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  #11  
Old 11-13-2009
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denby is a jewel in the rough denby is a jewel in the rough denby is a jewel in the rough denby is a jewel in the rough
I have two to mention. First is Milford Boat works and their Ship's Store, Milford Connecticut. They use to be an O'Day dealer, so when I have a question on O'Days they go out of their way to answer it. I am not a customer of their marina but they treat me as one. Mike runs their store and he is very pleasant and helpful.
Second, Edson Marine. I need a 1 inch retaining ring for my wheel, Mike at the Ship' Store told me that it would cost $15 to $20 plus mailing from Edson. Being that I needed it anyway I told him to order it. A few days later he hands me an envelope from Edson that had a nice letter from Edson and two retaining rings free of charge. Now Edson did not have to do that as my helm is a 1988 vintage and Mike could have charged me and not give me the letter and I would have never known.
Both those companies have a customer for life and maybe more customers. Top notch in my book.
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Hey stuffit "Get a life"
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2009
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Mike has told me, he's nice to Denby out of pity... If you've ever seen Denby's face, you'd understand why...

Quote:
Originally Posted by denby View Post
I have two to mention. First is Milford Boat works and their Ship's Store, Milford Connecticut. They use to be an O'Day dealer, so when I have a question on O'Days they go out of their way to answer it. I am not a customer of their marina but they treat me as one. Mike runs their store and he is very pleasant and helpful.
Second, Edson Marine. I need a 1 inch retaining ring for my wheel, Mike at the Ship' Store told me that it would cost $15 to $20 plus mailing from Edson. Being that I needed it anyway I told him to order it. A few days later he hands me an envelope from Edson that had a nice letter from Edson and two retaining rings free of charge. Now Edson did not have to do that as my helm is a 1988 vintage and Mike could have charged me and not give me the letter and I would have never known.
Both those companies have a customer for life and maybe more customers. Top notch in my book.
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2009
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Excellent Vendors I've Come Across

This is a great idea for a thread. Nice work CD. In no particular order, here are some vendors that I've encountered in the last few years that I would highly recommend to anyone in need of their services:

Edson International. We have their davits on our new Beneteau. We had a problem with them (won't go into details here). Will Keene, top guy at Edson, personally got involved, called me several times, was incredibly helpful, forthright, and saw to it that I was satisfied. Edson has excellenet quality products generally, but after this experience with them standing behind their work, I could not recommend them more highly.

Great Hudson Sailing Center. This is the dealer for our Beneteau. They have a great team that does whatever it takes to make sure their customers are happy. They sell Beneteaus, and they also run a sailing school. If you want to buy a Beneteau, call Jim Villone there; he's awesome.

McMichael Yacht Yard. This is our main yard for winter storgage and work that is beyond our skill level (essentially everything after changing light bulbs). They are a smart bunch that works very hard, is honest, and will tell it to you straight. It's not the cheapest shop around, but you get what you pay for!

Defender Industries. In addition to great prices, they also have great customer service. When we were shopping for a dink, Stephen Lance (a member of the family that owns the enterprise) personally got involved and walked me through the many options. Then came in on his day off to meet me at the store so that I could inspect the various models we were choosing from. Defender's got my business!

Bermuda Yacht Services. This is the marina we use for our rally. If you are going to Bermuda and need a place to stay, need work done, or just need advice on all things Bermuda, this is the outfit to call. Mark Soares, the owner, is an absolutely awesome guy. Bermuda Yacht Services – Yacht Agent & Marine Solutions.

The Canvas Store. They made our canvas package, including our winter cover. We've had a number of bimini and dodger combinations over the years on various boats from various manufacturers. IMHO, the Canvas Store in Huntington, NY makes the best product that we've had. Steve, the main guy who manufactures the products, can be a little gruff at times, but that's part of his charm, and if you're reasonable with him he will bend over backwards for you. Rebecca, the general office person, is fantastic and very accommodating.

Offshore Passage Opportunities. This is a sort of crew exchange/boat delivery service. It's an interesting concept run by Hank Schmitt. Essentially, they have a stable of experienced crew and skippers looking to gain additional sea time for the usual variety of reasons one seeks sea time. The cost to you is 0. That's right, nuttin'. The crew pays its way to and from your boat, and all you do is supply onboard provisions. If you want an actual delivery skipper, you pay for the skipper, but not the crew. You really can't beat their service, or price. Offshore Passage Opportunities: Halesite, New York.

Distant Shores/Paul & Sheryl Shard. Not sure if you would consider this a true "vendor" in the sense that I think this thread intends, but they make first rate sailing DVDs. The production quality is second to none for these kind of videos.

Warren River Boatworks. Paul Dennis is the owner/operator. Paul used to run the plant for Freedom Yachts and built just about all the Freedom sailboats plying the world's oceans. Paul now owns and runs a small yard in Warren, Rhode Island, on Narragansett Bay. Not surprisingly, they specialize in Freedoms, but that's not all the work they do of course. Paul probably is the single most talented craftsman I've come across in the marine trade.

There are many other vendors that are very deserving, but the above are the ones that come to mind as I sit here playing on the Internet for far too long on a Saturday morning.
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2009
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Praise goes to three.
1. Maritime Systems / boatyard in Slidell, Louisiana
They did the work needed right the first time and for a good price. They went beyond my expectations.
2. West Marine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana / greeeeat customer service.
3. Sailnet forum bringing all of us together.
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  #15  
Old 11-14-2009
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Quote:
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3. Sailnet forum bringing all of us together.
Kiss a**.
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  #16  
Old 11-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denby View Post
Second, Edson Marine. I need a 1 inch retaining ring for my wheel, Mike at the Ship' Store told me that it would cost $15 to $20 plus mailing from Edson. Being that I needed it anyway I told him to order it. A few days later he hands me an envelope from Edson that had a nice letter from Edson and two retaining rings free of charge. Now Edson did not have to do that as my helm is a 1988 vintage and Mike could have charged me and not give me the letter and I would have never known.
.
I'll second the Edson folks in that they provided outstanding service and support when I installed the instrument pod a couple of years ago for the chartplotter/radar. Furuno was also quite helpful in the installation and while I'm at it...Cleave at Seafrost provided good information and support on the reefer that I installed at about the same time as doing the other work.

Icom has been the only exception to the great service that I've had. An antenna tuner needed repair and I sent it to the Washington HQ for the repair which went well and I got to talk directly the the contract tech making the repair. But after several weeks and not receiving any return shipment or communication from ICOM, I called and found out that they could not locate the tuner. They ended up sending me another tuner and the paperwork accompaning it explained the repairs made to my tuner(which was not the same as the tuner they sent). I wrote back saying that I wanted an explaination in writing what had happened and what repairs were made to the tuner that I received and copied the letter to various departments within ICOM. Still awaiting for the reply. The tuner does work but looking at the interior it has been exposed to a lot more harsh enviroment than my tuner.
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2009
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They may be big now, but Doyle Sails is still an incredible company. You can walk into their original loft in Marblehead or their modern production facility in Salem next door and actually talk to a member of the Doyle family. Or, I at least think it's still that way. They always seem to be innovating as well.
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Old 11-16-2009
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Old 11-16-2009
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Two of my Rhode Island favorites are:
Ocean Props of Middletown:

I'm very pleased to recommend Mike McMillin & Smidge Reid of Ocean Props for all things related to propellers and shafts. They offer reconditioning, repairs, sales, good advice and great service. The photo below shows Smidge & Mike at their shop located at 307 Oliphant Lane, unit 17 in Middletown, RI. Ocean Props has provided me with outstanding service, advice and customer relations for several years. Mike and Smidge went out of their way to help me resolve prop and shaft issues at a very reasonable price. My prop looked like a peice of jewlery when they were done with it. The only problem was, it looked so good I didn't want to put it back in the water.


you can read more about my experience with OceanProps here

Marine Consignment of Wickford

If you love finding bargains while rummaging around piles of nautical treasure, a visit Marine Consignment of Wickford is a great way to spend a wintery day. About half of the hardware on my last boat came from there. I found many quality hardware items at great prices. Sam is always friendly and helpful. if you are looking for a specific item, give him a call.
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  #20  
Old 12-24-2009
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I'm surprised that most marine are really quite good, but here are some outstanding vendors:

Defender Industries - if you get through the slight rude associated with folks from "up there", they give great customer service, have great stock and competitive prices. F! West Marine!!!

Jamestown Distributors - expensive but great product line and very helpful.

Baker, Lyman, and Co. in New Orleans - one of the best chandleries around. Great book supplier, charts and instruments if you're local. Expensive though...

Beta Marine - great little Kubota based diesels. Overpriced, maybe, but well designed mods make them perfect for small boats. Amazing help from the US reps, parts network is great because of the base engine.

House of Boats in Rockport, TX - one the all time best of the best yards. Way out of the way for most folks, but I'll bring my boat there from Pensacola next year to shipyard with them. Cheap and helpful. They will do as much or as little as you want.

Tideland Marine in Morgan City, LA - a backwater chandler, but the folks are nice, helpful and will get you want you need. You can also buy guns and ammunition from their shop. Nice dovetail, eh?

UK Halsey in Houston - made my first brand new sail for a Catalina Cyclone. Great sail, well built, not quick turn around, but good craftsmanship and you can tell they took their time with it.

MTP in Lauderdale - THE best private training facility I've encountered, and I have 33 certificates from a ton of schools. These people do great work.

Grand Isle Supervalue in Grand Isle, LA - just a grocery store, I know, but they will pick you up at the dock, delivery you back, give you a soda while you shop, call them for any help if you're in the area. There's a lot of grocery stores on the Gulf coast that cater to boat traffic because of the oil field activity, but these guys really take care of you.

Blue Water Ships store, Houston and Corpus Christi - great supply shop, they'll get anything you need. They were particularly helpful when I repowered my last boat.

Blue Water Books, Lauderdale - wow, a whole store of boat books ranging from into to the professional books we use at work. Everything. Bring your credit card. (or leave it at home)

There are some good folks out there. I'm glad to have them as my support staff.

Keep it up.

-dennis
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