Where Credit is Due: February 2011

Metz AntennaTipke ManufacturingProMarinerFacet/PurolatorHarkenStandard Horizon

Metz masthead antenna

My Catalina 270 sailboat has been equipped with a Metz masthead antenna for years. Upon decommissioning this fall I noticed that there was significant deterioration of the white UV cover at the base of the unit to the point where it had already chipped away. I e-mailed Metz Communications (www.metzcommunication.com) and asked whether it would affect functionality and, if so, could it be repaired. Within 24 hours, I received a reply from Lee at Metz who said that the antenna had a lifetime warranty and that I should return it for a replacement.

I packed up my old antenna, mailed it to them, and before a week had elapsed I received a brand-new Metz Manta 6 antenna—total cost about $7 for postage. Kudos to Metz for backing their product and their representative, Lee, for his prompt service!


Eric Burkert
Catalina 270
East Hampton, N.Y.

I’d like to commend Tipke Manufacturing (www.tipkemfg.com) for their help locating a part for my Fold-it Dock Buggy. I really like the buggy and was very put out when the hub holding a wheel came off and was lost overboard. I e-mailed an inquiry to them to see whether the part could be replaced. They sent the parts necessary to fix the axle at no charge, even though the buggy was out of warranty. (It’s about 4 years old.) My hat is off to a superb American manufacturer!

William Bozeman
Second Wind
Via e-mail

Recently, I had to move my ProMariner ProTruSine 400 Inverter to access another project, and I inadvertently pulled the remote fitting from the unit while “disconnecting” the remote control wire. I called Ian Goodnow at ProMariner (www.pmariner.com) and explained my problem. He remembered speaking with me about the install previously and suggested I pack up the whole unit and send it to them. Within a week, a new unit arrived free of charge, including shipping. Now that’s customer service!


Clark Broadbent
Euphoria, Catalina 30TR
New Haven, Conn.

I purchased a Facet/Purolator replacement lift pump from a local marine service store in Annapolis that turned out to be the wrong model for my engine. Two months after I returned the pump, the Annapolis store still had not refunded my $235, nor sent the pump to the factory. Upon e-mailing Facet/Purolator (www.facet-purolator.com), I received a prompt call from National Sales Manager Paul Puleo, and he later called the Annapolis store directly, on my behalf, encouraging speedy resolution. Keep in mind Facet/Purolator was under no warranty obligation since the Annapolis store was not an authorized distributor. Thanks to Paul and Facet/Purolator for going well beyond the norm of customer service.

Chip & Pam Lohman
Whispering Swan
Quantico, Va.

We were cruising by Montserrat when the Soufriere volcano exploded. Within minutes, we had 1 to 3 inches of rock and ash on every square inch or our PDQ catamaran, and visibility went from unlimited to several hundred feet. The cleanup effort took weeks!

Our Harken winches, which then sounded like pepper grinders, required a detailed cleaning. During the cleaning process, I noticed a casting crack on the stem cap of one of our 7-year-old Harken 48 winches. I contacted Neil Harvey, Harken Caribbean Sales Manager, concerning the casting crack. Within a week, a free replacement part was in my hand. No hassle or proof-of-purchase was required. I’m a Harken customer for life.

Jason Trautz
Yolo, PDQ
Via e-mail

I purchased a Standard Horizon chartplotter through a local dealer in Sidney, B.C. The after-market mounting systems just didn’t meet my cockpit requirements, so I decided to construct my own mount using ABS plastic. During construction, I accidentally dripped plastic solvent onto the front of the plotter, causing the plastic to melt. I hadn’t even used the unit yet in the real world!

I contacted Vertex Standard in Cypress, Calif., for advice; the helpful technician suggested I send the unit in for evaluation. Imagine my surprise when the unit was returned in short order with a brand new front cover trim at no cost! Kudos to Standard Horizon for supporting their units well above warranty requirements!

Bert Vermeer
Sidney, British Columbia

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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