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Old 08-09-2019, 05:27   #1
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Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

I have decided to share my poor experience with a Crewsaver liferaft in the hope it will save others the same problem.
In short I bought a Crewsaver 6 man ISO liferaft with a +24 hour pack 3 years ago at a cost around £2200 in the UK.
When it came up for service this year, the boat was in Greece. The only place I could find that would service it was Marita Hellas in Athens who quoted an unbelievable1,354 Euros.!
I contacted the Crewsaver service department who provided their current service price list showing a cost £480 in the UK.
I went back to Marita Hellas suggesting they were quoting for the wrong liferaft, they checked and said that was the right price - 1354 Euros but they would give me a 10% goodwill discount!!
I then contacted Crewsaver in the UK who advised their head of sales would raise the issue during planned visit. There followed several weeks of delay where I had to chase for feedback. Eventually I get an email saying contact Marita Hellas to learn something to your benefit. Great I think, a breakthrough, but no, what followed was a really embarrassing call where Marita Hellas denied any arrangement with Crewsaver.
Back to Crewsaver again who now basically "washed their hands" and said there was nothing they could as Marita Hellas was an independent company (somewhat conveniently ignoring they are a Crewsaver appointed service centre). They did however offer me a £100 voucher off my next service in the UK in 3 year's time. ( no use to me as I now don't cruise in UK)
My plan was to delay the service until we reached Malta or Gibraltar, but the Greek port police were actively fining anyone with out of date liferaft 1000€, so felt forced to pay the exorbitant 1200€ to Marita Hellas.

So, be warned, if you buy a Crewsaver liferaft for use outside the UK, you may find it costs far more than other brands to service.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:40   #2
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

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My plan was to delay the service until we reached Malta or Gibraltar, but the Greek port police were actively fining anyone with out of date liferaft 1000€, so felt forced to pay the exorbitant 1200€ to Marita Hellas.
Really sorry to hear your experience and glad you shared it. I did not know that it was a requirement to carry an in-date life raft in Greece, and we never had anyone request to inspect our life raft sticker when we were there. Is this a requirement for UK-flagged vessels or vessels flagged in EU countries? (We are US-flagged.)

Not saying you don't need a life raft so please don't let this start thread drift. I just had not heard of large fines for not having one.

Cheers!

Steve
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:43   #3
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

What's this about fines in Greece? Never heard of it, nobody has even bothered to ask my name yet at a marina (all I want is the cash, and that's a direct quote) and no inspections even for the tax (paid up like a good kiddo).... Maybe someone is pulling your leg?
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:57   #4
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

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What's this about fines in Greece? Never heard of it, nobody has even bothered to ask my name yet at a marina (all I want is the cash, and that's a direct quote) and no inspections even for the tax (paid up like a good kiddo).... Maybe someone is pulling your leg?
We've got a check of the ships documents, Dekpa and Tepah plus current crew list, ship station license, cruising permit of the captain, SRC, insurance by the port police in Greece at the city dock. They have done it to all boats on the quai. They however do not came on board nor check the equipments.

I guess it is more about the taxes than anything else, maybe a freshman training or whatsoever, was a young team of 4 in uniform.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:15   #5
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

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Really sorry to hear your experience and glad you shared it. I did not know that it was a requirement to carry an in-date life raft in Greece, and we never had anyone request to inspect our life raft sticker when we were there. Is this a requirement for UK-flagged vessels or vessels flagged in EU countries? (We are US-flagged.)

Not saying you don't need a life raft so please don't let this start thread drift. I just had not heard of large fines for not having one.

Cheers!

Steve
My understanding is that if you have a liferaft or lifejackets they have to be in date. I don't know if there are nrequirements to carry them.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:25   #6
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

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What's this about fines in Greece? Never heard of it, nobody has even bothered to ask my name yet at a marina (all I want is the cash, and that's a direct quote) and no inspections even for the tax (paid up like a good kiddo).... Maybe someone is pulling your leg?
The information came direct from a friend who has been running a charter fleet in the Ionian for the last 15 years. But what does he know? My experience of Greek bureaucracy is very similar to your own but I do know that when they do decide to bite they bite hard.

Whilst I was there ee this summer, one charter fleet had the charterers experience checked and the Port Police deemed it was inadequate and made them put a qualified skipper on every boat.

Stay lucky.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:40   #7
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

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Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
Really sorry to hear your experience and glad you shared it. I did not know that it was a requirement to carry an in-date life raft in Greece, and we never had anyone request to inspect our life raft sticker when we were there. Is this a requirement for UK-flagged vessels or vessels flagged in EU countries? (We are US-flagged.)

Not saying you don't need a life raft so please don't let this start thread drift. I just had not heard of large fines for not having one.

Cheers!

Steve
The problem is that each EU country has their own rules in regards to safety at sea , and then you will find that within each part of the country their will be those that do their jobs to the letter.
The UK does not have any compliance for Saftey equipment to be carried , in fact it is one of the least regulated waters if your a leisure user , the emphasis is on the owners to be sensible.

These rules change regularly in the EU countries so it is best to constantly check

To OP As for the service I think crewsavers were very helpful to the point were they could interfere , I would be suprised if they are now endorsing that company, and they cannot police other countries and the businesses that might expoit their association ,

to the OP rather that laying blame to Crewsaver who tried and gave you £100 voucher try and be happy that they gave you a good service .
Not their fault you will not be returning to the UK.

25 years in the services industry , And I still get suprised at how customers and clients expect the impossible
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:07   #8
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

You say your friend with the charter fleet told you this? In the US there are way different standards for a charter boat and a personal boat as far as equipment and documentation carried on board.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:42   #9
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

I sail a USCG documented boat in the EU, paid the VAT, paid for a PCA survey.

I have a Givens four man Lifebuoy and after five years I had it inspected and serviced by Jacobs Lifesaving in The Netherlands. €300.

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...and that included replacing several severely corroded pieces of equipment, flashlight, dome light, etc.

There are fair dealing service centers out there. Might be worth shipping the liferaft.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:12   #10
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

It sounds like the 1,000 fine is setting the service price in Greece.
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Old 09-09-2019, 14:30   #11
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

How much would it be to ship it to the UK for service? I'm guessing less than the 600 pounds difference?
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Old 09-09-2019, 14:49   #12
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

I suspect a feedback loop between packer and inspector...

That price is indeed absurd. Also, for a private, non-charter boat it is quite unusual for anyone to care. If you had asked I would have recommended a visit to Turkey - they had a good packer in Marmaris for normal pricing. The packer in Gibraltar was reasonable, and very fast - I could have had it overnight if I needed it but I told them to take their time (2 or 3 days IIRC).

Of course there is no one price anywhere for a "repack" as the needs vary with time. Some things get replaced every repack, others like flares and medicines based on expiry dates, and of course the pressure tank needs a hydro test every 5 years.

I have an old Lifeguard liferaft. They were acquired by another company and are no longer available in the US. So the training and certification are not available. I understand there is a single packer left in this country - in LA. How convenient. There is some value in buying a brand that is widely used, especially commercially.

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Old 09-09-2019, 17:22   #13
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Re: Eye-watering Crewsaver Liferaft Service Costs

The cops sound like a shakedown job. Currently certified life rafts are usually not required of privately owned pleasure boats. But what are you goin to do.
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