Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Seeing is not believing - you need all your senses when buying a boat

by Mark Rothfield on 27 Nov 2012
It takes more than 20:20 vision to get a clear picture of the perfect boat. Mark Rothfield
In moments of quiet reflection, I sometimes try to picture life through the eyes of a blind person. It would be dark, drab, frightening and bewildering, I imagine, but also rich in sound, smell, taste and touch. Ironically, this could infuse the decision-making process with greater clarity, for the rest of us have our judgment clouded at times by using our eyes too much.

Love at first sight leads to all sorts of problems – we’re attracted to the gorgeous girl or guy across the dimly lit bar who’s shallower than Lake Eyre in a drought, or we buy the hopelessly impractical coupe when it’s a station wagon we really need.

We look for labels as confirmation of fashion whereas a blind person buys purely on passion. Because they can’t see the difference between Target and Tommy Hilfiger, for them it’s about the fit, the price and the feel.

‘Feel’ can reflect quality but not always, for true quality is skin deep. It’s not just in the fabric but the stitching as well.

Now, once you finish reading this column, think about the boat you’ve always wanted. Then, close your eyes.

I wonder, could you really pick the difference between a Sea Ray and a Bayliner, or even a Princess from a Fairline, just by touch and smell?

I doubt that I could, not even after 30 years in the boating game, whereas I’m reasonably confident I could tell a Mercedes from a Mitsubishi, or a Jaguar from a Jeep.

It says something about the repetition that’s rife in the boating industry … engines are alike, hull shapes are similar and layouts are merely variations of a common theme. There are precious few production limbs to go out on, sadly.

As a blind-folded buyer, you would rely solely on ‘gut’ feel.

You’d walk through the boat and ‘see’ whether you bump your head or shins. You would rest on the seats and lie on the berths, monitoring for comfort and texture.

You would start the engines … is it quiet, is there vibration, anything to betray the integrity of design and manufacture? You would drive the boat – a terrifying prospect for the rest of us boaties, although 20:20 vision doesn’t necessarily create a perfect boat handler.

Does it ease onto the plane? Is the ride softly cushioned? Does it roll and rock? Is it nicely balanced?

At some point, at the helm, you will finally sense the thing that matters most. You will have found the intangible, indefinable and indefatigable X factor that defines the vessel’s soul.

Every boat has a personality, a mojo, a coolness, but it can only be detected on a plane far higher than sight alone. It will lurk in the heightened sensation in your fingertips, not the rose-coloured glasses that most of us wear at boat shows and when perusing the classifieds.

The point is thus: When it comes to buying a boat, seeing is not believing. Go into it with your eyes wide shut and your gut engaged, and your long-term vision will be clear as crystal.
Hella Marine - July 2016Naiad/Oracle SupplierPantaenius - Fixed Value

Related Articles

Aquila 44 – Lots to love
As a craft, she is quite impressive. Even from the moment you approach her on the quay. As a craft, she is quite impressive. Even from the moment you approach her on the quay. There is something about the Aquila 44, her own je ne sais quoi, if you like. Proportionally she is just right, everything is in the correct place, and with a modern flair, yet one that is not going to date overnight. I think her presence is in her stance, which is kind of funny, given she is a cat.
Posted on 7 Jul
Seabin- Saving the world, one marina at a time
Now and then you hear of an idea that’s so jaw-droppingly simple and yet so effective that it makes you shake your head Every now and then you hear of an idea that’s so jaw-droppingly simple and yet so effective that it makes you shake your head and wonder, ‘why not me’? Such is the case with the Seabin project, an automated marina rubbish bin that was designed to help remove plastic and other unsightly debris from the water.
Posted on 8 Jan
Eco-warriors Sea-Bin crowd sharing critical stage with nine days to go
The automated marina cleaning SeaBin project has raised 86% of their target with 9 days left. The automated marina cleaning SeaBin project has raised $198,020 of $230,000.00 with nine days left on their Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, but they need more help now.
Posted on 29 Dec 2015
Don’t be a Tosser – Not your usual environmental article!!
The word ‘Tosser’ in the Oxford English dictionary means – ‘a person or thing that throws something’. The word ‘Tosser’ in the Oxford English dictionary means – ‘a person or thing that throws something’. There is no need for me to tell you the other meaning that is commonly used around the world. However in this article it will refer to both at the same time as someone who tosses trash into the ocean, truly is a tosser.
Posted on 3 Dec 2015
Pay attention, YOU can make a difference to the marine environment!!
THIS is a life exam subject and when you reach the Pearly Gates, your results today will count towards your destination OK, Sit up and pay attention, THIS is a life exam subject and when you reach the Pearly Gates, your results today will count towards your final destination
Posted on 16 Nov 2015
Flash and Crack is not a new pop band
To anyone who has been on an airliner hit by lightning, the flash and crack of the strike are vivid memories. To anyone who has been on an airliner hit by lightning, the flash and crack of the strike are vivid memories. It certainly gets your attention and when you land, all the technicians definitely run to the aircraft and give it a very close inspection. So now that we have heightened your senses, let us all remind ourselves that a lightning strike is not always fatal,
Posted on 15 Nov 2015
Scheduled server maintenance - 23 September GMT+2 11pm onwards
Scheduled server maintenance - 23rd September GMT + 2 11pm onwards Scheduled server maintenance - sites will be unavailable for some hours between 11pm and 7am GMT + 2
Posted on 23 Aug 2015
Pantaenius Insurance – How good does it get?
Insurance may not be the buzzword. There is not unobtanium for keels, spinach enhanced sails or vibranium fuel cells Insurance may not be the buzzword. There is not unobtanium for keels, spinach enhanced sails or hulls of cut diamond and vibranium fuel cells powering arc reactors to rave on about. No. It is numbers, facts, risk and documentation. Boring? No. Quite the contrary if you happen to have put your boat up on a reef or Hughie blows it off its mooring, smashes her through everything in sight...
Posted on 29 May 2015
Sail-World.com - Contributors Guidelines
Guidelines for sailors writing articles for publication on Sail-World.com Whether its information about yachts, catamarans or dinghies, or tales of your adventures on the water, there is always a story waiting to be told. Sail-World is happy to receive your articles - be it profiles of people and boats, techniques, safety or seamanship. Read on for the guidelines for submitting an article, including commercial articles - if the information is of value to our readers
Posted on 5 Jan 2015
Dutch boy on a mission to rid the world's oceans of floating plastic
Boyan Slat is a 20-year-old on a mission - to rid the planet's oceans of floating plastic. Boyan Slat is a 20-year-old on a mission - to rid the planet's oceans of floating plastic. He has dedicated his teenage years to finding a way of collecting it. But can the system really work - and is there any point when so much new plastic waste is still flowing into the sea every day?
Posted on 18 Oct 2014