A PROBLEM SAIL: An avid racer in Illinois bought a new roller-furling headsail
for his sailboat from North Sails in San Diego. Rather than a traditional sewn-on
strip of sacrificial sun cover to protect the part of the sail that remains exposed to
the sun after being furled, the sail was supposed to have sprayed-on UV protection
applied to the leech and foot to keep the sun from destroying the fabric. After using
the sail for one season, it started to come apart right where the sun hit the fabric.
It seemed obvious the UV protectant hadn’t been applied.
THE SOLUTION: From the beginning, North Sails was willing to assist our member and had offered some compensation before we became involved. But they
didn’t initially realize that the UV protection had never been applied. After we
opened communication with them, North acknowledged that the UV protection
had probably not been applied and gave the member a large credit toward a new
headsail based on the use and life expectancy of the damaged one.
A PROBLEM WITH AN OLD FENDER: Our members tend to hang on to
products they buy, and their receipts. One member in Washington state bought
two Polyform fenders back in 1990. One of the reasons he bought them, he
said, was because they came with a lifetime warranty. After 23 years of faithful use, one gave up and began to leak, so he sent it back to the manufacturer
for a replacement. The company apologized but said the warranty only covered
defects in the product and that there was nothing wrong with the workmanship.
It failed, they said, due to normal wear and tear. They politely offered our member a discount on a new fender.
THE SOLUTION: BoatU.S. Consumer Protection wrote to the company to get
them involved in solving the problem, pointing out that the member originally
bought the fenders based on their first-class warranty. The company agreed to
send our member two fenders at no cost.
KUDOS TO DODSON BOATYARD
I’m writing in praise of the support and service from Dodson Boatyard in Stonington, Connecticut. Their staff went well above and beyond in our
time of need last summer. Each June my father and
I race our J30, Magan, in the Off Soundings Spring
Regatta from Watch Hill to Block Island, then around
the island. Typically there are 100 to 135 boats in this
regatta. Each year Dodson opens their marina to the
racers for dockage and moorings the night before the
race as boats travel from all over the area. Upon my
arrival at our boat, I noticed my father looking under
the weather. He seemed to be having flu symptoms,
so I gave him the keys to my car and he headed off in
the launch to go home. It turned out he was having
Upon hearing the news that my father was in the
hospital, the marina allowed us to keep the boat on
the mooring so we could tend to him. I had no car at
my disposal and a taxi service had an hour-and-a-half
wait. The marina offered to drive me to the hospital in
one of their company cars. It was an unexpected offer,
one I quickly accepted. In the end, luckily, my father
was OK. Dodson Boatyard is first rate, always going
above and beyond for their customers. That simple
but gracious offer of a ride to be with my father will
always be with me. — CHRIS BUYDOS