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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
The Florida Whaler Company?
|Author||Topic: The Florida Whaler Company?|
posted 02-09-2003 12:43 PM ET (US)
Having moved their operation to Florida, has the Boston Whaler company changed the design of their boats to reflect the year-round, warm weather, salt water environment of Florida?
They used to make Whalers in Boston and the factory designers used them and tested them in New England climates and environments. Have the boat designs been affected by the change in location?
posted 02-09-2003 02:14 PM ET (US)
You would need to speake to a Engineer or Design manager if you really wanted to know.
Your question is a good bait to start an argument though.
posted 02-10-2003 12:17 PM ET (US)
No Jimh. 90% of all boats made in the 70-80's had low deadhise hulls. Tri-hulls were also very popular especially due to stability and the shallow draft. Today they make bigger engines so moving a deeper v is less of an issue than it was in say 1975 when the biggest engine made was 150hp. If you look at cars, motorcyles, and boats you will see where most were identical to each other for their time and have since made vast changes/improvements. Makos still resemble each other but the 1981 21' my friend has is a modified v and today it is a deep v. His boat rides like hell just like a 21' ribbed outrage does but the looks above the waterline are virtually unchanged. His boat also does pretty well with a 175(40mph) where as todays 22' Mako would need a 225 probably. To express further on my theory, most engines in the 70-80's were available in 15, 20 & 25" shaft and no counter rotation. Today they are 20, 25, & 30" shafts with CR to power bigger and deeper v running outboard hulls. there were many reasons why Whaler, Mako, grady, etc did not make anything bigger than a 25 until more recently.
posted 02-10-2003 12:47 PM ET (US)
Yes, they are now basically a fair weather boat. There are no trailerable cabin models for northern climate cruising any longer, they all have the integral Euro/swim platform, of little use on cold water, and the warm climate Tee Top now rules the Outrage series, along with the "Jiffy John" center console. These are all warm weather features.
The multiple use flexibilty of the Outrages is gone. Tee tops may be great for a little sun protection, salt water offshore trolling, and electronic boxes, but they offer little all weather protection, even with front and side enclosures. They are a wind resistance nightmare, both for trailering and top speed/economy, and do not have the flexibility of a good Mills canvas system to keep other passengers dry, out of the wind and cold. They cannot be used for overnight cruising at all, with no large flat bow decks, and no all weather protection for the entire boat. Even the raised lip molded into the gunwales seems to be missing on many models. Without that edging, water can't be kept out the interior.
With the new smaller "Classic" models, all are designed for a fair weather environment, with the only weather proection being a sun top. It sure can get very wet and cold under one of those!
I do believe that the boats are intentionally designed to compete in the Florida sub-tropical marketplace.
In my estimate, the biggest factor in making Whalers, old or new, all weather, Northern climate boats, was recognition of the need, by Fisher and Dougherty, of top quality canvas design and availability. The current Whaler design management seems to have missed this. The addition of those features, whether it be by Mills or some other capable design firm, would make a HUGE difference here.
posted 02-10-2003 02:48 PM ET (US)
Larry i agree on what you write but is anyone else building what they used to? Does Contender, Grady, Mako, and Hydra-sports now have eurotransoms....yup. T-tops are not "standard" equip, they are an option. I personally love mine for its stabilty compared to a Bimini. Most people here do not even use their full canvas systems as is noted in many posts here. If a full canvas system is needed, people know where to go get one. I lived in NJ most of my life and we did not use t-tops nor full canvas, was not very popular or monetarily funtional. Plus 80% of the boaters were in the water from memorial day to Labor day. Very few extreme boaters like us. In the winter the bay freezes, etc.
I think it is wrong that Whaler does not offer these items anymore but if things are not being sold...why bother. People want the t-tops, they want the poti-potti, they want the fresh water shower.....why? Because they do, I do. Starting in the mid 80's companies started offering some of these items as standard equip to compete or show off their boats. Now it is necessary to compete and whether you want it or not, you are getting that toilet.
Hell my 74 revenge had 2 seats, steering wheel and an engine. It did not have a horn, tach, bilge pump.....NOTHING. I think the gas guage was it and we had to install everything else. People got tired of having to install the basic stuff. Most people do not know how to install a tach or even cut the hole out. They also got tired of the dealers gouging the snot out of them like $400 for a $99 porti-pottie, $179 for a $59 bilge pump, $100 for a $29 horn. Hell they did not have Boater's world back then so people did not know better, today they do so they offer it as standard equip to increase their profits.
If you went car shopping today....how many manufactureres do not have A/C as a standard feature? Would you even consider buying a car or truck without it? How about Cruise or power windows? Would not even THINK about no ABS or a airbag system would ya? Why should boat companies still live in the dark ages? People expect XYZ so they have to deliver it whether we like the change or not. Sure I would love to have a "brand new" 67 Vette being it would be a lot cheaper than a 2003 without the electronics etc but I can't get one.
posted 02-10-2003 11:06 PM ET (US)
[Removed off-topic material--jimh.]
posted 02-10-2003 11:20 PM ET (US)
I think it would be harder to demonstrate that the geographic location of a company's product design department had not affected their designs than it would be to show that it did.
For example, FORD recently relocated the styling department for their Mercury car line from Dearborn to Los Angeles. They stated they wanted the Mercury cars to take on a more stylish appearance and appeal to younger buys. This summer they will introduce the new MURAUDER car. It comes only in black, has a 360-HP engine, and looks like an L.A. Street Hot Rod. Guess geography had no part in that result.
Microsoft intentionally isolates itself from Silicon Valley and keeps all of its "designers" on a huge campus in Redmond, Washington.
With Whaler, I think the move to Florida had observable effects on the product. If nothing else, they slowly changed vendors for components from New England sources to Florida sources. This shows up in things like cleats, navigation lights, fittings. etc. The Whaler gradually became more like other Florida boats built by Florida builders.
posted 02-10-2003 11:31 PM ET (US)
The 21 and 23 Conquest are fine cold weather boats with the Hard Top and Canvas options. Too bad they don't make the 23 anymore. The Conquest 255 though trailerable, is too big to do so without at least a 3/4 ton truck. Is it Whaler driving the marketplace, or is Whaler just responding to the market place? I think it is the latter. Whaler is just giving the customers in their target demographic the features they want to buy. That demographic is the mid twenty to mid forty somethings with the money and time to spend on boating and fishing who are likley to buy a NEW boat. Maybe they need to follow the lead of some of the ski and wakeboard boat companies and offer a Heater/Defroster. That might bring some more of the MTV generation out on the water during those non-summer months.
posted 02-11-2003 12:48 AM ET (US)
I believe the FORD example is more in line with the classic draw for the muscle cars of old. Like the older GM Olds 440 that came in black many years ago or even the more recent Black Monte Carlos. Did GM move to California also?
As for Microsoft …. Who really knows?
Considering that pleasure boating for the general population (most people) is done during the warm months or in warm climates just as Big Shot had stated “Plus 80% of the boaters were in the water from memorial day to Labor day. Very few extreme boaters”. That there is where growth, profit and the survival of the company lies.
Want foul weather boating? Go to the CPD after all when you work out there you may have to be in any kind of weather. Is that in Fla. too?
This is really much to do about nothing, a rouse. The “basically a fair weather boat” will get you in when the weather gets sour or will keep you out of the water until the weather passes, maybe not dry but alive. And that goes with the whaler construction and the engine you have. What is so wrong with that? It seems to me that Whaler does have enough models to cover most climates. How many other small craft companies have a CPD ….. RIB boats do….
So what is this thread about?
Here is what you said about the new whalers when comparing them to the classics –[url]http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/004296.html[\url]
Or should it be - Classic vs RIB boats, after all RIBs are replacing classic whalers for many government agencies.
Gee was I the only post-classic owner to take the bait?
posted 02-11-2003 05:05 AM ET (US)
???? why I can't find my post????
posted 02-11-2003 06:43 AM ET (US)
My 1988 20' Revenge (Commercial Products Division), former National Park Boat, was replaced with an RIB that has a heavy welded aluminium bottom with a jet drive that is pushed by Chevy's big new V-8 (the Park Service has limited the ranger to only 4500 gallons of gas per year).
posted 02-11-2003 11:06 AM ET (US)
A provocative question - one never knows what species might rise to the trolled bait.
I suspect the new Whaler designs are the result of Whaler's desire to sell more boats, not by their location in Florida. If Whaler thought the best way to make money was to offer only the Classic 13, 17, 18, 20 and 22, they would offer only them. Like it or not, some people (not necessarily me) prefer Euro-transomed Outrages, Conquests and Dauntlesses.
Ray Hunt certainly knew how to design boats for New England - witness his Deep-V hulls, transomless lobster boat and a variety of sailing vessels. If Fisher and Hunt wanted to design boats to be used solely in New England's often harsh climate, they would not have gone with not cathedral/tri-hull forms less than 17 feet. This is especially so if one wishes to boat in New England before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.
The original Fisher/Hunt 13 and 16 were closer to fair weather boats than anything now made by the Florida-based Whaler.
posted 02-11-2003 11:13 AM ET (US)
Jim...that Mercury came out LASt summer and is a black marquis with bucket seats....very disappointing. If Ford thinks that is style, they should have stayed in Detroit.
As far as changing vendors....have you ordered a railing from CMI recently or a pate tank? Well how about ordering a few thousand a year? Florida also does not have unions so labor on the boats as well as the supplier companies is cheaper than Taxachussetts. There are 3 dozen major manufacturers in the sarasota area, non resemble Whalers. the only boats made in FL that resemble Whalers are Edgewaters and we know the reason for that or splash builders who are still copying the classics(Sailfish, Wahoo, wagoner)
posted 02-11-2003 02:30 PM ET (US)
This idea that Whaler's Brunswick owners are responding to the market place with their new designs & shapes is baloney. More correctly, the question should be "do they know what they're doing in the marketplace?" Many other companies, including Grady White, are proving that they don't. Since the exit of the original Whaler people in 1990, the company has struggled for 13 years now, trying to re-invent the wheel (known as "Whaler"). The string of sales failures and short model runs is huge, even though some of the boats were decent. And it continues today, with short lived, poorly conceived models generating poor sales records. Poor sales does not mean they are responding to the marketplace! It means they are MISSING the marketplace! Look at the list, beginning with the Rage, down to the (new) 18 Outrage, the 14 Dauntless, the 120 Impact, and now the 350 Defiance, all 2 year wonders. In between there were a whole bunch of boats that only stayed in the marketplace 3 or 4 years, which also indicates a sales failure. The one exception is looking like the "New Classics" group, which although a misnomer, is an effort to follow more traditional lines where there were previous successes, and some of those successes are being repeated. Most here are not surprised to see the success of the new Montauk.
This idea that the new glitzy shapes and features are a response to new design innovations is also baloney. Really what they are doing is what Brunswick knows best, the Euro shapes of SeaRay and their other brands. It's as simple as that. Is this new? NO. When I bought my Outrage 25 in 1989, Sea Ray was running ads for the Laguna series, complete with the features, inner liner and Euro looks of todays Whaler Outrages. This design gimmick is not new, it's just what Brunswick likes and makes money with, so why not move Whaler over to it also. Their vision of the future of the BW trademark is what they do best. Smaller Sea Rays. But "Whaler" has not moved so easily, resulting in the sales failures, and continued viability of the Commercial Division's boats. Many here like this new styling, Whaler's new customers, and that is fine, but lets not call it "innovative and progress", and the older boats "obsolete". All of this copied "Euro" stuff dates from the 80's anyway. What is strange is that in 2003 new buyers still admire and look at the square transomed CPD models, any size, when they see them for sale on a Dealers lot, along with the new boats.
With many models, such as the new Conquests, they still are not reponding to the marketplace, but instead locked into the Euro look for the big boats. But the resurgence of this new group of successful "Classic" builders, in all sizes and types of boats, must be un-nerving to them. I am convinced the days of the horrible European boat design is gradully coming to it's end, as the shapes and profiles of some of those boats absolutely blow up wildly out of control, reaching self-destruct levels. Have you looked carefully at some of the ridiculous Euro "blobs" floating around the waterways these days? It is a design dead end with no place to go, as the return to Classic well designed hull lines grows with so many manufacturers, in all sizes of boats.
posted 02-11-2003 03:54 PM ET (US)
Larry you are absolutely correct. I would not shun the euro transom altogether, it does look good on certain models. How it was ever incorporated on fishing boats is a puzzler though. I feel that it is easier to fish around a set of engines than a set of engines on a platform. You are not gonna venture out on that platform in 4' stuff either while fish is on. As far as retro goes, everyone is doing it. Look at the new Beetle, PT cruiser, etc. Flair is dead and clasic lines are in, I feel Whaler is chasing their tail. Chris Craft on the other hand who pioneered some of the ugliest, cheapest, worst built crap on earth the last couple of decades has something real strong with that retro launch. Contender, SeaCraft, Regulator, Mako, etc are not ttrying to start a new trend, they are just refining the classics. next thing ya know they will start putting wood back in boats soon.
Question is what does this have to do with Whaler moving to FL and Jim's question? I still do not think Whaler's designs have ANYTHING to do with them moving to Edgewater, than if Mills moved to California.
posted 02-11-2003 04:11 PM ET (US)
All excellent points - Whaler does seem to need a compass. I am trying to think of boat companies who ARE doing well and offering a good product. Very few spring to mind - Hinkley, I guess (if you can pony up $450,000 for a 38 footer....).
It seems to me that the companies who make good quality small boats often quietly go out of business, unlesss they sell their names and designs. Then a new (larger conglomerate) company starts making a "new" line (Seacraft, Blackfin, etc.) that looks like the old line, but is of lesser quality. Te results are predictable ("the old Makos, etc. were better") and the new company comes and goes.
It seems that the highest quality small boats are being made by niche manufacturerers, who stick to their knitting and don't try to be all things to all people. I bought a Roth-Bilt 18 last year - it was expensive, but well designed and well made. The CR Hunt, Silverhawk and Conch boats appear to be well-made, but all are pricey. Same goes for the Holby Pilot line.
My point was that BW does whatever they think will satisfy the old mantra of "Maximize shareholder wealth." In trying to sell bloated boats, they are searching for new kind of buyer, not their "Classic" buyer. They appear to be targeting a newer, less experienced boater who is not sure of what he or she wants or needs. It is not surprising that their designs are all over the lot.
I don't see much in their current recreational line that stirs my blood. The new Contender looking boats may go fast and run smoothly, but are very cramped and built for a single purpose (SKA tournaments). I do like the new 13 and 17 models, but 17 looks to need more power and the 15 is too bloated for my taste. If I were to buy another Whaler, I would probably only be looking at 18/22/25 CPD boats.
I hope Whaler can find its way, too. Does this mean that I agree with you? Scary!
posted 02-11-2003 11:51 PM ET (US)
I do not know of past history, but today would not be a good time to judge the boat market. We are in a slump and people are not going to be buing boats when their portfolio has been reduced by 40% in the last two years.
We were living high on the hog for 5 years their and there was no support for the market at the highs that it was at. Heck a contrarian told me to sell about 9 months before the big drop.
Well in this economy if your portfolio took a big hit and you had any since you would not be purchasing a new boat (generally). I would wait a few years before it could be said that a company is failing or not.
Also, women are more active anymore and do fish and play sports and etc. They are involved in the purchase of large iteams like say a new Conquest. Heck I do not think I want my wife pulling her pants down to crap in a bucket were people can see her or hear her. That would be embarrising.
Hey I am old school. I like simplicity, but I do except some change. Finally, companies are in it to make money and it just is not the good ol boys fishing and enjoying boat recreation anymore. So some things are changing.
One last thought. What do you think when you crap on something someone else likes. I mean some people really enjoy their boat and they paid big bucks for it (BW's are not cheap) and you say it sucks and it this well I know the response of the Classic guys when people say the Classics are rough they go ballistic. Start pulling out charts and graphs like old Ross Perot to prove the Classics ride just as well and do this and that.
Heck I am a FLorida Cracker and tougher than any Northerner anyways why shouldn't boats built in Florida be better anyways:) Sarcasm:)
Hey I knew it would get people going. I think I will go up to the Classic Forum and post how the new foam is better than the old. Again Sarcasm:)
posted 02-12-2003 04:21 PM ET (US)
One thing Brunswick has brought to the table is a significant reduction in the time it takes do develop and market a new model. Time is money, but I wonder if they recouped enough to pay for the fancy CAD and multi axis routers in use now. On the other hand, that reduced product development cycle makes it a lot easier for them to respond to changes and to try new models.
One poster menioned the Sea-Ray Lagunization of whaler. Really evident if you looked at a Dauntless 18 against an old Sea-Ray Laguna 18. Well, Sea-Ray sold a lot of those boats, at least around the TX coast. They were everywhere back then. If Whaler captured some of those customers when it came time to upgrade, that was good for them in a business sense. The fact that there were a lot of Lagunas out there confirmed that the style was attractive to a lot of customers.
The boat business is like chess. Your trying to think ahead to anticipate the market, but at the same time responding to models from compeititors with your own offerings so as not to lose potential customers to another builder. One comes out with a SKA boat, you counter, another drops their 23WAC for a 26', same same. The tech stock bust and 9/11 was "Check" and "Checkmate" for a lot of jobs and potential customers. Business goes down, so you drop the models with the lowest sails figures or lowest profit margin.
posted 02-12-2003 11:45 PM ET (US)
The 6-axis CAC/CAM CNC machine has been a staple of Whaler catalogues ever since they became linked with Sea Ray.
Whaler molds have to be built with extra strength. They have to contain the pressure of the foam expansion without deforming. They also have to be built in such a way that the liner mold can be inverted and dropped into the hull mold.
You'd think that given the extra expense of these molds they'd try to use them for more than a couple of years, if possible.
Hey, maybe that is part of the appeal of the three-piece hull construciton. They can re-use the hull and simple inner liner molds on many different boats of the same size. They just mold a new top cockpit piece and re-use the bottom two.
posted 02-13-2003 10:27 AM ET (US)
I also forgot to mention that the Southern Kingfish association torunament trail is akin to what NASCAR is to the automobile world. Running a product at such an event builds name and brand recognition that helps you sell your product. With ESPN's promise to make the Pro-Bass circuit into the next NASCAR, will we be seeing a Whaler Bass-boat anytime soon?
posted 02-13-2003 11:12 AM ET (US)
Well, as a happy and dedicated Post-Classic owner, I find myself in an unusual position...I actually agree with a lot of what Larry is saying about the newest Whalers. A group of us went to the Detroit Boat Show last night and we looked at the new 240 and 270 Outrages...they didn't have the 320 Outrage at the show. All I can say is.....YUCK! I don't know who they designed that boat for, but it sure wasn't me.
I find the latest Whalers to be a "classic" case of form triumphing over function. They have curves and swoops that have nothing to do with performance or durability, only style. I have nothing against beautiful design...some new designs are instant classics...the Audi TT coupe, the Hinckley Picnic boat, the Apple Titanium PowerBook...but these new Whalers are just plain butt-ugly to me. And it's not just their styling...functionally, they suffer too. They have limited cockpit space (I think the 24 actually has less room between the leaning post and the transom than the cockpit of my 160-Ventura), extremely high freeboard, and generally seem quite cramped. They are obviously trying to attract a different purchaser. Maybe that represents the current design thinking in center console boats, but if the primary mission is fishing, those boats just plain won't work as well. I can't help but think that a few years from now those boats will look hideously dated...like avocado-green appliances from the '60's.
I think that the appealing thing about most previous Whalers (Classic and Post-Classic alike) is that they are honest boats...built well to last a long time and designed to perform their specific function well. I know that most Classic owners don't see the virtue in boats like a Dauntless or a Ventura, but when you honestly compare them to the SeaRays and Bayliners of the world, they are clearly more functional, more utilitarian, more spartan, and less flashy. They may not represent the original values of Whaler to some of you, but they are extremely understated and business-like in a world full of metalflaked, overstuffed, carpeted, microwaved, DVD-playered, garishly-graphiced competitors. (We actually saw a NASCAR-branded bass boat at the show)...I guess that's what the market REALLY wants.
I'm starting to understand how Classic owners feel...just a little bit...maybe my threshold of acceptance was just a little different. Now it seems like BW is taking another step down the path to me-too mediocrity.
The interesting thing is that there seems to be a more definite philosophical difference between the large and small models. To me, the new 170-Montauk and 150-Sport still reflect the virtues of the "old" Whaler. You can debate endlessly whether they are better or worse than their predecessors, but they are clearly Whalers. The mid-range models, the various Dauntless' and Venturas and the 210-Outrage, are more creature-feature oriented than some previous Whalers, but still have the basic Whaler goodness that attracted us all. The older large Whalers (275-Conquest , 290) still have that same simplicity, but all the newer designs (255-Conquest, and the large Outrages) are just way off the mark.
I guess in my mind there are now "Classics", Post-Classics" and "Post-Post Classics". Ridiculous, I know, but I just can't warm up to the newest Whaler designs. Just my .02 as usual...
posted 02-14-2003 01:57 AM ET (US)
Ventura16 I bet you have a TT.
posted 02-14-2003 10:05 AM ET (US)
The reason I went from a 15 Super Sport to an 18 Ventura was space,comfort and ride. The main reason I did not buy another brand of boat is that they are very gimmicky, flashy stripes,carpet,wood dash etc. After a year that stuff looks like trash. I like the simpleness of the Whaler. My family likes the Bow Rider I mean Dual Console and it sits lots of people and rides nice. Does it have the old world charm of an old whaler No. We have to remember any company is looking for the right sweetspot to market their boats. If you listen to many of the folks on this board Whaler would not make anything new that folks would like. How many people on this board would still like to buy and drive cars from the 1980s?
posted 02-14-2003 11:14 AM ET (US)
There are a ton of cars I would drive from the 80's. Heck I own one.
posted 02-14-2003 11:35 PM ET (US)
Everybody struggles to find their niche... Look at Hatteras, whaler's BIG brother, they completely started with a clean slate and went against all of their hugely successful straighter edged designs in lieu of the more rounded palm beach custom style found in Viking and Bertram with their new 54. I'm sure some die-hard hatteras guys aren't happy... but its gotta happen sooner or later....
posted 02-14-2003 11:36 PM ET (US)
And by the way rbyrd, let me guess...
An 84 Chevy Citation?
posted 02-16-2003 03:06 AM ET (US)
Are you a neighbor of mine. How did you know?
No I have a 1987 Buick Grand National, unmolested, not hot rodding. I great car! Also, I would take any Jeep CJ-7 from the 80's.
Have owned in the past a 1974 Jaguar E-Type convertible. A 99 point car and beautiful fully restored, but it was not fun to drive except for all the attention it would get. Did not have any problems with it, but I probably will never own anything European again.
posted 02-16-2003 08:21 PM ET (US)
An interesting post. I was looking at some Whalers from about five years ago and thinking how "classic" they were compared to some of these newer, curvy designs.
posted 02-17-2003 08:04 AM ET (US)
No question they do look more classic and and far more distinguishable (is that evan a word) than the newer ones. Just as my "classic" 66 Mustang is a true work of design artistry as opposed to the new style of cars which all appear to be a big lump of plastic. I think the newer boats are the same way. Everything seems to get homogenized down to one style and it is not at all distinct from other boats, they all look the same. Evan toaster and fans of many years ago are beautifully styled but truelly functional, that approach to developing products seems to be gone.
posted 02-17-2003 12:26 PM ET (US)
Thanks, for the comments, Jim!
In looking at the new Nantucket, I see more evidence that the large and small Whalers are being designed by different groups. It looks to me like the design team that worked on the 190-Nantucket is the same one that worked on the 170-Montauk. They seem much more in tune with the "classic" feel.
posted 02-17-2003 02:35 PM ET (US)
Finally something I know a little about.
We go in trends. Actually the car manufacturers of today have become bolder than anytime in history (my opinion, but I do have avalid argument here. Please read). I am a car buff so I keep up with the different designs. We have the Hummer that is original, the new Corvette, Viper, and the new convertible truck GM is making. The Mustang does not look anything like GM or Chrysler. You have Audi TT, Volkswagen Beetle, the Mercedes have a ton of new and beautiful designs (remember how mundane they were in the 80’s. The Japanese woke Mercedes up with the Lexus. Heck the Japanese woke everyone up), BMW’s a unique and beautiful. Also, there is the new Thunderbird and the new Lincoln Continental and the old Viper design. Man Detroit and the world of automobiles have all got beautiful cars. Nissan has the 350Z and the Honda 2000S and the Jaguar XKR. Mazda is coming out with a sweat looking RX-8 and Chrysler is coming out with an all new convertible while Cadillac has the new performance convertible rear wheel drive on the Vette frame. How about Ford’s new GT40 they are releasing which in my opinion and I am not a Ford owner is one of the most beautiful cars ever to be sold to the public. I also have to mention trucks. Look at the new Dodge and the Ford and GM. All have there own look and not long ago in the 70’s and 80’s you could not tell them apart.
Only vehicle I think are clones are all the copies of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The BMW (do not shoot the messenger), Lexus, new Nissan/Infinity, and Volvo mid size SUV have similar lines as to the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
One thing you will notice is allot of these new vehicles are retro to the 60’s like the Ford GT40 and the new Mustang to come out in 2005 (looks very similar to the Shelby (Eleanor) in the movie Gone in 60 seconds). So boats may need to go back to the retro 60’s design, but you will notice they are behind the trend of Automobiles because it was in the 90’s before they started to look all similar. You might have to wait for the boating industry to become unique and retro for another 20 years. It took the auto industry about that long and it took cars like the Viper and the Grand National, Honda NSX and Jeep Wranglers (they almost screwed that up in the 80’s with the square headlights) which has kept in touch with it’s past for 60 years (amazing).
There are allot of sweet automobiles to chose from and they are affordable to boot. Cars have gotten a magnitude better in ride, safety and efficiency from 15, 20 to 30 years ago. No I prefer the new cars finally compared to the old even though I do think there are way to many gadgets that there is no use for while driving and only break down. Also, there is no shade tree mechanics so that kind of stinks, but I am amazed by the performance of the new vehicles.
posted 02-17-2003 03:19 PM ET (US)
Did ya ever see the cartoon of the horse designed by comittee? How bout the boat designed by comittee? Are Whalers designed by one engineer/artist who takes incredible pride and a unique, driven, absolutely focused, almost Religious approach to boat building? That is how Classics are born.
posted 02-17-2003 04:40 PM ET (US)
And some classic screw up also.
I know what you mean though, but you still have the comitee designs that become classics. Newer C5 Corvettes will be a classic one day were the C4 will not. Both were design by comittee. The Buick Grand National/GNX which are already classics.
You just can not make broad strokes like that.
Never make definits because there just arn't many definits in this life except for death and taxes as the saying goes.
posted 02-17-2003 08:46 PM ET (US)
That was a question. I dont know who designs Whalers, the older "classics" were designed by Bob somebody. Is there one head designer that dictates to others what to do? I dont know,,or is it a bunch of people that sit around a table and think up boat designs? That would, IMHO make a huge difference in what direction a company would move and operate. As far as cars go the only absolutely true classics are the auto recognized and designated as classics by The Classic Car Club of America. And believe me my Mustang isn't one of them,, :)
posted 02-17-2003 10:48 PM ET (US)
The Classic Car Club of America. They focus on card from the 1925 through 1948, but there are vehicles that hold high esteem since 1948. Most sought after cars I feel raise a passion by the owner and others who view them or they have history.
I do not know who does design Whalernow. They are probably designed by comittee, but have a lead design engineer who is directed by the board of directors I am sure.
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