Three things that did not impress me:
1. Shoddy workmanship: Can you spot the poor workmanship here?
|Oh Beneteau... What were you thinking?|
2. Poor design: I don't have a photo of this one because it's hard to document it with photos. The new 2015 Hunter 31 debuted at the Annapolis show. This vessel has a unique engine arrangement. The engine is turned around backwards with the drive shaft pointing towards the bow, with a Sail Drive unit attached to it, forward of the engine. Hunter claims that the more central location of the Sail Drive gives the boat more power and maneuverability while motoring. However, there is no access to the side of the engine where the dipstick is located. You have to access it from the rear berth and reach back (forward?) along the side of the engine to get at the dipstick. History shows that poor maintenance equals early death (or rebuild) when it comes to boat engines. If you make it difficult to check the oil, fewer owners will take the time to actually do it, or any other maintenance for that matter... I asked the sales rep about it and he said - and I quote - "We're still working on it. This is hull #1 and it's going back to the factory after the show to address that issue and a few others." This reply blew me away. I know you want to show off your new product, but don't rush it to the show when there are still issues to fix!
3. Rude sales people: As I walked around the show, visiting boats, most of them have a sales rep on board to engage with customers. If you make eye contact with any good sales person, they will always greet you first. I stepped on to a Catalina 355 and there was a sales person sitting in the cockpit that clearly found his cell phone more interesting than greeting customers. I tried making eye contact but he wouldn't even look at me. I said "hello" - no answer. So I went about inspecting the boat on my own. After 5 or 10 minutes, I walked by him on the way off the boat. He STILL didn't acknowledge me. Good thing I wasn't in the market for a new boat. He definitely would not have gotten my business! Remember that scene in Pretty Woman where Vivian goes into the swanky clothing shops on Rodeo Drive and they wouldn't help her? Same thing here. BIG mistake. Only I'm not buying, just blogging about it!
Considering how much money is spent on marine equipment and boats in general, you would think that poor workmanship and design would be less prevalent. These were just a few examples of many. As for rude sales people, I guess there are rude people in all lines of work...