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What does a boat need to qualify as a classic?

Discussion in 'Vintage & Classic Yachts' started by bernd1972, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    All of us have seen boats that are considered classic. Some of us have probably owned one. But there is always the discussion what makes a boat a classic.

    Is it its age?
    Is it the fact that it stands for a certain era?
    Is it aesthetical quality of the design?
    Does it have to be all of the above mentioned aspects?

    I have been asked if my boat was a classic once or twice. I never knew what to answer since it was launched last year, but the style is late 1920s. However, the building methods are more typical for our days.

    Your opinions please, classic or simply a fake?

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  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Age is implied in the question, but Fake? No way. It's a classically designed vessel that pays homage to another (grand) era. Just say 'She's thoroughly modern' and leave it there. She's beautiful.
  3. Ward

    Ward Senior Member

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    I don't care if you built it yesterday, that IS a classic.

    Could you post some specs? Dimensions, builder, power, systems... and some more pics (but maximum width should be 640 pixels).
  4. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    So you would call her a hommage rather than a fake? Well, I think I can live with that. ;)
    Took me 6 years to build that ****ed thing, having to accept it´s just a fake would be a little annoying.:D

    It is 65ft. long, 18tons, 2x 160bhp and does 16 knots, but cruising with 10 knots and less than half a gallon per mile feels much better. And has every useless thing that might break except for air conditioning.
    I designed an built it myself, took me 6 years and gave me my first grey hairs.
    But I still want to think it was worth it. Of course the design is pretty close to some east coast commuters, I like to think of it as a hommage to John Wells.

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  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Not at all. A fake would be like one of those car kits. Not this. But calling it a clasic is like calling a boat a yacht. It sounds better when someone else says it about your boat than when you say it yourself. When you answer ' she's thoroughly modern' add, as they scratch their heads, 'Took me 6 years to build her' and puff out your chest.
  6. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Since you brought it up, classic can be different from person to person, depending on their own age, taste and knowledge.

    To me a Classic yacht is a timeless beauty. She is often old, as this is a proof that the design has survived, but she can also be a brand new design.

    If you start a hundred years ago, perhaps 20 percent of the yachts became classics and it remains about this figure until the end of the century. After this there has been a lot of new designs coming out, but in my opinion just 5 percent have the qualities of a classic design.

    Your boat has a nice design, inspired from some classic boats.
  7. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    Hi AMG,

    I think I am perfectly with you on that 20 to 5 % shift. Even in the 1970´s they did boats that were so extremely typical for their era that we have to see them as perfect classics now since they represent the spirit and aesthetical ideals of their days. Think of old Leopards, Benettis, Ghiblis, but also of Coronets.
    From that point of view my boat is definitely misplaced by some 80 years. :D

    Thinking of modern boats with the potential to become classics, there would be few. But these Norman Foster arched designs that consist by 30 percent of that weird giant stairs at the stern will belong on that list, just like "A", because they polarize and they perfectly represent the early 21st Century. Even though some of us would seen them on the rogues list. But that might have been the same with Anthony Fokker´s Q.E.D. back in the early thirties if they would have had internet forums back then.;)
  8. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    In my mind this Foster design is a perfect artificial reef, not a yacht. The "A" design will never be called classic, but maybe iconic? It is bold and some of her design elements are already seen in other yachts.

    I rather think that yachts like Ilona and Amevi will be considered classic designs.
  9. maldwin

    maldwin Senior Member

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    Yesterday I saw a Midnight Lace 44 in a friend's shed which I used to dismiss as I would a replicar, but those boats have grown on me. I don't know if my taste is slipping, I am suffering from 70s nostalgia, or early dementia, but I have recently been looking at a variety of fiberglass boats from that era as classics. Of course I am still not sure the sound of waves lapping fiberglass will ever grab me the same way a wood hull sounds, yet...
    Best,
    Maldwin
  10. Laurence

    Laurence Senior Member

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    For Sure

    Beautiful instant Classic. Congratulations and thanks for sharing (with photos)!
  11. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Hi Berndt and welcome to YachtForums! While your boat might conjure up visions of an era long past, some of us look upon these lines and find ourselves transported to a simpler, sweeter place. And to discover this sweeter place has all the comforts of modern day life, it's all the better. :)

    I have downloaded and attached your images to our server. We don't allow hot-linked images for security reasons (the host can replace the files with less tasteful images). I have also reduced the size of your pictures to fit our requirements of 640 pixels or less.
  12. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    Thank you for your welcoming words. I apologize for my mistake concerning using external links for my pictures. (I will have to find out how to post pictures correctly here :eek: )

    @AMG: Concerning the artifical reef comment: I can agree but still have to contradict you.
    On the one side I agree that architecture elements from land don´t allways prove to be at home on the water.:D But on the other side these designs are a strong statement.
    If you compare these extreme new design experiments to the paradigm change in the old days, talking about Art Deco vs Bauhaus you might see what I mean. On the one hand the heavy, higly artistic craftsmanship and on the other hand aesthetical products that were reproduceable industrialy in consistent quality. While both design schools were present at the same time one line became desireable antiques, but the other one initiated a trend that lasts into our days.
    I guess we will have to see if there is something with a trend quality about these extreme yacht designs or if they remain a footnote, something like a "PopArt" statement (dont get me wrong here, it was an important art era, but did not define a lasting trend that influenced the further developement for ever).
    However, we´ve seen some excellent extreme modern to modernistic designs that could well become a style of its own. Think of "Hedonist" by Art of Kinetik, for example. Or the things luca Barsani did for Wally. At least these modernisms break with the contradiction many yachts had during the last 20 years had. You know, things like a Late Empire or an extreme Art Deco interiour in a pronouncedly modern outer appearance. (nothing wrong with Art Deco style elements, they work quite well with modern designs)
  13. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Foster did a great design in Izanami, built at Lürssen. But these Timeshare boats are just terrible, ugly and useless. Nothing that impresses me anyway, besides the designer getting away with it...;)
  14. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    O.K. , we have similar ideas. Let´s just say these things are polarizing. These yachts definitely cause emotions, even if the neither touch your hart nor mine.
    But they do have an aesthetic quality of their own and I don´t mind respecting the engineering and craftsmanship that went into them. But I have no problems to agree with you that they can´t make me jealous. No matter that they are out of reach for me anyway. But I might have done something different with that budget. :D
  15. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    I am a Past Commodore of the Classic Yacht Club of America. A few years back I was tasked with chairing a committee to discuss the definition of "what is a classic yacht".

    The discussions were endless and mostly circular. There was no clear answer.

    All I can say is this: Similar to defining "what is pornography?", As to a Classic Yacht, I know one when I see it.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Very well put, and from authority.:)
  17. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Associate

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    I have two books regarding classic yachts and design and you are correct SeaEric, there are no real CLEAR and definite answers. I have one called "The Great Classic Yacht Revival" by Nic Compton...it begins to tease you as to what classic is all about but you still run into that circular problem.
  18. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    Well, I believe that some people within the classic yacht community have a pretty elitist approach. While I really appreciate if someone decides to spent a respectable sum on restoring and maintaining a classic yacht without altering its character I must confess that I also have the deepest respect for that geek from scandinavia who did the project of building a Britania-Replica in Russia.
    After all I believe for such things you must be in love with your idea.
    And if the love and work of changing owners over a a number of decades brought a boat far beyond its natural lifetime then there is obviously little doubt about the classic status.
    But what about boats that were built in the spirit of the old times? Let´s say someone builds a new Britania, or a 40ft. Aktin motorboat, perhaps even with great sense for detail and authenticity?
  19. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    I don't know that I'm qualified to answer your question on what makes a boat "classic" as each person is and or will view this differently. But I do know that the boat you have is truly stunning! And a wonderful example of classic, yester-years lines, styling, elegance, and timelessness.... whatever that may be.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    All of the above, OR if it's a replica or new it has to be very very close to the origional...... Like a new Donzi classic.......aside from modern power and a windshield it's just like a 1967.

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