We started building boats 6 years ago in South Africa
and have looked carefully China and the Far east for Production of our cats.
The reasons for Going to South Africa
It is far easier to communicate with a English
speaking person at the same time of the day as we live in in Europe
instead of A person from the Far East trying very hard to communicate in English
but not succeeding , 9 hours of time difference does not help. The Freight to ship a catamaran
half way around the world is more than double if you can find a shipping
company to do so.
70 % of the cost a building a boat is material cost and where you build makes no difference but building in China would raise the cost to ship products and goods there before manufacturing.
The fact that Child labor is permitted, and Intelectual property does not exist in China did not help.
For all these reasons I preferred to produce in South Africa .
I have seen 3 boats manufactured in the Far east recently one was a Fusion 40 , just
the hull deck
and bulkheads and noticed that resin was poorly applied and in some spots it was even dry so I will not sail in A Thai made Fusion 40 , I like my life to much. I have also seen a Flying Tiger built in China and this boat has nothing to do with any kind of Quality. Another boat was a trimaran
on the La Rochelle boat show
where I mentioned to the sales person why all edges in the boat where sharp and he answered that this was only hull
number 11 and this would all be ironed out later .
I did not dare to ask him how many more of these Tri,s needed to be produced before simple things like this where Ironed Out.
It will be a long time before the Chinese will built a competing product but the added cost of shipping parts
there and shipping boats back to Europe
and the States will delete any cost savings.
I wish you all a good 2008 with lots of good sails