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Would you buy a boat that didn't aesthetically appeal to you....

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by olderboater, Aug 9, 2021.

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  1. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    We're right on the edge, with our new-to-us fixer-upper. We started with a clean-sheet review of all boats (in budget) with features we wanted. Surprisingly, only two came really close. We had assumed for years that we'd eventually buy an X... but the Y checked more boxes. Can't say as I like Y exterior styling, but it at least doesn't make me puke when I look at it.

    And most things on Y worked OK "enough" on our 1100-mile delivery, just finished yesterday. It'll probably take me another year to get the whole thing back up to snuff, though.

    -Chris
  2. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    With production boats, You have the choice by studying the market. Nobody can force You to buy an ugly boat. With some of those production boats, You have the choice of different internal layouts but normally the external design is rather fixed. But even here, on the internal decoration, a bad taste or no taste at all, can turn a otherwise good looking boat into an evidence of tastelessness.

    With semi custom boats, You may have much more possibilities to improve for the worse. But a good semi custom yard will prevent You from building an ugly duckling, as they are normally not willing to spoil their reputation.

    With fully custom yachts it is more difficult. If for example, a small yard works without a designer but only with an external naval architect for the hull lines and the trim, things can go easily for the worse. They need the contract and they will built You anything, as long it is safe and can be certified. The results are the reason for this thread. But I admit, some of those improvements for the worse are made after sale and with the second owner.

    I have an example in my wider acquaintance, where the wife of the owner was "wearing the trousers at home". Her inputs made an ugly boat and I mean an really ugly boat. The poor husband did not dare to contradict and the small yard gave up. Optically this boat was a nightmare for the owner and for the beholder. But finally it freed the owner, he got a divorse :p.

    Larger yachts are a different story. You always work with external and internal designers. You either pick the designer of Your choice or You accept the or one of the designers presented by the yard. You may pick two different designers for the external and the internal design or one doing the internal and external design.

    I personally prefer one designer for both, inside and outside. I believe, the final result will be in most cases more harmonious and balanced.

    A good designer will listen to You during the initial design briefing and will convert Your words into lines on paper or on the screen. For the next meetings, he will develope a first draft. With modern 3D CAD and graphics software, this draft can already be pretty realistic. Will say, together with a good designer, You will be able to create a nice yacht.

    And exactly here is the problem. Picking the right designer.

    Some of those artists among yacht designers, like for example Philippe Starck (Sailing yacht A, Venus, Port Adriano) will not listen very much, if at all, to the potential owner. You either accept their piece of art or leave it. They want a carte blanche. Others are more easy to talk to and to negotiate with.

    Names like
    • Andrew Winch - Winch Design.
    • Bannenberg & Rowell Design - Dickie Bannenberg and Simon Rowell.
    • Ed Dubois - Dubois Yachts.
    • Espen Oeino - Espen Oeino International.
    • Ken Freivokh - Ken Freivokh Design.
    • Terence Disdale - Terence Disdale Design.
    • Tim Heywood - Tim Heywood Design
    are much easier to work with.

    One designer couple, I was in contact with once and I did run away from, are Pascale Reymond and Andrew Langton. Artists with (in my personal opinion) a confused taste. They tell You on the first meeting, that they know better than You and just like Phillipe Starck, they want a kind of carte blanche also. But at least they tell You. Phillipe Starck just assumes, that You know he is God (the god of the designer, of course :)).

    My prefered external and internal designers are Andrew Winch and Espen Oeino. Their list of perfect large sailing and power yachts are endless. For traditional large sailing yachts, Dutch Designers like Pieter Beeldsnijder or Andre Hoek come into my mind.

    TBC
  3. jfm

    jfm New Member

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    Ed Dubois isn't easy to talk to, sadly.

    Andre Hoek went up in my estimation with last year's launch of Blue II, which I know well
  4. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Sorry for having Ed Dubois on my list, as he died 5 years ago. But I talked to him during the design phase of Twizzle and during the build of this magnificent boat at Roayl Huisman. I lost contact ever since.

    At the moment I am in contact with some lesser known German designers for a new project on the Weser River. Some of them are really good but also here are some Extremists offering their sevices. Especially one German female internal designer with a really confused taste comes into my mind.

    Examples:

    - Judel / Vrolijk Design (especially Torsten Conradi for large sailing yachts), Bremen
    - Beiderbeck Design, Lemwerder
    - Egg and Dart Design, Munich
    - Frank Neubelt (Newcruise), Hamburg

    But at least we have the free choice. Picking a bad designer is one's own fault.
  5. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    At least we are still allowed to discuss what is beautiful & what is ugly. Let’s not make a big deal of it or the next thing you know ”we” will be told that all boats are to be regarded in the same way, lest we make some poor boat feel “Excluded”…

    It is truly in the eye of the beholder. There is a buyer for every boat & a proud owner for every ugly duckling, especially if it was designed & built or altered & added to by the owner.

    I have designed many luxury homes (although must state I am not a qualified architect), also have worked with some amazing architects & built their designs. What at first seems ugly, sometimes becomes the opposite. If you look at the working boats from the past, they have a rough beauty that is timeless. Those Krogens that at first look cumbersome & ugly, will seem beautiful after a while.

    Without putting on a tie-died T shirt, dropping some acid with The Grateful Dead playing in the background, the fact seems to be that human race will look for the “Golden Ratio” without realising it. This is what is called Phy or Phi & is the rule of the formula of proportions. May sound out there, but it is in everything we find truly pleasing to see.

    So when someone says they like the look of That, it’s the ratio Man!
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I will still never refer to someone else's boat, house, or car as ugly. The worst I will say is that it's not my taste.
  7. dewald

    dewald Member

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  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    You don’t think a Pontiac Aztec, a carver Mariner or a BN3 Trislander are ugly? Come on... be honest. Be blunt. It feels good once in a while :)
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    No.....it's a matter of taste.
  10. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Pascal, we had the twin engine BN2 Islander in the family for several years and I collected some interesting stick time on that bird. Not pretty but very useful on short routes and landing on short unprepared airfields. As a glider pilot, I was used to small airstrips but taking a 1+9 seat twin engine aircraft in and out of 600 ft unprepared runways, was real good training for the young man.

    They are still in use by some small airlines in northern Germany for the island hopping to the Frisian Islands in the North Sea. Single pilot, 8 to 10 minutes VFR flying time and the pilot has to load and unload the baggage. Up to 40 and more tripps a day. Pretty tough job.

    But the BN3 Trislander is really on the edge. I have had one short demo flight in one during the Farnborough Air Show. I was not amused, when the demo pilot switched off and feathered both wing engines and remained in the traffic pattern with the tail engine. I am not saying the bird is ugly but at least it takes time getting used to the design and most of all to the noice of that bird. Three roaring Lycommings without effective mufflers can be pretty painfull to the ears :).

    And if something is really, I mean really ugly, we should be allowed to express that in the most possible polite way. My polites way is shaking my head and walk away!!
  11. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Poor man’s DC-10.:D
  12. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Well bless that owners heart......
    That's polite.. no?
  13. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    that’s good...

    The BN2 is not bad looking... the nose on the 3 though...
  14. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    For the non-flyers here on YF an example of this beauty, we are talking about:

    The mighty Britten Norman BN3 Trislander

    G-FTSE_Trislander.jpg
    I would like to meet the beholder, who can see beauty in her. Btw. the flight characteristics of that "thing" are pretty difficult to get used to.

    Ok, back to boats :p.
  15. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Well, one more airplane, since we are talking about looks… 1A8607F3-E753-464C-8CD4-89C10CCBEA63.jpeg
  16. jonrd463

    jonrd463 New Member

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    That looks like someone who knows exactly what they've got and are just rolling with it. :D
  17. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Btw. all of the above mentioned aesthetically challenging aircraft were built on those islands in the North Sea, where they drive on the wrong side of the road :D.

    Sorry, could not resist.
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  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Funny how the UK is home to some of the best looking cars ever made and some of the ugliest aircrafts.
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  19. hat4349

    hat4349 Senior Member

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    I agree with you. With that being said I did just agree with a guy who asked me if a Carver 570 Voyager Pilothouse that it was a good boat for what he wants to do. He wants to do the Great Loop and that will be a good boat for that. I don't like the European design of the exterior but I do know two couples that own Carvers and are very pleased with them.
  20. Kevin

    Kevin YF Moderator

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    I once saw a quote about European aviation...

    If it's weird, it's French.
    If it's ugly, it's Russian.
    If it's weird, and ugly, it's British.
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