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Old 02-06-2002
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CATALINA 350 need input

The problem with Catalina and warranty coverage is that Frank Butler, the founder of Catalina and more or less the Henry Ford of fiberglass sailboats, still handles all warranty claims personally. The end result is that hearing back from him can take months, and yes, his decisions are not consistent. I talked to a former dealer once who told me horror stories about not hearing from Butler about claims, and then getting nonsensical letters from him he obviously had dictated but not read. The dealer had to decipher the letters, trying to associate the decisions with specific boats. He said the dealers ended up fixing a lot of stuff themselves, which didn''t endear the factory to them.

The upside of Butler handling warranty claims is that he can spot problems right away and quickly make changes in the boats as needed. The downside is time and consistency. Also, given Catalina''s sales volume today, it''s very hard to imagine this system working well.
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