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.