Frank (the OP), Dan, Pelagic, et al,
The issue of "warranty" has been raised here (and quite rightly!), and I'd like to relate an absolutely true story that happen to me, on my boat....
Some will hopefully find this interesting, and serious contrast to what Frank is experiencing!!!
Originally Posted by transmitterdan
..it is a fact that yacht building involves installation
of products that are marketed, manufactured and warranted by companies other than the builder
. Often these products are not supplied and installed by the manufacturer. This is a necessary feature of the industry.
Originally Posted by Pelagic
That has no bearing on Warranty Responsibility. The Builder
(Lagoon) should be the Primary Contractor and they "Sub-Contract" parts/materials/labor out to other companies as part of their management contract
with the Buyer in delivering the yacht.
The measure of a good Builder is how well they control the performance of their subcontractors.
If Lagoon sidesteps this during the commissioning and warranty period, it is very telling about their poor commitment to quality.
In autumn 2007, I was in Gibraltar
getting things ready to head
back across the Atlantic....in our haste we ignored a few small ball bearings that were found on the deck
top, thinking they were just some more debris from the marina and all the construction around (I had left my boat there for about 3 months)....
My boat was 8.5 years old then, and I was the 2nd owner....
And here is the 100% true story:
(And, here are some photos too...
I had just left Marina Bay, Gibraltar
, and was less than 10 miles away, heading thru the Straits, and then across and down to Lanzaronte, Canary....and then across the Atlantic to St. Thomas, USVI...when this happened...
I had a main sheet block come apart ("explode" under load) when sailing downwind in the Straits of Gibraltar in Nov 2007, which set-off a chain of events
that lead to traveler failure/damage…
The good news was that I rigged preventers port and starboard, but as the block exploded the main boom moved violently further outboard/leeward (not a gybe, that the preventer would've prevented!), and with this instant violent motion the traveler car was forced outboard
and the traveler line snapped (8.5 year old, 3/8" Stay-Set)....this caused some damage to the traveler, but mostly to the traveler car...
(I knew I could get Sheppard's in Gib, to fabricate a new car, if needed....but, wasn't sure what the Canaries
would have available....and since we were only a few miles into a 4000 mile passage
, I turned around and headed back to my berth at Marina Bay!)
And, the good news is that since I had preventers rigged port and starboard, I used these as my main sheets
and corralled the mainsail
, and came about....
Got back to Marina Bay, called Catalina on my cell phone
, explained what happened, and they told me they'd send out a new traveler BUT they didn't have one instock at the moment!! But, they knew that Garhauer (who made the traveler) would have one ready to go at their factory in California
Well, after a pleasant phone
conversation with Garhauer, they sent me an entire new traveler.
Fed Ex from California
to Gibraltar, for FREE!!!
Over the past 8.5 years, they had redesigned it, and not only did they send me a new, bright, shinny traveler, car, blocks, etc. but also ALL the grade 10 hardware
(with extra bolts, in case I dropped some), bottoming taps (3 of them, in case I broke one or two), and complete instructions!!
When I write "FREE", I mean FREE....
They (Garhauer) told me they warranty their stuff for 10 years, no exceptions!!
So, the block that came apart was their block, and the damaged traveler was their responsibility!
No fooling, when I tried to give 'em my credit card number, he said "what for...we built the stuff, we warranty it...that's all there is to it!"
You could've knocked me over with a feather!! An 8.5 year old, 2nd owner boat, that's had 1000's of offshore
miles, and 3 Cat Three Hurricanes, etc...and they were replacing it under warranty!! (and later Catalina confirmed that if they had a traveler in stock, they'd have sent it out right away, also for free, under warranty....and they would've been reimbursed / resupplied by Garhauer...)
BTW, the new design is a beauty!!!! It is so SMOOTH, it moves like hot butter!!!! I can trim the main, moving the traveler car, without much effort at all…typically just by a tug on the traveler line, without using a winch
. It's REALLY nice!!!
First off, a BIG THANK YOU to Bill and everyone at Garhauer!!!! Anyone that ever wonders why Catalina uses Garhauer (instead of Harken
, etc.) for its OEM traveler, blocks, etc., well the answer is this is one incredible company!!! They stand behind their product completely and provide customers with something missing in our world today ~~~~ SERVICE!
A brief recap of what happened and how I got everything working fine again: Sailing in a nice Easterly breeze (downwind) thru the Straits of Gibraltar, we had a major failure. (All of this occurred within about 1 second, or so, so this is what I've been able to piece together.)
One of the Garhauer main sheet blocks "came apart", which in turn allowed the mainsail
(and boom) to move very rapidly to leeward and, at the sudden stop, the traveler line(s) snapped, causing the traveler car to slam hard to leeward and breaking free from the traveler (destroying the car and damaging the traveler rail), and at the same time the boom swung further, hitting the aft lower shroud
(no damage, except for a slight bend in the vang tube).
I did have preventers rigged, but only the leeward preventer was tight, in order to prevent an accidental gybe. Using the preventers (with the genoa
winches) allowed me to bring the boom in and control the main. Being only 10 miles from Marina Bay Gibraltar, we turned around and headed back to our previous berth there, to assess damage and make repairs
. (In hindsight, if I'd had a Dutchman Boom Brake
, perhaps the damage to the traveler wouldn't have occurred but foresight isn't 20/20.....LOL.)
It was the next day that one of my brothers mentioned that he'd seem some ball bearings on the deck when cleaning
up a few days earlier (probably from one of the Garhauer blocks?), but had assumed it was just construction debris or some garbage from other boats nearby.
Catalina didn't have any 470 travelers in stock (still a puzzlement to me!), but Garhauer treated me like I was their best / longtime customer (even though I'd only bought 2 small things from them directly. BTW my Garhauer outboard motor
hoist is GREAT!)
The guys at Garhauer were still returning from the St. Pete Strictly Sail Boat Show
, but they got to work right away. They were either making other travelers and gave me one right off the front of the line, OR I believe, they went right out and made one right away, just for me (and the Catalina 470).
When I called to confirm my shipping
address in Gibraltar, I attempted to give Bill my credit card number (to charge everything to), and he said: "Why??, We guarantee these for 10 years, and this shouldn't have happened......so you owe us nothing..." I asked again to PAY for a new traveler, or at least for the shipping
and he refused!!!!
To say I was amazed would be an understatement!!!!!
A $700 traveler and Overnight Int'l FedEx shipping, and they wouldn't let me pay????? Was I dreaming???? No, I was simply dealing with a GREAT company and a great guy!!!!
FedEx shipping worked okay, but took longer than specified due to the approaching weekend, and it would be the following Monday until I got my new traveler......and we had it installed in a few hours.
To finish the story, the block that came apart was in pieces and, along with my old traveler, is in the dumpster at Marina Bay, Gibraltar. But, I did a close inspection
of ALL my blocks and found 2 additional Garhauer blocks that are missing ball bearings and are no longer safe to use. I replaced them in Gibraltar with Harkens (all I could get there), but brought them home with me to send to Garhauer...
And, I got 3 new Garhauer blocks in return!!
How's that for "warranty service"!!!
And, compare that to Frank's experience with Lagoon!
Sorry for the long story, but just thought some would like to see what you get from a great company / companies!!