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post #44 of Old 08-29-2012
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Re: Sailboat Quality

Uh, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but have we defined "Quality"?

It seems to me that manufacturers can choose to build to very different definitions of quality, depending upon the purpose of the boat. But quality may mean different things to different people. And quality may vary in different areas; while a top-end boat may generally have lots of quality design, construction, and finish across the board, it doesn't have to be that way.

First, there can be differences in how well the boat is designed for its particular purpose. If someone tries to use the boat for some other purpose, its particular quality may not be evident.

Then there's the quality, consistency, and carefulness of construction.

Then there are quality aspects such as durability and maintainability.

Then there are issues of quality of design, construction, durability, maintainability, and other quality aspects for different subsystems, such as power plant, wiring, etc. There are specialized issues such as ergonomic comfort, especially in places like the helm station, and whether different sizes and heights of people can be comfortable, safe, and secure on the boat.

A boat could be built like a tank -- but it could sail like a fat pig.
Or it could be splendidly built of the best materials on the planet -- but critical systems could be impossible to maintain or replace without tearing the boat apart.
It could be a sexy looker and sweet sailor, but have an exhaust or electrical system that's just waiting to kill someone.
A boat could have gloriously beautiful design and magnificent finish and be a work of art --- and be a total failure at its mission or fall apart because of some stupid oversight in construction or design.

It's almost impossible, even when selling to high-budget customers for a manufacturer to get everything right --- and that's probably only possible when targeting the boat to a narrowly defined niche market and mission. I would venture that it's utterly impossible to achieve ultimate quality for every customer and mission profile for a boat.

So, WHICH quality do you want with that burger?
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