Ok, Richard, let’s try and contribute to the thread’s discussion then:
If the new boat could be made self draining it could meet CE class B. (The current plus-s is class C). Class B makes it safe for coastal waters (cough cough).
On the other hand all double bottomed marks so far are “wet boats”. You cannot sail them in plain clothes on a sunday afternoon in light winds. On of the features I like about the designs with floor boards is they are “dry boats”.
I am curious about the capsize recovery characteristics of a new self draining design. So far none of the double bottom designs were capsize friendly, to say the least. Obviously a double bottom design has consequenses on CG and inertia as well. I am curious how the designers are solving these issues. For the time being I prefer the CE-class-C design of the current plus-S because:
1. It is easier to recover from a capsize. I think, because of this, it is safer then a self draining design despite the fact I have to manualy bail it out and it only complies to CE-class-C.
2. I can keep my feet dry.
3. Weight distribution is far better (Inertia & CG).
4. Easier to maintain. The inside of a double bottom is pretty hard to get in, for example for a hull repair.
Having visited Porter’s on several occasions. I think that Hartley’s should first look at the production proces or rather at the quality management. They should improove not just the production process but also the purchase processes and everyting else that is related to the production of a boat. I am convinced the costs of the current design, as produced by Porter’s, can be significantly lowered. Perhaps as much that a new design isn’t really needed. A few tweaks in the current design may just do the trick…