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post #4 of Old 12-24-2003
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Jeanneau quality is fine (Jeff H)

While not very familiar with (nor especially attracted to) Beneteaus & Jeanneaus, I found it interesting to read a recent comparison of these two builders when PBO OR YM (I forget which) visited both their factories and reviewed the business histories of the two companies. A couple of the takeaways were:
1. After B purchased J, Beneteau intentionally chose to permit the Jeanneau manufacturing methods to continue unaltered for the most part, seeing the financial benefits coming more from combined purchasing power with suppliers, selling to somewhat different market segments and using geographically different distributorships.
2. B''s factory was highly automated, it applied many standardized engineering solutions to common tasks shared by a varied set of designs, and employee discretion and judgement were not widely encouraged...nor felt they were needed.
3. J''s factory continued to rely heavily on hand work, traditional approaches that had been in place for decades, and evidenced much less overall ''control'' (QC, inventory, hazmat, etc.) altho'' apparent change was afoot as driven by B.

I didn''t come away feeling warm & fuzzy about either choice if my planned use for the boat was somewhat extreme, but did get the impression the Beneteau product was of more even quality and fell more in line with Catalina & Hunter (however one would see that as a good or bad thing) than did the Jeanneau product.

BTW it also left me mareling at how I can continue to see so much variability in the quality of boats being supposedly mass produced in standardized fashion. A couple of recent first-hand examples (Catalina hull laminate so inadequate that hull flexing blocked the rudder quadrant from moving fully when sailed in Charleston Harbor [boat was withdrawn & replaced by Catalina]; huge hot spots from ''drooled'' resin in Hunter hull layups, subsequently hidden by the hull liner; multiple rudder post failures in larger Hunters; I could go on...). It would appear that, despite the existing ''state of the art'' automated, standardized, jig-and-drop production methods used by some builders, there''s still a fair distance to go before a Toyata is squirted out the far end of the assembly line.

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