The new owners of the FP44 have had very few things go wrong with their boat thus far. The list for the first cruise across the pond includes; shower pump, leak in air conditioning units and minor damage to gel coat, etc. Upon their arrival back to the states all these deficiencies are being addressed by the dealer. All in all the quality seems to be up to par and the dealer is correcting anything under the warranty.
The largest friction point seems to have been the dealer acting as a third party from the states to FP in France. Their dealer had no real established support in La Rochelle. This contributed to the new owners only getting one photograph of their new boat and little other information during the build process. This was remedied a little by the owners taking initiative and working with Uchimata in La Rochelle. Pierre at Uchimata was extremely helpful before the owners arrived and afterwards in getting the boat up and ready to cross the Atlantic. It is expensive to support a purchase from across the Atlantic, but perhaps a dealer could find a way to make it work or establish a relationship with a company in La Rochelle such as Uchimata.
The new owners are very happy with their new boat and excited to customize it and make it their own. But, looking back they say they should have thought more about purchasing a newer used boat given the work required to bring a new build up to their level for cruising in comfort.
Ultimately in deciding whether to purchase new or used there are more things to consider than when deciding to purchase a new car verses used. Most manufacturers don’t have boats ready to go out the door with every option. It’s not exactly like deciding between a Chevy Silverado LS or LTZ. There are a multitude of options. It’s more like buying a new car with base features then deciding on everything from electric or manual windows to what type of transmission. The options can become daunting if you let them. There is a premium to be paid for this level of customization though. A used boat may not be fit out exactly as you would like but for the same price point it likely has more options and a majority of the bugs worked out.
There are a lot of other considerations such as; warrantee for a new boat and support chain, how hard a used boat was sailed and too many others to list here. When selecting your new home on the water be sure to give appropriate thought to the subject. Whatever you decide on, you’re guaranteed to have at least two great and memorable days; the day you purchase and the day you sell. How wonderful the days in between are depends on how much planning you put in before the purchase.