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Old 02-18-2016, 02:04 PM   #1
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Give Them Their Dues When They Have It Coming

We bought a 2002 Nordic Tug this past summer. 1400 miles from home. With it in our back yard, in Florida, I am going thru all the systems. The 8 kw generator is a Northern Lights with 1100 hours. I was concerned about the original exhaust elbow. Not so much the hours but the 14 years. In the disassembly process I am really surprised how easy everything is to work on. The heat exchanger has never been disassembled and yet the coil was free moving and easy to slide out. The exhaust elbow was cast stainless and probably could have gone two more years. But i replaced it anyway. I love a well engineered piece of mechanical equipment. Way To Go Northern Lights‼️😎
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:06 PM   #2
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we bought a 2002 nordic tug this past summer. 1400 miles from home. With it in our back yard, in florida, i am going thru all the systems. The 8 kw generator is a northern lights with 1100 hours. I was concerned about the original exhaust elbow. Not so much the hours but the 14 years. In the disassembly process i am really surprised how easy everything is to work on. The heat exchanger has never been disassembled and yet the coil was free moving and easy to slide out. The exhaust elbow was cast stainless and probably could have gone two more years. But i replaced it anyway. I love a well engineered piece of mechanical equipment. Way to go northern lights‼️😎

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Old 02-18-2016, 02:11 PM   #3
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Nice. I have an Onan 8KW and it is in the cockpit and easy to work on.....so far. It is nice when a manufacture considers us poor bilge monkeys when designing their boats!
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:53 PM   #4
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Kudos when due are rarely given. its nice to see.
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:28 PM   #5
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Great to see kudos given. We've been extremely pleased with Northern Lights.

Now, if we're smart as consumers we'll attempt to buy from companies like that. The ones who could really insist on quality are the boat builders but some go with best price instead. I see one of the largest builders in the world installing one vendor's electronics in everything they're building and buyers having nothing but trouble. Reflective of many problems and a reason we didn't buy their boat.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:35 AM   #6
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If it "probably could have gone two more years" then you caught it at the right time.
PM after all is preventive maintenance.
Good call.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:46 AM   #7
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Great to see kudos given. We've been extremely pleased with Northern Lights.

Now, if we're smart as consumers we'll attempt to buy from companies like that. The ones who could really insist on quality are the boat builders but some go with best price instead. I see one of the largest builders in the world installing one vendor's electronics in everything they're building and buyers having nothing but trouble. Reflective of many problems and a reason we didn't buy their boat.
Which electronics?
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:03 AM   #8
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My money is on Ray.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:28 PM   #9
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Which electronics?
Mule wins the prize for his guess. We've never had Raymarine so it's not speaking from personal experience. However, the stories we have heard from purchasers of Sea Ray's L Series boats about their problems with their electronics have been very bad. Now, ultimately, the customers are getting bad units replaced and updated software, but I'm not very tolerant of things that don't work right when delivered on a new boat.

Now, that's not the only problem buyers are having with the boat and Sea Ray is addressing them all. In spite of it, the buyers love the boat and recommend them highly. The stories we heard that led us to reject one were from someone who loves his and was strongly encouraging us to buy one. I just don't want to spend 6 months or a year sorting out issues on a new boat.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:38 PM   #10
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Sea Ray probably should as when I worked for a Sea Ray dealership...no wonder the Raymarine stuff didn't work the way it was installed. At the time I wore another hat working the Marine Electronics firm that had to do the warranty work on he Raymarine stuff. But 99.9 percent of the hardware worked just fine out of the box.

I have NEVER had a problem with Raymarine stuff except for awhile they had trouble with their black box sounders (again mostly networking issues) and the one style GPS antennas for about 2-3 years.


Simrad fell off the map with their problems around 2003-2008 or so. Furuno usually lags in the newer tech...probably a smart idea.


Garmin leapfrogged to the head of the pack for small stuff...I just don't like their charting mentality...but can't argue with their newer hardware.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:00 PM   #11
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Sea Ray probably should as when I worked for a Sea Ray dealership...no wonder the Raymarine stuff didn't work the way it was installed. At the time I wore another hat working the Marine Electronics firm that had to do the warranty work on he Raymarine stuff. But 99.9 percent of the hardware worked just fine out of the box.
As you point out some of the issues are equipment problems and software problems and others are installation issues. Part was probably a push of getting Raymarine's newest and greatest but not as well tested and proven. We've only owned Transas, Furuno, Maxsea, and a little bit of Garmin (it's actually on our RIB's). Some of our training was on Raymarine. I think Sea Ray's problems were simply that they did not anticipate the kind of sales they've had on that series and weren't well prepared.

Whether Simrad has solved all their problems is something we also don't know. The builder loves them. Others we talk to hate them. But the builder says they're installing more of them than anything else and having no problems. (They're installing more I suspect because it's less expensive and I'm amazed that regardless of the price of the boat people will still choose electronics based on it being $3-5k less expensive.)
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:51 PM   #12
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I have now had three boats and all were up dated with Raymarine MFD's and autopilots. Never have I had a problem with any of them. But then again, I was doing the installation myself. Even on my brand new 41 footer. If the installation is done right the first time you don't have problems. Two months ago I bought my third MFD from Raymarine and I love it. Very intuitive system.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:18 PM   #13
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I have now had three boats and all were up dated with Raymarine MFD's and autopilots. Never have I had a problem with any of them. But then again, I was doing the installation myself. Even on my brand new 41 footer. If the installation is done right the first time you don't have problems. Two months ago I bought my third MFD from Raymarine and I love it. Very intuitive system.
Well, they did fix and replace and do whatever necessary on the Sea Ray issues. They also came out with improved versions. However, here is what the early owners encountered.

"problems with the Raymarine GS165 displays and the AIS installation. We went through several swap-outs of MFDs until Raymarine finally redesigned a few internal key components."

Now, I always say you learn more about a company when there are problems and the way they worked to correct the problems was exemplary.
Timing was probably the cause of the problems. I'm sure Raymarine has a very high percentage of satisfied customers and glad to hear you're one. As I said, I've never personally owned their product.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:23 PM   #14
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I had a similar situation the other day...

I was trying to use my trusty Stanley Sharpshooter heavy duty stapler and it ran out of staples. I went to our local Ace Hardware and got more staples and came back. I loaded the new staples into the stapler and got ONE staple out of it before it would not cock again for the next staple.

I said to myself, How hard could it be?
I took off the little circlip that holds a pin in, and pushed the pin out. Opened the front and all the sudden my bench is covered with 15+ parts, some metal, some plastic, 2 springs, the handle and other stuff.

I thought someone probably has a video to reassemble a Stanley heavy duty sharpshooter stapler but couldn't find one.

I chatted with someone at Stanley tech support and they sent me links to different models of sharpshooter staplers but no luck. Apparently, mine was that old that they didn't have documentation on it.

They asked for my address and I gave typed it in. They said we'll send you a new sharpshooter stapler within 10 days.

It just arrived in the mail.

That old stapler was probably 20 years old if not older, but it still looked new. They didn't have to send me a new one but they did.

So, Stanley, that's GREAT customer service. Thanks!
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:39 PM   #15
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So, Stanley, that's GREAT customer service. Thanks!
Great to hear.

Years ago I bought some and knew a lot of people who bought Sauder furniture. I once went with a girl who was purchasing a computer cart. I told her she needed someone to put it together. She said she could do it herself. She called the Sauder number. The representative talked her through step by step for three hours. The only break was he needed a bathroom break and called her right back. She said she put it together and how could I have doubted her. This was a $50 cart, they probably sold to office depot for $25. I also once had the top of a computer desk damaged in a move. They immediately sent me a replacement at no charge.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:54 PM   #16
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I have NEVER had a problem with Raymarine stuff except for awhile they had trouble with their black box sounders (again mostly networking issues) and the one style GPS antennas for about 2-3 years.
FWIW, my 2005 Catalina 400 Mk II came with a Raymarine package factory installed. I bought the boat used in 2010. I did have problems with the GPS unit (a Raymarine 120 antenna). Fortunately, during the sea trial the GPS antenna decided to quit. I got the broker to throw in a new 125 antenna as part of the purchase. Once I got the boat home the GPS worked fine for 5 years and the 125 antenna just sat in the box until the 120 finally died for good. Swapped the antenna out and no problems since. I also installed a Raymarine wireless remote which was simple and has worked great.

I have been very happy with the performance and features of the Raymarine equipment on my boat. So, given my sample of one, I would not hesitate to buy another boat with them installed or to consider Raymarine if I bought a boat which needed the Nav package upgraded.

I think we tend to be overly influenced, for good or ill, based on our limited experiences.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:03 PM   #17
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I think we tend to be overly influenced, for good or ill, based on our limited experiences.
That's absolutely true for all of us. This thread started on Northern Lights and how well they designed something. Well, I have owned 4 NL Generators and been quite pleased. But that's still 5 out of thousands and even if I talk to ten people and they all love NL, it's still a small sample.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:13 PM   #18
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Some people have quite a bit of experience in certain areas....not all aspects of boating...but some areas they get more experience in a week than others have in decades of boating..
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:16 PM   #19
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Kudos where they are due

I've had many brands of marine electronics through many different boats over the years. Raymarine's service however stands out for me. Our 37 Intrepid fishing boat had dual Raymarine DSM 300 depth sounders that had issues know to Raymarine. When I complained to Ray the President of Raymarine called me from Great Britian personally to insure me that they would take care of the problem. Later the next day a tech in the US called me for my address and shipped to new units out to me. The only thing he asked was to please return the old units so they could make sure they were removed from the field. They even called me several weeks later to insure the new units were working properly.

In less than a week the issue was resolved. I personally replace everything with Raymarine as needed.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:18 PM   #20
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Some people have quite a bit of experience in certain areas....not all aspects of boating...but some areas they get more experience in a week than others have in decades of boating..
Very true and I appreciate that they share that experience. My experience is very limited in most areas.
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