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Old 05-15-2014, 04:21 PM   #1
S/V Winterhawk
 
Join Date: May 2014
Home Port: pompano beach fl
Vessel Name: S/V WINTERHAWK
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Exclamation Dinghys to Avoid

2.5 years ago I purchased a West Marine 10' RIB. Admittedly it was under duress as there were no others available in the area.
It certainly was not my first choice. I have rebuilt my boat largely through a PORT SUPPLY account through West Marine and I purchased this dink at a discount but it was new.
Turns out my instincts were dead on.
For a good deal of time the dink was not in the water but on deck. When it DID start getting used as a cruisers dinghy, problems were almost immediately evident. the hypolon was wearing through were the driver sits and the bottom was blistering.
After just one trip from the Bahamas to the Virgin Islands, the port and starboard seams were failing and the port internal baffle had failed as well. She would not stay inflated for more than 18 hours.
The dink was often towed but this is no excuse for these failures. After considerable effort to make a warranty claim on this dink PORT SUPPLY stated that it was bought at a discount and the 5 year warranty was only good for one. After 7 years of doing business and spending many 10's of thousands with PORT SUPPLY, I was shocked that this was their position and that of the manufacturer. Does this mean that ALL items purchased through PORT SUPPLY have altered warranties????
I just wanted to share this with other cruisers as I would hate to see anyone else get burnt like this.
We wound up with a slightly used AB and she seems to be doing just fine thank you very much!
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:37 PM   #2
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Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
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Tanya, welcome to Cruiser Log. We hope that you will contribute positive information about your travels here in the forums.

The story you have related seems like a rant posted here expressly to sully the name of the vendor. Normally we delete these sorts of rants if it is the person's first post because usually the OP won't come back to post anything else once they've gotten te rant off their chest. However, in this case, Port Supply/West Marine is a well established company that most Americans know well and the rant of a single cruiser will be unlikely to change the impressions of the masses of cruisers about the products of this vendor.

Now that you have found Cruiser Log, please do share information about your travels and please feel free to ask questions here as well.

Fair winds,
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:37 AM   #3
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Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
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Hi Tanya and welcome. It is unfortunate that your bad experience with WM is the subject of your first post and, as with Redbopeep, I hope we see more of you commenting on a wide variety of subjects.

Every manufacturer will occasionally fail and while I have a perfectly good WM tender, I understand your frustration. Unless the dinghy you bought was a special from the 'bargain basement' bin, I cannot understand why they should restrict their warranty. In all my dealings with the company, I have always found them to operate on a best-practice basis.

If they have an advertised 5 year warranty which they have cut to one year with no apparent reason I would, if the situation had occurred in Australia, write to the Government Department of Consumer Affairs. I guess there is a similar agency in the US.

I am sorry you have had this bad experience and again, I hope you will use our forums to tell us more about your rebuild, your sailing and offer advice in areas where you have specific knowledge.

Cheers.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:18 AM   #4
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I am happy to report that Tanya's dinghy problem has been addressed by Port Supply and that she is pleased with the result. While a satisfactory conclusion may have taken a little longer than one would normally expect, it does demonstrate that goodwill often results from spending a little time and a good measure of persistence.
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