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Builders with Ethics?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by DDD, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Builders Ethics.

    I am really sorry to read bad press about Post yachts in another thread regarding Gelcoat.
    I have a Post & I love the boat. I have no other affiliation.
    A couple of my fellow Post owner friends have had major problems and found Post to be a pretty straight forward in helping.
    One was the same ( I think ) Gelcoat issue on a 50.
    Post repaired the problem. Took longer than expected but it was done, none the less.
    One was a 6-92 Detroit problem on a 46.
    The Detroits were out of warranty but just by months and not on hours as I remember.
    Post went to bat with the owner and spoke with Penske.
    The owner still paid a part of the repair and I believe Penske paid the balance.
    Would have been nice if no money was needed by the owner as he only had the boat for a matter of months.
    My boat is now 30 years old and I have found Post to be always helpful.
    My problems/inquiries have always been tiny in comparison to the above, & so, not a $$ issue.
    I will say that you can actually speak to the owner at Post which should count for something too.

    .02
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Post has a good reputation. That post you read is probably just the kick in the pants they'll need to not make that mistake again. Anybody can screw up once.
  3. btyson

    btyson Member

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    Cobalt. Over the last 35 years I've owned 9 boats from 16-39'. 5 different brands all well known. 3 of these have been Cobalts. Like most boats theirs are not without problems but Ive never had an issue with a warrenty claim. they are quick to repair or replace anything I deem unsatisfactory with no haggleing. Ive been told this is because they will pay the dealer's going labor rate which incentives the work to be done quickly and well.
  4. Mark I

    Mark I Member

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    IMO the manufacturer's ability to provide satisfaction may be related to the actual component failure as well as the economy.

    Different from cars, boats are comprised of components supplied by other manufacturers. Viking may find it easier to step up to the plate when repairing a gel coat issue than if the problem were centered on the engines or another major component. I remember a guy flying a banner by plane over the Ft Lauderdale show bashing Viking and Mans.

    In a perfect world, the manufacturer steps up to the plate and fights it out with their supplier but when your assembly line is idle, staying in business may muddy that.

    BTW I am a happy Viking owner and have received good customer service from them on a 20 year old boat but thankfully regarding nothing major.
  5. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    I think the original idea of the whole "economy" thing was a little different. It's easy to do the right thing if it doesn't cost you anything, sure. Then, it gets harder to do it when it starts to cost you, progressively.
    But the trick is, how about "doing the right thing" when it costs you everything? This is what we are talking in case of impending bankrupy.

    On a side note, my experience with "ethics of the rich" shows less linear and more an inverted bell curve. Once the man earns all the money he wants and then some, he often gets back to not caring about it all too much.
  6. SHAZAM

    SHAZAM Senior Member

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    Great post and right on the money.
  7. GrahamF

    GrahamF Senior Member

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    Why do you think i have not posted the yards name. The lawyers have told me to do nothing until further notice. Secondly before i post something like this on YF i will first consult with Carl (Mr.Yachtforums) if i could do so.
    YF is not just the only media i will approach as i will go to the news papers and yachting magazines as well. So until i get the full OK from the lawyers i will bite my tongue.
  8. Emerson

    Emerson New Member

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    Not worth brownie points to the judge and/or jury, but legally you can always factually report your legal filing so long as no gag order is in place. So lets say you filled suit against Yacht Maker X over damages regarding Generic Yacht Part Y that information is now part of the public record (in the civilized world) and you can safely spread it. If you say Yacht Maker X sold me a boat with a bad Part Y then you open your self up for libel litigation (especially in the UK, in fact pretty much only in the UK if you have evidence of the truth of the statement, the UK has ridiculous libel laws).
  9. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

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    When you own a boatyard and deal with the innards of boats and the boat builders themselves every day you learn a lot about builders ''ethics".
    Industrywide, there is room for improvement.
    All the advertising and coverups in the world will not offset bad experiences had by boat owners. Boat owners talk to each other. Or they just leave boating after a bad experience.
    This is why the 630 story and others concern me so much. Boating was already in decline (or at least struggling) before the economy tanked.
    From the 60's to the early 90's great boats were being built and people were really enthusiastic about pleasure boating. Todays boats tend to be ugly and "disposable". I know that nobody wants to say anything bad but someone needs to recognize the problems so they can get fixed.
    The industry seems to be trying with CSi scoring and certifications etc.
    However, let me give you just one example just from this morning so you can see what I am talking about.

    We have a customer with a 50ft aft cabin cruiser. (brand omitted). One of the curved, molded, lexan windows on the aft cabin got broken. We call the builder to get a replacement. (this boat is a 2001). They tell us that they don't have any and won't get more but they give us the original vendor and part number. We call the vendor to see if they can get or make us one. They tell us that they returned the molds to the builder. So, we go back to the builder who then tells us that they destroyed the molds. Tough luck, you are on your own.

    So what is the customer supposed to do? Or the yard? Engineer and create a mold for one window? This boat is not that old and they made quite a few of them.

    This also usually turns into a story like this " I called yard xyz and two months later they still haven't fixed my simple broken window"......

    This is far from an isolated occurrence. We deal with it every day. People who own boats often drive Lexus or Mercedes vehicles and expect similar levels of service on their boats (which usually cost far more). Without factory support this is not possible.

    Boats need to be built like they are going to last a bit longer than the warranty period and the builders need to support their product after it is out of warranty and not turn their backs on customers who bought their boats.

    If this industry does not wake up and fix this problem, I am afraid that is will just continue to decline. I am a boating fanatic and it is also my livelihood. I speak up because I really don't want to see that happen.
  10. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    I had the EXACT opposite experience with Post which also got those bad batches of Gel Coat. For almost a year I was in communications with the top brass regarding cracking on my deck and cockpit. Sent them numerous pictures,and repeated comments I had received from professionals and other boat owners (My dock manger asked if I was jumping off the fly bridge instead of using the ladder.) Finally, they sent someone to look at my boat, and their diagnosis was "normal wear and tear." I was astounded - you had to see the extent of this cracking. I visited a web forum and asked if any one else was experiencing this problem, and, in reply, received a copy of a trade article that reported that Post had identified 32 (?) of their boats with this cracking problem, and along with Viking was suing the gel-coat supplier. They never once, in all my e-mails and conversations, told me they were aware of this problem or had an on-going court action. When I confronted them with this finding, they sent me to their lawyer. Russel Post must be turning in his grave with what I believe was the lowest of conduct by this current mangement. I bought the boat with about 250 hours on it from a Connecticut dealer, so I do recognize that I was in somewhat of a different position than an original owner, but that was never their argument. In my view, they just hid what they knew! Their conduct toward me as an owner of one of their boats is completely without logic. I'm looking to move up, and I love my current boat and their 53 would be a great move - but it will be a Viking for me. Not because their boats aren't great, but because , in my experience, once you turn over that check, it's the end of customer service from Post! BTW, in case it's not evident, I'm very upset with Post.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  11. DDD

    DDD New Member

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    "Boats need to be built like they are going to last a bit longer than the warranty period and the builders need to support their product after it is out of warranty and not turn their backs on customers who bought their boats."

    This was my original question. Who are these builders. Are they Delta, Feadship or maybe Nordhavn or FLeming ?
  12. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    DDD

    My apologies. I didn't mean to hijack your thread.
  13. LanaLane

    LanaLane New Member

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    I can't tell you about after sales or service of the four builders you just listed, but I can tell the first three are the worst customer experiences I've ever had. Three years ago I had my captain contact the first two for a new build proposal and we were treated with such arrogance that I will never return. The details aren't important anymore, but I would suggest looking at other builders before delta or feadship. They build fine boats, but they are grossly overpriced. For that kind of money, I won't be subject to their attitudes.
  14. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    You have chosen such a wide range of builders to choose from I don't think that calling them all manufacturers is a fair call at all.

    The premium builders such as Feadship, Lurssen. Abeking and Rasmussen do not produce the well known mass produced vessels that most of the complaints here seem to centre round.

    I have experience in all 3 yards mentioned above and would say that their ethics are very high in regard to what they actually build and if there should be a problem then the same applies to warranty and on going problems.
  15. sgawiser

    sgawiser New Member

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    Self Selected Samples

    One of the key issues in survey research is making sure that the researcher chooses the respondents in a way that gives each target a known chance of selection. When you have a self selected sample, such as a group of people who want to praise or complain about a brand, you have no idea what the results might be if you talked to all the owners or a representative sample of them.

    Clearly forums such as this are extremely valuable to individuals who look for information about yachts and owner's experiences. But trying to measure the quality of a builder by reading a thread on any internet forum is a lost cause.

    Individual stories are most interesting and certainly give each of us cause for concern when they report serious issues, but we also have to realize that these situations may not be representative of the brand we are discussing.
  16. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Sagawiser

    You are abosultely correct, but I intepret the OP's question as seeking anecdotal information, not statistical precision.
  17. GrahamF

    GrahamF Senior Member

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    I am sitting now with the exact problem. The only difference the boat was new when it all started. The shipyard had 4 people fly out to have a look at the issues. One guy flew out from LA just to spend 24 hours and then had to fly back. We even got the buy back proposal from the yard. I thought that was very good of them, but when i asked certain questions regarding the proposal after a few weeks of negotiation they withdrew the proposal. The questions that were asked would have been asked by any Owner or Captain. They were contradicting them selfs in the proposal and they wouldn't even put the proposal in a signed contract.
  18. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, our mutual experiences are examples of how bad management attitudes toward customer relations can seriously damage an otherwise high quality brand. In my case there were certainly reasonable solutions to the problem that would have kept me a vocal proponent of their product. I guess our stories are the exact opposite of what the OP was looking for. Too bad, I would like to have been able to tell a better story, like the Viking post.
  19. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

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    On a positive note, we just hauled a 48 Sea Ray that had tiny blisters all over the bottom and the factory did not hesitate to approve our estimate to fix them without argument.
    '06 model boat....

    Well done Sea Ray.
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    During the discussions on the 63' Bertram sinking there was a lot of talk about the ethical way to handle the situation. Many proposed full disclosure and having Bertram check and repair all boats at Bertrams expense. They cited the automobile industry as an example. Of course, the auto industry is so much larger and better able to absorb massive losses but that's a side issue.
    Now Toyota is in the thick of it facing massive recalls. They are closing plants and their stock is heading to the basement. On top of that there are rumors that they in fact tried very hard to cover up or ignore the problems until the ---- hit the fan and they were forced to recall. It seems obvious that, if they had been able to stonewall this, they would still be enjoying their Toyotathons and the profits that came with them instead of fighting for their survival. This is not the only example. Remember the tainted peanuts last year. Yes that owner belongs in jail, but he kept a town working for an extra year.
    So the bottom line is this: If you (as a board of directors) know there is a big problem do you own up, knowing that it will put you out of business now costing your employees their jobs and your stockholders their investments and maybe even bankrupting towns or do you keep quiet hoping to tough it out and survive at your customer's expense?