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Old 10-06-2016, 14:53   #1
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Electromaax - just don't do it...

In October 2015 I started an email discussion with John Stevens of Electromaax. I told him we had a Yanmar 4JH3-TE on our sailboat and a 1000Ah AGM (Lifeline) battery bank and asked him what he recommended.

John came back suggesting their pulley kit, their new Voyager 195 Brushless alternator and an Exterior smart regulator: the Emaax Basic. He quoted that the alternator would be available in 3 weeks. The other components were in stock. I was travelling extensively in November but we had several emails back and forth before I finally placed the order and paid for the system in full on Dec 9, 2015.

I waited weeks but my order had still not shipped. They finally shipped my order on January 29 at which time I received an invoice. Imagine my surprise when the invoice showed that they had shipped a 165A alternator, not the 195A unit which we had discussed! I questioned John about this and for the first time, he indicated that the 195A unit wasn't actually available and could be several more weeks. He said we could keep the 165A unit and he would send out the 195A unit when it became available in March. By the end of March, that delivery date had pushed out to April and then a written promise of May 24. To date, the unit has still not shipped and is apparently still in testing.

Over the past 5 months, I left repeated voice messages and emails to John and would go weeks without a response. When you do finally talk to him, he's an expert at telling you what he thinks you want to hear but not at actually telling you the truth and giving you a firm date to rectify their problems.

I also now find out from John that the new 195A unit, if it ever becomes available, will be a liquid cooled unit and will require tapping into a water line. At no time was this mentioned previously. I doubt very much that I would have considered this model had I known that it was going to be water cooled.

We've only had a chance to use the current 165A model once since it was installed. It appears to work fine and the pulley kit was a good option to be able to use the larger alternator. However, I cannot stand dealing with people who blatantly lie as John does. How can you sell a product that is not available?! John's quote today was "We made one mistake we sold you a unit that we felt was ready, field tests have proven more enhancements are needed."

Offering a product for sale that is not in production is not a mistake, itís a lie. It's fraud!

I would suggest anyone considering purchasing from Electromaax do a thorough search on the internet for John Stevens and Electromaax customer service. You will quickly notice a pattern of poor service and lies and hopefully have the good sense to steer well clear of them. Go elsewhere. Find a reputable business to spend your hard earned dollars with. You will be much happier in the long run (and the short one!)
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Old 10-06-2016, 18:01   #2
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

Pre-selling units that aren't yet in production is very common practice. have you ever ordered something with a 4-6 week delivery? they are taking orders and once they have enough then they go into production. Happens all the time. At least you got the 165amp unit up front! hopefully they refund you the difference!
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Old 10-06-2016, 22:50   #3
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

While I agree 150% with your assessment and warning about Electromaax, I urge you to reconsider your thoughts on water cooled alternators. Air cooled units are notorious for having to be de-rated because of how hot they run. I have no direct experience with water cooled units but really like the concept in order to actually get the rated output of the alternator for more than 15 minutes.
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:12   #4
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

While I don't condone his behavior or lying to you, I've seen plenty of companies sell products, even vehicles, without proper testing. It turns out they did it on purpose, planning on using their first 1,000 customers as their testing guinea pigs.
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:29   #5
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

I'm not saying anything good or bad about this company, which I don't know --

But why would anyone pay $1000 for something like this, when you can buy an off-the-shelf standard school bus alternator for less than half that? Which is standardized, common, dead reliable, and can be repaired for peanuts in any third-world auto-electric shop? The Electromaxx are supposedly "hot rated", but only at 85C, when many plain, standard school bus alternators are rated at 110C, and will crank out their full output 24/7 at those temperatures. What else do you want?
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:07   #6
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

I had a similar experience with this, I did finally receive my alternator, to find out I would need to buy some 1200 in voltage regulators etc to hook it all uo. It still sits in the box until I can get help with it. Have 3 banks of batteries and it needs to be SMART to charge all, which means more equipment
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:12   #7
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

Thank you so much for sharing this
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:21   #8
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

On the upside, at least Electromaxx is refusing to ship a unit that is not thoroughly debugged!
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:51   #9
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

I guess I'm dumb! Would someone tell me what a school bus alternator is? Surely that is not literal. I have seen it referred to a no. of times.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:54   #10
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

Why not return the items if you are not satisfied with ElectroMaxx?
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:06   #11
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
why would anyone pay $1000 for something like this, when you can buy an off-the-shelf standard school bus alternator for less than half that?
Because a school bus alternator is a large frame alternator and will not fit a lot of engines without serious modifications.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:09   #12
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

Say story to hear, but certainly not surprising and in many ways just par for the course with ElectroMaax. I do not believe there is a more unethical, smooth-tongued-liar than Mr. John Stevens in all of the marine vendor industry.

I could go on for pages about screwed customers, but in the days of a detailed internet search, many of those horror stories are already out there online.

Cruisers would to well to avoid ElectroMaax, and their front company, Marine Smart Energy, like termites on a wood boat.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:52   #13
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
Pre-selling units that aren't yet in production is very common practice. have you ever ordered something with a 4-6 week delivery? they are taking orders and once they have enough then they go into production. Happens all the time. At least you got the 165amp unit up front! hopefully they refund you the difference!
You miss the point entirely. He claimed that the 195A unit was available and that's what he sold. He never once indicated that they weren't in production and that I wouldn't receive a proven unit. That is completely different from pre-ordering something with a long delivery period. One is common business practice and the other is fraud.
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:42   #14
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

I personally know nothing about ElectroMaax, but this has one of those very informative threads that pop up on CF. It is so refreshing to read the information AND unfettered opinions, good or bad, about people, companies, and products that can, potentially, have a direct effect on any of us. Thank you all for the input.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:06   #15
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Say story to hear, but certainly not surprising and in many ways just par for the course with ElectroMaax. I do not believe there is a more unethical, smooth-tongued-liar than Mr. John Stevens in all of the marine vendor industry.

I could go on for pages about screwed customers, but in the days of a detailed internet search, many of those horror stories are already out there online.

Cruisers would to well to avoid ElectroMaax, and their front company, Marine Smart Energy, like termites on a wood boat.
Your previous post saved me from buying one of their wind generators awhile ago. Thanks for posting truths!

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