Where Credit Is Due: September 2013


Alpenglow I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to (and recommendation of) the folks at Alpenglow Lights (www.alpenglowlights.com). We have many of their fixtures and have contacted the company on numerous occasions for new sales, upgrades, and technical questions. Without fail, they have exceeded our expectations, from offering to perform upgrades at minimal cost, to telling us secret workarounds that enabled us to use locally sourced parts and supplies to re-invigorate their excellent lighting units.

Jim Hassberger,
Kanga, Valiant 40 No. 278,
La Paz, Mexico

Greatland Laser
In 2008, I purchased a Greatland Laser Rescue Laser Flare Magnum (PS, March 2011), and it has lived in my inflatable life vest ever since. I change the batteries annually, and it has never gotten wet. When I installed new batteries this spring, it wouldn't turn on. I emailed Greatland Laser (www.greatlandlaser.com), and the company president, Kim Erickson, replied the same day and invited me to send it back for analysis and replacement. A new replacement arrived today, five years after my original purchase. Very impressive customer service and commitment to sailing safety!

Peter Aziz,
Herringbone, 1989 Cal-39,
Watch Hill, R.I.

Dax OneTouch
Upon reading your reviews and the December 2007 Gear of the Year recommendation, I decided to upgrade my sailboats winch handles to the Dax OneTouch handles.

In the past five years, my crew and I have put well over 4,000 miles of hard cruising, club-racing, jib tacking, spinnaker jibing, halyard hoisting, grinding, and dropping on the Dax OneTouch winch handles, and we love them.

Recently, during a tacking dual at the start line while grinding in the jib, one of the orange tops flew off the handle and ker-plunk, went right into the drink. The next day, I contacted Dax Labs via its website (www.onetouchhandle.com), asking if I could purchase a replacement for the top portion of the handle. Don Steiner, president of Dax Labs, responded within 20 minutes and asked me to send the handle back for inspection and to be re-built at the factory. Less than a week later, my winch handle was returned via FedEx, fully restored, at no charge to me.

I am most impressed with the high quality and ease of use of the Dax OneTouch winch handles. Their customer service is even more impressive.

John Brown III,
Adventure, Sabre 30

While doing a cosmetic facelift to our boat this spring, the removal of the Anchorlift windlass (www.anchorlift.com) from the foredeck was difficult. The gypsy shaft would not separate from the drive-gear hub. We purchased the boat last summer and only knew the windlass was installed in the spring of 2010. I eventually separated the gear box from the shaft, but in the process, I damaged the gear housing and discovered the cause of the difficulty, the shaft was slightly bent. I called Roger Crain at Anchorlift in Florida to order replacement parts. Roger simply said, This one is on me. I was astonished at this, and pleased to say, all parts needed arrived promptly and were used to rebuild the windlass. I thank Roger for his actions above and beyond any level of service expected, and I am happy to share this story with Practical Sailor. Anchorlift is very well represented by Roger Crain and this degree of customer service.

Mike & Judy Medeiros,
Nautilus, 1985 Freedom 32,
Marion, Mass.

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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