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Gunboat Sues Chinese Boat Yard

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by brian eiland, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    I believe we have an interpretation issue here. No offense intended.
    I am not “pushing own view” as such. It is difficult to understand this:

  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I'd interpret that as Gunboat negotiated a contract that they should have known was too good to be true., and then actively or passively allowed the yard to build the substandard vessels. IOWs, if you walk down a city street at night swinging a bunch of $100 bills in your hand, is a theif really at fault for taking them out of your hand. The thief's just doing what thieves do. You invited him to take the money.
  3. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    Maybe it is not pouring fiberglass, but it's not correct in saying China's factories are less skilled. Imagine a us factory making the iPhone. Apple has feet on the street but the tooling and production know how is all local.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Remember that an iPhone only has to last a year or two, at which point Apple wants you to replace it. The old American built phones lasted several lifetimes. Why don't iPhones last 20 years and every year we just buy a software update? I think most of us would prefer our million dollar boats to stand up to punishment a little better than an iPhone. A monkey can be trained to solder a circuit board. It takes a little more skill to build a yacht. Also, I think Apple probably supervises the building of their products a little better than Gunboat did.
  5. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    from another forum...

  6. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    from another forum...
  7. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The story isn't about building in China. The story is about Gunboat. By their own lawsuit they've filed, they can't deliver quality. South Africa, China, Brazil, Turkey, it really wouldn't matter as long as they manage things as poorly as they have.

    If I'm going to take your order and build a boat in another country at a yard I don't own, then not manage the build, then why use me? Even if you went direct, at least you could have someone working for you manage the build. Of course had I gotten a boat built by Gunboat in China, I also would have had someone working for me on site.

    The law suit is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Oh sure, they'd love to collect some money, but are they likely to? Not likely to justify the legal expenses. Plus every thing they open up in the suit would make great evidence and testimony for buyers to use suing Gunboat. They're trying to say "not my fault, man." Well it is their fault. I've used contractors around the world when I was in manufacturing and, regardless, every product delivered was our responsibility and any problem our fault. That's why we kept people on site of our contractors.
  8. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    And why publish the extent of my failure to perform my functions in my own lawsuit filing?
    That's the puzzle part, really. Some publicity stunt.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Sheer idiocy and ego. They don't grasp that any of it is their fault or that they'll be making themselves look bad. They don't grasp that they can't shift all the blame.
  10. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    I usually try to refrain from putting it directly :cool: Yes, that's the natural explanation.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Things that are not in short supply today whether in business, politics or entertainment. Very few today take responsibility for their actions, and not only do people and companies get away with it, but I dare say it's celebrated. The huge amount of money involved in things today can muddy the waters and drag litigation out to the point where fault is forgotten in the end. Just the name is remembered. It seems that not too many years ago putting out a bad product would end a company, certainly a boat manufacturer. Instead today what may be remembered is the name Gunboat, as in 'I recognize that name. I'll buy one of those or I'll buy that company'. We saw a prime example of that this week (won't get into the name to avoid taking thread in a different direction). The CEO resigns and goes out on a golden parachute, a few billion dollars will exchange hands and probably get written off for a tax advantage, and life will go on.
  12. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    I don't know that they published their failure to perform their functions in any specific manner.? Have you seen that lawsuit and its mention of that?

    I will agree that filing the suit perhaps should have been second reconsidered. Maybe they realize that they will not get a monetary settlement from the Chinese, but perhaps will get some restrictions on the boats built by that company from entering the USA market.

    I would also like to point out that I do NOT think that the boats built for Gunboat over in China are that specifically defective. Does anyone know any specifics of the defects,...I don't think many do, and lots of folks are thinking it is massive in nature. I seriously doubt that.

    For the most part Gunboat has built a really good product, and it appears where there are some minor problems with a new boat (and there are many thruout the industry of boats, houses, autos, etc), the factory has made many efforts to account and fix those problems.

    Brian
  13. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Building Materials
    I think you may had hit upon one aspect of the problem of building in China,....the source of the building materials. I suspect you were not only worried about 'traceability', but also viability.

    It is not as in many countries that have a history of building boats that can often have multi sources to get the best prices and quality of building materials. I believe in many cases there are NO sources for the proper materials needed for a particular product within China, so those materials need to be 'invented' by another Chinese subcontractor,....good luck with that in a hi-tech world.

    As just an example, does anyone recall the little electronics snafu a few years ago where a subcontractor was supplying capacitors to many builders of electronic equipments,...TV's, computer flatscreens, etc, etc. And many of those final products were failing due to blown capacitors on the circuit boards. Obviously that subcontractor was not producing very good quality capacitors,...a relatively simple item to make correctly,...must have been cutting some corners himself to make the almighty dollar.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Yes, there's plenty of reference to failure to perform and Gunboat says there are defects. I quote:

    Gunboat International, a North Carolina builder of luxury carbon fiber sailing catamarans, is suing a yard in China that it had contracted to build its largest models, saying some work was never done and that the yard refused to pay warranty claims on other poorly constructed yachts it had built — allegedly costing the company about $10 million.

    Following shoddy or incomplete work, Gunboat sought to terminate the contract with Taiwan-based Hudson Yachts

    “Almost immediately after delivery of each of the completed vessels to Gunboat’s customers, Gunboat began receiving complaints from said customers regarding the integrity of the vessels and/or components manufactured by HYM,” said the amended complaint

    “They sent out boats knowingly with a lot of items incomplete, with issues, and wouldn’t stand behind them, fix them, visit them, inspect them,”
    Rest assured the court filings will have page after page of specific details. But anyone who has purchased one of these boats can gather from just what I've quoted above that even Gunboat said the work was shoddy and that they received complaints.

    Now as a purchaser, you know it wasn't just your boat so to ask for information regarding all other customers and all their complaints. Then you also have in great detail (through the filings which the above summarizes) exactly what Gunboat says was wrong and in their own words information about the Shoddy workmanship.

    Suing a contractor for poor work always carries this risk. Now suing for the refusal to return the molds and tools is another thing. However, I gathered also from the filing that the reason Hudson refuses to return the molds is that they haven't been fully paid for the work they did. So, in effect, they're placing a lien on them, even if not legally one.

    So it goes. You don't pay, we don't return. Meanwhile Gunboat says, "We don't pay because your work was lousy". Then Hudson says, "We're still not returning and because you failed to pay you have voided all contract arrangements with us including the ones preventing us from building similar boats.

    This is a lose/lose situation for Gunboat. But the fact a single boat left China with problems is their fault for failure to oversee and manage. If Hudson is a bad builder then Gunboat is bad for choosing them.

    I don't know what you base saying Gunboat is a good product on. This is the second country they've had quality problems with. I do also note that on their website they have no phone number, no address. (They do have it on their facebook page). Also, no references as to their manufacturing or where it's done. It looks to me like "We have some boat designs. You want one built, contact us and we'll let you know how to get in touch with us. Then you pay us to build one and we'll figure out where to do it." I also read some of their press, articles in publications. Lot's of talk about design and none about manufacturing. No mention of where the boats are built.

    Their facility is the former Davis Boatworks facility. It appears the location was foreclosed. It appears the buildings are now owned by Warship LLC, which I assume is Gunboat. The land is leased.
  15. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    To add to the previous, quotes again - with translations:

    suing a yard in China that it had contracted to build its largest models, saying some work was never done and that the yard refused to pay warranty claims
    - we never verified what work was done or not inside the process

    Almost immediately after delivery of each of the completed vessels to Gunboat’s customers, Gunboat began receiving complaints from said customers regarding the integrity of the vessels and/or components manufactured by HYM,” said the amended complaint, which was filed in August.
    - we have no QA whatsoever in place.

    They sent out boats knowingly with a lot of items incomplete, with issues, and wouldn’t stand behind them, fix them, visit them, inspect them,” Johnstone said. “They wouldn’t engage with us in any way to sort out the boat and were demanding payments in full.”
    - We really don't see "our brand" boats between make and delivery.
    - Again, we don't check it out at all, even for the basic completion, so they could have sent bags of wood chips in place of a boat for all we cared.
    - We didn't even intend to do the customer-support side of the business.

    I am sorry, wtf is it that these guys actually do, then? Sell blueprints? Tell so!

    When customers are commissioning a boat from a "designer" company, they expect (and told) to get a boat, built to specifications under supervision of said "designer". Still don't see a failure to perform?
  16. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Member

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    Tons of problems dealing with a communist government, even if they're "liberal enough" to let you take home half your profits. I have not been satisfied with one product that was made in China, and their lack of understanding copyright law (read that as refusing to acknowledge the idea of copyright) has me shaking my head.

    This is the umpteenth story of this kind to come out of China, and now that their economy is slowing, it's only going to get worse because it is a communist government. I warned against the PRC and them allegedly opening their markets. They've reached maximum growth, and in my opinion are going to hit a big adjustment. Not a fall in cash reserves, but a curbing of growth and profit, and that's only going to induce more corner cutting and more piracy on a business level.

    No international court will be able to stop it.

    Every lamp I bought that was made in China broke, every set of glasses has had something wrong, my computer was hacked several times over which I traced to some university in the middle of China, not to mention all the other news items of lead or other chemicals found in food and an utensils coming out of China.

    Simply put they don't play by the rules, and even if caught deny it. And now that they're about to experience a downturn, they'll get even more obnoxious in the coming years.
  17. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    To bad for the few people who bought a Gunboat.
  18. Chasm

    Chasm Senior Member

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    As more anecdotal information emerges it looks like yet another incarnation of the very popular custom build yacht owner sing-along "Own own own a yard"....yacht design company(?)

    There has not been one of those in the USA for how many weeks?
  19. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Anybody remember the write up in ProBoatBuilder magazine about Gunboat starting to build a line in North Carolina. Everybody was excited to be using the experienced labor there with the new high tech materials and design. It's over a year ago and I remembered it because of a new write up in the last mag explaining a new wing design up north for Gunboat.
    I wonder if Gunboat Corp (S Africa?) knew their plans were sub'd out?
  20. Chasm

    Chasm Senior Member

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    Anyone wants to buy Gunboat? For cheap. They are up for court auction in April.

    via The Charlotte Observer