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Old 23-05-2016, 12:54   #16
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Re: 5 Lessons Learned Outfitting a New Boat (A Cautionary Tale)

Sorry to hear of your all too familiar troubles. At least you love your FP after all is said and done.

This story, and others like it, should be mandatory reading for the occasional poster on here who says he/she wants to buy a new boat to avoid all the problems of updating a used boat. You did have a good experience with FP but there are many stories of those who have not had the same experience with other builders.

As a prior professional installer of many different pieces of boats, primarily electrical, electronic, plumbing, heating, and a few other items (including one ice maker and numerous refrigerators), and working for a stand-up boatyard, I always got the customer to specifically show where they wanted any new gear installed. I would not start an install without giving them the option of doing that. If they said "just go ahead and put it in" I reminded them that I would do my best but they may or may not agree with my decision. Most of the times they would agree but only because I had done so many others you figure out there are only so many options that will work. You need to find the vendor that takes the time and makes the effort to give that type of service. Not all do.

Fair winds on your new cat.
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Old 23-05-2016, 17:06   #17
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Re: 5 Lessons Learned Outfitting a New Boat (A Cautionary Tale)

OMG Tasha, We love your videos and are subscribers!

Go look at this post I made a while ago:

Buying new in France or buying used in the Caribbean?

I hope I didn't misquote you in any way!
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Old 23-05-2016, 17:36   #18
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Re: 5 Lessons Learned Outfitting a New Boat (A Cautionary Tale)

Hah...your posting made my stomach churn, as I experienced so much of the same with my purchase of a new Catalina from an incompetent and crooked dealer. You talked about trying to "stay ahead of stupid". I know exactly what you mean. They can find more ways to be stupid than you could ever hope to anticipate.

After the rotten experience of buying a new boat, our current boat was purchased 20 years old and we are so much happier.

What did I learn from my new boat experience and my more recent experience of having a house built (where the contractor started with the mistake of pouring the wrong foundation)?

Keep an eye on them. They don't like it? Too bad. Question them. They don't like that either. Too bad. Show them how you want it done. NEVER give them the benefit of the doubt or fail to point out possible errors out of politeness. You can be assured they would never return the favor. And every time you fail to watch and question, you will regret it for years.

I doesn't matter if they don't like you.

I am amazed at the combination of incompetence and stupidity that exists, and can't fathom how these people do business the way they do.

And no, I don't pretend to be able to achieve a 100% positive outcome when working with service people. The best you can hope for is to mitigate disaster.
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Old 23-05-2016, 19:32   #19
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Re: 5 Lessons Learned Outfitting a New Boat (A Cautionary Tale)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessellate View Post
Since it's a small industry, we're afraid word will get around and we'll be black listed or something.
That is not an unfounded fear. Her in St. Augustine, the marinas all talk to each other. One small screw up, like not cleaning up the dock perfectly after a day f working on the boat can set off a dock master to kick you out. Then they call around to all the other dock masters to keep you out.

Moral of the story... don't piss off the dockmasters!
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Old 24-05-2016, 23:05   #20
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Re: 5 Lessons Learned Outfitting a New Boat (A Cautionary Tale)

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Originally Posted by meirriba View Post
Tasha,
It all comes in the end to evaluation of people.
I couldn't agree with you more. And I am normally very good at evaluating people and their potential to do good/harm. I think we very much trusted our broker at the beginning (and he didn't give us a choice on outfitter) and we flew to France to meet with the outfitter in person and he nodded his head and said "yes" to everything we asked for.

But the reality of what he produced (poorly) started trickling through our boat, as we were living on the boat and overseeing what work was being done in-person. And the more we complained that items weren't being installed as requested, or even to manufacturer specifications (as was with the gauge of cable used on the autopilot, to single out one item), the more hostile the outfitter got... Until he deteriorated into doing shoddy installations and then flat-out refusing to honor the warranties (while the broker ignored our emails). Like with the autopilot. It was obvious on the day we did the sea trial that it didn't work. The outfitter stated that calibrations weren't their problem, then went on vacation for a month 30 minutes after the sea trial ended and refused to make any amends on the faulty installation.

I think my character radar was thrown off by a desire to NEED this company to do the right thing. By the time we realized how bad they were, the damage was already done and they wouldn't take responsibility for it. And then the broker shifted all blame to the outfitter whilst not taking responsibility for hiring the outfitter.

I'm watching these weird emoticons flash at me from the screen on my right at the moment and this one certainly stands out the most in this situation...



x1,000,000

And a few of these for our broker who hired the outfitter in question:

And then a few more for us being suckered in by a broker who was a nice guy but had so little ability to focus on details that he couldn't even get our boat's name right on our engine registration papers.

Our boat is called Cheeky Monkey.

Our Volvo Penta engine registration documents read "Chase the Monkey". It may seem like a small typo to the world, and maybe most people see that as not a big deal..."What's the problem? He got the word monkey in there...?" But one is our boat name and the other sounds like a euphemism...but, more importantly, to me it is an illustration of how careless he was about everything. It wasn't even in his ability to focus long enough to correctly transmit the name of our boat to the warranty holders of major parts on our catamaran.

And I'm sure I don't have to mention here how much money a broker earns on the sale of a brand-new 44-foot catamaran.

To me, attention to detail and customer satisfaction is everything when we're discussing that kind of price point. But, what am I crazy? Even if you paid $10,000 for a 1972 monohull, I would expect the broker, at the very least, if nothing else, to get the name of the boat right on the paperwork.

AM I CRAZY OR AM I RIGHT?!
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Old 24-05-2016, 23:41   #21
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Re: 5 Lessons Learned Outfitting a New Boat (A Cautionary Tale)

Quote:
Originally Posted by siamese View Post
Hah...your posting made my stomach churn, as I experienced so much of the same with my purchase of a new Catalina from an incompetent and crooked dealer. You talked about trying to "stay ahead of stupid". I know exactly what you mean. They can find more ways to be stupid than you could ever hope to anticipate.
OMG I love that phrase to "stay ahead of stupid". It's a real struggle, isn't it? What else could they f$@# up?! That's how you have to think, isnt' it? I'm just not smart enough to think of all the stupid ways someone could screw up my boat...install the compass on top of the engine, cut a crooked hole for the freezer so it sits at a tilt, drill holes where they weren't meant to be...AUGH!

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Old 05-06-2016, 18:09   #22
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Re: 5 Lessons Learned Outfitting a New Boat (A Cautionary Tale)

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
You need to find the vendor that takes the time and makes the effort to give that type of service. Not all do.

Fair winds on your new cat.
So true! And I would also go so far as to say that getting the right broker from the start can make a huge difference in your experience buying the boat and getting all the components you want/need. Most of our woes that we're dealing with now, even after 10 months of owning our new boat, stem from our broker not doing his job.

A good broker can make a big difference! Especially since Fountaine-Pajot won't sell direct -- you HAVE to go through a broker.
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Old 06-06-2016, 14:42   #23
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Re: 5 Lessons Learned Outfitting a New Boat (A Cautionary Tale)

Sometimes the fault is with the "Owner".

I recall a new boat owner that wrote a scathing review of a service organization he sent his injectors to for rebuilding . The company literature specifically said NOT to sent the connections and offered a kit for new copper crush washers. It was all straightened out but cost the service provider some undeserved bad press.

It is true that getting things done on your boat can be very pricy....If you do not have the skills you will pay the piper.
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