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Old 07-06-2009, 05:13 AM   #1
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Our Alan Atkins cutter, Mico was built in 1980 and to the best of our knowledge, the anchor winch that is currently aboard is the original or pretty close to it.

An original model Pro Series 1000 vertical winch it has served previous owners and ourselves without a hiccup.

So when a major spindle sheared off a few weeks ago in northern Vanuatu we figured - fair suck of the sauce bottle - it's had a good run we'll try and get a spare part. A call to the distributors back in Oz saw a new spindle air bagged to us within a few days and it dropped into place without a problem. $120 seemed like a pretty good fix.

3 anchor retrievals later it sheared again and these last weeks have found us reverting to pulling the anchor up by hand. Back in Port Villa we called the distributors again and went to order another 2 replacements figuring that it sheared due to the chain jamming in the locker. Live n learn as we say.

The guy on the phone asked us to confirm the serial number and then said that Lewmar would send us out another at no charge. He did say that we would need to pay for the airfreight which seemed reasonable but then he said it might be a little expensive considering we were looking at a 9 Kilo package

Since when does a spindle that fits neatly in the palm of your hand weigh 9 kilo I asked?

Imagine our surprise when he said 'no, no, we are sending you a complete new winch'

Apparently the original series winches had a design fault that left the drive spindle undersized and Lewmar have a policy of replacing the full winch with an updated model at no charge - no matter when or where it was purchased.

So here it sits all shiny and new in its box in our cockpit while we pour ourselves a healthy Gin & Tonic and raise our glasses to those wonderful people at Lewmar and what we believe is one of the best after sales service experiences we have ever come across. 3 cheers!

Back at home we have an ancient Toyota Corolla - you dont suppose Toyota might.......
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mico View Post
Our Alan Atkins cutter, Mico was built in 1980 and to the best of our knowledge, the anchor winch that is currently aboard is the original or pretty close to it.

An original model Pro Series 1000 vertical winch it has served previous owners and ourselves without a hiccup.

...

Imagine our surprise when he said 'no, no, we are sending you a complete new winch'
Wow! I was leaning towards a Lewmar windlass, now the selection is clear! What a company!
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:59 AM   #3
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Congratulations in your successful dealings with Lewmar ...

Here's my side of the Lewmar coin ...

My 1976 Hunter 27 came fitted with 2 x Lewmar 43 & 2 x Lewmar 25 sheet winches mounted each side of the cockpit ... all having seen better days but that is merely cosmetic ... I had stripped, inspected & re-greased all 4 & they were all working great ( after all's said & done they should give a lifetime's service if properly maintained ... right ? ) ... in the autumn of 2007 whilst cruising Rhode Island waters my only winch handle ( a hefty item which was original equipment ) took a dive overboard ... no problem I thought - I'll put in to Newport & get a replacement winch handle but this time one that floats ... the first one I bought wouldn't fit ( star-shaped hole in top of winches too small ) ... ok ... back to Westmarine but this time taking one of the winches with me ... of all the various winch handles on the shelf including Lewmar, none would fit, all were too big ... I emailed Lewmar to ask for a solution ... the reply said ( I paraphrase ) ... your winches are older models & we no longer manufacture handles in that size. However, we would be pleased to quote you for making a one-off winch handle but, to be honest, it may work out cheaper to replace your winches ... I emailed back expressing dismay & indignation but to no avail ... my solution was to find a second-hand Lewmar winch handle with a square drive bit & have it ground down to fit my winches ...

That's my experience of Lewmar after-sales service ... for what it's worth ... & yet, if I absolutely ever had to replace my winches I would probably buy Lewmar ...
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
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Hi Mico where where bout's in Vanuatu are you sailing? I'm currently working in Vanuatu and would be interested in how you are finding the sailing there.

Cheers
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