We recently ran a Catamaran Manufacturing Survey on Katamarans.com. You can still contribute to the survey – please help us to build up an accurate picture of the industry.
We have received 32 responses so far from owners who have purchased new catamarans within the last 5 years. This is a modest response so far, but there are some interesting pointers coming out which are worth sharing.
We’d just qualify the results with the fact that the smaller the sample size, the larger the statistical volatility. In some cases, we have left out the data from the survey as there was just a single respondent for that brand (eg Knysna)
Brands in the Survey
Overall, the responses were positive and constructive. Not all, though, there were plenty of issues were reported across the brands
However, the majority of respondents would recommend the brand to another buyer
The After-Sales experience is more polarised with some brands doing well, but with over one third of respondents scoring 5 or less.
Most of the Issues were Minor-Medium (non critical). However, 2 respondents logged over 10 significant issue in the first year.
Performance of the Brands
Here we would repeat our qualification that this is a small sample size.
HH, Seawind, Outremer score the highest. Higher volume manufacturers score lower. Lagoon gets good feedback.
These are my take outs from this modest survey, but remember, the sample size is small so the results are likely to be volatile. However, this has been an interesting exercise, a “work in progress” if you like if there is further interest in getting this kind of information recorded.
- In general, positive feedback. Seawind, HH, St Francis and Outremer in particular attracting good feedback across the board.
- Despite their recent press, Lagoon scoring well on build quality and after-sales
- The other higher volume manufacturers score more modestly on build quality. Those that do the after-sales win their customers over in the end anyway.
- After sales performance is more polarised.
Examples of Issues
Here are some of the Issues that were reported
- Heating, noisy steering, bilge pumps, batteries only lasted 18 months, B&G Nav disconnecting, sliding door jumped out of tracks, sun damage on coach roof
- We had a faulty watermaker. This was not the builder’s fault. The watermaker co did fix it but it was a difficult thing to get done while traveling.
- Salt water in engine compartment, engines not working
- Bad windows seal. Factory fixed it.
- Minor flaws in construction
- Gel coat repairs. Corrosion. Water leak
- Saildrive seals
- Electronics issues, Engine rpm sensor, poor wiring connections, locker latches, fridge/freezers fail, stearing cable pullies were not tightly bolted, etc. etc…
- Saildrive leak, bilge leaks, interior issues, plumbing issues, AC issues, dirty fuel tank from factory, missing parts
- Gray water tank leak, tilt door failure
- Gel Coat cracks (not structural), ceiling panel clips not strong enough, poor manuals
- Crossbeam corrosion and furniture creaking
- Window delamination. Roller Furling failure
- “Shroud /back stay terminal failure
- Garage door hydraulics failure”
- Holding tank dump valve handle was put on backwards. Bad solar panel
- Salon entry door deformation.
- Leaking hatch
- Rudder disconnected, wrong installtion of 12v, wrong installtion of power winches, loose pipes connections of thruhulls, artificial teak deck need to be replaced
- Poor quality water maker
- Toilet holding tank issues
- Sea water in the engine compartment / autopilot disengaging randomly
- Micro cracks on the side deck due to tolerances around the bulkheads. Wrong positioning of the transducer.
- Mainsail getting stuck up the mast, unable to get down. Had to get up the mast and open the clip to drop it. Luckily it never happened in high winds.
- Forestay pin coming out, generator failings
- Overall moulding issues particularly on nonskid surfaces, engine vibration