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Old 06-01-2009, 15:31   #1
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Fastcat is 8 months delayed and new problems

The poor folks who have ordered a Fastcat have been waiting for 8 months and still counting.

Check out their great blog here: of Butterfly and Barnacle

I suggest reading the blog right from the beginning, the number of issues on this boat has been incredible, and there are still new leaks appearing.

It seems that this builder really hasn't got his act together.

IMO the builder should offer a full refund, I wouldn't want a boat with this history.

What do you a fair and honest builder should do in this situation? What would you do if you were the unlucky buyer?

Alan
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Old 06-01-2009, 15:40   #2
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Not reading the blog yet, but I will, and reading the scenario from your post I would most likely do this:

As the owner of the company, I would do anything and everything possible to either facilitate a quick and efficient full survey and repairs or replace the yacht if inventory allows it. If nothing can be done I would just do a full refund with assistance with finding a replacement yacht. And hopefully I can negotiate a drastic discount on their replacement yacht since I would be a fellow boat manufacturer.

As a buyer, I believe that they have been beyond patient and I would either want a full replacement or a full refund with tons of extras at no extra cost.

This may be a fantasy world reply, but as a manufacturer, bad reputation by word of mouth/internet will cost me far more in the long term then the quick replacement cost of the obvious short term solution.

I'll start reading their blog now... I really hope it all has a happier ending.
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Old 06-01-2009, 16:17   #3
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I don't think any of us can fully appreciate the owners situation. I certainly can't. However, the owner having quit a job 8 months ago to go take delivery is still there waiting for the boat. In my eyes a refund, price reduction or even simply finishing the boat probably isn't sufficient. There are lost wages that have been incurred, as well as living expenses away from where the owner was living when he went to take delivery. Not to mention being serving as free quality control for the project and the anguish with the delays and continuing problems.

Oh yes - reputations can be harmed, and it doesn't only work against the builder. How about if the owner should decide to sell the boat in a few years? Think a perspective buyer might remember the boat's blog or internet forum discussion and have some bells and whistles go off in their heads? How does one get compensated for that? An up-front agreement with the builder of some sort? As far as the builders reputation; He shoveled it - he can sleep in it. After all, it's only a hobby.

And frankly I'm sick and tired of the builder turning every thread he contributes in to an advertisement for his company. Sure, if someone specifically asks him a question on how he does something, that's fine [by the "rules"]. But almost every contribution he gives comes with (unsolicited) quoted specs or detailed explanations of how his company does things. I have no problem getting a post deleted for being off-topic, but the "rules" should apply for the free advertisers of the world as well.

I really don't know what I would do, but I know something is owed. Perhaps not legally (can't know the details or contracts), but morally for certain.

While not a boat, I have had a similar issue with an expensive purchase. If I would have had a blog it would have read very similar to B&B. I ended up getting money back, but it was far from fair. But at the time I just wanted to wash my hands and get out. Then as time went on, I fully realized how unfair it was to me. Maybe that's why I feel for this owner. Just hope he is happy when all is done. And frankly, I hope the builder does fine as well. But he looks to be on the wrong path if this build is an example.
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Old 06-01-2009, 16:28   #4
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this has been posted before and caused a bit of a firestorm. I've seen others do this before to companies like Prout. The Cats Pyjamas? Rebuilding our Prout Escale Catamaran which was then repeated here Prout Questions and so on and so on. From what I've seen it's also been repeated in several other websites and so on. I'd also heard that the owner then tried selling their boat and basically they had a very hard time. Imagine. I've also seen professional boat architects who've design boats for a living look at their blog and basically say, yep, that's all part of the joy of commisioning a new boat. It also sounds like Gideon is working on this issue.

So over the past few years which boat's have I personally heard where the factory refused to uphold warranty's on self admitted factory defects boats? Pick one.
Sorry to sound so jaded, but I'd lay you good money that were you to say "surely this company has a great reputation and has never had such a thing happen" you'd be very surprised. Catana, PDQ, Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot are just a few who have great reputations but I know of MUCH worse stories coming from owners regarding those. And they also make very good cats.
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Old 06-01-2009, 16:36   #5
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Some of the items from the above companies, I'll won't mention which so it won't sound like I'm bashing a particular brand:

1) They made their hulls in two pieces which weren't joined properly, the hulls seperated and fortunately the delivery captains were able to beach the boat before loss of life. Investigation showed that it was endemic to many of their other boats and all of them had to be recalled. When the worlds largest charter company heard of it, they cancelled all of their contracts.

2) they made the main bulkhead under the mast too light and it caused the rest of the boat to deform. It was on a new boat and the company refused to fix it.

3) They used funds from one owner to build other owners boats while delaying factory repairs on the rest and through legal issues never resolved.

4) huge delamination issues with many of their boats, all after warranty period expired, none repaired.
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Old 06-01-2009, 16:43   #6
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Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
I'd also heard that the owner then tried selling their boat and basically they had a very hard time. Imagine. I've also seen professional boat architects who've design boats for a living look at their blog and basically say, yep, that's all part of the joy of commisioning a new boat. It also sounds like Gideon is working on this issue.

Yep. Imagine 5 years from now you were negotiating to purchase that vessel and during you research you come across the plethora of bad press about this specific boat. Think someone will try to use it as leverage to get a better price? You betcha. All this whining on their behalf, when they themselves are not whining, could very well end up needlessly taking money out of their pockets in the future. That would be a shame...

One thing I can say. Some people should never even consider the thought of having a boat built. I've heard more stories similar to this build, than the opposite....
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Old 06-01-2009, 17:05   #7
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Some of the items from the above companies, I'll won't mention which so it won't sound like I'm bashing a particular brand:

1) They made their hulls in two pieces which weren't joined properly, the hulls seperated and fortunately the delivery captains were able to beach the boat before loss of life. Investigation showed that it was endemic to many of their other boats and all of them had to be recalled. When the worlds largest charter company heard of it, they cancelled all of their contracts.

2) they made the main bulkhead under the mast too light and it caused the rest of the boat to deform. It was on a new boat and the company refused to fix it.

3) They used funds from one owner to build other owners boats while delaying factory repairs on the rest and through legal issues never resolved.

4) huge delamination issues with many of their boats, all after warranty period expired, none repaired.
OMG.
Now I can't even buy a used boat because it could be one of those just "patched up".
Way to ruin my year.

I know you won't tell, but I sure want to know names and years of manufacture.

Do most cat surveyors know of these issues?
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Old 06-01-2009, 18:25   #8
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Also, can I also assume that this occurs in Mono-hulls as well?? I can't imagine these problems being more dominate in the CAT world. I agree that engineering wise, there is a lot more to consider when joining 2 hulls with proper bridge and mast support, etc..

Can anyone confirm that there are as many problems with Mono's, new and used? Or is it like buying anything else of value, house, car, etc.. Lemons do happen and there is always a bit of a teething period?
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Old 06-01-2009, 18:46   #9
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Of course that's the point, just about anything on a boat can be repaired, reinforced, etc. All of those problems were with new boats. I'm of the opinion if something breaks build it stronger, so put in better compartments, reinforce any weaknesses, better sealants, etc. There are a LOT of used boats which had corrected issues and are stronger than the originals.
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Old 06-01-2009, 18:58   #10
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Shadow, all boats have this. Monos turning into bananas because they weren't built with enough stiffness when their stays were tensioned, perhaps one of the most respected builders putting fire retardent in the hulls and the owners needing to peel the hulls almost all the way back.
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Old 06-01-2009, 19:48   #11
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Schoonerdog is exactly right!

Building a complicated custom boat (multi or mono/power or sail) is an evolution.

If you are lucky and the Client’s wishes are not too conflicting with what your workforce knows and your supervisors are on top if every little modification…..things go well and there is little re-work!

Out of box failures or even latent defects are not the Builder’s fault but part of that evolution towards defining your boat as complete.

The relationship between custom builder and their client is like a marriage. You have a honeymoon period and then the reality of different expectations and priorities; raise their ugly little heads to cause tension.

A new to boating client will need to learn the reality of “compromise” when seeking perfection, yet at the same time keep pressure on the builder to meet his expectations.

That is a delicate balance of “picking your fights” while keeping worker's morale, momentum and production going.

It is interesting to us, but not sure if mutually beneficial to wash that laundry in public.

While it keeps the Builder motivated to demonstrate his willingness to please, there is a risk that at some point he may turn the switch and become defensive if others start chiming in with their non constructive opinion.

At the end of the day I judge both parties by their willingness to resolve the teething problems within the myriad of supporting details that this public forum knows nothing about.


To put it in perspective, as captain and project manager building with the best and most famous yard in Holland, on protocol of delivery I had over 35 spreadsheet pages of defects that needed to be addressed. We left Holland in December for Antigua, had the family with us for 3 months then in Florida the yard dealt with the bulk of that list (which had grown)

Over the next 2 years they completely finished the list while the Owners continued to enjoy their boat. 16 years later they are still enjoying it!
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Old 06-01-2009, 20:16   #12
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Well put Pelagic and I totally understand the deep complexities of every individual situation. When I purchase my first boat, I hope that I can keep that in mind and not take anything personal as it is the norm and not the exception.
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Old 06-01-2009, 22:22   #13
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I'm generally of the opinion that everything on the boat will break within a year and much of it will break right away. However, it seems like everything has broken multiple times with this particular build. I'm sure they will get it worked out but there as just too many toys to not have a bunch of things broken simultaneously.

I vividly remember a crew member I invited to sail across the Atlantic on our maiden voyage say that there was no single point in his boat's history where everything was working simultaneously.

I spent about 1-3 hours on average every day fixing stuff on my brand new boat and that continued for the year and a half we live on board.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:23   #14
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It's alright to say 'Oh yes, this is no different to other manufacturers supplying boats with problems' etc etc, but probably the reason that they are not so well publicised is that the companies sort their problems out quickly so as not to get this bad exposure.

After 8 MONTHS and still the SAME problems and more occuring daily then I doubt the Integrity of this companies management and of their build quality.

There is no way on God's eatrh that I would by a boat from this company and more to the point when certain issues are raised and have been raised in the past, the owner blatantly lies about the issues which does him no good at all.

There are still some people here who are spellbound by this manufacturers ideas (I admit some are good but I think will need a lot of convincing) and naively think the sun shines out of his !!!

Wake up.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:41   #15
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most companies exist to provide a service or product at a profit for the people who have invested in it, and its the in their best intrest to provide a good service/product to perpetuate the profit

but this company apears to exist for the benifit of R&Ding the owners hobby idears
if you are happy with that then go ahead i think if you were to use this company you should consider it more like joinig an inventers club were you get involved and pay subs

from the posts by the company owner on forums it would apear that the priorty is new idears not finishing an exsiting project.
once the concept is proved or not he moves on leaving staff and customers to pick up the peaces.
if i had the money for a boat like this i would wait till there were 10 identical models afloat and all working properly befor i parted with my cash.
but personaly if i did have the money i would not use them because of the forum conduct.
he is runing befor he can walk and perhaps would be better of building new ideas from a strong product base, companies in this field are built on reputation.
it is a great shame as there is no progress without pioneers.
lots of idears people dont have the skill set to run a production company!
i do hope it wont all end in tears.
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