Boat Reviews:
Nothing But The Truth!

From time to time I pick up a boating magazine, it doesn't matter which exactly, but for some reason I get a bit annoyed by some boat reviews.

My first point is that almost all boats get good points. In fact, I've never seen a yacht, motor or sail, that gets a negative overall, a complete fail, in other words.

Now, a complete fail is very unlikely, it would mean that a certain manufacturer completely missed the ball and that they did nothing with the experience they build up over the years.

That being said, all boat reviews are generally good and the quality builders are getting top notch marks.

So, everything stays as it is and there are no surprises. Nobody gets offended...

The only reason I could come up with, is that it's important for everybody in the industry to stay friends with each other.

The boat builder needs a platform to show their newest models and the boating magazines wants to write about them and, more importantly, wants to get the money from the manufacturers for selling their advertisement space.

Imagine the boat tester who doesn't like a boat at all. Not only subjective, but he really thinks it's a piece of junk. And he would write it like that in a boating magazine... Big problem!

The manufacturer will probably be very upset with the negative publicity and might stop co-operating with this magazine, together with dropping the magazine for matters of advertisement. They will surely prevent another boat review done by that person. So, nobody wins or profits.

It's more profitable for everybody to keep things nice.

Also, if the boat reviewer writes a positive report, even with a few minor negative points (no boat is perfect, right?), he or she will get invited next time, to test another new model in the south of France, for example. That's nice, isn't it?

So, this all sounds logically in some way, but it affects objective testing.

That's point 1...

The second point is that a boat reviews sometimes only takes a few hours. This can be enough for some boats, but for boats sold as blue water cruising yachts, you really have no idea unless you take them out for a week or something.

And, my last remark is about the misinformation. Not only is objective testing affected, you sometimes read completely crazy stuff!

You see this sometimes in boat reviews, as well as in yacht brokerage advertisements.

Let me give you an example.

Weeks ago, I've read an advertisement of a big yacht brokerage company that were selling a CNB Lagoon 620.

Under the picture they state that this yacht is 'world cruising focussed'.

Lagoon 620 for sale


This is a complete false representation of this sailing catamaran.

If you want to cruise around the world, you need a yacht that, apart from other things, protects you. You need protection from the elements. Sea and wind can be so powerful!

The last thing you need is an open plan sailboat. Look at the picture above. You're totally in the open on the flybridge, winches far apart, big vulnerable windows...great fun if you're caught in a storm!

No, the Lagoon 620 is made for comfortable cruising in protected waters. It's not meant to cruise oceans, although sales people will tell you whatever you want to hear or whatever they want you to believe.

What I want to say with this example, is not a remark towards the Lagoon builder, let that be clear, but a remark to the people writing about it and giving a wrong representation.

Every boat has it's purpose and boat reviewers should test is accordingly.

You don't expect a daycruiser to be also good at long distance sailing.

Now, what to think of the boat reviewer or yacht broker?

OR he doesn't know what he's talking about. Maybe because he thinks it's a big boat, it should also be allright to cruise the world.

OR he or she does sail himself, but has never sailed offshore.

OR, maybe people are beginning to forget what actually matters in offshore cruising. Nowadays, people are crossing the oceans in canoes! So you begin to think, if it doesn't take water in and it moves ahead, then you can cross the ocean with it, yes?

I don't think so...

What do you think?

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