Where Credit is Due: Nikon, Beckson Marine, and More!


Nikon Ocean Pro 7 x 50


About 20 years ago, I purchased a lovely pair of Nikon binoculars, the 7×50 Ocean Pro (see PS August 2003 online), for my father for Christmas. Over many years of use, they became slightly damaged after being dropped on one eyepiece. This year, I sent them to Nikon (www.nikon.com) to be repaired. They made them perfect again, with a new strap and case, for no charge, not even shipping. Their lifetime warranty really is for a lifetime. I look forward to another 20 years of use, and then passing them along to my son. The best is always the best.

Frank Blair

Farfarer, schooner

Via email

Beckson Marine

My 1984 Tartan has original Beckson Marine portlights that needed to be re-bed, and their hardware was corroded and not usable. Jay, in Becksons customer service department (www.beckson.com), took the time to help me research new hardware and shipped the items right off, so I could complete the maintenance. In the hustle of spring commissioning, I had misplaced the new hardware. When I called Beckson to re-order, they noticed I was ordering the same item, and they immediately discounted the replacements and shipped them the next day. When the misplaced items were found a few weeks later, Beckson happily took the return and credited my account. This company did everything possible to accommodate me (for my mistakes) and couldn't have been easier to work with. What a terrific company with excellent people!

Jay Fligstein

Paper Tiger, Tartan 33R

Northport, N.Y.

Blue Sea Systems, ACR

I have high praise for Blue Sea Systems (www.bluesea.com) and ACR Electronics (www.acrartex.com). I dropped the locking ring to the Blue Seas 12-volt outlet into someplace unreachable during installation. Customer rep Lee Stephens sent me four replacements at no charge. When I called, a person answered, and there was no appreciable wait to talk to a tech!

Also, I sent ACR an old ACR Firefly strobe light (PS December 2010) that had suffered from corrosion and an internal plastic failure so that their engineers could examine the failed part. Unasked, they sent me a new, updated model for free. Customer service is alive and well in America!

Barry Needalman

Island Time, 1998 Hunter 410

Boston, Mass.


Several years ago, PS reviewed options for stopping holding-tank odor. For those with holding tank ventilation challenges, Groco Marines Sweet Tank system seemed an appealing alternative. Our Sweet Tank has worked like a charm on our 1981 Catalina 30. The in-tank assembly is easily enough removed for periodic service. You need to remove, disassemble, brush, and re-assemble it every couple of months. At that interval, it is a 15-minute project. If you wait a year, even soaking in your favorite cola beverage will not break the bond between the brass tube and plastic fitting.

When this happened to my system, I asked Groco (www.groco.net) for a new plastic fitting. They said to send it to them, and they would fix it and return it. Instead, they sent me a new plastic fitting, gratis. I have a boat full of re-fit Groco valves and thru-hulls. I am very grateful for this kind service.

Richard Marsh

Bluebird, Catalina 30

Rowayton, Conn.

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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