to Greenland/Iceland/Norway/Sweden where one has to be warm, the hull have insulation, expecting to hit a rock or two, or something floating, double glazing and offer shelter and shoot polar bears just to survive :0)

Obviously I'm constrained by the titles, and only have 5 stars to dish out for each, but they are a quick way to see whether she'll be any good for the type of sailing you do, and if you're after a creek crawler and see the test boat has one star you'll know that she's not for you, but will read it for interest anyway :0)
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
40,539
At the risk of thread hijack what are your shortlist boats then and how did they score?!

Hanse 325, Jeanneau 32i and Bavaria 33. All new. Very similar - more interested in the specific differences than anything as they would all have done the job for me and all costing much the same. Chose the Bavaria. Best cockpit for single handing, drop down transom, best interior, particularly aft cabin space, loo space and storage plus arguably best overall finish, although Jeanneau runs close second. Choice influenced of course by 14 years ownership from new of another Bavaria. Boat arrived from Germany on Saturday. Started Coppercoating today. Handover in 3 weeks or so. Looks good so far.
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
40,539
You advocate?

Yes. Plan to keep boat in water all year round and just lift for pressure wash once a year. Best done on new boat straight from the factory and under cover - so the experts say. Not cheap but will pay off in the time I expect to own the boat. Aware that some people have not had success with it, but also many have.

This is my last boat and I have tried to do everything to make ownership, usage and maintenance easy. Had 40 years of fettling between sailing - now just want to enjoy the sailing and being on board bits.
 

dom

Well-known member
Joined
17 Dec 2003
Messages
7,141
Best of luck with the commissioning process, always an exciting time and would be great to see a few pics as you go along.
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
40,539
Best of luck with the commissioning process, always an exciting time and would be great to see a few pics as you go along.

One step at a time. yesterday my 12 year old grandson taught me how to take pics with my new Hudl and set up an email account so that i can send to my desktop. Next step is to learn how to attach them here. Need to lie down for a bit before I can cope with that.

Tomorrow will be going through the boat with the dealer so will take lots of pics and then try and post a few here on a new thread.
 

Mrnotming

New member
Joined
1 Mar 2005
Messages
1,626
Location
Dublin
Tranona,
very good wish for fair winds and blue skies in your super new boat!
Enjoyed the thread, most informative and well conducted.
 
Last edited:

TiggerToo

Well-known member
Joined
23 Aug 2005
Messages
8,277
Location
UK
Tomorrow will be going through the boat with the dealer so will take lots of pics and then try and post a few here on a new thread.

I wish you all the best and look forward to the pics and stories. It sounds like an exciting time.
 
Top