Zero Fossil Fuels
when balanced against the mess and
cost of a maritime accident. Now ask
yourself, is that same risk on board
your yacht acceptable for you and
—Rocky Bucci, U.S. Coast Guard, ret.
S/V Icy Moon
To the editor
Your other proa is the Aspen C100
featured on page 60. (PassageMaker,
It looks magnificent. I am based in
Fremantle, Australia, once home to the
America’s Cup, and the boat looks like
it would master the tricky “Fremantle
Doctor” winds with aplomb.
Traditional catamaran designs often
do not handle the Doctor all that well,
but this boat looks like it wouldn’t miss
To the editor
Traditionally, you represent good
quality boats: Fleming, Grand Banks,
Krogen, Nordhavn, American Tug,
Selene, etc. The list goes on and
on. Lately though, there has been
a creeping in of French production
boats, which I wonder about. They
were never intended to compete
with the aforementioned boats, and
never will. As your Jan. ’ 14 “European
Invasion” article mentions, most
of them are not intended to cross
oceans. They are a bit like a trophy
Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t
have an ax to grind against them; I
have been in their factories and my
brother used to import them. I have
friends still in those factories, they just
don’t fit in your magazine. Recently I
liked the look of the Garcia, but was
a bit puzzled by the dark wheelhouse
windows, so I sent them an email to
query it. I got a prompt, polite answer.
The photo was touched up for the
ad, and yes, their windows aren’t dark
as you can’t see out of them at night.
A standard French illusion perhaps. I
note, too, that most of the photos you
use have been photoshopped, probably
by the factory.
Look closely at the cats, like most,
they have no stowage for serious
cruising. Currently up on the hard at
Hammo we have three French yachts,
charter boats. All went aground in
mild conditions. Two of them need
the rigs out, keels off, for a full bottom
rebuild. Had they been Catalinas or
Island Packets, they would need fairing
and a paint touch-up.
The problem is, the average wood
duck walking along the dock looks
at, say, a Swift Trawler and then at a
Grand Banks or a Fleming. He doesn’t
look closely and buys the cheaper
one. I bet the Grand Banks or Fleming
people wince at it, and probably at a
full-page ad for them, too. Yet I can
see your dilemma: The marketing
juggernaut that is Beneteau is probably
a good customer. You probably should
include them to give your readers an
idea of what is available.
I think you have got my point.
I trust and hope you continue the
good work and I look forward to
more features on boats like Pisces
(PassageMaker, March ’13). That thing
would steam through six French
trawlers and not miss a beat!
—Bruce Finlay Sails
Hamilton Island, Australia
Thanks for your kind words (toward us,
anyway), but I must respectfully disagree
about the relative worth of French boats in
general and Beneteau in particular. Power
cruising is a big tent, particularly here in
the United States, where we have excellent
geography for coastal cruising and
thousands of miles of inland waterways.
The way I look at cruising brands is simple:
Can the boat do what the manufacturer
says it’s intended to do? Is the price fair?
And could I see myself or anyone else
having fun with it? To be fair, the answer is
yes to all three for Beneteau’s Swift Trawler
line. As you pointed out, Beneteau never
claims these boats are what you should
choose if you plan to go ’round the Horn.