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Old 02-06-2007, 07:44   #1
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Plant Visit in Ximan China

I'm having a Passport 615 built (hull #2) and returned from visiting the plant a couple weeks ago. I'm not completely uneducated about China or the region but I really enjoyed the visit and it opened my eyes in a few ways.

The plant was very clean and well organized. Even know you almost needed a 4x4 to get to it, once you were there it was well layed out. I have been through several plants in my days and was impressed with this one. More then one yacht is built in this pant. Passport Yachts and Outbound are two of the more well known.

These workers are very well organized and seem to work as hard as any I have seen. They know their woodworking skills. The craftsmanship was easy to see. They are very accomodating and do their best to make you feel comfortable.

One thing I found interesting is a "wall of shame" area in the plant that takes up a small portion of a corner of the building. Not that I agree on this type of motivation but on it were maybe a half a dozen photos of defective workmanship that had been recoreded from current builds or yachts that had been delivered. They were very minor it seemed to me but you could tell they were very concerned that everyone knew about the mistakes and not to repeat them. Quality control in this plant seemed critical to business.

One other thing I was told is that they are always looking to improve the build or the way something is put together. Most times it is beneficial and others it's plain funny. It was explained to me that the very much understand the building of sailing vessels but don't understand the concept of sailing or the forces that effect a yacht. I'm talking about the workers, not the engineers (which they have several Naval Arch. on staff) and it can result in some interesting suggestions.

Overall, I'm very impressed and have ZERO issues with it being built where it is. I know the cost replacing it in a year will be much more with the way the economy and cost to do business rising in China. Lucky me.

More later.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:27   #2
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Micheal.

Which provcince. And what part of China. Is this so-called mentioned plant located?

You mentioned Ximan. I never heard of that place in China. Except Ximan, Somalia.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:14   #3
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OOPS, I had not had my morning coffee.... It's Xiamen and it's about 1.5 hour flight north of Hong kong. I think it's in the Fujian prov.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:23   #4
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Originally Posted by michael201
OOPS, I had not had my morning coffee.... It's Xiamen and it's about 1.5 hour flight north of Hong kong. I think it's in the Fujian prov.
Awwww!!!

Ok. Now I see. Yes. You are now correct. Xiamen is in Fujian Province in Southeast China. Next door to Gaungdong Province. I know China fairly well.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael201
I'm having a Passport 615 built (hull #2) and returned from visiting the plant a couple weeks ago.
Passport Yachts and Outbound are two of the more well known.

It was explained to me that the very much understand the building of sailing vessels but don't understand the concept of sailing or the forces that effect a yacht. I'm talking about the workers. Lucky me.
Yo Michael,

lucky you indeed! From what I have seen of the Passport yachts and the Outbound (44) which I have looked at, this yard is very capable indeed. How fortunate for you.

You will probably find that the workforce is derived from the local peasants, who have a farming background. No doubt some have extensive woodworking skills, as is evidenced by their results. For this reason few will have experience with yachting. Nevertheless I am impressed by management's ability to get this level of quality which I have seen firsthand.

best, andy
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Old 02-06-2007, 17:26   #6
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I believed it was a truly well built boat before we made the decision. We were a little concerned about a few details before we arrived in China at the plant but those issues melted away quickly.
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Old 02-06-2007, 23:08   #7
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Well done Michael - you've picked a good yard (Red Dragon ??) in Xiamen ans sealed that with a visit. There are a host of yards building name boats in China and quality varies from rubbish (ref the Multihaven 37 initial debacle in Qingdao) to the sublime in workmanship. The key is absolutely in the vision of management and supervision of the labour - China is no differnt from any othe rmanufacturing base, just at a more basic stage.
Many of the traditional Taiwan yards are now building their smaller (60 ft down) power boats in China and the quality of such as Hampton, Ocean Alexander etc is truly world class. There are many more power and sail boat builders already and the list grows continually.
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Old 21-06-2007, 20:32   #8
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A little trivia :- Xiamen Island 24 d 30 N x 118 d 07 E used to be called Amoy.

Many excellent boats have been built there over the last 200 years - in the last 40 years some excellent yards produced many top class boats including the Celestial.

The builders have generations of boat builders - NOT peasants
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