Gunboat International sues Chinese boatyard | Trade Only Today

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by brian eiland, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 2,925
    Likes: 66, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
    Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

    powerabout Senior Member

    as it happens this Chinese yards other businesses that have been contract manufacturing top name label gear for decades are some of the largest known sporting/safety equipment manufacturers in the world.
    If he thought stealing proprietary information was a freeby and make his own it would have been all over years ago.
    So when PJ on trade only mentioned it will hurt his ( chinese related companies) reputation in the USA the walmarts of the world must have laughed
     
  2. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
    Posts: 4,964
    Likes: 188, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1903
    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Certainly not going to effect a Walmart connection,...but if any boat construction company is looking around for a manufacturing location in the world, and does their homework with lots of internet research, they will surely stumble upon a lot of material that may give them a secondary pause as to whether that is a good decision to locate in China at this time?
     
  3. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 2,925
    Likes: 66, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
    Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

    powerabout Senior Member

    sure assuming there is any merit in the filing.
    The more you dig into the GB story it makes far more interesting reading than HH which are happily selling boats to repeat customers of designs they own.
     
  4. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
    Posts: 4,964
    Likes: 188, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1903
    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Building Materials

    I think you may had hit upon one aspect of the problem of building in China,....the source of the building materials. I suspect you were not only worried about 'traceability', but also viability.

    It is not as in many countries that have a history of building boats that can often have multi sources to get the best prices and quality of building materials. I believe in many cases there are NO sources for the proper materials needed for a particular product within China, so those materials need to be 'invented' by another Chinese subcontractor,....good luck with that in a hi-tech world.

    As just an example, does anyone recall the little electronics snafu a few years ago where a subcontractor was supplying capacitors to many builders of electronic equipments,...TV's, computer flatscreens, etc, etc. And many of those final products were failing due to blown capacitors on the circuit boards. Obviously that subcontractor was not producing very good quality capacitors,...a relatively simple item to make correctly,...must have been cutting some corners himself to make the almighty dollar.
     
  5. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 1,805
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 304
    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    “I think if publicity on the federal complaint gets out, it will have to have some impact on other business. What they’ve done to us would scare the hell out of any American customer" sez the founder of Gunboat.

    Mostly this would "scare the hell out of" any Gunboat customers: past, present and future.

    I hear such statements are a big no-no in the American legal system.

    You NEVER want to let out the slightest whiff that you are suing or otherwise using the legal system for some public relations platform or to make the other guy spend money, reveal secrets or anything else that isn't strictly the supposed purpose of your legal action.

    You are SUPPOSED to say "I can't comment on pending litigation" and let the reporters do the rest. Its a reverse psychology thing. Like Tom Sawyer and the fence painting job.:p

    Sounds like Gunboat needs a "Consigliere" to wise them up on things like dealing with the Chinese on quality control on the back end and what to say to press on the front end.


    PS-IIRC Taiwan, South Korea and maybe a few other Oriental nations have laws that will prevent foreigners from exiting if they are determined to possibly owe money in a contract, which sounds pretty scary given the authorities will be taking their local guy's word as gospel in all matters. I remember some big US boy band (Backstreet Boys?) had a dispute with a South Korean concert promoter and were held until they preformed the concert, and you gotta figure an major act that that would have lawyers. So I'm not sure it would be such a good idea to be "on site" when things start getting disputed. Maybe do it all via Skype video?
     
  6. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    Reading between the lines it said "Hudson has no personal expertise in boat building. The team that Hudson brought in from New Zealand to “project manage” turned out to be almost totally devoid of management skills and of rather dubious ethical standing. Equally they had no company “culture” to bring along with them."

    There are many good comments from Brian's link explaining the reality of the situation such as

    Rod Brandon

    That the boats were manufactured in China was not the problem.

    What steps did Gunboat make to ensure their quality expectations were met?

    Too many manufacturers move production to get the lowest possible manufacturing cost bid, (and highest gross margin), and then wonder why quality is an issue.

    Shame on Gunboat for doing nothing to ensure their customers received a quality product.

    Had they done their job correctly, the quality would have been manufactured in by their specification.

    Had they done their job half fast, defects would have been detected and corrected as they occurred on the shop floor, per the pre-arranged inspection and reporting methodology.

    Instead they did nothing, and defective product was delivered to the end customer. Well that’s gonna hurt margins. Shame!

    They asked for the boats to be built cheaply, and they got what they paid for.

    Additionally, holding payments on product delivered is not cool (unless that was pre-arranged in writing, which I doubt). How much good will should a subcontract manufacturer extend for warranty to a purchaser (Gunboat)who hasn’t paid their bill for good delivered?

    If Gunboat had wanted to do that, it would have had to be part of the original contract, with the amount of holdback and methodologies for deficiency determination and remediation specified.


    Derek Kelsall

    Very experienced NZ boat builders have been on site on two of our projects and I have also spent time there on two occasions. I will not go into detail here but suffice to say that today, of 4 companies we have dealt with there is just one company building Kelsall designs. Too soon to tell but I am hopeful that this one will do well. The manager spent 4 years studying in Auckland and the owner and his team came here for a visit.

    I am happy to share my experience with interested parties.

    I found two major problems – knowing who was really making the decisions and whether the interpreters were correctly translating. One minute of my words took five minutes to translate. In other languages, I can follow the translation. Another was getting an indication of the funding available for the project. On several occasions I was asked how many more men I needed. More even basic tools cost too much.

    Fortunately, we lost no more than time and expenses. All part of life’s rich experience. My advice is to do the research (not easy) and have someone on site you can trust.

    From my experience I am amazed at what the country does achieve in other fields, which should translate for boats.


    Tony Grainger

    There are two sides to manufacturing in China.
    One is that many international companies of high standing produce high quality goods in China and back up their products with first class support. They do this by ensuring that the product is manufactured and supported to a level that is part of that company’s culture, regardless where the product if manufactured or serviced.
    The evidence to support this is the large number of high quality electronics, cars and fashion items that are made in China.
    To get a balanced view of the overall picture however I strongly recommend “Poorly Made in China” by Paul Midler. It’s a well grounded essay in reality and essential reading for anyone intending to do business there.

    In my own case, which unfortunately has some parallels with the Gunboat issue – at least in terms of build quality and refusal to deal with – or even inspect the problems, the failures had two fundamental causes.
    Hudson has no personal expertise in boat building. The team that Hudson brought in from New Zealand to “project manage” turned out to be almost totally devoid of management skills and of rather dubious ethical standing. Equally they had no company “culture” to bring along with them.
    Hudson’s own failure was a lack of interest in dealing with the problems. A Jobs or a Branson or a Musk would have been jumping up and down wanting to know what the heck was going on. Hudson was happy to simply pass the complaints over to the people who were the fundamental cause of the problems, aim the artillery at the messenger and hope the issue would go away.



    Michael Obolensky

    As Tony already mentioned above there are different ways to do business in China. … The professional way, and the way Gunboat went …. Entering China or as a matter of fact any overseas market without profund knowledge, an existing team on site with local experience the project is doomed to fail … I have seen it happening during my 25 years working in China, India and other places..
    China is still an interesting place to produce a variety of products, boats included. More companies will take the chance and succeed, others will try and fail due to inexperience and poor management.
     
  7. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 2,925
    Likes: 66, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
    Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

    powerabout Senior Member

  8. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    My wife speaks fluent Chinese language and that is the main solution in doing good business and quality control in China.

    Chinese translators can be disastrous for many reasons which one is they are not engineers translating engineer issues, another is they do not want to offend the company owner or manager so a complaint will not be translated correctly and yes can mean no, and no can mean yes, and no problem means big problem, and OK can be distorted to thinking OK in general, but really meaning did you understand.

    In the early days a translator relaying to a owner of a large company, I asked him did you explain what I just told him, he took 15 minutes to explain a 1 minute translation when I made a complaint on quality.
    He said in a loud confident YES exactly, so I asked him what did I say, and he looked confused with panic and end up saying I do not know what I meant and told the owner you are happy with quality.

    I said I was not happy and he said yes he knows but I did not want the owner of factory to lose face.

    This is normal as you need to understand the culture as in respect is one of the main ones and the translator will say yes when he means no just to save face him self about his translating skills or knowledge which he has none about the engineering you are trying to express.

    Because my wife needs to stay in Thailand to look after her mother 24/7 who has had a stroke she translates for me by phone calls so we still have a good translation communications and no misunderstanding.
     
  9. Leo Lazauskas
    Joined: Jan 2002
    Posts: 2,696
    Likes: 151, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2229
    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    The article only presents one side of the story.
    The other parties in the dispute have been smart enough not to comment while litigation is in progress.
     
  10. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
    Posts: 690
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 57
    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    HH employed expertise from NZ to control the QC and relied on NZ boat builders that the Chinese's must of been thinking NZ are the best who in reality seem to be the blame of all QC.
    I think the NZ boat builders are capable although the article says and are responsible for the over see in the QC, as I mention the translating misunderstanding and saving face and not known to the Chinese's culture most likely the main reason of bad quality.

    The other reason is the GB for not inspecting the work they have contracted and most likely also relied in the NZ boat building thinking NO PROBLEM.

    An example of joint manufacturing venture with China and a NZ is a milk company called Fonterra manufacturing milk powder for Chinese's babies. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fonterra_and_the_Chinese_contaminated_milk_scandal

    The NZ company would of known the QC problems if not 100% controlled but they did not do QC for a food product that was fed to babies which now many suffer irreversible health problems and babies died.
    The NZ company ducked for cover and avoided all responsibility for their QC system of their own products and passed the blame, which some are executed or doing life in prison while NZ company comes out smelling like roses.
     
  11. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
    Posts: 4,964
    Likes: 188, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1903
    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    :D:D:D Just had to have a little laugh at that posting Myark. I'm thinking back about my situation trying to get my Thai wife (who speaks english) to tell some Thai contractors what I wanted done to our townhouses there. Often I just did not think I got her to translate exactly what I was saying, but rather she modified it into her words. And in the Buddhist way, the wording was just not as forcefull as I wanted it expressed. ....ha...ha.

    And to get a contractor to sign some sort of 'deal' in writing,....forget it.

    I actually got into several arguments with my wife over my insistence that things be done in a certain proper manner,....not the 'Thai way' I would be told,...to be combative about it being done correctly and in a manner that I was willing to pay for.
     
  12. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 3,007
    Likes: 300, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1306
    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    Heh, were on the boat also some components made in Europe or US?

    Title of topic sounds very provocative. And it works - everyone discussing China in this thread... no one cares what really happened, mass media approach - title is everything.
     
  13. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 2,925
    Likes: 66, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
    Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

    powerabout Senior Member

    also deflects the pattern from the very first GB yard with money paid but unfinished boats then bankruptcy
     
  14. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 2,925
    Likes: 66, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
    Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

    powerabout Senior Member


  15. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 2,925
    Likes: 66, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 719
    Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

    powerabout Senior Member

Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.