macnaughtongroup.com

Customer Manual

Containing Information on: Services
Specialties
Pricing
Scheduling
Correspondence
Hardware and Supplies
Where We Are
Who We Are
Your Privacy

This manual should acquaint new customers with our services and policies, and to help existing customers get the most out of our evolving operation. Reading it carefully will help to communicate information that is important to your satisfaction.

Everybody operates marine businesses differently. In our efforts to become the best business we can be, past policies may also change. If any matter of importance to you is not clearly explained in this manual, ask us for clarification as we want to be completely "up front" with you in all matters.

macnaughtongroup.com is owned and operated by experienced boat owners. Our mission is to create a business where customer satisfaction is everything. Ultimately customer happiness is our most important product.

As a result there are many reasons to consider coming to us. We are nearly unique in the following respects, expanded upon later in this manual.

1. We offer informed, professional solutions to all your design, technical reading, equipment and supply, brokerage and design instruction needs. We utilize the best technology and methods of which we are aware. We carefully consider seamanship, function, resale value, and your personal enjoyment, not just the production efficiencies of our business.

2. Most of our work is done under Contract Prices provided to you in advance.

3. We love to talk boats, and enjoy problem solving. We will take plenty of time to talk to you about any aspect of your boat. We will listen to your own ideas and priorities, and will incorporate those into our recommendations and quotations. Most boats exist to provide their owners with happiness, and that happiness is our most important product. Every customer has his or her own individual concept of this enjoyment. We are here to assist you toward that end, whether you like a fiberglass, metal or wooden boat, power or sail, a high-tech or low-tech approach, a gold-plate yacht look or a work boat style, etc.

4. Our spectacular, sheltered and unspoiled cruising ground, combined with our unique island city make for a wonderful place to visit or base a boat. With us and the other marine and non-marine businesses in town, the visiting yachtsman will find everything he or she needs for a practical and enjoyable visit.

Services

We provide a range of services custom-tailored to your individual requirements.

We have an extensive background in repair and maintenance work and marine surveying, and have personally used boats and marine equipment in harsh environments for long periods of time. As a result we are very familiar with the modes of failure of structural elements, hardware, finishes, and accessories. As Naval Architects we routinely calculate new structures, and we are constantly examining new techniques and materials as they become available. As long-term boat owners we are also familiar with many modes of boat use, ranging from casual inshore use of small pleasure boats to offshore voyaging and commercial fishing. The end result is an ability to optimize the work we do for you to suit your needs, based on a two-way discussion with you about those needs. Most of our customers are looking for ways to make their boats last longer, work better, look better, and hold more of their value over time. We are qualified to help accomplish those goals.

We design new vessels and modifications for existing ones. We do consulting on projects built to our designs and can arrange construction through builders we know.

We broker the sale of yachts and commercial vessels. In addition we offer an expanding selection of stock boat plans, in-house publications, and marine equipment and supplies, and we also offer a yacht design correspondence course.

Specialties

Advising on wooden boat care and repair: Perhaps more than any other business, we are able to consult on state-of-the-art wooden boat repair and maintenance technology and methods, while remaining sensitive to both the traditional qualities of your vessel and the economic realities of boat ownership. We have a strong personal interest in the history of yacht design and construction, and a keen appreciation of the fact that a wooden boat may be anything from a simple, functional object, to an emotionally satisfying work of art with historical importance. This sensitivity is reflected in our recommendations, which will aim at enhancing these aspects of your boat's character while maintaining or increasing her value. We will carry on a careful and detailed correspondence with you aimed at designing a sequence of projects that maximize results within a budget and time frame tailored to your individual situation and priorities. We are great believers in the idea that, if a boat gets just a little better every year, she then becomes immortal.

As wooden boat owners, we have a personal fondness for traditional aspects of the marine world. However, we are not traditionalists, and in fact are known for our innovative approach to problem solving. Our articles appear in the marine press, and we have explored new techniques in finishing, frame repairs, plank repairs, and boat building in modern wooden methods. We are authors of calculated scantlings rules (formulas for determining the sizes and proportions of structural elements) in Conventional, Sheathed Strip, and Cold-Molded wooden construction. We also offer a scantlings rule covering various forms of fiberglass construction.  We have rules we use in house to produce scantlings for steel and aluminum vessels.

Naval Architecture: This part of our business has been in existence for over 41 years, and is the foundation from which we approach all other aspects of our work. Unlike many other design firms, we have an understanding and appreciation of both traditional and modem characteristics, and our designs usually combine some elements of both, as appropriate. Our long-term perspective enables us to separate short-term trends from long-term evolution, and as a result our designs tend to be timeless in character, and sound investments. We are particularly well known for offshore and live aboard sailing craft, able, good-looking powerboats of good fuel economy, and practical workboats. A number of stock plans are available. We do custom design work at Contract Prices. We welcome your inquiries.

Advising on Boat Building: We design and consult on the construction of boats of all types in modern wood-and-epoxy methods, including Sheathed Strip, cold molded, and plywood. We also design and consult on construction in steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. Our interpretation of these methods offers a combination of extreme longevity, resistance to neglect, ease of maintenance, and investment quality. Sheathed Strip, a method that we have helped to develop and promote, is the optimum modern wood and epoxy method for most purposes, combining the above characteristics with economy of construction, superior structural characteristics, and ease of repair. All structures that we design are carefully calculated, for the right amount of strength in the right places. This results in stronger, more reliable, and better performing boats than those built by those who go by "this is probably about right" or "this is probably the best we can afford to do and really sell a lot of boats".

Pricing

We are usually able to provide a contract price for any work the parameters of which can be established in advance. The major exception is in doing passenger carrying vessels that must be approved by the Coast Guard. It is too difficult to anticipate everything that they will ask for or ask to be modified.

Some seem to feel that our rates are low. Our goal is basically to earn an average income for our area. Since Maine and particularly our county are very low cost areas to live as well as very beautiful and we are modest people who really only require our little house, and a boat , I suppose we haven't pushed our rates very much.

Scheduling

If there is one thing that may make design customers nervous it is waiting for the next drawing to arrive. We have gone to great lengths since early 1999 to focus the business more closely on serving our design customers. Nevertheless you should understand that there are limits on the speed with which good design work can be done. We will not sacrifice quality of design for anything. Since you pay for drawings only as they are completed you can be pretty sure we're working just as hard as we can on them!

Correspondence

We welcome your email, phone calls, and visits at any time. Email is normally the most reliable and productive way to communicate with us. When telephoning you will very often get a busy signal or at times your call will be answered by our machine. Please leave a message. We may be able to get right back to you. We are usually available for you seven days a week, but as a small business sometimes things come up which can prevent this. Try to remember that we are on the East Coast of the United States and select your calling times accordingly. When planning a visit we suggest calling at least a couple of days ahead of time.

Where we really shine,  is in our written communications, We suggest communicating in writing by email, fax or mail whenever possible. It is then much easier for us to give your questions the consideration they deserve, and detailed, fully developed, answers. Even more importantly, we will each then have a written record of our correspondence. Very often after a phone conversation one will be left with an incorrect impression of the conversation. Even if this is not the case, impressions can change over time without a written record.

Hardware & Supplies

We are making a strong effort to increase our Internet sales business, and are expanding our Liveaboard Catalog as fast as we can. We are concentrating on showing those items that people have requested first. If you don't see what you want remember that we have around 10' of shelving devoted to current manufacturer catalogs plus a huge database of contact information for a great many more suppliers. If somebody makes it, we can find it, if nobody makes it we can get it made, if nobody has ever made it we can design it.

By ordering through us you gain the benefit of our many years of in-depth experience. This has given us very clear ideas on which products are good and which are not, and knowledge of what will and will not work on your boat. We earn our markup and save you money by helping you to avoid a costly mistake. We can increase your enjoyment of your boat by steering you toward those products that will last, increase your boat’s value, and provide good service. The other advantage to purchasing through us is that you will then have us available to advise you on the proper use of the product and assist with keeping it properly maintained and repaired.

Our Location

At present our design, support, and sales staff all work out of a modest Cape Cod style house at 35 Clark Street in Eastport, Maine. Our little city is located on Moose Island, which divides Passamaquoddy Bay from Cobscook Bay at the eastern end of the Maine coast.

The City of Eastport is located primarily on the eastern side of this 3-3/4 square mile island. It offers a protected tie-up area inside the breakwater with the fishing boats and transient slips outside the breakwater, as well as restaurants, grocery stores, etc. The Canadian border bisects Friar Roads, the roadstead in front of Eastport, and continues up the St. Croix river to Calais and St. Stephens.

The recently upgraded Eastport Airport with it’s 4,500 foot runway allows quick access to and from the area via charter flights, and will accommodate planes up to the size of typical corporate jets.

Northeast Marina and Fuel Depot is at the southern end of the downtown area, and offers gasoline and diesel fuel, dockage, and rental moorings.

Approaches to Passamaquoddy Bay from either east or west are well marked by the East and West Quoddy, Head lighthouses. There are few outlying dangers of any kind in the approaches or major passages within the Bay. We recommend the East Quoddy Head route in poor visibility or at unfavorable stages of the tide. Head Harbor on Campobello Island is the first good shelter available in this approach, and is located immediately next to the East Quoddy Head light.

The West Quoddy Head route, through Lubec passage, is a shorter run for boats arriving from the west, and can be recommended during settled weather and with good visibility or radar. Note the bridge clearance at Lubec, and plan for a passage through the bridge at high or low stack water.

Our area is famous for its large tidal range, approximately 21 feet between high and low water. This is always somewhat daunting to new arrivals, but with familiarity it quickly becomes a routine consideration exactly like smaller tidal ranges elsewhere. It does mean that currents in narrow passages are strong, but water movement in coves and harbors is mostly just up and down. Fighting currents in narrow passages can be an exercise in frustration. If one adapts one's itinerary to the tide tables, the currents become an ally, and just add to the interest of the cruising ground.

Visitors should include a fender board in their equipment. This is a plank that enables you to tie up to wharves conveniently, if desired. You hang it over the side with the fenders between your hull and the board, thus allowing you to lie against one or more pilings without concern for your topsides. It is perfectly possible to cruise in the area without ever tying up to wharves, but they are handy at times. When tying up to wharves it pays not to forget the tidal range, which suggests the use of extra long docking lines led far enough forward or aft of their attachment points on the boat so the boat can rise and fall without as much need for adjustment.

Fog is common in the Bay of Fundy, but much less so within Passamaquoddy and Cobscook Bays. Fog combined with the tidal currents can seem like a major challenge at first, but these are largely offset by the fact that most runs are short, going close to bold shores without outlying dangers.

The area is sheltered from large seas or ocean swells.

Our system of Bays and Islands is probably the least developed, most pristine area on the East Coast of the U.S., with clean air and water and abundant wildlife including numerous whales and bald eagles. Most anchorages will have no other boats in them. Much of the shoreline is totally untouched by man.

In many ways our area represents a glimpse of a past which is gone forever elsewhere. The unspoiled natural environment, operating herring weirs, beautiful sardine carriers, and friendly people are all hard to find anywhere else. The recent advent of viable aquaculture techniques has also forged a new relationship between the local people and the water. You will see fish farms raising salmon and sea trout--a boom to the local economy. No one should leave the area without a taste of the world famous smoked salmon produced locally, or the other local seafoods, which are found in abundance everywhere.

Who We Are

Throughout this web site you will find biographies of the folks working in various aspects of the business.  They are examples of our long standing principle of always trying to find people to work with us who are smarter than we are.

As a group, we may be contrasted with other marine professionals in the sense that we are relatively conservative in our standards of design, construction, equipment, craftsmanship, and business. With first-hand experience extending back over 60 years and the benefit of the experience of three previous generations of boat people, we have a long-term, historical perspective which has generated in us a profound respect for boats which are strong, long-lasting, reliable, and timelessly beautiful.

We moved to Eastport in March of 1989, for the purpose of starting a closely held business which would allow us to live in this beautiful area while continuing to promote our philosophy of boats. We continue to work within our limited means to gradually expand our ability to help serious cruising people achieve happiness in their own the water experiences and by extension their life in general.

We encourage your comments and suggestions. They are valuable considerations as we chart our future course.

Your Privacy

We do not collect any information about you that you do not volunteer and we never share any of this information with any third party. The information you provide is only used to provide the services you request and improve our service to you.