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Eras of yacht builders and values today

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by mike astle, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. mike astle

    mike astle New Member

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    Please consider this as a newbie post since I've owned 24' and under freshwater boats, but am now looking at 35'+ boats for salt water use. I couldn't think of a graceful way to ask my question in just a few words so here goes.

    I'm looking at some older boats that seem to have great value that were built by seemingly well respected manufacturers with long histories of quality and innovative design. However some of those companies have had ownership changes over the years, particularly since the 80's. From this forum's collective experience do some well respected name boats, built during different eras of ownership reflect a higher or lower level of quality control or design problems?

    Let me give you a specific example. Since the 1850's Riva yachts have been beautiful vessels. They are crazy expensive. The brand was sold to a U.S. company in the early 80's (Whitaker) and then re-sold to Vickers in the late 80's or early 90's. Despite the name on the hull is a Whitaker Riva or a Vickers Riva still a Riva? Does anybody know if there are issues of quality construction during the various periods of ownership?

    For example, Harley Davidson had a rich tradition of ownership and design thru 1980 then the company was bought by AMF. What followed was a legendary debacle. Most Harley owners consider bikes built during the AMF era as inferior (for good reason) and not "real" Harleys. The same is true for Jaguar...remember the first few years under Ford?

    I can cite several other examples but hopefully you get my drift.

    If I'm going to take a chance on a 30+ year old boat is this just one more thing to consider? Are there other brands where the above is true? Thanks and sorry to be so long-winded.
  2. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    Could you please be a little more specific with your question? The way you asked asks for an answer about the length of the bible (which you won´t get)... :D
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Every builder's history is different. Some have a long history of consistent quality while others have ups and downs due to a myriad of reasons.

    If you're going to look at a 30 year old boat, you need to know the quality of that specific boat. It helps to know common company issues on the model but ultimately it's how the specific boat surveys. When you focus on a specific model, specific year than those knowledgeable can advise you on what to expect, but what you actually get may not be the same.
  4. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    When dealing with older boats; it may not be factory issues your worried about.
    We have worked on many old classics that previous shops and owners have near ruined.

    You need to find the best surveyor that is familiar with that construction technique your interested in.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I have seen this many times. Lots of island engineering from either the owners or workers. They take a good boat and over complicate it with " state of the art systems" that are over complicated and create more types of problems.
  6. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    As bernd1972 asked; What exact model are you looking at?
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Indeed, with most older boats the maintenance and lack of butchering by owners and yards is probably a important as the builder. Well, to a limit obviously as I ll take a 30 year old island engineered Bertram or hatt versus an unmolested 30 year Carver or sea ray. If any are still floating,,, :)

    Corporate ownership can have an impact. You mentioned AMF which also owned hatteras for a while in the 70s and while some claim there were more quality issued during that time it's fair from being a deal killer

    And having owned a number of Jaguars of various years, while the first years of Ford ownership were bad by today she standard it was a big improvement over the British Leyland era

    So yes, corporate ownership has an impact but nowhere near as th brand itself and ownership of the boat over the years

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