Hella and PacWest
While replacing all of the halogen bulbs on my boat with LED bulbs, I accidentally broke the plastic lens of one of the fixtures that fits flush into my salon ceiling. Beneteau no longer stocks replacement parts, and the glass and plastic fabricators I went to could not duplicate one thin enough to fit the fixture.
I finally tracked down the manufacturer, Hella Lights (www.hellausa.com), who put me in touch with their West Coast rep, Jess Nelson of PacWest. Jess knew immediately what I needed, but he wasnt sure he could locate the discontinued item. He kept at it, and a few weeks later, a UPS parcel arrived, containing three complete overhead-light replacements, at no charge!
This is outstanding customer service by Jess Nelson, PacWest, and Hella Lights.
Rondo, Beneteau 423
Marina del Rey, CA
I recently received a set of Galleyware (www.galleyware.com) nonskid dinnerware as a retirement present from my family, in preparation for my moving aboard. The set is fantastic-great pattern, great color-but unfortunately, the bowls were missing their nonskid O-rings. I contacted Galleyware, explained the situation and advised them that I had no paperwork, having received the set as a gift. Their immediate response was, Whats your name and address? Well send you a replacement set.
I highly commend Galleyware for its customer support.
Our 1986 11m S-2 sailboat has long had a traditional-style Edson teak cupholder at the helm. Unfortunately, Edson no longer sells the style (www.edsonmarine.com), which was replaced by a stainless-steel/teak holder thats a bit too Euro looking for the S-2. I called Edson with the hope that the old style might still be available, but no such luck. However, Edsons Bill Keene checked around and came up with a display model still mounted to a boat show display. Through Bills kind effort, the holder arrived within the week at no charge. A little TLC to renew the finish, and we will again have just the place for our beverages.
Edsons quality is, of course, legendary; no less so is its customer service! A big thank you to Edson and Bill Keene.
Joint Tenants, 1986 S-2
I recently purchased a Metz Manta 6 VHF antenna that came with the wrong connector. I emailed Metz (www.metzcommunication.com), and the owner promptly responded, asking for my mailing address. He then sent me both a long and short version of the correct connector and two extra O-rings. I expected the connector to be replaced for free but sending me the alternative size in case I needed it, and the extra O-rings-and it all happening instantly-was much appreciated. These U.S.-made antennas are excellent!
Reckless Abandon III, Seafarer 30
Silver Spring, MD
Gill North America
Two years ago, I received a Gill Race jacket for my birthday. After two years, it had suffered decomposition of the inner liner, to the point that my girlfriend, who had purchased it, was sadly disappointed by its durability. I sent it in to Gill (www.gillna.com), and they asked whether I had used any harsh chemicals to clean the jacket. I had not, and its deterioration was a puzzle. It was determined that the batch run of my product had some issues in it, which were resolved in future runs.
Gill informed me that the jacket had a limited lifetime warranty, and that they would be providing me a replacement for free.
It is really nice to find a company that stands behind its products and warranties in todays world. It definitely made me consider Gill products over any other, due to the satisfaction they have provided me.
The 1996 Beneteau 281 I bought about four years ago came with a Z-Spars genoa furler. The top part of the furler (the cap) had been broken at some point, and about a third of it was missing. In addition to potentially fouling the furling line, the broken cap did not look ship-shape. I recently contacted the distributor, U.S. Spars in Gainesville, Fla., and told them that I wanted to replace the broken cap. They said that the cap is now metal and that the new model would probably work for me. They sent me a new one for just $20.
I consider that a bargain for a roller-furler part. I appreciated their help and willingness to send me the updated part. While the new cap does work well, installing it required a major disassembly of the furler and forestay by an expert rigger-and that didn't cost me just $20.
Sheet Music, Beneteau Oceanis 281