Chapter 11 for Gunboat

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carlsbad
A bit of a shocker from Peter Johnstone and Gunboat....

In a period of non-stop accolades and introduction of several terrific new models, Gunboat has been quietly struggling behind the scenes for nearly two years. It has been a perfect storm of adverse business circumstances, mistakes, and disputes. A brief summary from my viewpoint/opinion:

• The Chinese built Gunboat 60 series cost Gunboat a fortune to sort out. The Chinese builder has fought its contractual obligations to manage, support, pay and reimburse for the completion, rework and warranty costs. Gunboat felt an obligation to its customers and spent millions out of pocket, which proved to be a huge strain on our resources, focus and productivity.

• The G4 capsize in April, and the recent photo boat collision on a magazine boat test in Annapolis have thwarted sales of this series to date. The investment was made. The return is in the future.

• The abandonment of RAINMAKER by her owner and crew certainly was not helpful to a new series. The Gunboat 55 is a great boat, and it will take time for that word to get out.

• The ramp up of production in North Carolina took longer and cost more.

I am sure our situation will be dissected. As sole owner of the company, these issues are all mine…..I could have overcome maybe 1-2 of these challenges, but certainly not all of these in one short period of time. Today, Gunboat will file for Chapter 11 protection under the Federal Bankruptcy Code.

With the challenges above, there are also positive notes moving forward. The operations have shown a nice turn-around in the past few months. Boats are being built, and we are meeting our plan for operating the business and recovering through the Chapter 11 process.

Business has ups and downs. Success and failure. I have enjoyed 30 years of both results. While the past two years been the most stressful and difficult period of my life and business career, this period has also been one of enormous assessment and growth personally and professionally. I have learned far more from the failures than the accolades. We have a lot of good people, and we will see our way out of this period in the next two years.

To everyone who has been so supportive, I am forever grateful. To anyone adversely affected by Gunboat’s situation, I am deeply sorry.

 

6924

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from the inconclusive release; all I can determine is Johnstkne wants to stiff his creditors, bail on warranty claims, bail on any employee liabilities; l and keep owning the enterprise.

 

dopo

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Please tell me of an American boat brand, and I don't say company because that would be easier, especially a sailboat one, that has not declared bankruptcy?

 

Jambalaya

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from the inconclusive release; all I can determine is Johnstkne wants to stiff his creditors, bail on warranty claims, bail on any employee liabilities; l and keep owning the enterprise.
That's pretty cynical. Chapter 11 is designed to give a company breathing room. The alternative would almost certainly be a total and immedaite collapse.

 

Cement_Shoes

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Please tell me of an American boat brand, and I don't say company because that would be easier, especially a sailboat one, that has not declared bankruptcy?
While I am sorry for the creditors especially the small ones who stand to lose far more than just a bit off the bottom line, I wish PJ luck. However I think Gunboat will have a harder time than a lot of other companies/brands in surviving and emerging from bankruptcy. There are a lot of factors stacked against GB even as a healthy company. They may be the final nail for a GB already on lifesupport.

 

Swimsailor

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from the inconclusive release; all I can determine is Johnstkne wants to stiff his creditors, bail on warranty claims, bail on any employee liabilities; l and keep owning the enterprise.
That's pretty cynical. Chapter 11 is designed to give a company breathing room. The alternative would almost certainly be a total and immedaite collapse.
He's owned up to the mistakes. BK ain't easy. Chapter 11 is an effort, a last ditch effort, but effort nonetheless.

 

Cement_Shoes

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from the inconclusive release; all I can determine is Johnstkne wants to stiff his creditors, bail on warranty claims, bail on any employee liabilities; l and keep owning the enterprise.
That's pretty cynical. Chapter 11 is designed to give a company breathing room. The alternative would almost certainly be a total and immedaite collapse.
I agree that this isn't a strategic move by PJ but rather one he is forced into. Perhaps it isn't the best move for his creditors but anyway you look at it they are facing huge losses either if the company goes chapter 11 or fails completely. Yes PJ is trying to hang onto his company and his dream but it is hard to fault him in this move.

That said I am not a fan of how the press release seems to at least hint that Rainmaker's crew is at fault for her loss.

 
PJ is a class act. I feel honored to have met him a couple times on boatshows etc. Unfortunately driver error have gotten him in trouble, and a mistake going to china didnt help either. There are lots of Trump supporters who don't give a dam about trump going into chapter 11 or 7 ? like 3 or 4 times. As unfortunate this is, it does happen and I am sure that pj will emerge out of this, giving his suppliers another chance to sell ( make some money back ) him stuff.

Would be nice to find rainmaker and rebuilt it.

thor

 

Grrr...

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Turd Sandwich said:
To anyone adversely affected by Gunboats situation, I am deeply sorry.

That i developed a plan to avoid paying my bills while i continue to live the live i was destined to live. My high and mighty status will go unchanged while you the lowly vendor will take it in the ass. You see i'm better than you the king of the food chain if you will. If you will forgive me i will allow you to try and once again enter into my servitude and sell me product. Dont ask for a letter of personal guarantee for my account because you know i'm better than that and i will buy from someone else

Fuck Him and as a vendor let this be a lesson dont sell shit to bigger than life companies with out a letter of personal guarantee
That's pure stupidity and exactly the reason people incorporate or file for llc status.

 
congrats PJ on 'coming out' publicly, on your own terms. better than most who hide (As much as that's possible) behind 'no comment'... if you're a vendor - i'm sorry for you - but - as a business owner myself we know that we take chances with customers, listen to their 'it's going to be OK we are doing great now...' BS and then we make our own decision weather to move forward or start COD. Only banks get away with Personal Guarantees anyway.

anyway - keep working on the bleeding edge of sailing PJ!

 
"

That said I am not a fan of how the press release seems to at least hint that Rainmaker's crew is at fault for her loss.
Isn't it obvious to all that the crew is at least partially at fault.
I suspect that Rainmaker's professional crew could have saved the boat - the fact that she is still floating somewhere supports this. Having been in similar circumstances, I suspect that the inexperienced owner became afraid for his and his son's life and demanded Coast Guard rescue. When the Coast Guard comes, they're taking everyone off the boat, or there was no reason for the rescue call in the first place (unless someone is sick or injured). So, the pros had to get off too.

That said - we return to the question: Should they have departed when they did with the given weather forecast? That gets down to the power (or lack of) the captain has to convince the owner to change his plans, while still keeping his job. If the schedule was the captains, then he is, ultimately responsible for the result. Another factor is how much influence, if any, Gunboat had on the departure. If they were looking at the weather with the captain and saying "Yeah, the boat will be fine in those conditions." then Gunboat has some moral responsibility for the result.

An unfortunate fact of life is that most sailboats today are no where near as seaworthy as boats of the past. In the old days with slow boats, the designers assumed that waves would break over the boat at some point, and designed accordingly. Portlights were small and any windows had plywood or plastic storm covers. Cockpits had a back to them, rather than being open to a sea rolling in, There was a bridge deck that you had to climb over to get into the cabin. So, even if the cockpit filled, the interior would not. Boats today are designed for boat shows attended by inexperienced sailors. The open transoms invite you aboard and are lovely for swimming off the stern in the islands. Eliminating the bridgedeck invites you into the cabin and makes socializing between the interior and the cockpit easier. The assumption is that the boat is light and fast and will surf down the wave, rather than take it over the stern. That's all great until the first in a series of cascading events occurs - like losing the mast. That said, there is nothing wrong with the modern designs, as long as the builders and marketing people are straight with their customers about the heavy air/big sea limitations of their boats. When we built Stiletto catamarans, we were clear with our customers that the boat was like a light aircraft - if the weather isn't nice enough to fly a small plane in, don't go out. The Gunboats, like the Stilettos, are fast enough to wait for a weather window and make up the time when the weather clears. Those who cruise high performance boats offshore need to understand when to throttle back, and when to not even turn on the ignition.

 

ice9a

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^^ the crew was in part obviously at fault (as we all guess was the owner) . . . but the boat was sold as a high latitude capable cruiser, and as such would have been expected to thrive in those sort of conditions . . . and it did not. It failed badly.

 
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Just A Skosh

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Oh and also Toccata is for sale. It was supposed to be the owner's round the world cruiser and they're selling it after having it for less than a year? That can't be good for the image...

And Phil's Foils posting on SA asking for reccomendations for debt collectors in NC? Not a great sign.

 
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