I know that a number of you have asked me to provide an update from our visit to Argentina
last week. I will provide a brief summary, and them be posting
video and pictures at a later date.
My wife and I spent 4 days in Buenos Aires. We went to BA with 3 other couples that have either purchased a 44i or are seriously considering a purchase
Here are some of the key observations:
* There were three hulls at various stages of build. We were able to view the details from layup
of glass to interior
* The quality of the work was superb. The yard is using state of the art computer cutting equipment
for all wood, corecell, etc. Impressive how precise the machines were (we received a demonstration).
* There is very little turnover of workers as the plant. In fact, it is our understanding there has been no effective turnover. So the skills are maintained after each hull
. A key fact IMO...given churn of this labor at other yards can be high and affect quality.
* The owner of the Yard is a lifelong sailor and VERY passionate about the boats. He told us (on camera
as well) that he builds each boat as though it were his own - and takes a lot of personal pride in ensuring everything is done 'precisely' right.
* Having Todd (legacy PDQ) living in Argentina
and working every day with the cats is key, and provides continuity from the old PDQ
to B.A. A key point, in talking to Todd, he feels like overall the build quality is in fact better than PDQ
given the labor skill, low turnover, and significant improvements/tweaks to the boat build.
* We joked that the Argentine boats would be not only built better but have better resale value compared to the PDQ one the public begins to know about the incremental quality of the builds in BA.
* Bob Crandall - who owned a PDQ 44i, and now bought a new one that is being build in Argentina - was there as well....and felt 'very' good about the quality of workmanship on his new boat. It will be better he is sure than his old PDQ 44i.
Bottom line, any concerns I had about Argentina were erased and everyone down there (one couple had been there twice) felt very good about the facility, people and quality of the new boats. So good in fact I felt compelled to write this update to the group.
Stay tuned for pics and videos of the yard and people of Antares