Just to stretch this thread out a little longer...I have to wonder the mindset of the builder throughout this event. I understand the crew were in contact with Alpha via sat phone
shortly after the crisis so Alpha could have played a part in the recovery/repair of the boat. I have owned several small businesses and know too well that your success is defined not by the problem, but how you deal with it. After first hearing about it, my mind immediately went to how could I have got out there to deal with the issue. Hull
#1 is by far the most important boat, as it defines the company behind it. Even if I had to spend a $ 100k doing it, it would have been money
well spent in my mind, if only to be able to say we analyzed the damage, found the problem and fixed it! I will be surprised if they can weather
this type of attention without some restoration
From everything I have read so far it seems that the people were for the most part left to their own devices. Did Alpha do everything possible to help the stranded crew?
Some options as the builder that I would have considered include:
1) Doing an airdrop of spares, starter, drogue
, sat phone
batteries, cutting tools, porta power, multi-meter, etc to aid in getting them mobile fast, before the next storm.
2) Sending out a powerboat to bring the boat back.( I know this would not have been easy, but possible. With fuel
bladders my 55 ft boat could readily cover 300 miles in less than 20 hours in 12-16 ft seas, (I did it in 2011 going from Turks to Peurto Rico, with strong easterlies) with plenty left to get home towing another boat (and yes, that is very difficult in itself, but not impossible, if the fate of your company rides on it))
3) Para-shooting a company tech onboard with spares, sat phone and a tool kit. ( not easy but possible)
These are just a few ideas of what could have happened within the first 24 hours of the event and showed the meddle of a company that is standing behind their product. I am sure there are many more that avid readers could devise. I would welcome Alpha to expand on this thread and offer us some insight into their thinking and action taken to ensure the well being and safety
of the owners of their first boat.
Big boat builders may be able to get away with poor service
because they have the critical mass and sales force to overcome it but a small startup must do better and prove themselves to be a viable alternative to the big guys. I understand that it was a hot topic of conversation at the Miami
show. Not having heard the lengths to which Alpha went can only leave us to speculate and assume the worst.
Alpha, lets hear your side of the story.