It was pretty affordable for me to fly to Toronto, rent a car and take a couple of days to look at similar boats and the factory. In the context of a $100,000 + purchase, it is reasonable due diligence and went along way to settling my mind as to what we were purchasing. Essentially, you are the only manufacture in Canada (that I know of) that is mass producing these boats on template designs (with modifications and alterations – of course). Seeing the factory, and the quality and efficiency evident on the shop floor was key to my confidence in the value of what we were purchasing. Most of the manufacturers out here in BC are large welding shops. They build certain designs well, based on trial and error and (sometimes) experience in design. However, many of the Landing Craft type boats that I have seen were individual designs that had not been fully thought out, and so often had design based issues that were impossible to fix. Our boat by contrast works better than anticipated in handling the seas and weather conditions that we are running in. So good design and quality control at your factory have produced a boat that meets or exceeds our expectations in all the areas that are important to us – sea worthiness, function, comfort, etc.
The LC vessels are excellent for a wide variety of uses, but like any design they are better at some things then for others. You wouldn’t by a luxury car and expect it to do what a truck does, or vice-versa would you? These vessels are more truck then car, but they are very comfortable especially with the seating aft and away from the pounding of the waves. They are way better for loading and unloading where you don’t have a dock (beaching) conditions where the more traditional sedan design is a nightmare. They are less confidence inspiring in really nasty conditions (large seas, high winds) then a fully enclosed sedan model, but we have found our boat to be remarkably ‘sea worthy’ up to and beyond the category C rating. Beyond that, you are not having much fun in any small vessel. I’ve seen 30’ water taxi’s that had the windows blown out due to pushing into aggressive weather, and that isn’t much fun either – as they don’t drain as well!
I would urge anyone that is considering one of these vessels to get out and either visit the factory, or ideally go and look at one of the several you have already sold out west, and talk with current owners like ourselves. I’m glad that I did, as it reduced my stress and worry in the gap between sending out the cheque and seeing the boat for the first time. Now that I know what I know, I would not have to repeat that for a future purchase.