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Old 02-26-2014
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Factory Refit Program

Ahoy,
I have occasionally read references, on this forum, to help received from the Pacific Seacraft Factory relating to various maintenance and/or refit issues. The refit manager, Thumper Brooks, is the usual contact mentioned.
Has anyone actually had refit/maintenance work done on their boat by the factory? If so, what are the reviews? The refit program is described in general terms on the factory's website and there is an interesting list of potential projects noted there. It sounds good... There is an inherent logic to it, after all. Comments? Experiences? Recommendations, or not? Cost comparisons?
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Old 02-26-2014
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Re: Factory Refit Program

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Originally Posted by muttskie View Post
Ahoy,
I have occasionally read references, on this forum, to help received from the Pacific Seacraft Factory relating to various maintenance and/or refit issues. The refit manager, Thumper Brooks, is the usual contact mentioned.
Has anyone actually had refit/maintenance work done on their boat by the factory? If so, what are the reviews? The refit program is described in general terms on the factory's website and there is an interesting list of potential projects noted there. It sounds good... There is an inherent logic to it, after all. Comments? Experiences? Recommendations, or not? Cost comparisons?
We very seriously considered going the factory refit route with Jo Beth. We made the trip to Washington, NC, met with Thumper, Steve, Rita, and some of the crew folks there, and spent the better part of a Friday on site looking, talking, and planning. They are a fantastic bunch of people and are very dedicated to the boats.

In the refit program, the extent of the work and how much it all costs is pretty much up to you. They can do whatever you want and are agreeable to pay for. Our impression was that they prefer to do the refits on an open ended basis. We didn't approach our refit from that perspective. We wanted to work from an agreed upon budget, and with specific projects in mind. They were happy to accommodate us.

Also, we had a local yard, Hinckley Yacht Services, bid for the work. Transportation costs to the factory were going to take a big bite out of our monies, and I'd rather spend more on the boat than on moving the boat. That said, from the budgetary perspective, the factory and Hinckley were +/- 3% on 98% of our list. In the end, geographic proximity won out, and we're refitting at the Hinckley yard in Savannah.

One thing we are doing is buying a lot of the materials form the factory; things like new standing rigging and chainplates; water/holding tank lids; mast pulpits and dorade boxes; etc. If nothing else, we've been very happy working with Thumper and Steve on these materials acquisitions.

If you're seriously considering a refit, and can make the trip to Washington, it's very worthwhile. A refit is a major undertaking. The program isn't going to fit everyone's needs of course, but it's a good place to start.

Also, while you're in Washington, I highly recommend dinner at 'The Bank' for the prime rib. It was some of the best Lisa and I have had in a long time...
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1984 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34, Hull #16

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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Old 02-26-2014
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Re: Factory Refit Program

Muttskie,

I have been meaning for some time to post a report on the factory refit my PSC34 recently went through. Your question provides the opportunity to finally do so.

I can’t endorse strongly enough the quality of the refit program, and the integrity of those with whom you would be dealing with at the factory, Thumper Brooks and Steve Brodie (the owner).

My 34 was completed in October 1992. After 21 years, the standing rigging and chainplates were due for replacing, the fuel tank was iffy, the teak companionway hatch was showing some rot, the cockpit sole hatch had some wet core at the corners that needed to be repaired, the mast and boom needed repainting, the gudgeon bearings, bushings and packing needed to be inspected and/or replaced, etc. These and other repairs were my focus, but I also wanted to pursue some upgrades. These included installing an electric windlass, crafting and installing some new cabinetry (including some enhancement of the chart table/nav station), a new charging and battery monitoring system, and updating my electronics.

Regrettably, I lack the skills to do most of this work (I wish I were Dave Mancini—thank you, Dave, for your blog, and RainDog, you too for yours). I did not have confidence in the local yard. And if I was going to having the work done, I wanted it to be up to the standards of the original boat. I hope to have my 34 for at least another 15 years. Accordingly, I made the decision to contact the factory and explore the refit program. I could not have been happier with the end results.

I have followed this forum for over ten years. I have repeatedly read about Thumper Brooks. I wondered if the guy was really as responsive and helpful as folks indicated in the posts mentioning him, and, if so, when he slept. I can now attest personally to Thumper’s knowledge, responsiveness, and perhaps most valuable, his integrity. Throughout the process, Thumper was regularly in contact, offering suggestions (oftentimes equally effective, but less expensive, options) and updating me on status. He knows our boats inside and out, he’s up to date on latest equipment developments and solutions, he is proud of the PSC product and committed to serving refit customers effectively. I went into the refit process not knowing exactly what I would get in terms of the person overseeing the project. I came out with a task done to the highest standards and a friend.

Steve Brodie is also hands on. He was extremely helpful on several aspects of the refit project, including being personally involved in the chart table/nav station work. It was encouraging to know that the company owner was committed to the program and involved directly.

We have amazing boats. They are built extremely well. And if you choose to use the factory refit program, I think you will find a group committed to ensuring that the work done remains up to those standards. The factory remains committed to quality. If you haven’t done so previously, I encourage you to read the threads under “Catari/Pacific Seacraft Build” in the “Cruising Anarchy” forum at the Sailing Anarchy website. My opinion probably isn’t worth a whole lot. So the reason I direct you to the Catari/Pacific Seacraft Build discussion is that you’ll find there repeated comments by the naval architect Bob Perry about the quality of work being done at the PSC factory on a significant custom build project by an owner who could have gone anywhere for his project.

I apologize for rambling on so long, but in this day an age, when one experiences honesty and quality work, I think it bears supporting. I’ll repeat what I said to Thumper at the end of my refit: Somewhere over the past few decades, commitment to integrity, quality work at a fair price, and good service seems to have fallen by the wayside. Fortunately, there are still some out there who possess those traits, and Thumper and the PSC factory are among them.

I encourage you to contact the factory if you are seriously considering their refit program. I think you will be extremely pleased with their work, their service and the end result.

Ed
PSC 34 250 Skylark
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Old 02-27-2014
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Re: Factory Refit Program

I echo Ed's comments about the level of exceptional service and expertise Thumper, Steve, and the entire crew at PS have to offer.

And though it's slightly off-topic to do so, I can say the same about Rodney and Shane at LeFiell, the company which originally built the spars for PS. I haven't updated my refit progress thread in a few weeks (I plan to this weekend) but since we were already having to replace the boom, we decided to go all out and replace the mast as well. After a conversation with Thumper on the matter, we went straight to LeFiell and got things underway. They have been equally as easy and professional to work with as PS.
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1984 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34, Hull #16

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Old 02-27-2014
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Re: Factory Refit Program

Bill, Lisa and Ed,
Thank you for the information and descriptions of your experiences. I had a positive feeling from my conversations with Thumper, and it's great to have some confirmation.
I'll post an update if things go that way.
Thanks again
Bill Petras
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