Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Thanked 152 Times in 144 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Three Cheers for FP!!
We have had a FP 4.2 FW Cooled unit aboard s/v HyLyte since the spring of 2002 and have had good experience with the unit and very good experience with the boys at FP, in particular Jeff Till and Bob Grubert in the service department. Both of these young men have gone out of their way to help us l-o-n-g after our unit was out of warranty. The only problems we've had with our Panda were the result of my own misunderstandfing of the maintenance regime necessary to keep her humming along; or, a manufacturing defect in a pump built by Johnson Pump that Panda could not have known of until it failed (but that Mr. Grubert kindly replaced at no cost to me 7-years after we bought our unit!) or, a failed capacitor caused by the original installer who did not follow the explicit installation instructions (he mounted the controller box sideways rather than vertical) which Mr. Till suggested in the first 3 minutes on the phone with me and proved true.
The Panda is a precision machine--perhaps too precision for the application--but, properly cared for (per the manufacturers instructions) it will provide years of reliable service. Unfortunately, it seems that only unhappy owners are willing to express an opinion in such threads but I believe in giving credit where credit is due so I am speaking up here.
The other morning we had a power outage. With that we trooped over to the yacht, fired up the Panda, and had a comfortable--air conditioned--morning doing boat chores. At one point during the moring our neighbor came over with an extension cord asking "...may we borrow a few amps?". In short order out unit was powering two yachts but still well with its routine operating limit.
Spend the money to send the unit over to Panda. Let the boys fix it properly. Take the (free) course that Panda offers on maintenance--normally offered at either the Ft. Lauderdale or Miami Boat show--and then do the maintenance and you, and your Panda, will be happy campers.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."