Customer Service

Here is a list of some of the suppliers, experts and tradespeople we have dealt with during our voyage, along with contact details.  The first category is for those who have provided excellent customer service.  And the second for the other few who still have to get to grips with what customer service means!

Knot pattern


1. Excellent Service

United Kingdom

Admiral Marine Ltd *****

DDI:          +44 (0)1722 424940


Contact:  Christelle Paulley

Comments: Selecting an insurer for your yacht is not easy as it generally depends on three factors:

  1. Premium
  2. Dependability of settling a claim
  3. Insurability

Admiral Marine comes up trumps in respect of all three criteria, added to which their service is second to none.

We had the unfortunate experience of a lightning strike in the Caribbean, which took out the radar and other electrics.  Ken Murfitt handled the claim at that time, and we had the go ahead by email within two hours of submitting quotes.

When we compare that experience with problems that other yachties have encountered, we are delighted to recommend Admiral every time.

IMP – Profurl Agent for the UK

3-4 Jarman Way, Royston, Herts, SG8 5FE

T: 01763 241300 F: 01763 241770 DDI: 01763 252405

Contact: Mike Booth, Director

Comments: Mike has now come to our rescue on two occasions when our Profurl genoa furling unit failed.  Both times the customer service he provided was excellent.  Highly recommended.

Jabsco – Cleghorn Waring Pumps

Letchworth Garden City, SG6 1EZ.  T: 01462 480380

Contact: Mick Ward

Comments: Excellent service in relation to parts for their pumps.

Topsail Insurance *****

DDI: + 44 (0) 1273 573 725

Contact: Laura Ginn


Comments: Before we left Europe for the Caribbean and beyond, we knew that travel insurance covering medical emergencies was essential.  The problem was selecting a dependable company.  Having researched the market, we selected Topsail Insurance.  Not only are their premiums very reasonable and competitive, but they handle claims quickly and efficiently, taking all the worry out of what is often an already stressful situation.

At a later date we joined the Ocean Cruising Club and were pleasantly surprised to find we are entitled to a 10% discount on the premium.

Whale Pumps

Technical/Customer Support, Munster Simms Engineering Ltd, 277-279 Old Belfast Road, Bangor, Belfast, BT19 1LT

T: +44 (0)28 9127 6511 F: +44 (0)28 9146 6421

Contact: Aiden Devlin or Sheila

Comment: Whale pumps provided excellent service in sending joker valves for Henderson Mk V pumps.  Normally only the joker valve fails, but chandlers invariably sell only the whole kit at around £35.



Comments to follow

NauticaTomane (Yacht Repair)

Marina da Povoa de Varzim, Molhe Sul, 4490 Povoa de Varzim, Portugal

Contact: Antonio Lima (owner)

Comments: to follow

Steiner Binoculars *****

Steiner-Optik GmbH, Dr. Hans-Frisch-Strasse 9, D-95448 Bayreuth, Germany.

T:+49 921 7879 851

Contact: Kristina Lingl

Comments: We bought our Steiner binoculars some years ago, but in the Tropics they began to suffer from the effects of the climate.  We contacted Kristina Lingl in their Customer Service department on our arrival in New Zealand, who replied by return.  After a few more emails we returned the binoculars to Steiner Optik, who repaired them, and returned them to us.  They are now as good as new!

Throughout this process the attention to detail and the response from Kristina was excellent, and we cannot fault the service provided by Steiner Optik.  We only wish that more companies understood what Customer Service means.

The Caribbean


Caraibe Greement Martinique, Le Marin. T: +596 596 74 80 33

Contact: Philippe Leconte

Comments: to follow


Rogelio (Roger) De Hoyos T: +11 507 671 76745

Comments: Roger has vast local knowledge of Panama its tradespeople and stocks.   He drove us around the city in his car on two consecutive days searching for and finding most of the boatie bits we needed.  Excellent service from a thoroughly pleasant guy and to be recommended.

The Pacific

Taina Marina

Punaauia, Papeete, Tahiti. T: +689 41 02 25

Comments: to follow


Papeete, Tahiti. T: +689 75 78 56

Contact: Gilles Pascalin

Comments: Excellent mechanical and refrigeration engineer.  Very capable, reliable and friendly service.

Voilerie Sellerie Aveia

Raiatea, Society Islands. T: +689 66 14 04

Contact: Regine Faux 

Comments: Excellent service, fantastic attention to detail for sail repairs.  Regine repaired our mainsail to enable us to complete our Pacific crossing without further failure.

New Zealand

Cars for Cruisers, Opua

Comments to follow.

Category 1 Marine, Auckland – Marine Engineering

Contact: Steve Gilmour

Comments to follow.

Cater Marine, Opua – Yacht Chandlers

Opua Marine Park, Opua 0200. T: +64 9 402 82 92

Contact: Glen Pierce, MD – Bob Fassio, Sales

Comments: Well stocked chandlery, if they haven’t got it they will get it, come up with ideas and solve most problems.  The most incredible service we have experienced anywhere on our travels offering expertise and 100% reliability.  They take all the hard work out of getting things done!

Lidgard Sails, Auckland

Comments to follow.

Mainsail by Lidgard

Pipistrelle mainsail by Lidgard

JB Marine Ltd – trading as Lowes Marine Services, Opua

Powder Store Building, Opua 0200. T: +64 9 402 8375 email:

Comments (2011): Excellent marine engineers providing a first class service for Yanmar and Kubota and no doubt most other makes of engine.

Waypoint Electronics, Whangarei

Contact: Wayne Limbrick

Email Address:

DDI: + 64 274 965 299

Comments: Having arrived in New Zealand for the first time in October 2011, needing a new radar and having decided to install a second auto pilot, the question was to who to give the business to?  We were recommended to Wayne Limbrick of Waypoint, who is always very busy looking after the kiwi commercial fishermen, so booking ahead is essential.

Wayne is a specialist with immense knowledge, who also goes the extra mile when looking after his clients.  He carried out the work on time and to budget.  Having returned to NZ for another southern summer, we are hoping he can fit in additional work for us.

Clew and sheets

Clew and sheets

South East Asia

Phuket Thailand – comments to follow for all of the below:

Rolly Tasker

Stem to Stern

Yachts Repair

Yacht Haven Marina


2. Customer Service? What Customer Service?




Comments: Major manufacturer of roller reefing systems.   We had failures with our electric genoa reefing system and the French response was to ignore our dilemma on our Transatlantic passage.  Customer service in France appears to be non-existent and therefore we resorted to using IMP (see above).



Comments:  We bought a new Yamaha 15hp Enduro outboard engine in St Martin.  Within 12 months in Panama the engine was seized because the alloy foot surrounding the stainless steel drive shaft had corroded.  Yamaha Customer Service in the USA, Australia and New Zealand were not interested and the level of customer service was non-existent. They claim that we were an isolated case.  We have now heard from other cruisers who have had similar problems with this Enduro ‘go-anywhere’ ‘indestructible’ outboard engine!

The Pacific

API Yachting

Papeete, Tahiti. T: +689 42 18 10

Contact: Christophe

Comments: Very little attention to detail or an accurate assessment of the state and condition of our mainsail that we had repaired by API Yachting.  He advised that there was plenty of ‘beef’ left in the sail (meaning plenty of life).  Within 130nm in a F6 the sail had ripped!