Flying Eagle Boat Company: 2 sides to every story?

11 years 7 months ago #5635 by cdo
There has been much talk about Epic's side of the story but finally someone is prepared to comment on the other side of the fence: refer

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11 years 7 months ago #5636 by Sandy
Hmmm ? Is flying eagle making stellar boats in their "new" 10000m2 shop space . Does stellar have some "intellectual property" that is amazingly similar to composite construction techniques found throughout the marine and aerospace industries. stay tuned and grab your shovels and nose clips , quessing it will get deep and stinky before the shining light of truth burns through ! :P personally inclined to believe the side that has a proven track record ,not without some bumps along the way, strongly supporting the surfski and performance kayaking community.(That would be EPIC !).

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11 years 7 months ago #5637 by robin.mousley
I think this is the original email from Greg Barton (sent to the yahoogroups surfski newsgroup) to which the Flying Eagle statement is a response.

Greg was responding to a query on the newsgroup that noted the stellar ski covers looked identical to the Epic covers.

Re: Review of Stellar SES

While I've tried to stay out of this, it's time to set the record straight.

Yes, the cover is exactly like the old Epic covers. We had those made by Flying Eagle and they were a Flying Eagle cover made to fit our boats - so not problems there.

The Stellar skis are not copies of the Epic boats. However, Epic taught Flying Eagle the specifics of surf skis. I personally spent more than a year (spread over 3 years time) working in the Flying Eagle factory.

After more than a year and a half since Epic left the Flying Eagle factory, Flying Eagle is still holding hostage all the original Epic moulds (including 3rd party moulds contracted by Epic and/or brought in from overseas), a substantial amount of Epic imported carbon fiber and other raw materials and more than 200 completed boats that Epic paid them for.

During several months of negotiations after we announced we wanted to leave, the demands by Flying Eagle kept escalating until the amount they were requiring us to pay (if we wanted to get our goods without going to court) surpassed the value of our goods they were holding.

Further, Flying Eagle was demanding unreasonable business restrictions on our part, including we agree to pay them millions of dollars if we did certain things, such as hire former employees of Flying Eagle in the future. I'm not joking - at one point the demand was a $5 million penalty that Epic would have to pay. It became clear to us that agreeing with their demands would have been suicide for Epic, leaving us vulnerable to potential fabricated lawsuits in China that could bankrupt us. The owner of Flying Eagle told us flat out that they would bankrupt us and that they would copy our boats, but make some changes.

We have an ongoing lawsuit against Flying Eagle in Chinese court since November, 2008. We're still hoping for a fair settlement from the Chinese legal system, but don't know when or what that might entail.

I'm grateful to see that while the Stellar boats may look a lot like Epic (and borrowed some of the same features), they are not copies of our boats. While Stellar distributors are not part of Flying Eagle, the boats are made by Flying Eagle and Flying Eagle will be profiting from the sales. Meanwhile Epic was forced to rebuild all of our moulds and tooling at great expense.

Those are the facts and I leave it up to you - the readers and potential customers what you want to do with them.

Best regards,

Greg Barton

Epic Kayaks, Inc. <>
/Designed by World Champions./


Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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11 years 7 months ago #5639 by [email protected]
I wasn't aware of the details. The initial contracts and agreements should have made provision for every conceivable eventuality. In the case of any breach by either party the consequences would have been clearly stipulated in black and white, and any problems would have been readily resolved.

It is clear as daylight this was not the case. Now both parties are flailing around trying to untangle an unruly mess, each believing the other is out to destroy him.

But whilst hindsight is 20/20 there is no crystal ball to predict what will happen in the future. Epic and Flying Eagle (which includes Stellar as the latter's wholly owned subsidiary) will realise in due course that they're on the wrong track.

There will be no clear winner in this litigious affair. No court will rule only in the one or other's favour. Then there are the appeals process to consider that may drag it out even further. I don't know about the Chinese process but lets say 2008 to 2012 (conservative) or even 2016 (liberally).

Then they'll have to pick up the tab for all of this as well. Do they fund this by raising the sales prices? Dirty laundry is oft aired in court and either party runs the risk of being judged by (to use a McCain-ism) 'Paddler' Joe/Japie/Bruce as unethical or dishonest and loose its support base. Is all of this worth it? Definitely no.

I have met Greg Barton on a few occasions and he appears to be a solid citizen. If the Flying Eagle Company is such a well established and respected family business as noted on the Stellar website (whose representatives are also well respected in the paddling community) then why cant these differences not be ironed out amicably?

Be responsible, put the ego's aside and get back to the table and negotiate the settlement of this dispute.


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11 years 7 months ago #5642 by SlowPoke

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