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:
. 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!
. 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.