Service bulletins


koenvelleman <no_reply@...>
 

Hi,

I am a bit shocked about the Crusader debacle.
As owner of SM #17, I must say that I didn't encounter major
problems.
SM #17 sailed 1 1/2 times around the world

Before deciding to buy a new SM I did a survey of cruising boats in
the 50 foot range, and although I hate a few of the Amel features
(fake teak etc) none of the boats I visited could convince me.
(regardless of price)

Ofcourse nothing is perfect and I had a lot of small problems, wich
are all corrected and also corrected by Amel in their later boats
That's the good thing about Amel. Other yards change their designs
every few years and re-invent new problems again and again.

Guess Ian Shepard must have been very unlucky, having 2 major
failures.
Blaming the failures to single-handed sailing is in my opinion not
relevant.

I don't want to get mixed up with the Crusader debacle, of wich we
all know very little details, but lets hope that Amel solve this
dispute ASAP, and that they choose for a "commercial" solution
rather then go to court. This would prevent big damage to the Amel
reputation and to the re-sale value of our boats.

But I must support Ian in his proposal of a kind of service
bulletins.

When telling Amel about some of my problems their reaction has always
been "We never had this problem before.."
Talking to other owners I discovered that they all had similar
problems and that they also got the same answer from Amel.

The point is that if I had known about these problems, I could easely
corrected them in harbor. Discovering problems in mid ocean or in
Bangladesh is something else...

I proposed Amel to start a kind of service bulletins some years ago
(like in aviation), some just for information and some mandatory
(like AD's in aviation).
Their response was that al owners would force them for free repairs
and that the competition would use it killing Amels reputation.
Guess they started a kind of bulletin after the sinking of Ian's
boat, but only for very serious cases.

But times are changing.
Product liability is getting serious also in Europe now.
All who have been in manufacturing know that covering up known
defects can have very severe results for the company and the
directors.
Sooner or later a "small" known problem could trigger big problems
with personal injury or death.
A big lawsuit could follow and this could be the end of the AMEL
yard.
This would not be good news for us.

By publishing "service bulletins" and "mandatory service bulletins"
to all owners, Amel would tranfer their responsibility to the owner.
By warning us, it would be our responsibility to comply.

If Amel would offer suggestions or even repair kits to solve the
problems then the reputation of Amel would improve..not killed.

I hate to discover problems the expensive or even dangerous way,
when several other owners had the same problems.
And we are not only talking about major failures but also about the
numerous small problems that are unavoidable in such a complex
product.

If we all push hard enough to convince Amel, it will be good for all
of us, including the warf.
It would be a pitty that Amel would have to learn the hard way, that
product liability is becoming an issue, also in Europe and it would
be nice to be warned and to be able to correct faults before they
become problems.

Your vieuws pls,

Koen

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