5 Lessons in Outfitting a New Boat


I’ve mentioned before, in a post called The 80percent Rule, that purchasing a new ship is not like investing in a new automobile, if you do not expect your brand-new car become delivered having lacking stereo, a broken speedometer and a bumper that falls down while you grab of the dealership.

The thing is there are countless events involved with creating the finished item that’s your brand-new ship your quality varies between various the different parts of your vessel, with regards to the responsibility assumed by the manufacturer (inside our case, Fountaine-Pajot), the broker, the post-factory outfitter and the different organizations whom offer warranties for the products you’ve selected.

And even though it may seem that these events are working together towards the normal goal of providing you with a completely working ship outfitted with the devices and gizmos your heart desires and your wallet are able, the fact remains there are differences in just how each of these events approaches that goal while additionally catering for their important thing.

This range of lessons learned comes directly from our experience working with Fountaine-Pajot, our broker, our post-factory outfitter while the various businesses who offered united states products that we researched and chose for the Helia.

Of course, every brand new motorboat owner has a different sort of story to share with about their buying experience. So keep in mind that the advice listed here is no place near comprehensive and should be studied as being a pinch of salt in a mixed stew of experiences. Nonetheless, they are the true stories behind the classes we’ve discovered.


Here is a Helia in the process of being built

Lesson #1: If it may be set up by the factory, obtain it set up by the factory.

We can’t talk for many yacht manufacturers, but my hunch is this rule applies to most, if you don’t all motorboat brands. Within our experience, Fountaine-Pajot ranks near the top of the accountability list for almost any and all sorts of services and products they install. In the end, it really is their name branded on the side for the boat; maybe not the broker’s title or the outfitter installing your different gadgets.

And allow me to end up being the first to say that the overall quality of this work done by Fountaine-Pajot was top-notch. And, more importantly, whenever things went incorrect (while they constantly do having ship, whether it is old or brand new), FP took care for the repairs, replacements and labor immediately, irrespective of where we were on the planet. For instance, we’d an issue having a terrible creaking noise into the hull, which was via our slot stern when underway. FP identified it as being a problem they’d seen where the window ended up beingn’t bedded correctly within the fiberglass, causing friction, so they really immediately over-nighted a fresh window to Menorca and paid for it to be replaced and reinstalled correctly. The service was prompt, thorough so we never ever touched the bill.

One thing we’ve learned is for big installments like generator, water-maker and air-conditioners, there clearly was a great deal crucial wiring included that it’s best to have these products set up by the factory as the hull is in the procedure of being built, perhaps not after the ship actually finished item.

Thank goodness for people, our generator, water-maker and air-conditioners were installed by Fountaine-Pajot. Nevertheless the a number of installments that wound up being commissioned by our post-factory outfitter had not been discussed around, and when we’d known then that which we know now, we’d have specified what the factory should install; simply speaking, exactly what the factory was providing to set up. And now we could have done our very own research into whom should install those items not set up by the factory.

Just take the ice-maker, like. As we ordered our ship from FP, with an FP dealer, it never took place to us that it wouldn’t be installed by FP. But the work of setting up our ice-maker was handed to our post-factory outfitter. Which meant that after the ice-maker was delivered broken, set up broken and not worked, there was plenty of shrugging, scraping of minds and never responding to emails requesting a fresh ice-maker.

We considered attempting to sell the ice-maker for scrap steel or making it an extra anchor, but really all we wanted was for the outfitter to simply take obligation for a broken product they installed. But, because the post-factory outfitters are in the bottom of the list of events that maintain accountability because of their services and products, we still don’t have a working ice-maker.

lessons-outfitting-new-boat-turf-to-surf-sailing weblog

No number of glaring at this ice-maker is going to take it alive

If FP had installed an ice-maker that didn’t work, they would have instantly shipped united states a brand new machine and covered the installation. It could were a no-hassle demand and, almost certainly, we’d have experienced an operating ice-maker within a month.

In the end, after eight months of battling with the outfitters to just take responsibility for the faulty item they installed, we eventually gave up and took a refund from our broker the ice-maker. But I’d trade that cash in any day for working ice-maker and all sorts of the lost hours invested delivering emails that triggered no improvement in their state of our ice-maker.

And whilst I have undoubtedly your first G&Ts we afin de over ice from our future working ice-maker will taste all better for needing to wait; let us face it, eight months actually pretty number of years to be drinking warm gin.

Lesson #2: Buy specialty services and products from an authorized dealer (or direct from the manufacturer).

Being the fast-walking, coffee-guzzling, appointment-juggling, I’ll-pay-more-if-it-saves-me-time form of New Yorker that i’m, I appreciate a one-stop-shop possibility once I see one.

Once we surely got to La Rochelle, France last summer time, I had a growing variety of overwhelming jobs on my dish, besides the proven fact that we’d taken on colossal task of establishing, outfitting and stocking Cheeky Monkey on her round-the-world voyage within over a month. Then when the outfitter our broker hired wanted to purchase every thing we’d scribbled on our growing set of necessities, we purchased the opportunity to pay the logistical burden.

sailing web log turf to surf
Schlepping and organizing just isn’t my concept of enjoyable

And maybe it is possible that, someplace on the market, at the conclusion of the rainbow, there’s a pot of silver and a perfect outfitter who can behave as your one-stop search for every bit of motorboat gear you need. In my dreams, this outfitter would conserve me personally all the miles invested driving around in search of dealers and endless calls to traditions offices to trace down packages. In my aspirations, every thing is magically delivered to my motorboat with legitimate warranties and legit enrollment documents.

While you might have guessed through the way this thread is taking, but that didn’t happen.

And also this is in which we bring up the sore topic of our autopilot.

(Note: should anyone ever encounter me during the bar and desire to see my blood circulation pressure go from zero to sixty in under a second, simply mention either the autopilot and/or ice-maker. Or, even better, just purchase me personally a drink and don’t inquire about the autopilot.)

After all, exactly how could we be on a brand new boat and not have a working autopilot, you ask?

That’s a very good question having a two-part solution:

We have been significantly to be culpable for our stubborn selection of brand name because we decided to go for Garmin based solely regarding the hell we went through by having a Raymarine autopilot on Hideaway, our old motorboat.

However in hindsight, which a lot like determining you can never ever date another Brit because your last Uk boyfriend cheated for you. Maybe it had beenn’t British guys? Maybe it had been just that one autopilot?

You will get what I mean…and why is, all my research says Raymarine has one of the better cruising autopilots available on the market now, and now we ignored all that info due to a bad experience we once had with Raymarine. It absolutely was like we’d torched all our ex’s pictures and told our friends not to utter the title “Raymarine” inside our presence.

But, the fact is, we decided on a brand for the explanation – albeit a negative one – so we had every right as owners to set up whatever brand autopilot we wanted. it is simply unfortunate that people went with Garmin because the outfitter our broker hired to install our Garmin turned out to not be a certified Garmin dealer. To phrase it differently, there was clearly an authorized Garmin dealer in La Rochelle, but that wasn’t the business our broker hired – simply speaking, he hired similar outfitter whom burned us in the ice-maker. And I’m sure imaginable just how that story finished.

Therefore take this as being a cautionary story and understand what happens in this situation: in the event your broker employs a non-authorized dealer to install your electronics, then any warranty the installing that item is null and void. Assuming your broker fails to simply take duty for that error while your outfitter entirely and utterly screws up the installation to the point where your autopilot will do nothing but drive such as your drunken British ex towards a crash jibe (which is what happens whenever wiring is all incorrect while the compass is installed along with the motor), then you are not just kept having a mixed metaphor, but you’re stuck with a broken electronic system you paid tens of thousands of bucks for plus bill for repairs that your manufacturer wont protect. How’s that for the expensive concept?

Which provides a fantastic segue to another location tutorial about the marine industry generally…

cruising across the world blog turf to surf

it is therefore stressful telling this tale that i will be using this moment to highlight an important success: buying this bean case seat

Lesson #3: Expect to fork out a lot of time babysitting marine workers…unless you’re okay with random holes being drilled around your motorboat.

Remember how I said purchasing a new watercraft is nothing beats purchasing a brand new car? Well, imagine in the event that you brought your brand-new Mercedes in to the store because you desired to upgrade your stereo to a state-of-the-art Bose system for the sole purpose of rocking out to high-quality tunes in your morning commute to function.

And imagine you assumed – while you do – that the store guys have see the installation instructions and know in which a vehicle stereo goes. Nevertheless when you show up a week later to grab your new car, excited to blast the newest speakers within kick-ass stereo, you will find the stereo isn’t on the center system, in which you expected that it is. Instead, there’s a gap within the glove box where the mechanics have actually randomly shoved the stereo and glued it down with silicone. And you’re standing here with your head within fingers saying, “Why in hell did you cut a gap in my own glove package?!”

Meanwhile, the mechanics are shrugging their shoulders saying, “Well, you won’t ever said we couldn’t place the stereo in glove field. After all, if you’d like united states to move it, we can…we’ll just tape on the gap and put some plastic spray on it…no biggie. Or Perhaps You pays for a brand new glove box.”

Which can be as soon as your mind starts fermenting such as an overripe tomato through the blood circulation pressure accumulating in your neck, and your broker calls an ambulance because he believes either you’re having a coronary attack or, judging through the crazed try looking in your attention, he could function as one who results in the hospital.

This will be pretty much just what took place to us everyday for thirty days on our new watercraft in Los Angeles Rochelle. We might awaken each day with this blood pressure levels really low, thinking “Today, we’ll manage things better and we will preempt the stupid places individuals might cut holes within our hull.”

And every day, we discovered brand new techniques to define “stupid.”

Because right here’s the one thing — we had been physically on our watercraft, available for assessment everyday, and any moment we turned our backs, we’d discover another hole being drilled where it didn’t belong, in a completely various spot from where an installation ended up being designed to happen. Easily had a buck for every time We heard Ryan scream within the din of power tools, “What are you doing? That doesn’t get there!” we would are able to afford to cover a brand new autopilot.

And while you have got hardly any power to influence the task force at a boat factory like Fountaine-Pajot, you ought to be in a position to control any post-factory work which being done in your boat once it’s left the factory. I know, I know, you have better things to do rather than babysit – that dudes are compensated specialists, right? Which means you should just be capable keep the watercraft and go run all of the errands being mounting up on your own dish and allow them to manage the jobs you’ve offered them, appropriate?

Incorrect. You hope that the dudes working on your motorboat are 100percent expert and none of them are senior school kids whom just discovered how exactly to wire an autopilot by viewing a YouTube movie, ignoring all of the instructions that essentially say “DON’T INSTALL THE COMPASS CLOSE A BIG HUNK OF METAL…AND, YES, THE MOTOR IS REALLY A BIG HUNK OF METAL”  But our experience informs united states which you can’t leave your motorboat when work is going on. And also you can’t trust that the workers on your own motorboat know what they’re doing 100percent as you don’t know who’s the expert and who’s on the first-ever ship task until you’ve spent sometime watching them work.

Leading me personally to another location course we learned way back when from being burned by the marine industry in numerous areas of the world…

 broken autopilot cheeky monkey
When Ryan ended up being told the autopilot ended up being working – such false hope inside picture

Lesson no. 4: Never buy everything at the start and always withhold your final installment before the task is completed along with that which you taken care of in hand.

We are now living in some sort of in which we want to trust everybody to accomplish the proper thing. Nevertheless, life gets in the manner, other jobs come up, individual dilemmas arise or, into the worst-case scenario, you’re dealing with an unscrupulous person or business. And when that occurs, the only device you have for negotiating with someone who is failing continually to finish the work you hired them doing, is money.

As soon as we sailed out of Los Angeles Rochelle in August 2015, we nevertheless owed the outfitter one final payment of $4,000, pending two items which still needed to be settled – our broken ice-maker and missing registration papers for our new AB dinghy and Yamaha outboard.


We had been like kids at Christmas when our new dinghy arrived

After months of pestering the outfitter for the official enrollment papers, he fundamentally reacted which he didn’t keep these things and stated, shortly, “You don’t require them.”

Which, obviously, is ridiculous. Exactly what does he suggest, we don’t need evidence of ownership for the brand-new dinghy and motor we’ll be driving through harbors all over the globe? If we ever bring our boat toward U.S., I will be required to register Bananas, our dinghy, with the DMV. And we can’t do that without official registration documents.

A backwards and forwards ensued using the outfitter for months over this matter, frustrating us to no end, to make certain that once we got to Menorca, we chose to visit the Yamaha dealer in Mahon to inquire of exactly what documents they offer to clients once they purchase a new dinghy or outboard. The Yamaha dealer graciously revealed united states the official registration documents, so we sent copies to your outfitter, demanding we have the exact same for our dinghy and outboard.

That is where the tale takes a strange change. After days of saying he didn’t have our enrollment papers, sooner or later we received e-mail attachments of scanned documents that seemed much like the enrollment copies we’d delivered them for example. So we stated, “Great! Forward united states the originals.”

To which the outfitter refused. He’d just offer united states their newly “found” scans, yet not the originals, even though we were clear that people wouldn’t manage to register the dinghy with a scan for the document and that we now had severe issues how these “copies” out of the blue materialized.

Therefore once again, Ryan published straight back insisting we obtain the correct, initial documents. To which the outfitter responded he would do absolutely nothing more until we paid him the final $4,000 we owed for outstanding work.

So far as we could work-out, the truth that the reason why kept changing for why these registration papers couldn’t be produced could only mean 1 of 2 things:

1) Our outfitter unintentionally scribbled their Swiss bank-account numbers regarding the back of our enrollment documents, therefore he stressed if he paid our papers, we’d take his whole fortune.


2) the true registration documents never ever existed.

As per Lesson #2, if we’d attended an AB or Yamaha dealer for the outboard and dinghy, we might have found ourselves within situation.


Seriously, this might be our dream dinghy – 25 HP!

In the long run, the $4,000 we withheld ended up being the only real reason, after eight months, that individuals got our enrollment papers in hand. But even the $4,000 wasn’t inspiration enough the outfitter to do the proper thing by himself. It took our broker’s participation to track down the documents from AB and Yamaha and, as soon as which was done, we transferred the amount of money we owed. But not an additional sooner.

What we didn’t get to withhold, but ended up being settlement the lost hours spent badgering our broker and outfitter for eight months to manage this unreasonable problem.

We additionally weren’t compensated for the stress of investing our life’s cost savings on a boat and then obtain an email like this from our outfitter:

“As you realize i’m a fighter, I promises you that i will release nothing…i suppose that you didn’t realize that I work since many years because of the D.O.D. (Division des Operations Douanières). They truly are very efficient throughout the world, therefore don’t be shock if, 1 day, you should have your motorboat under seizure by the local traditions.”

Yep. That’s the stuff of regrets. Whenever you spend your hard-earned money on a fantasy therefore find yourself being threatened.

Lesson no. 5: contact other motorboat owners and get reviews regarding outfitters who’ll be doing your post-factory work.

Ryan chatted to a range Helia owners (a large thank-you to Amy and David of Out Chasing movie stars) to achieve insight into the entire process of buying a brand new ship and working with a brokerage. It aided immensely in areas we knew to look out for, but obviously it didn’t avoid us from making all errors I’ve called in the previous lessons. However the more understanding, the better — it’ll offer you a leg up in negotiating along with your broker and avoiding a number of the errors we’ve manufactured in the process of purchasing our motorboat.

The reality is we love our motorboat and wouldn’t trade it for almost any other ship available on the market. Nevertheless the strife we experienced to have the watercraft we love could have been prevented.


We possibly may perhaps not need an ice-maker, but what I certainly don’t need is this opening

With all the countless discussion boards on Facebook, Reddit and boating-specific web sites like CruisersForum.com, all it requires is one concern posted online throughout your coffee break plus twenty-minute pause before lots of communications will put in, answering your questions regarding the standard of marine work with ports all over the world. Along with the overflowing number of sailing blog sites online, you’re bound to find a blogger cruising on simply the watercraft you want to buy.

Almost certainly, your broker won’t be forthcoming about bad client reviews of the outfitter because he does not wish you to have doubts about buying your new motorboat from him/her. But you can do your research and contact customers straight due to their tales before you make your decision about whom have to do the work you will need in your ship. At the end associated with the day, it really is your hard-earned cash, time along with your fantasy that’s at risk.

We’ve discovered the difficult means your understanding of the fantasy could be smooth or torturous, dependent on whom you use.

I’m like there’s a public solution announcement in most this: Don’t be considered a Cheeky Monkey. Get ice and registration documents, too.

sailing-blog-cheeky-monkey-lessons-outfitting-new-boatIf only we knew then that which we understand now


Change from Tasha

Hey everybody else!

I should add to this post that if you are thinking about purchasing a Fountaine-Pajot catamaran, you need to reach out to me personally at tasha (at) turftosurf.com — i’m always pleased to respond to questions about our buying experience. We’re incredibly delighted watercraft owners, despite all the teething dilemmas we’ve had with the post-factory work and we’re very open to assisting people have an improved buying experience than we’d.

You could have seen a youthful form of this post — sorry about that! I had to pull the post for a few edits, which took a while as I didn’t wish to say any such thing inaccurate. Therefore I apologize if you are looking over this again.

We would also like to express thank-you for reading and time for this web site over and over to wonder whenever into the hell I’m about to get my weblog updated to present – soon! I’ve been working hard in my own sunny workplace within Panama, tapping away on my computer in order to enable you to get more tales.

Though, i must admit I’ve gotten only a little side-tracked recently by telling stories on movie.

Therefore, if you haven’t seen all 22 of our movie tales so far, join the 18,000+ subscribers on our YouTube Channel, Chase the Story, for once a week movie updates. I’m having lots of fun reliving this journey we’re on through films we make.

And when you don’t already stick to the tale of Cheeky Monkey cruising all over the world on my other news, here’s and you’ll discover me:

Instagram: @turftosurf

Turf to Surf Facebook

Twitter: @turftosurf

Chase the Story Facebook

Many thanks once more, every person, for reading, observing, following and supporting this small dream of ours.