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post #6 of Old 10-20-2004
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New Hunter & Elan Designs

Jeff''s comments spur me to add one more: If I were buying from a builder in a non-sailing country (e.g. Slovenia sells almost 100% of its sailboat production outside the country), and especially if I were buying from a builder who''s country has not been part of the EU and the EU''s product quality regs until recently (10 new members were only added this May), I''d be especially focused on underlying ''build quality'' issues.

Quality control has just not enjoyed much of a role in manufacturing in the former Eastern Bloc countries and is only slowly emerging as part of the production-related culture there. And factories always benefit from direct feedback from nearby customers who speak the same language and to whom the builder inevitably feels a bit more responsible. Hanse, Vilm, Elan and a growing number of other builders reside in regions where 21st century manufacturing and product quality standards are not inherent. It doesn''t mean their boats will lack quality...but it would mean to me I should be especially vigilant when considering a purchase.

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