The first boat we built in China

It’s 3 years ago now that by coincidence I found an old schoolmate back in Shanghai. We went to the Terschelling Maritime College in The Netherlands together in the early 80’s.

My friend had built FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester) boats in Turkey before, and we thought it would be a good idea to try this in China. The intention was to sell the boats in The Netherlands, where there is a high demand for these ‘sloop type’ open boats.

On the Shanghai International Boat Show in April 2005 we found a yard that was specialized in building FRP boats. It is in Changzhou, in Jiangsu province, about halfway between Shanghai and Nanjing. So far they had been building patrol boats for the police and Chinese navy, and life boats for merchant marine and offshore vessels. We decided to use the hull of an existing life boat design as base for our sloop. We made some modifications to the stern part, because we wanted to use a so called balanced rudder. This requires less complicated steering gear, and the rudder can be better protected from damage. It took us quite a while to build the first prototype, as the yard was not really familiar with the requirements of pleasure boats.

NZ650

The specifications are as follows:

Main dimensions:

Length 6.50 m

Beam 2.15 m

Hight 0.90 m

Draft approx. 0.40 m

Weight 1,100 kg

For the propulsion we installed a 14 hp, two cylinder Yanmar inboard diesel engine. We decided to use a water lubricated stainless steel propeller shaft, which is more environmentally friendly than the standard grease lubricated shaft arrangements.

console3.jpg

console2.jpg

rudder_propeller_detail.jpg

On the trial run early 2006 the boat performed very well, and in line with our expectations. We got the CE certification sorted out, confirming the boat suitable for category C and 10 persons. We found an interested buyer in Holland, and shipped the prototype for further testing.

What happened next? The yard increased the price for us by more than 30%, making it impossible for us to compete with similar manufacturers from Eastern Europe. On this year’s Shanghai Boat Show we saw our design slightly altered, being promoted by the yard as their own development. They even specially mentioned the water lubricated propeller shaft (‘water smeered axle’, they called it), and of course they developed that as well. After all, the Chinese invented boating somewhere during the Han dynasty, together with golf, soccer, cricket, the Olympic games, and a few super strains of the clap.

Advertisements

About Stranded Mariner

Marine Engineer and passionate sailor and cruiser, working in the marine business in China.
This entry was posted in Boats and boating, China. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to The first boat we built in China

  1. mylaowai says:

    What a fucking surprise! I challenge anyone to tell me a true story of any Chinese manfacturer who hasn’t stolen the ideas given to them by the naive West.

  2. A very interesting article, it’s a while since I’ve had a chance to get out on the water. In case you need some parts or a new gori prop or yanmar saildrive engine feel free to contact us. We sell parts and engines for yachts, cruisers and other craft. If you need any advice please feel free to contact http://www.minardsdiesel.com we export around the world.

  3. @Minards Diesel

    I will definitely check out your site. I am planning to build a Dix43 steel hull sailing cruiser, and might need some equipment and parts.

    Best regards!

  4. justin says:

    Hi
    love the choice of a dix yacht.
    we are about to get a 72 foot challenge yacht, should be fun hey

  5. Hello Justin,

    Yeah, we will start building soon. Can’t wait to get this project started.

    Wow, a 72 ft Challenge! That’s some serious vessel. Cool!

  6. de boer says:

    wear ken i bey the sloop?

  7. As I said in my post, our product was copied and at the same time what they wanted to charge us for our own production models went up by about 30%, putting us effectively out of business. China starts to become too expensive.

  8. Arnoud says:

    I wonder why they, i guess out of the blue, increased their prices. Did you guys have some kind of contract? (for what it s worth in mainland)

    • Well we found out later that they had been approached by another company to build similar boats, and with the same target market as us. So they had to get rid of us, and they had stolen enough of our ideas to deceide they did not need us anymore. Yes, we had a contract, and no a contract is not worth the ink it’s written with in China.
      Later again we learned that their new business partner also had been royally screwed. At least they are consistent. One of the few fields where Chinese companies are. 🙂

  9. Arnoud says:

    🙂 Interesting… would you mind telling me the name of this superb company? And sorry for asking, but uh, how come you all didnt see the signs? Your gut feeling didn t say like “get the … out of here?”

    • Arnoud, for a number of reasons I prefer not to disclose the name of that company. Hope you understand. And to tell you honestly, no we did not see this coming. Not this one 🙂 They were just a bit better at cheating than others.
      And as another note, if you look at the value for money ratio, it would not have lasted very long anyway. Again in hindsight all is clear and easy.
      They lost the business anyway now to Eastern European countries, like Poland. China lost a lot of competitiveness lately. It depends on what you want to produce here, but for a lot of products China is simply getting too expensive.

  10. Arnoud says:

    In a way i understand why u do not want to reveal their name….

    Thanks for sharing. It’s a “good” story.

  11. To avoid this, always bring a tiny pillow,
    or use one which is offered make it behind your back or
    neck for support. Make certain your system is staying straight and aligned about the machine, which you are not
    twisting in a way that may be tension pain or discomfort.
    Deep breathing in over the nose and out your mouth because you do pretty
    much everything. One with the best known alternate
    medicine sources for relieving lower back pain is Ayurveda.

  12. Link exchange is nothing else however it is
    only placing the other person’s weblog link on your page at suitable place and
    other person will also do similar for you.

  13. I appreciate looking at your websites. Appreciate it!

  14. Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some
    advice from an established blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.

    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where
    to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions?
    Cheers

  15. So, you know you need to reduce your carbon footprint.
    In order to promote special branding, you can also customize your tags with specially designed artwork and symbols.
    Passive water heaters uses the natural convection of heated water to move through a system.

  16. Jewell says:

    Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download
    it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog
    shine. Please let me know where you got your design.
    Bless you

  17. care homes says:

    Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll
    just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still
    new to everything. Do you have any points for rookie blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  18. 2013 正規 says:

    Hello there! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up for the excellent info you’ve got
    right here on this post. I’ll be returning to your blog for more soon.

  19. For the initial first 12 months, Paysafecard, it doesnot charge or
    ask for the money for any maintenance fee.
    This process of conversion will be conducted and overseen by the vendor that the account owner transacts with, ensures users to
    achieve the desired output. If you’re one of those 21nova casino games can simply be the right thing for you.
    Gold Chips can easily be redeemed for different prizes and free tournaments every month.
    For the next deposits, the participants are provided added bonus
    of 60 per cent which can be a maximum of.

  20. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance”
    between usability and visual appearance. I must say that you’ve done a superb
    job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely
    quick for me on Firefox. Exceptional Blog!

  21. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was
    just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any help is
    very much appreciated.

  22. Hi! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you have right here on this
    post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  23. Do yoou have a spam issue on this website; I aso am a blogger, and I was curious about
    your situation; many of us have developed some nice methods andd we are looking to trade solutions with other
    folks, please shoot me an email if interested.

  24. I think the admin of this site is in fact working hard in support
    of his website, as here every information
    is quality based stuff.

  25. In order to get cheap supplies parents should not concern themselves with purchasing a specific brand.
    They say any form of exercise can keep your body fit
    and active. You can check out a set of screens from the recently-released title in the slideshow near the top
    of this article.

  26. Loretta says:

    This website definitely has all the info I needed about this subject
    and didn’t know who to ask.

  27. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you are
    a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and may come back later on.
    I want to encourage that you continue your
    great writing, have a nice morning!

  28. Hi there! I just wanted tto ask if you ever have any
    issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was
    hacked andd I ended up losing months of hard work due to
    no backup. Do you have aany methods to stop hackers?

  29. Unquestionably inagine that that you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the
    simplest thing to take note of. I say too
    you, I certainly get irked whilst folks think about ckncerns that they plainly don’t
    understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined
    out the whole thing without having side effect , other people could take a signal.
    Will likely be again to get more. Thanks

  30. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you’re a great
    author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will
    come back later on. I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a
    nice holiday weekend!

  31. creditcard says:

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.
    I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  32. Good way of explaining, and nice paragraph to take data concerning my presentation subject, which i am going to deliver in academy.

  33. webpage says:

    Thankks for sharing your thoughts on vitamins and minerals.
    Regards

  34. My spouse and I stumbled over here different web address
    and thought I might check things out. I like wha I see so
    i am just following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page yet again.

  35. I every time used tto study paqragraph in news papers
    but now aas I am a user of internet thus from nnow I am using
    net for posts, tyanks to web.

  36. With this consultation, you will have a clear picture in front of
    your eyes and you will act accordingly. Additionally gang databases have allowed increased
    interception of drug shipments and the dismantling
    of the financial structures of sophisticated organized crime syndicates.
    Here, they will stipulate the amount of the bond, if any.

  37. I constantly emailed this weblog post page to all my contacts, because if like to
    read it next my contacts will too.

  38. It’s very straightforward to find out any matter on net as compared to books, as I found this piece of writing at this web page.

  39. – A single of the highest quality fitness video gaming for Wii now coming in Kinect edition too.
    In conclusion, I recommend trying herbal blends found in an
    herbal vaporizer in the pursuit of an healthier lifestyle.

    However, as an alternative to inhaling smoke, users inhale
    a vaporized mist much like that manufactured by vaporizers.

  40. Great web site you have got here.. It’s hard to find high-quality writing
    like yours these days. I seriously appreciate people
    like you! Take care!!

  41. Very quickly this site will be famous among all blog visitors, due to it’s pleasant articles or reviews

  42. Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on
    our website. Keep up the great writing.

  43. wasp says:

    Greate post. Keep writing such kind of information on your site.

    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hello there, You’ve done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and individually suggest to my friends.

    I am sure they will be benefited from this web site.

  44. Yes! Finally something about inspirational
    bible verses for women.

  45. First off I want to say wonderful blog! I had a
    quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.

    I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas
    out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just
    seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just
    trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or
    hints? Many thanks!

  46. That is a really good tip especially to those fresh
    to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

  47. Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative
    in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to
    work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  48. Usually I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check
    out and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
    Thank you, very nice article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s