After a considerable delay due to some unfortunate builder difficulties, Cliff Sojourner's F-41 is now once again making good progress at Ian Franklin's boat building yard in Christchurch New Zealand.
Cliff's boat probably sat about for nearly two years, due to a professional builder stumbling, and it was eventually moved to Ian's yard in 2003, where work is now proceeding at a rapid rate. It should be launched later in 2004, and with the Franklin yard's world wide reputation and high standard of professionalism it should be another excellent example of craftsmanship.
Cliff's experience is another reminder of how important it is to choose a good builder, and to carefully check references. Many professional builders can look good initially, or even have good references in the past, but if not properly managed, or familiar with advanced construction techniques, problems can still arise. So check with designer on any builder being considered for the latest information, and be sure to have a good building contract drawn up, with progress payments at different stages, and a good 'out' just in case.
The original builder in Cliff's case had built many good boats in the past, but did not do the right things and dropped the ball badly on their last three boats, with another F-41 also requiring some rework, so one cannot be too careful.
Finding good professional builders who will follow plans and treat customers properly and with integrity has in fact probably been the biggest single problem in the multihull design business. The truly bad builders are usually rather obvious straight away, but the ones who appear to be doing a quality job but then fail to follow specifications, or standards of professionalism prove less than desirable, or customers are treated badly after delivery, are much more difficult to ferret out.