We just returned yesterday from Marion and I wanted to “thank you” for setting everything in motion.
Please pass along our gratitude to Catherine Guiader for connecting us up with the factory group and sending the surprise swag (all to be put to good use in April); and to the Line Supervisor Bobby who took out time to answer questions and introduce us to ‘Our boat!’ Hull #4; and especially to Don Ruedinger who took 2 hours out of his day to take us through the whole process and put up with all our questions.
The 349s were strongly represented with 5 hulls in full on assembly (post lay-up), ours being #4 so we got to see five stages in the production process. #1 was complete and in the water tank, #2 was being finished and closer to what I am familiar with from the boat show (the stereo sounded great), but the real interest for me were hull #3, #4, and #5. I only took pictures of our boat so I have to recall from memory #5 was an open hull just getting wiring, plumbing and some systems. On hull #4, our boat, we could board and take photos. Bulkheads, cabinetry, berths, the galley, sink, stove, navigation station, and head where installed. It was still deckless so you could see a lot that would get covered with the deck/liner like the Webasco and the auto-pilot. #3 was another couple of days down the line and had its deck. We also got to see our deck/liner in the process of having its deck hardware, ports, windlass, and mast head wiring harness being installed.
One startling impression was seeing the difference in volume when looking at an empty hull, and just how large the larger hulls are.
Another thing that impressed me was the incredible quality control. It was a part of every stage of the build and the inspectors were tagging things that could likely be missed by the eye. The net impression was that I was thankful that we bought a Jeanneau.
I think the timing was about perfect, and am so glad to have the memories.