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Old 12-04-2018, 11:00 AM   #281
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Jeff Messmer, VP of Ranger Tugs and Cutwater has posted in response to this same thread on Tugnuts.

On Page 2 -

The TugNuts ‚ÄĘ View topic - Total nightmare!!
Pretty much a non-response, not what most of us were hoping for, but if what he states is true, they really haven't been given an opportunity.

I found this statement odd "In the event water were to accumulate in this area, we now install a 24/7 fully automatic bilge pump inside the pod as an extra precaution." Note the key word "now." Is that post sinking?

I still find the owner's behavior and responses bothersome. He chose not to insure. If it's true then that he hired two surveyors and had lawyers contact Liquid but has not provided access to Cutwater, that is bothersome. However, again, I look at wording. Messing doesn't say the owner didn't contact them but that the owner contacted lawyers. I hope that the contacting of lawyers didn't then make Liquid unwilling to discuss. He also states we "have not had access to the boat." Does that mean the owner said you can't come see it or simply didn't deliver it to Cutwater?

Had I been the owner, the first people I would have contacted would have been my insurer. Of course, wasn't one. Second would have been salvage to remove from water and almost immediately the dealer and builder. I might have contacted a lawyer but would not have told the builder or dealer unless or until they failed to respond adequately.

Had I been Cutwater, the moment I heard of the event I would have contacted the owner and I would have had myself and others on the next possible flight or drive to the area of the sinking.

Now in the case of either owner or Cutwater I would have backed all phone calls up with emails confirming what was said and done.

At this point there is no evidence of any effort to peacefully resolve this. Whose fault that is, or whether it's shared, I can't say. I don't believe either is giving the full story. Now, that may be partially at the instruction of lawyers, but makes it difficult for us or other customers or the general public to know what has happened.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:40 AM   #282
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He was insured. It's called self insured. Apparently he can afford it, but in any case, his decision on outside insurance is irrelevant to the fact the boat sank at the dock.

Perhaps read his response to Messner regarding his side of the story before reaching conclusions about what he did, or didn't do after discovery.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:49 AM   #283
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He now has a new post on his blog, two sides to every story........
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:01 PM   #284
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:06 PM   #285
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Why does a sales and marketing VP address this? Wouldn’t a marine engineer or other qualified technical expert from Fluid be better equipped to provide actual answers to actual valid technical questions?

Messmer seems to be a general VP and the Sales and marketing guy, not CEO, CFO, production manager, naval architect or anyone else who might have first-hand knowledge of how this particular design came to be constructed in this manner. He appears to quite skilled at obfuscation though and this may be why Fluid put him in place as their mouthpiece.

I guess I just answered my own question........ although since it seems Fluid is unwilling to inspect the vessel in question they would be unable to answer any technical questions no matter who was their public face.

As a side note: the folks over at the Cutwater forum seem remarkably comfortable with having just a charged battery and fully functioning bilge pump and float switch be the only thing preventing their boats from sinking in certain common conditions.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:11 PM   #286
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He was insured. It's called self insured. Apparently he can afford it, but in any case, his decision on outside insurance is irrelevant to the fact the boat sank at the dock.

Perhaps read his response to Messner regarding his side of the story before reaching conclusions about what he did, or didn't do after discovery.
I think I made it clear that after Messner's response we still knew nothing.

Now we have contact of the Warranty Administrator. Perhaps that's the only person he could reach but I sure would have aimed higher. Messner still only a sales person.

While his decision on outside insurance is his choice, his statements of not imagining something could happen to a new boat doesn't reflect much experience or thought behind that decision.

I'm also sure Fluid got word of the event from other sources too, knowing how rapidly anything like this would spread. Again, if I were the owner of Fluid and I found out from another party, I'd want answers from my own staff and would ask everyone if they had heard sooner. The person who was informed but failed to inform me would deeply regret that.

To all those who thought this would be resolved quickly, as I said initially, this could drag out a very long time and I'm not just talking weeks or even months. I don't see anything that says either party or both parties will do what it takes to resolve it quickly.

Messmer's initial response is a non-response and we will see what his next response is. He shouldn't be responding until at the boat in Bellingham if that's where it is now.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:13 PM   #287
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Iím curious, is there another high end outboard vessel in the 30í range that has been converted at the build site from inboard to outboard power by adding a bolted on pod? I am quite familiar with 30í outboard powered vessels that are designed and manufactured as an integral unit with no bolted on pod.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:15 PM   #288
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He now has a new post on his blog, two sides to every story........
What's interesting about his post in response is that it would now be easy to see from his email client whether he did, or didn't immediately contact Cutwater and from his letter whether he did or didn't advise Fluid Motion of where the boat was being transported so they could have an opportunity to inspect it. Since Messner said they didn't get contacted, either the buyer is not telling the truth, or Messner is not telling the truth. If the latter, establishing bad faith on the part of the builder follows, which won't be good for them. As others have mentioned, it is likely that this event will suddenly disappear as the parties reach a mutually satisfactory arrangement for redress. However, I'd repeat my advice to anyone owning one of these boats - depending on a cheesy bilge pump to avoid a similar fate isn't a risk you bargained for when you bought your boat, so 302 owners should, IMHO, be seeking a seaworthy fix to this potential design problem.

I also find it rather fantastic that, at least based on Messner's statement, they only added the cheesy bilge pump after they originally designed the pod. What was the owner supposed to do before that? A wet vac and Brawny paper towels?
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:17 PM   #289
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Iím curious, is there another high end outboard vessel in the 30í range that has been converted at the build site from inboard to outboard power by adding a bolted on pod? I am quite familiar with 30í outboard powered vessels that are designed and manufactured as an integral unit with no bolted on pod.
That was really my question Tom. I see pods that are part of an integrated design, and pods that are open brackets designed to be bolted on, but I was just wondering, like you, if there was an inboard converted to an outboard that bolts a pod on to deal with the needed additional stern buoyancy, and if so, are those pods susceptible to flooding so as to require a bilge pump?
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:26 PM   #290
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I can't point to a boat with outboards on a pod but I've seen many and been aboard underway on one. Some are designed / built to have outboards on a pod. Some are modifications of existing boats that had inboards removed, pods and outboards installed.
Armstrong makes a lot of brackets for outboard powered boats.

C-Dory Tomcat has O/Bs mounted on brackets.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:29 PM   #291
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I think I made it clear that after Messner's response we still knew nothing.

Now we have contact of the Warranty Administrator. Perhaps that's the only person he could reach but I sure would have aimed higher. Messner still only a sales person.

While his decision on outside insurance is his choice, his statements of not imagining something could happen to a new boat doesn't reflect much experience or thought behind that decision.

I'm also sure Fluid got word of the event from other sources too, knowing how rapidly anything like this would spread. Again, if I were the owner of Fluid and I found out from another party, I'd want answers from my own staff and would ask everyone if they had heard sooner. The person who was informed but failed to inform me would deeply regret that.

To all those who thought this would be resolved quickly, as I said initially, this could drag out a very long time and I'm not just talking weeks or even months. I don't see anything that says either party or both parties will do what it takes to resolve it quickly.

Messmer's initial response is a non-response and we will see what his next response is. He shouldn't be responding until at the boat in Bellingham if that's where it is now.
The owner may very well have had zero experience with boats, but how does that get Fluid off the hook for delivering a boat that was not completely built, not built to acceptable quality standards and which seems to have had a serious design flaw.

And why shouldnít a buyer have the expectation that their new $400k purchase is complete and ready to go? A new Bentley, Rolls-Royce or Maybach is arguably an even more complex device at a similar price and they are delivered everyday defect-free and fit for immediate travel. The same with private aircraft. So why should yachts be any different? It seems like the industry didnít have time to train this buyer that half-finished products delivered late with design flaws is the standard.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:33 PM   #292
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Captain is responsible for putting to sea...boat ready or not.

We hen I worked for a Sea Ray dealership, many arrived from the factory incomplete or with defects, we made them ready or not for delivery.

If the owner wanted to take the boat "as is", it iwas up to him/her.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:34 PM   #293
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That was really my question Tom. I see pods that are part of an integrated design, and pods that are open brackets designed to be bolted on, but I was just wondering, like you, if there was an inboard converted to an outboard that bolts a pod on to deal with the needed additional stern buoyancy, and if so, are those pods susceptible to flooding so as to require a bilge pump?
Rosebrough R-246 was built first as a diesel inboard and later converted to outboard with a swim platform motor bracket/hull extension. To the best of my knowledge, none have sunk at anchor..........

Perhaps someone can look into how they dealt with a similar challenge.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:36 PM   #294
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Captain is responsible for putting to sea...boat ready or not.

We hen I worked for a Sea Ray dealership, many arrived from the factory incomplete or with defects, we made them ready or not for delivery.

If the owner wanted to take the boat "as is",:it is as up to him/her.
And this is somehow acceptable? Boats arriving incomplete and with defects from the factory......
What a business!
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:36 PM   #295
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The other thing that strikes me about the VPs posting is how ill advised it is. When you have a potential lawsuit, a prudent executive says only that which can't come back and bite them in the kazoo. Something like "we are committed to customer satisfaction and are investigating this situation carefully." Making factual statements that might be proven wrong or interpreted to be less than honest is just stupid, and suggests that Fluid Motion is not run by the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:37 PM   #296
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And this is somehow acceptable?
Of course it isn't. That is like saying that if you bought a Pinto you should take responsibility for them exploding if you got rear ended. Try arguing that in a court of law.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:40 PM   #297
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...

And why shouldnít a buyer have the expectation that their new $400k purchase is complete and ready to go? A new Bentley, Rolls-Royce or Maybach is arguably an even more complex device at a similar price and they are delivered everyday defect-free and fit for immediate travel. The same with private aircraft. So why should yachts be any different? It seems like the industry didnít have time to train this buyer that half-finished products delivered late with design flaws is the standard.
Not commenting on the buyer's expectations, but car and plane manufacturers are much bigger organizations than most boat builders (there are some exceptions). The car and plane business is also much more regulated with standards and laws that must be complied with. The production volume for almost any car factory and most aircraft manufacturers is higher than most boat factories. While Ranger does built a fair number of boats, their boats are not all even built in the same place. They have about 5 small shops around the Seattle area that built their boats. That coupled with a small workforce makes a QA standard more difficult to comply with.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:49 PM   #298
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Rosebrough R-246 was built first as a diesel inboard and later converted to outboard with a swim platform motor bracket/hull extension. To the best of my knowledge, none have sunk at anchor..........

Perhaps someone can look into how they dealt with a similar challenge.
30 feet with pod - would be nice to know if ever done versus a re- design of aft section without pod.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:10 PM   #299
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Just a couple of points. If I, as the owner, called and wasn't happy with the response of the warranty administrator, I wouldn't stop there. I wouldn't stop before reaching the President or owner.

If I was the company and became aware I'd find a way to reach the owner by phone or email or showing up in person.

I stick to my statement that so far neither party has shown a real commitment toward resolving it without lawyers.

Based on that, it's still possible one or the other takes the steps to settle, but it's also very possible that nothing changes until either court or a week or two before trial is scheduled.

I will say this too. In order to prove the sinking was due to a design or build defect in the boat, the owner needs a lot more evidence than they currently have. While most of us believe it was and while the surveys may indicate the potential danger, there is nothing that says absolutely what the cause was.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:11 PM   #300
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Not commenting on the buyer's expectations, but car and plane manufacturers are much bigger organizations than most boat builders (there are some exceptions). The car and plane business is also much more regulated with standards and laws that must be complied with. The production volume for almost any car factory and most aircraft manufacturers is higher than most boat factories. While Ranger does built a fair number of boats, their boats are not all even built in the same place. They have about 5 small shops around the Seattle area that built their boats. That coupled with a small workforce makes a QA standard more difficult to comply with.
So what you are saying is that since boat manufacturers are not required by law to deliver a completed product with good quality, they don’t. Unlike other businesses which are and thus do.

What a business!
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