June 14, 2012
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, it is a habit”
I wrote a post a while back on the rising demand for quality products in Vancouver luxury industries, including the demand for better quality yachts. This was a trend I had predicted would take place and one which drove me to get involved in the industry in the first place. Another line of boats leading that trend arrived in our waters recently; it’s sure to be a favourite amongst the fishing crowd, as well as with owners of large yachts looking for a high-quality, versatile tender. Innovation and leadership are hallmarks of Scout Boats’ culture, needless to say such characteristics are endearing to me and no doubt will be to the readers of Boating Vancouver.
Scout Boats are 100% hand laid fiberglass, resulting in a strength to weight ratio that outshines any competitor. Precise engineering techniques lead to a consistent, a well-crafted product that undergoes many, many quality control checks prior to leaving the factory. Consumer satisfaction with these boats is predictably high.
Pride of craftsmanship is evident from the video the company posted on YouTube. In it, company founder Steve Potts, takes us on a factory tour showing many details of the manufacturing process and highlighting many of the elements of each boat system. The systemic perfection which Potts demands ultimately leads to a “near perfect” boat every time. It is a mark of confidence in their product, and their people, that the makers of Scout Boats take us on such a detailed tour of their facilities.
Besides the aesthetic appeal which make them look hot on the docks or out on the sea, Scout Boats are unsinkable. Their method of construction includes adding 20% more foam than is required by US Coast Guard Regulations; a reassuring characteristic for any boaters who find themselves in rough conditions. Accuracy, safety and precision are essential to the makers of this boat. Fuel and electrical systems are designed to high standards of quality control and are assembled using the finest quality components.
The thoughtfulness of the design is found in detail after detail right down to the choice of colour on deck surfaces. To prevent glare on sunny days, designers chose a shade of white which looks great, but also minimizes the amount of sun reflected back into the eyes of those on board. Upholstery and seating layout are intended to provide those on board with the highest level of comfort, going over and above any competitor in its class. In the final inspection of each boat, details of fit and finish are tested in a light tunnel to ensure that no factor is missed. Excellence is a habit for this manufacturer and their reputation well justified.
Three unique running surface designs are available from Scout. The “Air assist hull”, available on models 15′-19,’ is one of those designs which helped Scout Boats to make their mark in the coastal fishing niche. This design has been around for over 20 years and allows for stability, easy planing, and fuel efficiency. Scout has different hull designs for each category of boat it produces; each design is driven by the consumer needs and high performance expectations. They look at the purpose for which the boat is intended and design a vessel that will perform well in the conditions in which consumers will take it. Given that Scouts are so admired amongst world-class fishermen, they set their standard to surpass even the most demanding of consumers.
I viewed the 17′ that Grand Yachts had on their docks at Coal Harbour Marina recently and plan to sea trial another model shortly. Be sure to check back for a detailed review of that experience as well as accompanying photos. If you are in the market for a boat and just can’t wait for that review, be sure to contact Dave Worland (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Grand Yachts and he will gladly set up a test ride for you.
May 25, 2012
Friday – 10 am to 5 pm
Saturday – 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday – 11 am to 4 pm
At Coal Harbour Marina
Grand Yachts Inc Sales Dock
1535 Coal Harbour Quay
A little bit of everything!
A showcase of some fine yachts for sale from under 17 feet to over 80 feet!
Traditional and modern designs, including two unique sailing yachts!
In conversations recently with people from a variety of industries catering to Vancouver’s luxury market, the subject of quality kept coming up. Regardless of which products we were talking about, one thing was clear: Vancouver’s luxury clients are demanding higher quality, better service and more value than ever before. This demand is raising the bar for local retailers and dealers. A distinct few of them are stepping up boldly to deliver on those demands and in the process are providing yet another reason for people to love this town. Those who arrive here via yacht will find plenty of local retailers willing to meet their demands once on shore, while those who keep their yachts in Vancouver year round may already have noticed that the quality of yachts in local marinas is significantly higher than it was even just a few years ago.
I had anticipated this trend when I entered the industry in 2004 and now I am convinced that the quality of boats in Vancouver will continue to rise dramatically in response to the demands of the luxury market. For people strolling the seawall around Vancouver’s trendy marinas, this point will mean more and more awe inspiring boats to gaze upon. For those purchasing boats locally the trend will mean access to manufacturers and product lines which have traditionally been reserved for the more affluent markets of the United States and Europe. All of this is good news for Vancouver and the people who boat here.
When you have a conversation about quality and cruising yachts, the name Tony Fleming is bound to enter into it almost inevitably. Trained as an aeronautical engineer, Tony’s involvement in the marine industry spans five decades. His commitment to quality stems from a vision of what is possible and from a strong understanding of what is practical. He adheres to design principles that are both pragmatic and magnificent in their simplicity; these principles add value to the lives of boaters who operate the yachts derived from such fine beginnings. He listens to the comments of the people who own the boats he produces, working into each subsequent hull number the finer points he has learned from his clients’ experience. The result is a Fleming yacht. Fleming is one of those names I predict you will begin to see more of in the coastal waters of British Columbia. The boats are well suited to these areas; Flemings are a classic looking vessel with all of the most recent advancements in engineering and technology.
While other manufacturers may scramble to catch up to the new demands of the Vancouver market, Fleming was always a step ahead. His uncompromising commitment to his vision caused him to produce a yacht that was the kind of boat he wanted for himself. Built to his own exacting standards, he didn’t compromise on them or water them down to meet the lesser needs of a broader market. If you ask what is behind this demand for quality in the Vancouver yachting market, it comes down to this: When one person says, “I will not compromise on the vision for what is possible.” It seems others eventually take notice. When others take notice they quickly form a group and that group sets the bar for the rest of the population to meet. When consumer demands are met by experienced manufacturers with similar visions, it doesn’t take long for the game to change dramatically.
Long before the consumers of Vancouver demanded such a benchmark, Fleming yachts were built to “CE Ocean Class A standards”. In a chat with David Worland of Grand Yachts, he pointed out that Fleming has produced over 200 hulls. Worland said that when Fleming owners get together they don’t compare model years as other boat owner do, instead they discuss the fine adjustments that are continuously made to each individual hull number. Though the basic look of the classic low profile pilothouse is the same from year to year, the valued input from each new owner goes to improve subtle details on each subsequent boat.
Flemings are known for their quiet interiors and low vibrations; this lowers the volume necessary to conduct a conversation while underway and raises the quality of the boating experience. Low vibration also means less wear and tear on the boat’s components. They produce a 55’, 65, and a ’75’. Look forward to a full review of the Fleming 55 shortly, but for now I just wanted to point out that Fleming is likely to be one of those boats you’ll see a lot more of in Vancouver very soon. It is ideal for Vancouver boaters and their growing taste for quality comfort and service. Kudos to those Vancouver boaters who demanded boats such as these, and for not compromising on your demands; sometimes you actually do get what you ask for!
If you are a Vancouver boater or visitor with demands of your own, be sure to drop me a note and I’ll happily consider covering that topic in an upcoming post.
Katrina Boguski M.A.