VALDIVIA, 17 MAY 2011
Dear Alex and Roni,
Just a brief note before we head off north to the Galapagos.
I, and all the motley crew of Aussies, feel we can not leave without letting you and all the friendly, efficient team at Alwoplast know how much we have enjoyed our stay with you in Valdivia.
In particular, I have enjoyed the entire sequence of initial negotiation on the Atlantic 57, the building process and now completion, sea-trials and final hand-over. It has been an exciting process, the exact opposite to some of the horror stories told about custom yachts delivered late and way over budget.
As you know, I have been ‘around boats’ for about 50 years mainly in Australia, PNG and the Pacific. I have always been very wary of commissioning a custom-built yacht, as fixed-price contracts are a rarity and may lack ‘transparency’. Dealing with Alwoplast and Chris White has been the very opposite, as you offered a straightforward, negotiable fixed-price deal and have delivered a first-class vessel, on time and with no hidden extra or unexpected costs.
Your progress reports during the building process gave me excellent detail and let me know things were on track and on time despite occasional delays in supply from outside sources……very impressive. I am particularly grateful that Alwoplast took on the considerable administrative and financial costs of dealing with Chilean GST, Customs and the Navy…….this has allowed matters to progress smoothly and on schedule.
I think a lot of your success with the A57 is not only the highly developed design and the top quality build (equal or better than anything from Australia or the States, I think), but the long term commitment you and Chris White have to each vessel………being experienced sailors you are able to, and in fact deliver, most valuable advice and assistance for the life of the yacht if appropriate.
The crew and I now feel we have become part of the Alwoplast A57 family, thanks for your hospitality and assistance during our stay……for example providing transport was invaluable to us in helping stock and provision the boat; it was most generous of you and went well beyond “the call of duty”.
I only hope we can repay you and your families with the same degree of hospitality in Australia sometime soon.
We are now sad to leave, but looking forward to some exciting sailing northward. We will keep you informed on our travels in PACIFIC EAGLE.
Please pass on our thanks and appreciation to all your friendly staff who have helped us so much.
Hamish Foster (Commander, Royal Australian Navy Retired)