Putting a new boat design onto market isn’t a ‘quick and easy’ thing. A business can push a product ‘out the door’ and ‘hope for the best’. This isn’t how things are done at Sage Marine.
The Sage 15 & SageCat projects have been moving along for many years. We had best hopes the boats would be into production some time ago … well that didn’t happen. This has been frustrating at times, for both Sage and for folks wanting a Sage 15/SageCat. But the delays have been in the search of perfection.
Making things right takes time, testing, more time and still more testing. At Sage Marine we do sail the boats we build with the goal in making a boat that we are both proud to deliver to owners and ourselves find a joy to sail.
I, being Dave, push the boats hard. I’ve been asked many times, ‘do you ever reef?!’ Well I do reef the boats; but I also push them hard. This is done to confirm that the boats are safe and seaworthy. If I can ‘break’ the boat it will not be sold.
In addition to ‘breaking the boat’ I also expect that the boat is a joy to sail. To be honest with a Jerry Montgomery design a boat that doesn’t sail well isn’t really going to happen … Jerry knows his stuff! Still there are things that need adjusting and improvement based on prototype testing.
There are now three prototype Sage 15s/SageCats in the water and the boats have been put through over 50 hours of sailing. Alas, after much though, we have decided to make a few more changes:
- While sailing the prototypes we found the cockpit floor susceptible to having water slosh on one’s feet when two persons were in the cockpit, or when motoring at a cruising speed (like on all boats the motor’s thrust drive the transom down). This situation isn’t acceptable.
- Another concern is the setup for the cabin companionway increases production time, where it was suppose to streamline the time it took to assemble the boat.
- Making a new tabernacle post (aka, ‘the horn’) to that fits the new mast step design being used on the SageCat.
Because of the above we are building a new deck mold that raises the cockpit floor and redesigns the companionway.
Initial modifications to the Sage 15/SageCat companionway.
New Sage 15/SageCat floor height.
The beginnings of the new tabernacle post. At this stage of mold building this is called a ‘plug’. A plug is used to make a mold. The original tabernacle post plug is in the background.
Greg sanding the new tabernacle post plug. To the far right is the old post’s plug.
As this update is being typed the progress on the new molds are quickly moving forward and boat production is slated to begin in January with first deliveries in February.