I've had several emails asking about the launch of my Tiki 38 in Thailand.
Well, it was launched – following a long, 18-month build – but in the end,
the vessel was not up to scratch. Substantial amounts of inventory were either
not fitted or not of the brand/standard specified. There were also significant
questions about the integrity of the steering, the rig and other elements that
were not built to spec' and the overall finish was very poor – even
compared to many home-built Tiki 38s.
Clearly, the supervision and care that was was apparent in the initial stages
of the build – then entrusted to the yard when I visited them again in late
2007 – had deteriorated.
I'm not the only one to think so. Shortly after my vessel was launched,
Warren Matthews, who commissioned the build of another Tiki 38 at the yard,
stopped his build, collected the unfinished hulls and deck and shipped them back
to New Zealand for completion by the highly respected David Norris yard. Warren
is likely to document his issues with RB Power And Sailing on his own blog.
I have refused to accept delivery of the vessel. I have also refused to pay
more than $16,000 dollars in unspecified and unagreed to overages – on top of
$8,500 in overages I paid last year – which represent well over 15% of the
total build price. I have refused to waive the warranties agreed to by the
builder in his contract – indeed, he now seeks indemnities against any future
problems with the boat.
Yes, I am likely to lose the $135,000 plus substantial travel expenses I have
already invested in the vessel. However, if I accept delivery, I would have to
pay more than 50% of this amount to have it released from the yard and to
rebuild/refit – and that's if I could find a yard in the region that could
be trusted to undertake it.
I have returned to Australia to put some distance between myself and this mess,
which is now in the hands of the Bangkok office of a very reputable and
aggressive firm of litigators. Right now, the money is not as pressing as my
health – but clearly this situation is enormously disappointing (to say the
Thanks for all your notes of interest and support. I'd appreciate it if you
would warn (in any way you can) your friends and fellow-sailors against
considering a build ar the RB Power And Sailing yard – or, indeed, any yard
that is not right on a would-be owner's doorstep. The risks aren't worth
Right on Neil I was an xpat in Indonesia for many years and observed a lot of similar things like this occur including boatbuildind yards run buy xpat 'bule's.[whitey]Id keep to myself a lot and worked with local people mainly as there seems to be a strong attraction to the type of character who thinks they are far away enough from their own country that they can get away with anything, as well as bleeding the locals in that particular place.Build your own whether it takes more time or not and get even more out of it knowing you achieved it yourself
I've been following this discussion with interest. I've had occasion to correspond with Creed regarding his build and other things, and I'm saddened that it all had to work out this way.
It seems hit or miss that people who hire a yard to build their boats either are thrilled or completely disappointed with the end result. Expectations too high? Shoddy workmanship? Lack of quality materials in far flung countries? Who knows?
I do agree with Jacques that building the boat yourself is the ''Wharram" way but there are circumstances that warrant having the build contracted out for whatever reason (lack of desire to build, lack of skills, lack of time...the list goes on). I would also agree with Jacques that if you build it yourself and you're unsatisfied...you need only look in the mirror (for less money).
I'm making my best effort at building a Tiki 46 with reasonable materials and 'amateur' skills. At least I have complete control over the end result. That counts for something...to me, anyway.
As one who has no time to build a boat myself (I'm still finishing my house I started 10 years ago), I am having Budgetboater build my Tiki 38. I have plenty of housebuilding stories to go around, as well as the heartaches associated with it. There is a lot to say about having an experienced, passionate, competent person build a boat for you. I know this: I would never have a Wharram if I had to build it myself. Sometimes it's the process, sometimes it's the product.