New Trawler Build: Introduction and First Question

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This thread is of great interest as I am co-owner of TT35 Hull#7. Build began in February (2018) and completion is projected to be July. To date, have been pleased with Ken Fickett and GH team. Will live aboard year round in the Keys and New England. To that end, have made a few interior changes to create more storage. Transport will be via commercial carrier. Currently co-own Rosborough (2003) RF-246 which has served us well. Rossi's 140hp Suzuki (2003) has been serviced annually and runs well. Rossi is for sale, btw. Appeal of TT35 was its resemblance to Rossi, but with more living space. Will be in Gainesville next month to view progress of build. Stay tuned...
 
Build began in February (2018) and completion is projected to be July.

At the rate things have gone, you might get your boat before hull #1 gets delivered.

Was disappointed to see that Spirit Song will not be doing the loop after all.
 
Was disappointed to see that Spirit Song will not be doing the loop after all.

Apparently Spirit Song, hull #2, is now up for sale due to owner health issues. It isn't list on YW yet but can be found on the GH web site under "pre-owned trawlers". Certainly, a sad story.
 
Yes, sad indeed. Moral of the story— don’t wait. Go now.
 
Apparently Spirit Song, hull #2, is now up for sale due to owner health issues. It isn't list on YW yet but can be found on the GH web site under "pre-owned trawlers". Certainly, a sad story.

Not familiar with "GH web"... please supply link or full name. Thanks!
 
Wish them the best of luck, but damn. $320k??
 
Here ya go....

2018 TT35

Thanks. Simple, fun looking, road transportable boat. Seems rather cramped quarters.

Wonder how it would handle in BIG or confused follow sea with water breaking on-top-of/all-around the o/b's? Would they get drowned out... maybe have linkage or fuel lines torn loose. Worse yet, could a really violent following sea rip off the o/b cowlings or maybe break o/b off its pedestal attachment?

Of course, it is always best to boat in fair weather and calm sea conditions... but... I've been in some real hairy following seas that suddenly came up... the memory lingers forever.
 
... Wonder how it would handle in BIG or confused follow sea with water breaking on-top-of/all-around the o/b's? Would they get drowned out... maybe have linkage or fuel lines torn loose. Worse yet, could a really violent following sea rip off the o/b cowlings or maybe break o/b off its pedestal attachment?

Of course, it is always best to boat in fair weather and calm sea conditions... but... I've been in some real hairy following seas that suddenly came up... the memory lingers forever.

Or you could just turn the boat around.

The TT35 is not a blue water boat.
 
Yes, sad indeed. Moral of the story— don’t wait. Go now.

They planned on doing the loop last year. On the other hand, not knowing the health problems, maybe the delay saved some issues. How disappointing to spend your last time boating getting ready for a trip you can't make. However, best to always be planning and working on the next thing, even if you can't do it all. I figure we'll have several years more cruises planned on the day we have to face we just can't do it anymore.
 
They planned on doing the loop last year. On the other hand, not knowing the health problems, maybe the delay saved some issues. How disappointing to spend your last time boating getting ready for a trip you can't make. However, best to always be planning and working on the next thing, even if you can't do it all. I figure we'll have several years more cruises planned on the day we have to face we just can't do it anymore.

So true
 
[FONT=&quot]We recently received our brand new TT35, and it's time to [/FONT][FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]wrap up this thread[/FONT] that I started back in February 2016.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I am choosing my words very carefully, because our relationship with Ken Fickett, Travis Fickett and Eric Kraft of Great Harbour is irretrievably broken, and in addition, I must tread very carefully here and not provide any grounds to be sued by Mirage Mfg/Great Harbour for the public statements I am about to make.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I dropped out of this thread about a year ago because we had become terrified by the lack of progress on our boat and the large sum of money we had paid to Great Harbour. We were afraid that if I publicly complained here on TF, they would delay our boat even longer, or worst case, that they would never deliver our boat at all.
[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]In a nutshell, it took far too long for Great Harbour to complete our boat, we endured far too many indignities during their two years and five months build period, and we are now having the boat completed far away from Great Harbour's facility in Gainesville FL. :angry:[/FONT]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[FONT=&quot]Our boat was contracted to be finished “on or about November 1, 2016.” Prior to signing the contract, Ken Fickett agreed to build us a TT35 with a flybridge and also, a settee instead of a dinette. We were to pay $215,000 for the completed boat.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]We finally brought her home on June 7, 2018, after paying Great Harbour $307,315 (not including sales tax). We added the options of two solar panels, a bow thruster, a washer/dryer, cockpit screen enclosure, TracVision, and a Cruise RO watermaker. They promised us a gas genny installed under a cockpit seat but they could not make it function without overheating.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]We made a terrible mistake in not having an attorney review the contract prior to signing it. There were no requirements in the contract for Great Harbour to build a boat according to ABYC standards, and no financial incentives for Great Harbour to complete the boat in a timely fashion.
[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Also, prior to signing, Ken Fickett made verbal statements to us that were not included in the contract, and we later deeply regretted not making sure those predictions and descriptions were included in the contract. :banghead:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The Great Harbour website also makes several claims and implies services and design factors that we later discovered were not true.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]And over the years as we attempted to find out why the boat’s completion was so frustratingly delayed, Ken Fickett always blamed us for the delay because of the options we had added, most of which he had suggested.[/FONT]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


[FONT=&quot]In March of 2018, after seven promised completion dates had come and gone, we were finally told that she was done. We had the boat surveyed, and the surveyor discovered three major problems and numerous minor ones. When we shared the survey and our own observations from the lake trial [/FONT][FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]with the Ficketts[/FONT], we were further dismayed by the unhelpful and angry response from Ken Fickett. :horse:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Beyond the issues discovered by the surveyor, there were several items in our contract that they did not deliver on, for example, our contract called for a 200 gallon gas tank and the boat’s fuel tankage is 124 gallons. When we pointed out the derivations from the contract, they demanded we sign a “change order” so that we could not hold them liable for their changes to the specifications in the contract. We were in an untenable position; they had our money and our boat, and so we signed.:huh:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]After Ken Fickett’s extremely negative response to the survey, we hired a maritime attorney who advised us that we would be better off just taking the boat and having the boat finished by someone else.[/FONT]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
[FONT=&quot]So, we are now having the boat brought up to ABYC standards and correcting all of the issues from the survey and subsequent assessments. We are very relieved that our two year and five months ordeal with Great Harbour is finally over.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Even after all the difficulties, [/FONT][FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]after much too long a spell without a boat, [/FONT]we are looking forward to finally spending time aboard Mariso . She is a unique concept boat and we will be reporting on her handling and fuel efficiency once she is ultimately completed by our local boatyard, marine electrician and Suzuki dealer.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]To conclude this too-long post (and I apologize for dropping out last year), we are both incredibly happy to finally have her here. We think we will love the boat once she is finished. Isn't she beautiful?[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Pea & Dan
[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]
 

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I like the boat and the final profile. Good luck with your delayed ventures on the waters. Ours has begun and I can tell you that the couple of short trips made us loose sleep for more hours on the water. I bet this will probably be the case for you Try to get in some short ones yourself if possible as you finish up your details and this will help remove some of the frustrations. Hopefully we will see you this winter on our passage in your region.
 
Wow. Yikes. So sorry to hear about the terrible build experience, and thanks for posting the issues you had with GH so others can be aware.

I’ve never had a new house or new boat built because my attention to detail is not good enough, but more importantly because I’m too gullible and generally believe people will do what they say they will do, and I know I would end up disappointed and angry.

Hope you get to enjoy the boat soon!
 
A lot of good lessons to be learned here and maybe TF should consider a thread on "New Boat Buying 101".

To summarize a few:

1. Avoid buying hull #1 of a new build.

2. Have the contract require compliance with ABYC standards.

3. Include your options and their pricing before signing the contract.

4. Include a requirement to pass survey prior to final payments.

5. Payments should be based on progress with a substantial hold back for completion and passing survey.

6. Do not sign builder generated change orders.

7. Have a marine attorney review the contract.
 
I was taught early on by my uncle (a successful attorney) that you never write a contract for when things go well. A contract is for when everything goes wrong, and what it takes to become whole again.
 
Hope your negative feelings move astern as effortlessly as your boats wake will.
 
Hope your negative feelings move astern as effortlessly as your boats wake will.


Great advice. A post mortem is helpful, but then one has to move on. The sooner the better, but easier said than done of course.

I’m not very good at moving on after an unpleasant event— I tend to beat myself up too long.
 
On the positive side....She really is BEAUTIFUL!!!
 
Bake is right. However difficult the process (most new things are that way), you’ve got a unique vessel that will turn heads and provoke questions everywhere. I sure hope the answers end up to be positive ones. So sorry about your frustrations in the build. I’d surely have not done as well.
 
And now that the truth is out....well, part of it, but the whole truth is much worse than she describes, as she's greatly censored herself in this post....I do stick firmly by my criticism of the builder and anyone deciding to contract with them needs to understand the risks and it's caveat emptor. Please understand that many of the issues Miz Trom speaks of were also inherent on Hull #2 and others. The delay cost the buyer of #2 their only chance to do the loop before health issues, which now have led to their boat being for sale.

So, I add one item to the list Donsan made:

8. Be very careful in selecting your builder.
 
...

1. Avoid buying hull #1 of a new build.

...

The people who buy early production boats are incentivized by the introductory pricing. This can be a substantial discount on the regular production price. They are pretty much buying the prototypes.

The first sold TT35 had a intro price from the factory of about $220K. It is now listed for sale at $320K. How much of that price is owner preference change orders vs. the real cost of the boat, I don't know. However, I expect that production versions will be in the mid $300s when the design is stabilized.

In the end, introductory pricing on boats may not be the bargain the buyers expected. Unfortunately, the company resources of companies that make new or unique boats do not generally allow them the luxury of building prototype and test boats in order to work all the bugs out. Development must be done on customer delivery boats.

Same thing is probably happening with the SeaPiper.

On the other hand, bringing a new design to market is very difficult. The development costs are pretty high. If you develop a new boat and no one buys it, the company can fail. Trawlers Midwest developed the ECO Trawler 33 (for the same niche as the TT35). They built two as prototypes and marketing tools. AFAIK, they still have them both and no additional ones were ever made.
 
Thank you so much for sharing your ordeal with the forum. If possible, can you give some examples of criteria that are not up to ABYC standards ?
 
Benthic2:

Unfortunately, our attorney has advised us not to publish any details, so I am unable to answer your question at this time. I wish I could.

And I would like to request that the moderators close this thread.

Cheers,
Pea
 
Benthic2:

Unfortunately, our attorney has advised us not to publish any details, so I am unable to answer your question at this time. I wish I could.

And I would like to request that the moderators close this thread.

Cheers,
Pea

You do realize that closing it will still leave it available to be read? I did just sent a report to the team and we will discuss it. Thank you for your civility and candor in this thread.
 
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