Where Credit Is Due: August 2013


Water Witch
Two years ago, I purchased a Water Witch bilge pump switch. When it developed a glitch, I called Kathleen at Water Witch Inc.s San Diego office (www.waterwitchinc.com). She asked me a couple of questions, then assured me the replacement part would be shipped the following day. It was, followed by an email saying it had shipped. It arrived 10 days later (international), complete with a personal note. Does it better than this? I think not.

Where Credit Is Due: August 2013

Bill Hassett,
Via email

Like all prudent sailors, I strive to be as self-sufficient as possible. This endeavor often forces me into, among other places, cold, murky water beneath the boat. I recently had a zipper fail on a lightly used, but out-of-warranty Scubapro shorty wetsuit. Of course I didnt have the purchase receipt, so I began a quest to affect a repair-sail shops, upholstery shops, you name it. No one could help me. I ended up sending the suit back to Scubapro (www.scubapro.com), expecting to pay for repairs and shipping.

They inspected the suit, and agreed that it was so lightly used that the zipper should not have failed. Amazingly, Scubapro promptly replaced the entire wetsuit at no charge. Ive repeatedly pressed Scubapro gear into some very harsh environments while cleaning boat bottoms. I can’t say enough good things about their product reliability. Now, Id like to add the same kudos to their customer service.

Hayward Hornsby,
Legend, Hunter 35.5
Destin, Fla.

Ive been using Alpenglow Lights (www.alpenglowlights.com) for a few years, and I love em. (I have four.) Plus the tech support is better than expected. When a lights ballast went out on me (a rare occurrence, but the light was almost 10 years old), I shipped it to the company, and they converted it to all LED for free. The LED light is a tad bit brighter, but the color is nearly the same.

Richard Lewis,
Via email

I would like to express thanks to Chuck Finch, SI-TEX service manager (www.si-tex.com), for his superb service. He found and repaired a problem with my Lowrance MDS-8 radar for minimal cost. The radar had never been installed and was dead out of the box. After troubleshooting it over the phone, I was unable to locate the problem. I could not find the receipt, so I sent it in with some trepidation as it would not be a warranty repair. Finch was extremely considerate, and I certainly appreciate it.

Dwight Campbell
Margaritaville, Newport 28 MKII
Columbia River

Recently, I installed a Raritan Marine Elegance head (PS, February 2011), which leaked at the connection to the Shields 164 hose. I emailed Raritan (www.raritan.com), and Greg Morales immediately replied. He mentioned this problem had happened before, so they had redesigned the connection fitting. A new one was promptly sent, and solved my problem.

Jonathan Bryan,
Via email

Darrell Nicholson
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 50 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him by email at practicalsailor@belvoir.com.