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Old 13-02-2005, 06:55   #16
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While I have NOT read “Bumfuzzle’s” logs, in their entirety (finding them banal, I’ve merely cherry picked), I find that Pat and Ali appear to be a rather “shallow” couple; ill.-prepared (in nearly every way, except financially) for the adventure they’ve undertaken.

Notwithstanding my low opinion of them as cruisers, I do sympathize with them - much as I would for any other helpless creature (apparently with more money than brains).

I have read their correspondence, which does not convincingly present their case. While a manufacturer should be held responsible for the initial quality of their product - such liability should not be unlimited, forever, and under all circumstances.

The manufacturer’s expressed opinions seem (at least) as convincing, as the Schulte’s.

I suspect that they (Shultes) did NOT do their “due diligence”, beyond the hiring of a competent surveyor.
Ie: It is usual to ask the seller to sign a “disclosure”, which describes known significant faults and damage.

FWIW,
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Old 13-02-2005, 07:40   #17
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Smile Would more experience help???

Hmmm...

Let's see. Pat and Ali went to one of the more advertised catamaran brokers in the US. 2Hulls. They probably expected these "experts" that receive a fairly significant commission to guide them toward a boat that meet their cruising requirements. 2Hulls probably did so, else they would probably be sailing arround in a Gemini right now.

They found a good prospective boat in what was probably a reasonable price range ( the boat was listed for 169,000, I think). Hmmm... That's not that "cheap" in my estimate surely. They then proceeded to contact another "expert" Mr. Cantor to survey the boat to let them know if something was wrong. They paid him a GOOD price for the survey, not "cheap". He has more than 30 years of experience. He gave them a list of recommendations. I believe they did them all! Spent more than $25,000 additional dollars in outfitting. That's after the boat was taken across the Atlantic and outfitted by the prior owner. Certainly not "cheap"

They sail the boat in the Bahamas. Close to home. Gaining experience. Found some problems, fixed them. Gained some more experience. Sail through the Panama canal, haul the boat to have preventive maintenance done to it. <clap> Find a problem. Don't fix it there were it is "cheap" Find another "expert" with more than 35 years of experience take it to him. He tells them what is wrong. He fixes it.

Hmmm... I don't see anything that I'd call a serious lapse on their part in that scenario. They are not as experienced as many, but they don't attempt to skimp ,and have called in top flight people whenever there was a question and paid them good $$$ for their expertise and services. I would be happy to make the same "mistakes". Probably because I don't view them as mistakes. I think anyone could find themselves in a similar position. Ever have to take your car in for service and come away with a "big" repair bill? Well gee, you should study more. Gain experience by buying a cheap OLD VW bug. Rebuild it from the ground up to gain experience. Only buy VW bug's from then on because the new VW's are VERY different! That way, if anything goes wrong, you'd have the expereince to make the repairs yourself. Hmmm.... That's what I did. Excepted I bought this Mercedes. My Mercedes dealear still P*SSES me off when he tells me it is going to cost $1000 to replace my control arms, or $400 to replace brake pads!! The point being maybe expereince would not have helped them make better decisions in this case.

Does it amaze me they can't cook! Sure does! Does it amaze me they they would sail to paridise and complain about no pizza! Sure does! But I have a confession to make. When I lived in Brazil after about 6 months I got this craving for a hamburger! I mean a REALLY bad one. I could not find a "descent" hamburger anyplace I went. You put corn??? on my hamburger????? ARGH!!! Well anyway, to make a long story short. The only place I could find a hamburger that satisfied my craving was at .... UGH... McDonald's. Now mind you I won't eat a McDonalds hamburger here will I am in the US. But, after a year down in Brazil, it really met my craving.

So when I read Bumfuzzle I smile, I say how silly, how could they? Then I go back and read some more and remember, they are out doing it. I am still tied to the dock. (making progress though, the other engine goes in next week!!!)

Keith
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Old 13-02-2005, 11:57   #18
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As someone completely new to sailing I would like to offer my opinion on the tale of Bumfuzzle.
I have spent the past 18 months reading everything possible about the cruising life style and in addition I read message boards. The 1st boat we bought after months of looking and researching was a Tayana 37. When it was destroyed at the marina in Fl (Frances) I was slammed down hard and fast for a post I made on another message board asking about the marina. What I learned from that is some cruisers are so harsh in their opinion of anyone new coming into this world. Newbies don't anchor right, are morons for leaving a boat in a marina in hurricane season, are a danger to everyone without years of basic keelboating in a dinghy first.
What Pat and Ali have taught me is that there are a very few young people that want this adventure, and they felt smart enough to give it a try. When I read their logs I laugh and laugh. I have traveled the globe often and have never been offended by their representation as Americans looking for a hamburger. I think they are very funny. But those serious old sailors that don't want anyone new in the water might miss that. I absolutely don't not mean to offend anyone, there is enough of that on other sites. I am just asking how will young/new people ever want to sail off and live the dream if the reaction is so often a question of their intelligence, intent, knowledge, even my character has been assaulted by people I don't know for daring to want to sail.
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Old 13-02-2005, 17:50   #19
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I think they are very lucky to be out there doing it. If I were out there I can't say that I would be overly interested in history etc. I like being near the water and that is where I would spend my time and money. Would that make me a ugly American? It is also unlikely that I would have time for a web page.
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Old 13-02-2005, 18:52   #20
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Learning and travel

I believe that anytime you travel you learn whether you realize it or not. Sometime after you had the experince you may realize you have learned something.

The case of Bumfuzzle is they are trying to take their Americanism with them but are learning that things are different from home. It is not much differnt than people who take the 10 countries in 12 days vacations of Europe. You get exposure you learn a little. Of course they cover more miles. They are young enough to be able to look back and plan a more indepth cruise if they choose.

People cruise for differnt reason from those who take years to go from the US to Trinadad to those who sail no stop or do fast circumnavigations. Everyone sets their own pace.

We have been told we made a fast trip from the US to the huricane free zone, and I don't feel we missed anything. We just are having different experiences than those who took years to get here or than those who never made it this far.

It is a shame about the boat but realistic decsions need to be made about the value and safety of continung with this paticular vessel.
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Old 13-02-2005, 21:34   #21
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Blame

I have now read the story. They have spent a lot of money and it really is unfortunate for the troubles they are having. Their attitude is a separate issue from the boat problems. All of us would likely be miffed under the same events. We will never know what conversation took place between the current owners and the previous owner and the surveyor, and it is no good chasing or accusing them. It is simply a matter of what is wrong with the boat and will the manufacturer admit any fault. The answer seems to be tied to the value of the rand. This will likley also have a negative affect on the builders business and may indeed cause them to close. The builder should be offering to have the boat independently surveyed if they have any intention of standing behind their work. It sounds like they can not afford to do that so they are going to backpedal. Suing them would likely cost more than it is worth and they would likely close. It is however a pity we can not determine if there is any truth to the builders claims. From my cheap seat I would place the blame on the builder. The only crime the owners have committed is spending too much money for their first adventure.
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Old 14-02-2005, 04:45   #22
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I was feeling a little guilty about my unsympathetic (to Ali & Pat’s predicament) posting - so I went back to the “Bumfuzzle” site and read a little more. Could it be that I’m jealous that these youngsters are out there doing what I wish I were? Am I envious of their apparent financial independence?

Nov. 17/04
“... We happened to show up at the marine store a little bit before some free safety seminar they were giving there. They had pizza and beer for free, just for showing up. Believe it or not though, we were too stuffed for either. We did gladly accept the free gift bags right before we ran out of there. Phew, that was close, we almost learned something about being safe on our boat. They probably would have just ended up scaring the hell out of us ...”

Need I comment?

Sept. 8/04
”... Once again I lugged 150 feet of line down to the stores figuring we'd be able to have somebody splice the shackle onto it. Wrong. Three marine stores and one shipping yard and we still haven't found anybody that can splice a line. Guess I won't feel bad for not knowing how to do it myself ...”

Jan. 7/05
Replying to a comment posted about their ineptness [“ Best example of clueless introspection I can remember: They went from island to island in the SoPac, complaining that no islanders knew how to splice double-braid line. There was just no comprehension that THEY needed to bring some skills along with them, or that they looked like the dumbest of the folks on any island they visited since they had the line, they had the need, and they lacked the skills.]
And replies:
”... But number three really says it all, because it is people like him that think if you don't spend twenty years learning how to sail in a dinghy at your local marina, then you have no business being out here. What a clown. Now everyone get out there and splice a line, or you can't go sailing with him ...”

I thought that the poster put it rather well - even if Pat missed the point. How can you disparage someone else, for sharing your own ignorance? It’s not so much Pat’s ignorance, as his expectation that he should always be able to purchase the expertise that HE needs.

Jan. 27/05 (Discussing a mast-top “Windex” wind indicator)
“... Turns out he meant some thing that goes on top of the mast and shows you the wind direction. A manual wind direction indicator I guess. We just use the one on the cockpit controls that shows us a nice picture of the boat with a needle on it that indicates the wind direction. Who wants to look straight up at the top of the mast? ...”

Huh?

I’m glad I read a little more - turns out I don’t have much to feel guilty about. The “Bumfuzzles” are (bumfuzzled). Their general good humor, physical attractiveness, and youth (read callow) do not excuse their ignorance.

I’ve copied their entire correspondence (72 pages) and will comment further on the build-quality issues they raise, when I’ve had a chance to digest it all. I will stand by my (earlier) preliminary opinion that the manufacturer’s analysis seems (at first glance) to be easily as plausible as theirs.

I’ll also add my vote to those that disparage the Kiwi surveyor’s ethics. While some would permit surveyors to also engage in repair work - none allow surveyors to contract repairs on the same boat they’ve surveyed. This important failure of ethics makes everything he subsequently says very suspect.

IMHO
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Old 14-02-2005, 06:39   #23
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I am surprised that Jeff H has not weighed in on thier boat problems. This seems to be what he likes to get into. I would be interested in what Jeff would have to say.
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Old 14-02-2005, 07:27   #24
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Have not read the whole tale yet, but from the first few chapters
it seems that they installed an underwater thruhole with the boat in the water......

Wonder if that could be part of the delamination problemes they had later on.?
(If indeed the hulls are cored)

Read the story about how they were chasing around Key Biscayne trying to find a Taco Bell and an internet connection.
Since thy found neither, they were greatly disappointed about the Key..

Wonder if that stuff is said "Tongue in Cheek" as it seems pretty strange that somebody would choose the cruising lifestyle and still expect the world to be like donwtown Chicago.?

I can relate to the inexperience as I also sold everything at age 29 and moved abord my first boat, never having sailed before,
yet I had a blast for 3 years cruising the Virgin Islands with no modern conveniences. (No a/c, no autopilot, no microwave, no SSB, no GPS, no roller furling, no windass, no TV, etc)

The problems this young couple are experiencing may be more related to attitude and ignorance than lack of experience.

On the other hand, If I was to write a blog or web-page on all the mistakes I did, I would look pretty silly as well.

Mum is the word.....
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Old 14-02-2005, 08:20   #25
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Making lemonade from lemons...

Let’s step away from our blame of the builder, surveyor, broker and/or owners for just a moment, and see what we can conclude about how to buy a boat for which we have extensive cruising plans. Learning from BUMFUZZLE’s mistakes and misfortunes is one of the few true benefits of their story.

1. As you begin shopping, you will know what you are about. This means you have a good understanding of what your plans will demand of the boat (we’ve already beat this dead horse…), and you also understand the issues you will face for the kind of boat you will be selecting. Information of this kind is abundantly available these days.
2. You will expect little of brokers beyond them doing the legwork to find you a boat that meets your needs as you (not they) understand them. Expecting little goes ‘double’ if the broker has minimal experience doing what you intend to do. You will note that the broker offers no warranty on the boat s/he brokers.
3. As you narrow the field, you will do appropriate due diligence, just as when buying a business, a house or a car. You will identify the issues you must face for the type of boat you seek (e.g. small/light/less expensive Cat, to be used for a circumnavigation), and you will research the builder(s) who’s boats are of interest.
4. Especially if a boat of interest is almost new, you will seek clarity from the builder on what warranty remains under your ownership and what you must do to cement that. (Ex: a warranty against hull blistering is often transferable). You will also inquire of the boat’s suitability, in the builder’s opinion, for your voyaging plans. Again, you’ll do this not only because you may get additional information (e.g. certain modifications may be recommended), but also because you may incur some additional felt obligation from the builder if the answer is positive. When the boat is not designed in-house, you will definitely talk with the designer (at some small expense for his/her time). His/her interests are not the same as the builder’s, and the information you gain may be especially useful.
5. You will present several specific questions on any boat of interest to the broker, requesting s/he obtain the answer(s) directly from the seller. (Ex: “What repairs has the boat needed to its structures, engines and rig while under your ownership?” “What known defects currently exist?”) Brokers are in touch with sellers because money has to eventually change hands. If the answers are not provided in a written form, you will summarize them and share a copy with the broker. You will ask these questions for three reasons: 1) You may learn more than the broker knows; 2) You could incur some subsequent legal benefit if relevant info is withheld; and 3) Even absent legal benefit, you may gain some psychological sense of obligation on the part of the broker and/or seller for how the boat was represented.
6. Once an offer is made, you will use a knowledgeable surveyor to put the odds as much in your favor as possible, but you will understand s/he will not necessarily find all of the boat’s problems (which is just what the language on every written survey says). You will regrettably remember that this especially applies to new and almost-new boats.
7. Finally, as your ownership period begins you will accept that your knowledge of the boat, and how to handle her, remains limited. After commissioning and while outfitting, you will perform a thorough, thoughtful shakedown that builds your own skills and knowledge of the boat while looking for undiscovered issues. While doing so, you will stay near an area where emerging issues can be addressed (legally & logistically, not just mechanically).

Most of these are pretty obvious; some spring to mind given the unique BUMFUZZLE circumstances. None of these are ‘peripheral’ or unimportant IMO and, regrettably, none of them guarantee a problem free boat after purchase, most especially so when the boat is then taken across an ocean or two by owners who didn't buy from the builder

Jack
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Old 14-02-2005, 08:25   #26
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Well said, Jack !!!
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Old 14-02-2005, 09:00   #27
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Agreed

Agreed!!!! Well said!
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Old 14-02-2005, 11:49   #28
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That was just brilliant Jack. Now why the heck couldn't you have written that way back before I bought my boat.
I had an interesting time after our purchase. I realised I was too ignorant of what I should have been asking or Broker and serveyor. But hoepfull that is behind us now.
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Old 14-02-2005, 14:32   #29
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First, I give Bumfuzzle high marks for getting out and cruising! I have written about them before, and have to point out that they have just sailed across the Pacific, and I am still sitting behind my desk. I also give them high marks for sharing honestly through their website. My wife and I have enjoyed following their travels, although, it's more like watching a weekly sitcom that reading a satisfying story.

I just can’t understand why they are doing what they are. They seem to be sailing the world looking for all of the things most of us sail to avoid, and they seem to have little interest in sailing itself. For the $100k bath they are probably going to take on their boat (not including operating costs) they could have flown all over the world and stayed in hotels and resorts. They could also have taken a few cruises just for fun.

In the beginning of their trip I thought that they were just naive and would come to learn and appreciate their experience. I think Jack is right in his reference to youth being wasted on the young. In this case they seem to be looking for others to make them happy and meet their needs, instead of looking to learn and grow. I have always called their logs "Gen X goes cruising". They are very lucky to have the budget they do at their age. For most people their age it would be "trip over" faced with a $33k repair bill.

With that in mind, there were warning signs about the boat they were buying. I was boat shopping at the same time they were, and even considered the boat they bought when I saw it on the Internet, although they bought it before I had the chance to finish researching the design. My research pointed out several red flags.

They have already pointed out one article about a boat that had similar problems when crossing the Atlantic. This information was available at the time they bought. The owner of that boat was offered a second boat for purchase at a special price. Based on my research, it looked to me like he put the second boat up for sale shortly after he took delivery. There was also another published article that had a similar tale of a wildcat delivery with structural problems.

Practical sailor had done a charter boat review recently and they commented about deck delaminating (and other) problems on their boat (a wildcat). Also, there were some slightly older used wildcats on the market at that time and an examination would have shone how poorly they held up.

I spoke with a surveyor in Annapolis who surveyed a wildcat that had sunk at the dock due to leakage through a factory installed inspection port on the transom steps, and the failure of a watertight bulkhead. At best this was poor design. The builder was fighting this claim.

I also spoke with a person from 2hulls that said he use to deal with new wildcats. He said that he dropped them because they were unreliable and they were giving him a bad reputation. He did say that if you had one in front of you and you had a good survey, it was probably Ok. Of course he had some listed at the time, and a broker does represent the seller.

What really made me think twice was a visit on a wildcat at the Annapolis boat show. In my opinion, the fit, finish and component quality were second rate for an offshore cruiser. They were offering the first five sold for $169k new! I just couldn't see how anybody could produce a decent product of that size, for that price. In speaking with the builder, their attitude sounded like a used car salesman, full of excuses. I see this again in the emails to Bumfuzzle.

This is what doing some research would tell you. Do your own research and decide if this is where you would spend your money. The alternative is to decide to be ignorant and hope luck is on your side. If you have the money to help pay for the mistakes, that's fine. The rest of us will have to do our best to avoid these problems. And of course even the best get burned sometimes.

That being said, based on reading the Bumfuzzle logs, I do think they are getting the shaft from Charter Cats and I am disappointed they were not offered better support. I think Charter Cats should have arranged for a local surveyor to view the damage and represent their side. Most of these things seem to get settled through a series of surveys and cost estimates. By not even going to this effort it looks like Charter Cats is not interested in learning (maybe they already know) the real reason for the failure.
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Old 14-02-2005, 15:04   #30
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bum cat

I can confirm that there were indications in the market place about problems with this boat - one of the brokers I dealt with recounted similar tales of woe - at the time I thought he may have exaggerated a bit but having read the bumfuzzle story it seems not to have been the case.
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