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  #1  
Old 06-04-2002
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Constantin is on a distinguished road
Prout Catamarans closes again

I recently searched online news archives for news about Prout and was astonished to see that they managed to enter receivership/bankruptcy for the second time in six months.

At the end of February 2002, the yard personell got a call and was told to pack up personal belongings and close the facilities. Apparently, the company had run out of cash again.

A former chairman of Prout then put a freeze order on the assets via a High Court in England as he claims he has not been paid his royalties. This is where it gets ugly.

Allegedly, the Canadian owners then orderd their employees to crate up the molds for shipment (presumably to the Concordia yard in Thailand where some Prout production had already migrated). When the employees refused to break the law, they were fired.

Now, a new set of administrators have taken over the operation, though a sale seems unlikely because the company is no longer trading. 11 boats were in production at the time and some seven of them are now being assembled in a new operation headed by the former GM of Prout.

I guess this might be the end-of-life for Prout. Too bad, they did design a heck of a cruiser with a good eye for cruiser-specific details. If only their quality control had been better... Anyway, as I find more information, I will post it in the <a href=http://www.vonwentzel.net/Prout/>Prout section</a> of my <a href=http://www.vonwentzel.net>web-site</a>. Cheers! Constantin
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Old 06-11-2002
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Wega24 is on a distinguished road
Prout Catamarans closes again

I am wondering Constatin if you ever plan to sell your boat.
Your insight is highly apreciated and your weebsite a must read for potential prout buyers.
I have to admit that I was looking in the prout direction, but in all reality your
bickering ( sorry...that wasnt ment negatively in this case ) has steered me to other cats...

I was just wondering, you are possibly turning away future buyers of your on boat though...

Although I might add, that I am wouldnt mind, as you did all the work, which was supposed to be done by prout ...lol

Keep us informed ,though ...
I really liked the 39 in Annapolis, but again i would me much more cautious if I would buy right now...

Thanks Thorsten
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Old 06-11-2002
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Constantin is on a distinguished road
Prout Catamarans closes again

Thorsten,
Here is how I see it. If we had not fixed the many little and few huge mistakes on our Prout Escale now, then a competent surveyor for the next owner would identify and tag them for repair later. We might as well fix them now and enjoy the boat for another 10-15 years. Hence, our reliance on premium materials, etc.

Furthermore, I take issue with the idea that I might diminish the resale of the boat via the web-site: The opposite is true. Basically, what we have is an extensive proof of maintenance upkeep, better than any mountain of paper records that only describe in the broadest of terms what may or may not have been done on the boat. It also serves as a handy reference for myself as I have a chronology of what was done when and how.

There are a number of basic safety issues mentioned on the site that any Prout owner should go over - steering system might fail because the hatch it sits under is not watertight, whose boat might catch fire due to dangerous wiring, or who might also find themselves with a set of mild steel masthead pins for the 3 stays. To me it is unconsciable that Prout would tell a owner with significant OEM defects that they''re on their own. Even if Prout were not willing to pay for repairs, at the very least they should make people aware of the issues.

As a result of the web-site, a number of Prout owners have contacted me. The vast majority have concurred with my experience, regardless of whether they owned power cats or the sailing variety. I imagine that most owners and particularly ex-owners will have no problem with being truthful about their experiences with potential buyers. More than anything else, this will kill the brand.

So, assuming that my <a href=http://www.vonwentzel.net/Prout/index.html>Prout Catamarans experience</a> is somewhat representative of build issues and customer service, Prout Catamarans dug it''s own hole. Perhaps my site is the only one to expose the complete details... but I would think that anyone willing to shell out big bucks for a boat would contact a number of current owners beforehand to see what owning that type of boat is really like.

Sales pitches are nice but what really counts is what happens after the ink on the purchase contract dries. If our Prout Escale had only suffered from minor and/or standard upkeep issues, I obviously would not have bothered going through the expenses in terms of time and money to publish the travails we faced on the internet. Believe me, I have better uses for my time, like sailing!

At this point, the number of surprises left are minor as we have examined every inch of the boat. The motor has been rebedded, the leaks stopped. Most of the electrical work is done. The mast is about to be felled to replace the stay pins and to replace the wiring. About 200 images await processing and captioning which I will do in August...

Cheers,
Constantin
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