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Old 09-29-2014, 11:08 AM   #48
Capt Kangeroo
Senior Member
City: Great Lakes
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: NONE
Vessel Model: NONE
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 438
While many here have probably read this, there is a short article in Passage Maker magazine that gives a bit of background on the Taiwanese built trawlers. For those interested google "Taiwan's Venerable Trawlers" Passage Maker magazine 1998 for a pdf of the article. The bulk of the article everyone pretty much knows but there are some interesting tidbits regarding specific brands.

The main points the author makes is that any make or model could have been built by any of the Taiwan yards with quality of construction ranging from excellent to simply abysmal. The actual brand of boat means very little which is the point I think Psneeld was trying to make, it "just so happens" his is an Albin. I too get extremely frustrated fixing things that were not done properly at the factory and even more so on a boat from a supposedly high end builder that should have known better.

Essentially throughout the 70's into the early 80's it was a big free-for-all and anyone who could nail two boards together joined in the fray. Not only was building small trawlers new but so was building with Fiberglas so engineering on the fly by trial and error simply had to produce some lemons. Fortunately most of the actual "designs" were solid and seaworthy having been designed by North American architects, it was the quality of construction that suffered horribly from one boat to the next.

Albin at least tried to get a handle on quality control by using well known established yards like Chung Hwa and having it's own Engineers and architects on site to oversee production. According to the article however they are no less guilty than any of the others in farming work out to the questionable small yards when it was expedient to do so. Shortsightedly they also allowed the use of their molds for rebranding by others who produced look-alikes of dubious quality. I also highly doubt that the Albin Architects and Engineers were present at these other small yards hence even greater disparities in quality between their builds.

I think the other issue that gets overlooked is the age of the boats. As the industry matured and the initial buyer frenzy died away they all learned, albeit slowly, and as time passed the quality of construction improved. The problems that remain today such as leaky windows, rotting cores and rusted tanks can be found on virtually any brand and are not a build issue but a maintenance one which sadly will be here forever.

Incidentally, my prize possession, "the Gunnert floor freezer on my Albin" has 4" foam cut to size properly and glued to the freezer sides. Hardly enough insulation but at least it was fastened appropriately.
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