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Old 24-05-2010, 09:11   #1
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Ukraine Boat Builders Inquiry

I want to ask if anyone has had any dealings with Capt Pavel Shaposhnikov, and his boat building company In Sumy, Ukraine?
They are offering exceptional value to have a traditional schooner built there, then transported to the Black Sea for launch.
My correspondence with Capt Shaposhnikov has been most amicable to date. He is very accomodating and has a good grasp of English, which is an important consideration when having a boat built in any non English speaking country, especially the old USSR. I am therefore considering flying out to take a look at his boat works, and workmanship, but Sumy seems a very difficult place to get to from America.
It sounds like The Ukraine might become ďthe new Formosa,Ē and I just wondered if anyone can add anything constructive which might help me?
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Old 28-05-2010, 15:27   #2
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Hi Jolly, I also looking at Capt Shaposhnikov designs,can you drop his contact please. I live in South Africa but know Ukraine a bit.To get there no problem,fly from US to Kiev,from Kiev to Sumy. It is about 350 km between Kiev and Sumy by air.
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Old 29-05-2010, 14:39   #3
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Vlad,

I am posting this on behalf of Jolly Roger who is having some computer issues.

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Quote:
Jolly Roger wrote:

Hi Vlad
I wouldn’t bother if I was you.
I found the boat on Yacht World—brand new 50’ gaff schooner, twin engines, bow thruster, teak decks, etc. for $137,771. Well, you know what they say—if it looks too good to be true………
I asked if they could do Bermudan sails and in-mast furling, instead of a gaffer, and they came back with $172,000. I politely said this was outside my budget and declined. They then said they could do it all for $150,000, so I thought, “ooookay….”
Then followed two weeks of intense e-mail conversations, culminating a few days ago, when I received a letter of intent to sign.
They want $5,000, none refundable deposit: then they will issue a build contract, detailed spec’s and we agree the layout etc. If I don’t like it I loose my deposit.

There were a few other issues:
It turns out, the price does not include sails.
Buyer has to pay the US broker’s 10% commission.
The decks are “synthetic teak,” whatever that means in Ukraine?
I can’t find the engines they are specifying, either Volvo or Vetus.
Delivery has suddenly been extended two months.
Sundry smaller issues, like not even basic instruments, worm gear steering, etc. etc.

Even at $200 of so thousand it could still be a fabulous ship—so long as you can handle their rather atypical way of doing business, and travel to Sumy every month to check on progress, (about $2,500 from Florida, including a five hour taxi or train ride?? Not counting accommodation).
It all reminded me of the stories coming out of Taiwan in the 70’s and 80’s, when the only people who seemed satisfied had actually gone and lived there while their boat was being built.
Definitely a case for Caveat Emptor, I’m afraid.
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Old 29-05-2010, 15:14   #4
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First ask a lawyer if you can get jurisdiction to sue them if they fail to deliver on the contract.
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Old 30-05-2010, 19:40   #5
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Lawyers and suing do no good if there is no money to get from them. A lot of boat supply/parts manufacturers are doing their thing in their basement or garage or back yard. No lawyer is going to take on a suit if there is no money to get. Add in the fact that you are a foreigner in a foreign land trying to collect from a local citizen.
- - The best advice is from Jolly Roger to go there and live there the maximum time possible and watch the vessel being built.
- - I met a Florida man a decade ago who had a steel boat built in the Baltic for a real savings over what it would have cost him back in the "western world." Unfortunately, he found out half way across the Atlantic that they built it out of mild steel and not Corten then they painted it with copper bottom paint - no primer or barrier coat. He arrived in Florida with keel plates you could push a screw driver through. The boat was junked.
- - So you have to know "how to build" the boat you want and you need to be there to watch them do it.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:44   #6
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Thanks Jolly and TaoJons.

I liked Shaposhnikov design ps56 ds racer cruiser. And my attraction was that designer and builder are the same company which illuminates the factor of nonsupportive designer in the project. But after I read Jolly's post I took a closer look to the boat specificatoin and just about everything is optional, especially sales (imagine you are buying a car with no engine). The starting price is EUR 179 000 which is looking not bad if you don't read specifications and after all options and transport price has gone up to EUR 291 000 which is does not look attractive anymore to me. For this type of money (actually less than that) I can easy build a boat locally in South Africa (by the way we have very good boat builders) with having no stress and travelling to Ukraine.
I think would be important to take a look at the boat which is already built by ps designs to check out quality of their finishes. I'm sure ukrainians are good engineers but if short cuts are taken on quallity of the material and workmanship the money are going down the drain and I don't think any lawyer can help. However, they promise 5 year guarantee against osmosis. Anyway if somebody wants to build a boat with ps design the factory has to be commissioned first.
After lots of thinking I feel to build locally in RSA.
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Old 01-06-2010, 16:43   #7
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. . . However, they promise 5 year guarantee against osmosis. . .
Just to clue you in it takes on average up to 10 years for osmotic blisters to form and show, so a "5 year guarantee" means nothing, except that that the hull will get blisters. The better manufacturers will give 10 year guarantees.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:40   #8
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Hi everyone,
I'm now back on the forum today, after not being able to raise the site since I first posted this thread. I still donít exactly know why I couldnít open itóbut thatís another matter.
I have had extensive discussions (20 or so e-mails), with Pavel Shaposhnikov, who sounds like a genuine honest fellow, and we got along fine discussing schooners and Brigantines, and what he could build for me. However, even though the boat is exactly what I want, at an unbelievable price, I have reluctantly decided not to go further, for all the reasons mentioned by others on this thread, and my own caveat emptor.
They would not send me a detailed specification, only a letter of intent to sign, along with a $5,000 non refundable deposit. So checking it all out with a lawyer would be a good idea. Employing a local English/Ukraine speaking surveyor to oversee the building would also be necessary, but how to find such persons in Sumy, Ukraine, and at what cost?
To go and live there would be another wayólike many people went to Taiwan for their Formosasóbut as Osirissail rightly says, you have to know what you are talking about and looking at. And how much would it cost to live in a hotel/apartment for five months, even if you could spare the time?
I guess someone will take them on, and they may well finish up with a fabulous sleek traditional schooner. But I was at the top end of my budget and Iím perfectly certain there would be considerable added costs, not least, getting it from the Black Sea to Florida.
So Iím still sitting here, searching for a Hudson Venice, Mickelson, Formosa, within my budget, which I can actually see and survey, even though it wonít be brand new, or to my exact specifications.
Thanks for everyoneís input.
Jolly Roger.

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Old 04-06-2010, 12:31   #9
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Sounds like they could do with a Agent (or 2) in the West.............
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Old 04-06-2010, 14:45   #10
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Ah ha Dave! You can get in line mate!
I’ve already covered that base. I suggested he might make me a boat on minimal margin, which I would sail back to the US, then allow other buyers to come and look at it, and even take them sailing. I would probably have bought one if I could have seen a similar boat and talked to a happy owner, even if he had been in the other side of the country. It would be a lot easier to get to California than the Ukraine. But it didn’t seem to be of interest. They do have a broker in Connecticut, but he hasn’t ever been to the Ukraine or seen one of their boats either—you know, one of those really informed fella’s. He didn’t even know how to get there.
Another thing they might do if they were really interested in the US market, (which Pavel said he was), would be to take on an English/Ukraine speaking PR man, who could act as a go between, because even though Pavel writes understandable English, I had to re-write his letter of intent which was more than I could accept. That’s what they did in Taiwan to jump start their industry.
Anyway, it’s their business not mine: but they might have got mine with a bit more ‘normal’ practices.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:17   #11
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Hi Jolly, it seems to me you really like that boat from Shaposhnikov.
If you feel he is really honest men and competent designer maybe you should go for it. $ 5000 deposit is not an opstical, I've just got quote from YANMAR they want me to pay 20% non refundable deposit, is it gonna stop me to buying the engine if I really need it? About his letter of intent, as you know, English is not his first lanquage, so I would give him a bit of credit on it. I guess you can't produce any writing in Ukrainian. As long as you can explain to him what you want and he can understand it, you've got a progress.

But all of it doesn't matter if you are not sure that they can deliver a quality product. I would recommend to you to have a look at any boat they have built and to hear what owner says. I have read on some of their add they are building PS 56 DS hull No2, ask him who has hull No1, is it built yet.

Just for an interest sake I wanted to make the picture clear and to know some more details about this company. So I asked someone I can trust, who lives in Sumy (it happened only one person I know there) to make a little investigation. But I don't have any contact of this company, if you possibly could give me their e-mail address I could do it sooner.

All the best.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:27   #12
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If you feel he is really honest men and competent designer maybe you should go for it. $ 5000 deposit is not an opstical, I've just got quote from YANMAR they want me to pay 20% non refundable deposit, is it gonna stop me to buying the engine if I really need it?
Yes but Yanmar isnt some obscure boatyard in the Ukranian countryside is it. I wouldnt pay any deposit at all before the contract is signed and youre seen the site..
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:01   #13
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IDPND, you are right. That's what i said ,the company and the product must be checked out.
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Old 11-06-2010, 19:23   #14
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Here is the address I was given:

Pavel Shaposhnikov & Norman-Yacht Design
40020, Mashinostroiteley, 1
Sumy, the Ukraine
email:
psdesign@ukrpost.ua
tel: +38 0542 247110

Of course, I asked if they had any examples in The USA but never had an answer, so I reckoned they didnít. In fact I suggested that if they built a good boat for me I would act as a demonstrator for future buyers in The States, to give them a footing, but again, no reaction.
I tried to find an English speaking surveyor, or lawyer in Sumy, who could check them out, then represent me during the build, but I drew a complete blank on that as well.
Nor could I find this address on Google, in Sumy, but I supposed they donít have detailed maps for that town.
IDPND is spot on, buying an engine from Yanmar is a totally different kettle of fish.
So Iím moving on now, but if your friend in Sumy could go and check them out, maybe take some pictures of the factory, etc. it might be helpful for other buyers. But then, why donít they publish that themselves; and as for giving them a non refundable deposit, (in big bold letters on the letter of intent) before seeing a contract or detailed specificationÖÖ.well, thatís up to each individual isnít it, but itís a red flag to me.
Itís still a very tempting specification/price if you want a traditional schooner, but as I said beforeótoo many unknowns and variables for my liking.
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Old 11-06-2010, 21:47   #15
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Uh...Jolly...While you're considering this one, I've got a bridge for sale that runs from Staten Island to NJ and the downstroke is only $1,000. No personal checks.
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