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Old 26-07-2013, 08:40   #136
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FP Warranty and Customer Support

Seadame,

I agree with you.

FP going forward ambitious strategy should read

This ambitious strategy involves Three (should be Four) key areas:
1) Reinforcement of Warranty and Customer Support (added)
2) Reinforcement of the sales policy
3) Strengthened and invigorated product range
4) Effort expended on innovation involving the concept of Eco Cruising.
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Old 26-07-2013, 11:25   #137
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

I agree with the warranty and customer service issues for FP. We still are awaiting warranty work for cockpit / saloon door and window, cleats, davits, and steering. We love our Helia; however, we want to get the warranty issues resolved.

Question for you owners: What is the coring material used on the Helia below the waterline? Might as well tell me what the coring is for the top and sides while you are at it. Yes, I probably should know the answer and at the same time I have had no luck researching the answers.

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Old 26-07-2013, 22:28   #138
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

Quote:
Originally Posted by onthehook17 View Post
Question for you owners: What is the coring material used on the Helia below the waterline? Might as well tell me what the coring is for the top and sides while you are at it. Yes, I probably should know the answer and at the same time I have had no luck researching the answers.

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I am not a Helia owner, but I visited the factory. Anyone can visit the factory with a dealer. FP used Balsa on the hull sides and foam on the tops. I saw Balsa all the way to the keel (i.e. below the water line), at least on the Helia that was in the production line (don't remember the number)... Balsa was visible at that stage of production.

I mentioned this previously in this forum (Lagoon 450 and Helia 44 Comparison) and people who have not seen a Helia at the factory told me I was wrong. Frankly, I did not care enough to argue... I know what I saw and I bought a Lagoon, which I also saw at the factory. I just did not want to be a FP test case.

On a positive note, FP people said that they are using Vinylester resin to deal with future osmosis problems. Few other good companies like Viking and Tiara, I believe, use balsa successfully below the water line.
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Old 27-07-2013, 09:11   #139
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

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Originally Posted by boom23 View Post
I am not a Helia owner, but I visited the factory. Anyone can visit the factory with a dealer. FP used Balsa on the hull sides and foam on the tops. I saw Balsa all the way to the keel (i.e. below the water line), at least on the Helia that was in the production line (don't remember the number)... Balsa was visible at that stage of production.

I mentioned this previously in this forum (Lagoon 450 and Helia 44 Comparison) and people who have not seen a Helia at the factory told me I was wrong. Frankly, I did not care enough to argue... I know what I saw and I bought a Lagoon, which I also saw at the factory. I just did not want to be a FP test case.

On a positive note, FP people said that they are using Vinylester resin to deal with future osmosis problems. Few other good companies like Viking and Tiara, I believe, use balsa successfully below the water line.
Balsa core below the waterline isn't a new build or design, R & C have been doing it for years. Nothing wrong with it until the core gets wet, then it's just more involved to fix. I haven't heard of any problems with balsa core on Leopards or Moorings cats. (but not many Leopard owners on CF)

I'm still somewhat puzzled why FP went with balsa. One of their main competitive features for years, imo, was light weight due to foam core. I can only guess their struggle with infusion and osmosis forced them to go with balsa?
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Old 27-07-2013, 10:51   #140
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
I'm still somewhat puzzled why FP went with balsa. One of their main competitive features for years, imo, was light weight due to foam core. I can only guess their struggle with infusion and osmosis forced them to go with balsa?
It is my understanding that the reason for going to Balsa was more structural stiffness (if that's the right word).

I agree that Balsa below the water line is not a problem as long as it is done correctly. I sincerely hope that FP is doing it the right way. Only time will tell...
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Old 29-07-2013, 21:59   #141
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

I submitted this coring question to my dealer, Tortola Marine Management, and I received this response back today. I have attached the PDF file that was sent to me and issued by Fountaine Pajot. Looks to me like the entire hull and deck is cored with balsa.
I do have to put in a plug for TMM as my Fountaine Pajot dealer and my charter company. They have been fantastic in all respects since we purchased our Helia 9 months ago and placed our boat in charter management with TMM.
Thanks to everyone for their help with this question.
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File Type: pdf DDFSTR054034_a_Coque zone sandwich (2).pdf (87.4 KB, 234 views)
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Old 30-07-2013, 07:37   #142
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Buying a Helia 44

onthehook17,

That pdf clearly gives you all the info you need on the Balsa core layup.

Note: Its solid glass on the bottom 200mm (8 inches), so that is why you see the water inlet valves on the center line in the bilges, also rudder post and engine bed are in solid glass.

Can you see if TMM will give you the Mast Height above the water?
This question came up earlier, but some said the info was not correct.

All my info states that the Helia 44 Mast Height above the water is 63' 7" ft.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:30   #143
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

We are heading down to Tortola this weekend to pick up our Helia, "MapleCookie" after her delivery voyage. They had to stop twice to re-bed leaking hatches en-route. Being a shipbuilder, I have difficulty with this sort of thing when FP brag about how they spray test the hatches during the build. I would be really interested if you & others could share details of your particular warranty issues so we can keep our eyes peeled for the same next week.
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Old 05-08-2013, 19:02   #144
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

Here are a few pictures of the engine room stern section. Its solid glass on the bottom 200mm (8 inches) and balsa on up the sides.
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Old 06-08-2013, 23:54   #145
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

Just when FP seem to have resolved their "osmosis issues", they are now putting balsa laminations below the waterline. Does the company have a death wish?
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Old 07-08-2013, 00:13   #146
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

Provided any through hulls/penetrations are correctly done there won't be any issues.
It's usually let down by people attaching things to the hull (inside or out) with no thought to possible issues they create by water ingress to the core, more so with freshwater whether above or below the waterline.
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Old 07-08-2013, 00:31   #147
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

Still, it is a pretty risky move on FP's part, given their history of problems. I hope it works out for them. Personally, I would have chosen the safer way of no Balsa below the waterline.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:50   #148
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Hand Rail

A few Helia 44 owners have said they are adding another hand rail down the port and stb. walkway.

Anyone thinking of purchasing a Helia 44 should consider adding these in as an upgrade.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:40   #149
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
Just when FP seem to have resolved their "osmosis issues", they are now putting balsa laminations below the waterline. Does the company have a death wish?
Quote:
Originally Posted by boom23 View Post
Still, it is a pretty risky move on FP's part, given their history of problems. I hope it works out for them. Personally, I would have chosen the safer way of no Balsa below the waterline.
Balsa below the waterline is not a death knell, it hasn't been a problem for R & C (Moorings & Leopard).

From a maintenance POV, balsa simply requires a different method for skin penetrations.

What bothers me more is the additional weight that balsa brings vs. foam core.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:06   #150
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Re: Buying a Helia 44

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Balsa below the waterline is not a death knell, it hasn't been a problem for R & C (Moorings & Leopard).


What bothers me more is the additional weight that balsa brings vs. foam core.
True, R & C boats are durable and balsa cored below the waterline. They put a thick layer of fibreglass outside the balsa to protect it from damage and subsequent water intrusion. I'm not sure about the glass thickness in the Helia.

Balsa core is stiffer than foam with the same thickness of fibreglass skin. Therefore it's possible to make a lighter boat boat using balsa. Perhaps this is FP's reason for the change to balsa core. I worry about the durability and longevity of balsa cores with thin covering skins in a real life cruising world. Particularly on hull sides and bottoms. Time will tell.
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