Schionning Designs... Kit? 

Let's talk about what you receive & why it's not really a kit.

This is our opinion, and please take is as such. 

A 'kit' should be a set of parts that includes everything you need to complete the construction of that item.  And, according to Schionning's website, seen below, their kit includes 'all your basic materials to build your boat to a faired shell stage'.  If that were true, this would indeed be a kit, and that was our understanding when we paid over 200k for this kit.  However that isn't the case, they aren't selling you a full kit, just whatever parts they remember to send.  You must purchase what they left out yourself.

What is included

After we purchased and received our 'kit' we started to find missing elements.  On calling Schionning, we were told by their General Manager that what we actually purchased was a list of parts.  This list did not include  'all your basis materials' to complete the boat to a faired shell stage'.   In fact, there were several elements omitted from what was delivered.  When we asked about these missing elements, the Schionning representative told us that they forgot to ship these items and told us we would have to purchase them ourselves.  The reps excuse for why we had to purchase these omitted parts was that Schionning Designs had not charged us for them and that they were not on our itemized list of what what was included in our purchase.  These forgotten pieces and unplanned for purchases cost us several thousand dollars.  

They claimed we were sent an itemized list of parts we were purchasing, but as far as we know, we did not receive such a list.  We went back through our emails and could not locate this itemized list.  When we asked for a copy of the email where they had sent this itemized list, the rep said he would find it.  However, as of yet, no copy of this email has been shown or supplied to us.

But even Schionning Designs had sent us an itemized list, it would have done us little good since we don't now what is needed to build their boat.  Therfore, it would be nearly impossible for us to spot any missing elements.  That's why we purchase what we thought was a full kit, so we would have everything we needed to build their boat.

So, just be aware, you aren't purchasing a full kit boat from Schionning Designs, regardless of what they tell you initially or what the Schionning website states.  What you are buying is an incomplete set of parts to build most of a boat, but you will be responsible to purchase anything they forgot in their list or just decided not to send (like the marine plywood needed in the forebeam).  These missing elements will incur additional and unforeseen costs beyond what you expected to pay in their quote for a 'kit'.

We aren't alone here, we have spoken with another buyer who experienced the same issue with what they received from  Schionning Designs, though they were missing different elements of their boat. 

Kit Boat

What comes from Schionning Designs:

Here is what you actually get: there is a set of plans from Schionning Designs and most of the boat pieces you need are precut from laminated foam or balsa panels.  Though most are included, some of the precut pieces may be forgotten, and you will need to cut these from the offcut foam that is left over.  Example, our daggerboards were supposed to have PVC foam and Balsa wood, but they forgot to send both, so we were told to purchase it ourselves or use off cuts.

What the main portion of the boat is made from:
If you choose to go with foam, you have the choice from three manufacturers.  We choose Advanced Materials Solutions in Cape Town, South Africa since their panels come in 7.9 x 2.345 meter sections.  

That means we will need to join far fewer panels together, yet their large panels fit in a standard shipping container.  We also like the water jet CNC method they use which doesn't apply heat to the panels and creates less waste. We also like the way AMS bonds the laminate to the PVC foam with resin penetration through regular holes in the foam. This helps with adhesion and compression resistance.

These panels will ship from South Africa to your location.  But Schionning Designs gives you a choice to have the pieces separated at the factory or to take them in large sheets where you must cut small tabs to separate out the precut parts.

The Schionning rep suggested we have them separated and assured us that they would be grouped by type.  That was absolutely not true.   Instead, they came as a massive jig saw conglomeration of pieces in a large pile, though each piece is marked with a name.  Had we know this, we would have taken the pieces still attach as panels and cut them loose ourselves as this would have saved a lot of time, organization, and storage space.

What else comes from Schionning?

Besides the foam pieces, you also receive MDF parts to make some jigs and rolls of fiberglass and  carbon fiber cloth plus epoxy.  They also send various filler powders to mix thickened epoxy and fairing compound.  In our case we had to purchase more rolls of carbon fiber due to incorrect instructions from Schionning Designs.  Some wood is also included in the build, though what we received was unusable for the forebeam and other wood for the bridge deck was just missing.  Later, Schionning did cover the cost of the missing WRC for the bridgedeck since it was on the list yet not sent in our shipment. 

Are we unhappy with our choice to purchase  from Schionning Designs? 

Well, it was very annoying to have parts of the boat just forgotten by Schionning Designs.  This caused us to go far over budget to the tune of thousands of dollars.  However, we would probably still buy this incomplete list of parts simply because we love the boat design and still can't find one we like as much from another company. 

We also like the Advanced Materials Solutions panels as they take far less joining. 

But, if we had another choice of a similarly designed cat, we would consider going with another company who stands behind their boat as a kit instead of an incomplete list of parts.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find another boat design we liked anywhere near as much as the Solitaire 1520, so, until another kit boat comes along that we like as much, we would just live with failings of Schionning Designs and buy this boat again.  However, we would approach this purchase with a different expectation.  We now know that Schionning Designs does not stand behind their quote for a full kit.  So, we would plan for the fact that parts will be ommited and we would put aside a lot of additional money to pay for all the forgotten pieces of the boat.

For further information, you may also take a look at The Specs or Build Time estimate (buttons below)

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