Where Credit Is Due: September 2014
While cruising up in a remote part of Labrador, I had a B&G autopilot failure. I called Jake Marantz at the B&G service center (www.bandg-service.com) on my Sat phone, and over about an hour and a couple calls, he helped me diagnose the problem and fix it. He was tremendously helpful and obviously knowledgeable.
About a decade ago, we were in the middle of the Tasman Sea when the fluxgate failed. I then called someone at B&G; they similarly were extremely helpful, and we got the problem fixed. (It required installing and calibrating a spare fluxgate compass I had.) This sort of service is a tremendous asset for B&G. I am close to needing to replace the whole onboard instrument and autopilot system (1998 vintage), and this service capability will be important in my purchase decision.
Hawk, 47-foot Van de Stadt sloop
I have owned and enjoyed a few different bags made by Sailor Bags (www.sailorbags.com). They are soft-sided bags of various shapes and sizes, crafted from sailcloth. Recently, I discovered that the zipper on one of my bags had seized up after it had been stowed onboard for the entire season. I sent an email to Sailor Bags, requesting advice, and received a reply within one day from Anne Zimmer. She reminded me of the company’s lifetime warranty, and offered to send me a brand new identical bag as soon as they were back in stock. I received the new bag at no charge. This is customer service at its finest.
Zenith, Sabre 402
For advice on unsticking stuck zippers, check out the December 2013 Mailport, or visit www.zipperrescue.com.
My 1998 Saga 43 has a self-tacking solent jib that uses a Harken traveller, the Big Boat 2:1 system. This spring, I found the sheave in the end control had seized. I contacted Harken (www.harken.com) about purchasing a new unit. Rick in technical services responded overnight with a request that I return the end control for repair. Less than a week after my initial message, I received the part completely rebuilt with a new sheave. All at no cost. Bravo, Harken.
Fairtide, 1998 Saga 43