How (best) to build a boat?
I know some folks here have been through this process (some multiple times) so..
Assume you want to have a new semi-custom trawler built by an established builder whose facilities are offshore (think Krogen, Nordhavn, Selene, etc). What is are best-practices for managing this $1M+ process? For example:
There are attorneys who specialize in yacht purchasing (and I presume building). Do you engage one of these folks? During contract negotiation or for the length of the build? What specific value do they bring?
I assume the payment schedule is based on the progress of the build. How detailed should the progress definitions be? ("Hull out of mould" or "Main and get-home propulsion systems installed and tested under simulated load"?) How is the progress verified? Pics sent by the builder or an on-site inspection?
Are there periodic on-site inspections during the build, ranging from a vacation for the owner-to-be to a detailed progress and standards inspection by a qualified party hired by the owner?
When is a surveyor or marine engineer involved? During the build to monitor progress and contract/standard compliance or only at delivery time? Or never?
How are punch-list items handled? Is there a final 10% or so withheld until the boat absolutely, completely 100%? (Yeah, like one ever is.) Or is is taken on faith that immediate punch-list items and things identified during the warranty period will be addressed? Is there any contract language specifying that they will be addressed in a timely manor, what that means, and specified damages?
Again, this is in the context of a builder with a decent track record. That should bring a degree of comfort to the process but not remove the need for due diligence throughout.