Topics

Always check your contractors' work


Scott SV Tengah
 

Like many, I have used contractors to do work on our A54 that we either don't have the time, skills nor tools to do ourselves. This is simply delegation and leveraging our time because we don't want to spend our lives working on the boat full time. We bought the boat to go sailing, not become boat technicians!

However, as I've been reminded again and again, always know what they are doing, why they're doing it and check to make sure they did it right.

This is a bit of a venting post because I had some electricians work on Tengah in southern Spain and they literally did almost everything wrong. And the work was far from free. I won't name them publicly, but if you're in southern Spain and considering electrical work, feel free to private message me and I'll let you know whether you should avoid that particular electrician.

A partial list:

1) They refused to read posts from this forum that I provided to them about the Amel isolated ground system. Their response, "I've been doing this for years, I don't need to read that." Well, installing the solar panels, they connected the solar panel negative to the arch, causing the Amel electrical leak detector to go nuts. Luckily I caught it before too much corrosion occurred.

2) From the MPPT controller, they connected both positive and negative directly to the batteries. For negative, this bypassed the shunt, so the battery monitor completely ignored the solar power output! Worse, for the positive, they wired it to ONE of the batteries. At the time, I had no idea you're supposed to connect charger positive to the load and not the batteries, and especially not one of the batteries. Luckily I caught that before too much damage occurred.

3) Yesterday, I noticed significantly reduced power output from my panels. I have a nearly 1kw array and the MPPT controller was outputting around 250w at midday into lithium batteries that were at 50% SOC. I spent a few hours checking everything, frustrated as hell because solar is just supposed to work without much maintenance. Turns out the culprit was that the electricians put bare wires into and out of the MPPT. So they either were too lazy or did not have the tools to put ferrules on the bare wire ends, which then slowly corroded enough to eventually limit power output. Moreover, one of the positive wire strands was very very close to shorting out!

4)  I asked for a neg/pos pair of wires on the arch from the 24v batteries so I could install a wifi extender in the near future. They provided those wires and two weeks later I was ready to install my wifi extender. For kicks, I put the multimeter to the wires and saw 35 volts! Turns out they connected those wires to the panels and not our 24v battery system. If I didn't check, the panels would have fried the wifi extender. And if they didn't, the wifi extender would have mysteriously turned off at night.

5) Finally, they put the MPPT into the enclosed space where the main battery switches are. With nearly 1000 watts flowing into the charge controller, it certainly heats up. By 4pm, that enclosed space gets over 50c! Now I have to find a way to move and re-wire the MPPT to a location with more ventilation.

I'm sure you have all either had or will have this experience. It almost seems that it takes more time to hire someone to do work on your boat than to do it yourself. But it's a necessary evil, so going forward, I generally educate myself about what they're doing before they're doing it and watch every step of the way to make sure they do it right. Easy for those of you with engineering backgrounds, a bit harder for those of us from the business world. :)

/End Venting


--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


karkauai
 

Good Grief!!!  I’m glad you found the problems before much damage occurred.  I hope you told the electrician what you found, and disparaged his lineage.  There’s nothing wrong with giving a bad review on google, yelp, or on this  or any other website.  Otherwise, they never learn.

I’ve also had experiences like this, and unfortunately didn’t know enough to realize the errors before my CDrive was irreparably damaged by electrolysis when a charger/inverter failed.  It was a 6 month $30,000 disaster by the time it was all repaired.  I have since gotten a good handle on the Amel isolated ground and found a few other issues with other installations.  Now my zincs are lasting over a year, instead of 4-6 months.

I echo your advice to study up on what is to be done, or only have work done where other Amels have had excellent service.

That said, wouldn’t it be nice if there was an Amel service center on the US midEastern seaboard?  Martinique is a bit far to go if you have significant problems.  I think they have since changed hands, but Deltaville Boat Yard on the Chesapeake wanted to do just that.  They contacted Amel a few times but never even got a reply.

Could we poll the membership to see where they have gotten excellent service and try to encourage a centrally-placed boatyard to specialize in Amel systems?


Kent Robertson
S/V Kristy SM243

On Aug 20, 2019, at 10:44 AM, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:

Like many, I have used contractors to do work on our A54 that we either don't have the time, skills nor tools to do ourselves. This is simply delegation and leveraging our time because we don't want to spend our lives working on the boat full time. We bought the boat to go sailing, not become boat technicians!

However, as I've been reminded again and again, always know what they are doing, why they're doing it and check to make sure they did it right.

This is a bit of a venting post because I had some electricians work on Tengah in southern Spain and they literally did almost everything wrong. And the work was far from free. I won't name them publicly, but if you're in southern Spain and considering electrical work, feel free to private message me and I'll let you know whether you should avoid that particular electrician.

A partial list:

1) They refused to read posts from this forum that I provided to them about the Amel isolated ground system. Their response, "I've been doing this for years, I don't need to read that." Well, installing the solar panels, they connected the solar panel negative to the arch, causing the Amel electrical leak detector to go nuts. Luckily I caught it before too much corrosion occurred.

2) From the MPPT controller, they connected both positive and negative directly to the batteries. For negative, this bypassed the shunt, so the battery monitor completely ignored the solar power output! Worse, for the positive, they wired it to ONE of the batteries. At the time, I had no idea you're supposed to connect charger positive to the load and not the batteries, and especially not one of the batteries. Luckily I caught that before too much damage occurred.

3) Yesterday, I noticed significantly reduced power output from my panels. I have a nearly 1kw array and the MPPT controller was outputting around 250w at midday into lithium batteries that were at 50% SOC. I spent a few hours checking everything, frustrated as hell because solar is just supposed to work without much maintenance. Turns out the culprit was that the electricians put bare wires into and out of the MPPT. So they either were too lazy or did not have the tools to put ferrules on the bare wire ends, which then slowly corroded enough to eventually limit power output. Moreover, one of the positive wire strands was very very close to shorting out!

4)  I asked for a neg/pos pair of wires on the arch from the 24v batteries so I could install a wifi extender in the near future. They provided those wires and two weeks later I was ready to install my wifi extender. For kicks, I put the multimeter to the wires and saw 35 volts! Turns out they connected those wires to the panels and not our 24v battery system. If I didn't check, the panels would have fried the wifi extender. And if they didn't, the wifi extender would have mysteriously turned off at night.

5) Finally, they put the MPPT into the enclosed space where the main battery switches are. With nearly 1000 watts flowing into the charge controller, it certainly heats up. By 4pm, that enclosed space gets over 50c! Now I have to find a way to move and re-wire the MPPT to a location with more ventilation.

I'm sure you have all either had or will have this experience. It almost seems that it takes more time to hire someone to do work on your boat than to do it yourself. But it's a necessary evil, so going forward, I generally educate myself about what they're doing before they're doing it and watch every step of the way to make sure they do it right. Easy for those of you with engineering backgrounds, a bit harder for those of us from the business world. :)

/End Venting


--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Scott SV Tengah
 

Kent,

I know it's Martinique, but I have had good experience with Caraibe Marine in Le Marin. They generally know Amels quite well. I had them redo my standing rigging and while all was not perfect, they fixed the problems without so much as a complaint. They really take pride in their work. I still had to double check everything but found far fewer problems than with other contractors.

They do almost everything through their different "divisions" and while there's an argument that a monopoly is not good, having everything under the Caraibe umbrella means they can't point fingers at other contractors when something goes wrong.

They have a decent relationship with and are very close to the Amel office down there. The Amel guys are very busy and don't do everything, but will gladly give technical advice to Caraibe Marine. The Amel guys aren't perfect at English so it's good that everyone is French. :)

Let's just say I am literally sailing all the way back to Martinique for a few more items before heading through the Canal.
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Arlo
 

I would recommend publically listing their name so that others can avoid them and they learn that their are repercussions for doing work incorrectly or poorly. Just my 2 cents...


Gregory Shea
 

Scott, 
I wonder if you could explain in a bit more detail your statement in Point 2, "At the time, I had no idea you're supposed to connect charger positive to the load and not the batteries, and especially not one of the batteries."
This may be a learning experience for me too.

Greg Shea
Sharki 133 Cap des iles, Preveza


On Aug 20, 2019, at 3:44 PM, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:

Like many, I have used contractors to do work on our A54 that we either don't have the time, skills nor tools to do ourselves. This is simply delegation and leveraging our time because we don't want to spend our lives working on the boat full time. We bought the boat to go sailing, not become boat technicians!

However, as I've been reminded again and again, always know what they are doing, why they're doing it and check to make sure they did it right.

This is a bit of a venting post because I had some electricians work on Tengah in southern Spain and they literally did almost everything wrong. And the work was far from free. I won't name them publicly, but if you're in southern Spain and considering electrical work, feel free to private message me and I'll let you know whether you should avoid that particular electrician.

A partial list:

1) They refused to read posts from this forum that I provided to them about the Amel isolated ground system. Their response, "I've been doing this for years, I don't need to read that." Well, installing the solar panels, they connected the solar panel negative to the arch, causing the Amel electrical leak detector to go nuts. Luckily I caught it before too much corrosion occurred.

2) From the MPPT controller, they connected both positive and negative directly to the batteries. For negative, this bypassed the shunt, so the battery monitor completely ignored the solar power output! Worse, for the positive, they wired it to ONE of the batteries. At the time, I had no idea you're supposed to connect charger positive to the load and not the batteries, and especially not one of the batteries. Luckily I caught that before too much damage occurred.

3) Yesterday, I noticed significantly reduced power output from my panels. I have a nearly 1kw array and the MPPT controller was outputting around 250w at midday into lithium batteries that were at 50% SOC. I spent a few hours checking everything, frustrated as hell because solar is just supposed to work without much maintenance. Turns out the culprit was that the electricians put bare wires into and out of the MPPT. So they either were too lazy or did not have the tools to put ferrules on the bare wire ends, which then slowly corroded enough to eventually limit power output. Moreover, one of the positive wire strands was very very close to shorting out!

4)  I asked for a neg/pos pair of wires on the arch from the 24v batteries so I could install a wifi extender in the near future. They provided those wires and two weeks later I was ready to install my wifi extender. For kicks, I put the multimeter to the wires and saw 35 volts! Turns out they connected those wires to the panels and not our 24v battery system. If I didn't check, the panels would have fried the wifi extender. And if they didn't, the wifi extender would have mysteriously turned off at night.

5) Finally, they put the MPPT into the enclosed space where the main battery switches are. With nearly 1000 watts flowing into the charge controller, it certainly heats up. By 4pm, that enclosed space gets over 50c! Now I have to find a way to move and re-wire the MPPT to a location with more ventilation.

I'm sure you have all either had or will have this experience. It almost seems that it takes more time to hire someone to do work on your boat than to do it yourself. But it's a necessary evil, so going forward, I generally educate myself about what they're doing before they're doing it and watch every step of the way to make sure they do it right. Easy for those of you with engineering backgrounds, a bit harder for those of us from the business world. :)

/End Venting


--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Gregory Shea
 

Scott,
Could you explain in more detail what you mean by “I had no idea you're supposed to connect charger positive to the load and not the batteries, and especially not one of the batteries” in your Point 2.
This may be a learning experience for me too.

Greg Shea
Sharki 133, Preveza

On Aug 20, 2019, at 3:44 PM, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:

had no idea you're supposed to connect charger positive to the load and not the batteries, and especially not one of the batteries.


Scott SV Tengah
 
Edited

I learned this through monitoring my batteries. 

The electrician connected the positive lead from the MPPT to the positive post of ONE of the batteries. His thought was that it would be like a bunch of interconnected cups. Once this first battery one got some charge, it would overflow the current into the next battery and so forth. I am no electrician so it sort of made sense at the time.

Well, monitoring showed me that this does not actually occur. The Battery1 that was directly connected to the MPPT was always higher voltage than the rest. The further away from the MPPT-Battery1 connection, the lower the voltage. The entire bank was being actively imbalanced!

Now I have the positive attached to the post where all the battery positives join. The batteries have remained balanced over the past year.

I can't remember where I read it, but a marine electrician stated that "in case it wasn't obvious, you connect the MPPT output to the load." I don't quite have it perfect as it's where all the batteries join, but I'm going to relocate the MPPT anyways, so I'll connect it to the load then.

Sorry, if my explanation isn't precise enough as I never studied engineering. Just lots of reading, lots of testing and lots of monitoring.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


karkauai
 

 Hmmm, I still don’t quite follow your explanation, Scott.
  If you have big enough cables from the batteries to the main 24V posts (ie no resistance at high amps), connecting at the post or the battery shouldn’t make any difference.  If they connected to one of the batteries in a series pair that is NOT connected to the main 24v post,  then the charge would almost certainly go to that battery preferentially.  If the cables are not big enough to give zero resistance, the charge would go preferentially to the closest battery.

If you mean that the + output cable from the MPPPs should be on the boat (load) side of the main battery switch, you would have to leave the switch “on” (“Marche”) to charge the batteries.  On Kristy with Victron Skylla-i Charger and wet cell lead acid batteries the output is to the + and - posts where all for pairs of batteries are connected in parallel.  The 3 MPPPs for the three pairs of solar panels are likewise connected to the same posts.  I can turn off the battery switch and still let the solar panels charge when I’m away from the boat.  The output can be monitored on remote panels, or by using the Bluetooth dongle on the MPPPs, but cannot be monitored with the primary 24V monitor which is on the boat side of the switch.  It’s not ideal because the four pairs are not completely balance-charged, but correcting that seems a lot more complicated.  So far this is working well for me.

Kent Robertson
S/V Kristy
SM 243

On Aug 20, 2019, at 2:42 PM, Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

I learned this through monitoring my batteries. 

The electrician connected the positive lead from the MPPT to the positive post of ONE of the batteries. His thought was that it would be like a bunch of interconnected cups. Once this first battery one got some charge, it would overflow the current into the next battery and so forth. I am no electrician so it sort of made sense at the time.

Well, monitoring showed me that this does not actually occur. The Battery1 that was directly connected to the MPPT was always higher voltage than the rest. The further away from the MPPT-Battery1 connection, the lower the voltage. The entire bank was being actively imbalanced!

Now I have the positive attached to the post where all the battery positives join. The batteries have remained balanced over the past year.

I can't remember where I read it, but a marine electrician stated that "in case it wasn't obvious, you connect the MPPT output to the load." I don't quite have it perfect as it's where all the batteries join, but I'm going to relocate the MPPT anyways, so I'll connect it to the load then.

Sorry, if my explanation isn't precise enough as I never studied engineering. Just lots of reading, lots of testing and lots of monitoring.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


 

Scott,

All of the chargers on your Amel 54 are connected to the battery side of the Main Switch by Amel. It stands to reason that the output of the MPPT would also connect the the battery side of the Main Switch. BTW, it is important to connect the Negative output of the MPPT at least several feet from the shunt, otherwise the battery monitor readings are distorted. Regrettably, I have seen MPPT output connected to a single pair of batteries, but I have never seen anyone wire to a single battery as you stated...did you mean a single pair?

For some reason, unknown to me, the 110 amp 24 volt alternator is connected to the house side of the Main Switch. I really wish someone could tell me why.

It is a huge problem when workers respond with I have been "doing this for years" because regrettably they have years of experience doing it the wrong way and will never change.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970



On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 3:25 PM karkauai via Groups.Io <karkauai=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
 Hmmm, I still don’t quite follow your explanation, Scott.
  If you have big enough cables from the batteries to the main 24V posts (ie no resistance at high amps), connecting at the post or the battery shouldn’t make any difference.  If they connected to one of the batteries in a series pair that is NOT connected to the main 24v post,  then the charge would almost certainly go to that battery preferentially.  If the cables are not big enough to give zero resistance, the charge would go preferentially to the closest battery.

If you mean that the + output cable from the MPPPs should be on the boat (load) side of the main battery switch, you would have to leave the switch “on” (“Marche”) to charge the batteries.  On Kristy with Victron Skylla-i Charger and wet cell lead acid batteries the output is to the + and - posts where all for pairs of batteries are connected in parallel.  The 3 MPPPs for the three pairs of solar panels are likewise connected to the same posts.  I can turn off the battery switch and still let the solar panels charge when I’m away from the boat.  The output can be monitored on remote panels, or by using the Bluetooth dongle on the MPPPs, but cannot be monitored with the primary 24V monitor which is on the boat side of the switch.  It’s not ideal because the four pairs are not completely balance-charged, but correcting that seems a lot more complicated.  So far this is working well for me.

Kent Robertson
S/V Kristy
SM 243

On Aug 20, 2019, at 2:42 PM, Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

I learned this through monitoring my batteries. 

The electrician connected the positive lead from the MPPT to the positive post of ONE of the batteries. His thought was that it would be like a bunch of interconnected cups. Once this first battery one got some charge, it would overflow the current into the next battery and so forth. I am no electrician so it sort of made sense at the time.

Well, monitoring showed me that this does not actually occur. The Battery1 that was directly connected to the MPPT was always higher voltage than the rest. The further away from the MPPT-Battery1 connection, the lower the voltage. The entire bank was being actively imbalanced!

Now I have the positive attached to the post where all the battery positives join. The batteries have remained balanced over the past year.

I can't remember where I read it, but a marine electrician stated that "in case it wasn't obvious, you connect the MPPT output to the load." I don't quite have it perfect as it's where all the batteries join, but I'm going to relocate the MPPT anyways, so I'll connect it to the load then.

Sorry, if my explanation isn't precise enough as I never studied engineering. Just lots of reading, lots of testing and lots of monitoring.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Ken Powers SV Aquarius
 

Not all Caraibe's are the same. I had my standing rigging replaced by
Caraibe, and I still think that they did a very good job. But, the
Caraibe Refrigeration guys were idiots. They told me that my aft
Climma Air-conditioning Unit "Had to be REPLACED!!". I told them that
it was the Switch, not the unit. The owner of Caraibe Refrigeration
got so upset he started screaming, and this guy is a 6' 3".. In his
rage he sad, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO PAY, GO BACK TO YOUR BOAT". Yes,
this was all in French, and I don't speak French.... But JP, the
previous owner of Aquarius was with me for translation, and JP looked
at me and told me what he said... So, we just turned and walked away
from him.. And I never paid the bill for them to recharge the two
forward aircon units. O' and I did have the switch replaced later,
and the Climma aircon can still freeze the aft cabin.

I think we all NEED to tell the other owners who did a good job, and
who didn't. Name names, if workers do a good job, or bad! We all
need to know. If there is an owner that had a good experience with
Caraibe Refrigeration, they can speak for themselves. But if you told
me that ... "O, the Caraibe guys replaced my old Climma unit and the
new Unit is working great," I would say "you just got ripped off, and
your old Climma unit is probably installed in another boat working
just fine!"

Ken Powers
Aquarius
Currently in Indonesia

On 8/20/19, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:
Kent,

I know it's Martinique, but I have had good experience with Caraibe Marine
in Le Marin. They generally know Amels quite well. I had them redo my
standing rigging and while all was not perfect, they fixed the problems
without so much as a complaint. They really take pride in their work. I
still had to double check everything but found far fewer problems than with
other contractors.

They do almost everything through their different "divisions" and while
there's an argument that a monopoly is not good, having everything under the
Caraibe umbrella means they can't point fingers at other contractors when
something goes wrong.

They have a decent relationship with and are very close to the Amel office
down there. The Amel guys are very busy and don't do everything, but will
gladly give technical advice to Caraibe Marine. The Amel guys aren't perfect
at English so it's good that everyone is French. :)

Let's just say I am literally sailing all the way back to Martinique for a
few more items before heading through the Canal.
--
Scott
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com




Chuck_Kim_Joy
 

Greetings All. 
Ken speaks the truth. We have engaged the 6.3 ft guy who rides his bike briskly up and down the dock but whose name escapes me. Our thermostat in the main salon quit working. He told me the company that makes the analog units was out of business and only digital thermostats were available. Here's the rub. Our units age made it incompatible with the new thermostat so a whole new unit was required. BS. Coastal climate out of Annapolis to the rescue again. Plenty of analog thermos. Still making them and that was the fix. 

Chuck 
Joy #388
Summer in SLC Utah Beeeutiful!

On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 6:04 PM Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...> wrote:
Not all Caraibe's are the same.  I had my standing rigging replaced by
Caraibe, and I still think that they did a very good job.  But, the
Caraibe Refrigeration guys were idiots.  They told me that my aft
Climma Air-conditioning Unit "Had to be REPLACED!!".  I told them that
it was the Switch, not the unit.  The owner of Caraibe Refrigeration
got so upset he started screaming, and this guy is a 6' 3"..  In his
rage he sad, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO PAY, GO BACK TO YOUR BOAT".  Yes,
this was all in French, and I don't speak French.... But JP, the
previous owner of Aquarius was with me for translation, and JP looked
at me and told me what he said...  So, we just turned and walked away
from him..  And I never paid the bill for them to recharge the two
forward aircon units.  O' and I did have the switch replaced later,
and the Climma aircon can still freeze the aft cabin.

I think we all NEED to tell the other owners who did a good job, and
who didn't.  Name names, if workers do a good job, or bad!  We all
need to know.  If there is an owner that had a good experience with
Caraibe Refrigeration, they can speak for themselves.  But if you told
me that ...  "O, the Caraibe guys replaced my old Climma unit and the
new Unit is working great,"  I would say "you just got ripped off, and
your old Climma unit is probably installed in another boat working
just fine!"

Ken Powers
Aquarius
Currently in Indonesia


On 8/20/19, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:
> Kent,
>
> I know it's Martinique, but I have had good experience with Caraibe Marine
> in Le Marin. They generally know Amels quite well. I had them redo my
> standing rigging and while all was not perfect, they fixed the problems
> without so much as a complaint. They really take pride in their work. I
> still had to double check everything but found far fewer problems than with
> other contractors.
>
> They do almost everything through their different "divisions" and while
> there's an argument that a monopoly is not good, having everything under the
> Caraibe umbrella means they can't point fingers at other contractors when
> something goes wrong.
>
> They have a decent relationship with and are very close to the Amel office
> down there. The Amel guys are very busy and don't do everything, but will
> gladly give technical advice to Caraibe Marine. The Amel guys aren't perfect
> at English so it's good that everyone is French. :)
>
> Let's just say I am literally sailing all the way back to Martinique for a
> few more items before heading through the Canal.
> --
> Scott
> 2007 A54 #69
> SV Tengah
> http://www.svtengah.com
>
>
>
>




Scott SV Tengah
 

Kent,

The electricians connected the MPPT positive output to one of the battery positives, the one in the series pair where the positive terminal was not connected to the main 24v post. I guess this is why this battery got preferentially charged.

I haven't thought through putting it on the load side yet, just remembered that comment and made a note to research further. I do agree that putting it on the load side would mean that you'd have to leave the main switches on for the solar to charge the batteries. Perhaps my boat is wired "wrong" by a previous owner but from my first day of ownership, the bilge pump goes through the main switch. If I turn off the main switches, the bilge pump won't run. I'm too afraid to leave the boat without the bilge pump powered lest Murphy comes and smacks me upside the head. So in effect, the main switch is almost never turned off and is really only for emergencies.


--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Scott SV Tengah
 

Ah ok, I have not had experience with the refrigeration group.

Good thing you guys didn't take what they said at face value! That said, I still believe having Amel's office nearby is invaluable so my vote is still for Le Marin. 

The electricians in Southern Spain were nice guys so I am a bit loathe to hang them out to dry. But given how much additional time and money I have wasted due to their shoddy work, I've realized that it's more important to me that no fellow Amel owner has to go through what I did.

The group was Electrical Marine Services in Gibraltar. An English guy and a South African. Initially I was very happy with their work as they actually showed up on time or at all, unlike some of the other contractors we hired. They got the work done on time, unlike the other contractors.  As time passed and problems with their work surfaced, my opinion of them changed.

The primary "other" contractor was MH Preserve at Alcaidesa Marina. They were overwhelmed and understaffed for the quantity of work we had them do - keep in mind this is right when we bought the boat. They came recommended by a surveyor but I surmise they were buddies. Anyways it's run by an English guy and his father does a lot of the work. With that (reverse?) nepotism, the father was unfireable and the work quality and pace reflected that. Additionally the marina makes it very expensive to bring in outside contractors, so you're stuck with them. 

The only reason we were able to leave was because my visa was running out. Otherwise we'd probably still be there today!


-- Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Ken Powers SV Aquarius
 

This is how to go one step farther than just supervising your workers:

When I was in Shelter Bay Marina, there was a mechanic there, I think
they call him the Diesel Whisperer, or something like that... His
name might be Greg, and he is one very good mechanic if you need one
in Panama. I hired him to come over and change the coolant in both
the genset and the engine, and also clean out the heat exchangers
because my engine was overheating slightly at 2200 RPM.

When he got to Aquarius I gave him a cold drink, and said... "Today
this is your job, drink as much as you like, but you have to make sure
I do everything correctly".

He had all the proper tools for making sure that they system would
hold pressure, and he just instructed me on how to take everything
apart, and get it back together properly. So, the next time if I had
to do it, I could do it myself. And, I know it was done properly...
Well, it is still working after 600 hours.

O - The reason for the over-heating... 4 small pieces of impellers in
the heat exchanger from before I owned Aquarius.

Ken Powers
Aquarius
Currently in Indonesia

On 8/20/19, Scott SV Tengah <@Tengah> wrote:
Ah ok, I have not had experience with the refrigeration group.

Good thing you guys didn't take what they said at face value! That said, I
still believe having Amel's office nearby is invaluable so my vote is still
for Le Marin.

The electricians in Southern Spain were nice guys so I am a bit loathe to
hang them out to dry. But given how much additional time and money I have
wasted due to their shoddy work, I've realized that it's more important to
me that no fellow Amel owner has to go through what I did.

The group was Electrical Marine Services in Gibraltar. An English guy and a
South African. Initially I was very happy with their work as they actually
showed up on time or at all, unlike some of the other contractors we hired.
They got the work done on time, unlike the other contractors. As time
passed and problems with their work surfaced, my opinion of them changed.

The primary "other" contractor was MH Preserve at Alcaidesa Marina. They
were overwhelmed and understaffed for the quantity of work we had them do -
keep in mind this is right when we bought the boat. They came recommended by
a surveyor but I surmise they were buddies. Anyways it's run by an English
guy and his father does a lot of the work. With that (reverse?) nepotism,
the father was unfireable and the work quality and pace reflected that.
Additionally the marina makes it very expensive to bring in outside
contractors, so you're stuck with them.

The only reason we were able to leave was because my visa was running out.
Otherwise we'd probably still be there today!

-- Scott
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com




Scott SV Tengah
 

That's a fantastic idea!

Drink for worker = soda or rum/coke? :)

I guess the latter would make sure you work fast before he starts slurring his speech.
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


 

Ken and others interested,
 
I do not think this forum is a place to criticize any business or person for work performed on any Amel.  The reason is that it would be one-sided, and we all know that there are at least two sides to every story.

Caraibe Marine and all of its shops in Martinique are owned by Philippe LECONTE. I know him very well and if anyone wants help with any problem with any of his 8 different shops in Martinique, please ask me. My email address is brouse@.... I also know Patrice FOUGEROUSE who manages Caraibe Refrigeration for Philippe. I have found him to be very knowledgeable regarding Frigoboat and Climma. He has also been very responsive. I also know each of the managers that run Philippe's shops.
 
It is true that anyone can make a mistake, you and I included, and anyone can be wrong, but regarding the honesty, integrity, and professionalism of Philippe and all of the managers that work for him, I believe they exhibit the very high standards.

This year we had the first ever Amel Yacht Owners Rally in Martinique. Philippe LECONTE and Caraibe Marine Shops sponsored the rally and bought a wonderful dinner for all of the participants. BTW, la Marina du Marin, sponsored with reduced rates and other stuff, Carenantilles Yard gave away a free haulout to one Rally participant, I gave away 2 of my Amel Books, and JP and Stephanie at Caribbean Yacht Sales paid for the drinks at dinner.

I think that Martinique and all of the Martinique businesses I mentioned above have created a special place to bring your Amel. In my "circle of the world," I found no better place, especially considering the fact that Amel has a company owned service facility there. The presence of Amel in Martinique also allows for an expert advisor to all Martinique businesses that you might deal with. I know for a fact that the businesses I mentioned above have a great relationship with Amel and communicate often on specific issues that are unique to Amel...you will not find that anywhere outside of France.
 
Best,
 
CW Bill Rouse
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970

 


Ken Powers SV Aquarius
 

Bill,

I agree, maybe this isn't the place to have open honest discussions
about things that happen when working on, or getting your Amel
repaired.. My question is, where is the right place, because I want
to be a member there?

I want to know when someone does a good job, and when someone really
screws up a boat! That's called clout.... If someone messes up my
boat, I am going to put it on YouTube, and I am going to tell everyone
I know what happened... In a way, that helps all Amel owners.

Open discussion, with honest opinion, with no "political" agenda,
that's what I think owners are looking for. I stand behind everything
I write! If he had a bad day with me, someone else can back him up,
and tell the rest of the Amel owners how great he is at his job. You
know, I listened for 10 minutes while he ranted in French screaming at
me! And, in the end he was totally wrong! You really want to try to
tell me he knows Climma, or that he is a good manager? Look, if we
all tip toe around the facts, where shall we go for facts?


Ken Powers
Aquarius
Soon to be in Never Never land

On 8/21/19, CW Bill Rouse <@billrouse> wrote:
Ken and others interested,

I do not think this forum is a place to criticize any business or person for
work performed on any Amel. The reason is that it would be one-sided, and
we all know that there are at least two sides to every story.

Caraibe Marine and all of its shops in Martinique are owned by Philippe
LECONTE. I know him very well and if anyone wants help with any problem with
any of his 8 different shops in Martinique, please ask me. My email address
is @billrouse. I also know Patrice FOUGEROUSE who manages Caraibe
Refrigeration for Philippe. I have found him to be very knowledgeable
regarding Frigoboat and Climma. He has also been very responsive. I also
know each of the managers that run Philippe's shops.

It is true that anyone can make a mistake, you and I included, and anyone
can be wrong, but regarding the honesty, integrity, and professionalism of
Philippe and all of the managers that work for him, I believe they exhibit
the very high standards.

This year we had the first ever Amel Yacht Owners Rally in Martinique.
Philippe LECONTE and Caraibe Marine Shops sponsored the rally and bought a
wonderful dinner for all of the participants. BTW, la Marina du Marin,
sponsored with reduced rates and other stuff, Carenantilles Yard gave away a
free haulout to one Rally participant, I gave away 2 of my Amel Books, and
JP and Stephanie at Caribbean Yacht Sales paid for the drinks at dinner.

I think that Martinique and all of the Martinique businesses I mentioned
above have created a special place to bring your Amel. In my "circle of the
world," I found no better place, especially considering the fact that Amel
has a company owned service facility there. The presence of Amel in
Martinique also allows for an expert advisor to all Martinique businesses
that you might deal with. I know for a fact that the businesses I mentioned
above have a great relationship with Amel and communicate often on specific
issues that are unique to Amel...you will not find that anywhere outside of
France.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse

Yacht School (formerly Amel School) - Supporting Amel Owners (
http://www.yachtschool.us/ )
720 Winnie St

Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970
My Calendar ( https://preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/p/calendar.html )

Yacht School ( https://preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/ )




 

Ken,

Google reviews, yelp, and others allow for both sides of the review to be seen, customers and businesses. Since our suppliers and people who work for us are not members of this group, this is not the place.

Believe me, I have seen more than one situation where the complainant presented a one-sided case that was believed by many, but the complainant was wrong. I have seen the opposite also.

So, I hope you understand why our group is not the place to complain about vendors and services. I am sure that you agree if you owned a business, you would not want to have a complaint posted that you could not respond to.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970



On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 9:33 AM Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...> wrote:
Bill,

I agree, maybe this isn't the place to have open honest discussions
about things that happen when working on, or getting your Amel
repaired..  My question is, where is the right place, because I want
to be a member there?

I want to know when someone does a good job, and when someone really
screws up a boat! That's called clout....  If someone messes up my
boat, I am going to put it on YouTube, and I am going to tell everyone
I know what happened... In a way, that helps all Amel owners.

Open discussion, with honest opinion, with no "political" agenda,
that's what I think owners are looking for.  I stand behind everything
I write!  If he had a bad day with me, someone else can back him up,
and tell the rest of the Amel owners how great he is at his job.  You
know, I listened for 10 minutes while he ranted in French screaming at
me!  And, in the end he was totally wrong!  You really want to try to
tell me he knows Climma, or that he is a good manager?   Look, if we
all tip toe around the facts, where shall we go for facts?


Ken Powers
Aquarius
Soon to be in Never Never land

On 8/21/19, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:
> Ken and others interested,
>
> I do not think this forum is a place to criticize any business or person for
> work performed on any Amel.  The reason is that it would be one-sided, and
> we all know that there are at least two sides to every story.
>
> Caraibe Marine and all of its shops in Martinique are owned by Philippe
> LECONTE. I know him very well and if anyone wants help with any problem with
> any of his 8 different shops in Martinique, please ask me. My email address
> is brouse@.... I also know Patrice FOUGEROUSE who manages Caraibe
> Refrigeration for Philippe. I have found him to be very knowledgeable
> regarding Frigoboat and Climma. He has also been very responsive. I also
> know each of the managers that run Philippe's shops.
>
> It is true that anyone can make a mistake, you and I included, and anyone
> can be wrong, but regarding the honesty, integrity, and professionalism of
> Philippe and all of the managers that work for him, I believe they exhibit
> the very high standards.
>
> This year we had the first ever Amel Yacht Owners Rally in Martinique.
> Philippe LECONTE and Caraibe Marine Shops sponsored the rally and bought a
> wonderful dinner for all of the participants. BTW, la Marina du Marin,
> sponsored with reduced rates and other stuff, Carenantilles Yard gave away a
> free haulout to one Rally participant, I gave away 2 of my Amel Books, and
> JP and Stephanie at Caribbean Yacht Sales paid for the drinks at dinner.
>
> I think that Martinique and all of the Martinique businesses I mentioned
> above have created a special place to bring your Amel. In my "circle of the
> world," I found no better place, especially considering the fact that Amel
> has a company owned service facility there. The presence of Amel in
> Martinique also allows for an expert advisor to all Martinique businesses
> that you might deal with. I know for a fact that the businesses I mentioned
> above have a great relationship with Amel and communicate often on specific
> issues that are unique to Amel...you will not find that anywhere outside of
> France.
>
> Best,
>
> CW Bill Rouse
>
> Yacht School (formerly Amel School) - Supporting Amel Owners (
> http://www.yachtschool.us/ )
> 720 Winnie St
>
> Galveston Island, TX 77550
> +1(832) 380-4970
> My Calendar ( https://preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/p/calendar.html )
>
> Yacht School ( https://preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/ )
>
>
>
>




Mark Erdos
 

Ken,

IMO, FaceBook or other social media is where people can freely rant unchecked about stuff. I for one prefer this forum to be clear of opinions and criticism (such as I am doing now).

" Open discussion, with honest opinion, with no "political" agenda, that's what I think owners are looking for. " As an owner, this is NOT what I am looking for.




With best regards,

Mark

Skipper
Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275
Currently cruising - Vista Mar, Panama

-----Original Message-----
From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ken Powers SV Aquarius
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 10:33 AM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Always check your contractors' work

Bill,

I agree, maybe this isn't the place to have open honest discussions
about things that happen when working on, or getting your Amel
repaired.. My question is, where is the right place, because I want
to be a member there?

I want to know when someone does a good job, and when someone really
screws up a boat! That's called clout.... If someone messes up my
boat, I am going to put it on YouTube, and I am going to tell everyone
I know what happened... In a way, that helps all Amel owners.

Open discussion, with honest opinion, with no "political" agenda,
that's what I think owners are looking for. I stand behind everything
I write! If he had a bad day with me, someone else can back him up,
and tell the rest of the Amel owners how great he is at his job. You
know, I listened for 10 minutes while he ranted in French screaming at
me! And, in the end he was totally wrong! You really want to try to
tell me he knows Climma, or that he is a good manager? Look, if we
all tip toe around the facts, where shall we go for facts?


Ken Powers
Aquarius
Soon to be in Never Never land

On 8/21/19, CW Bill Rouse <@billrouse> wrote:
Ken and others interested,

I do not think this forum is a place to criticize any business or person for
work performed on any Amel. The reason is that it would be one-sided, and
we all know that there are at least two sides to every story.

Caraibe Marine and all of its shops in Martinique are owned by Philippe
LECONTE. I know him very well and if anyone wants help with any problem with
any of his 8 different shops in Martinique, please ask me. My email address
is @billrouse. I also know Patrice FOUGEROUSE who manages Caraibe
Refrigeration for Philippe. I have found him to be very knowledgeable
regarding Frigoboat and Climma. He has also been very responsive. I also
know each of the managers that run Philippe's shops.

It is true that anyone can make a mistake, you and I included, and anyone
can be wrong, but regarding the honesty, integrity, and professionalism of
Philippe and all of the managers that work for him, I believe they exhibit
the very high standards.

This year we had the first ever Amel Yacht Owners Rally in Martinique.
Philippe LECONTE and Caraibe Marine Shops sponsored the rally and bought a
wonderful dinner for all of the participants. BTW, la Marina du Marin,
sponsored with reduced rates and other stuff, Carenantilles Yard gave away a
free haulout to one Rally participant, I gave away 2 of my Amel Books, and
JP and Stephanie at Caribbean Yacht Sales paid for the drinks at dinner.

I think that Martinique and all of the Martinique businesses I mentioned
above have created a special place to bring your Amel. In my "circle of the
world," I found no better place, especially considering the fact that Amel
has a company owned service facility there. The presence of Amel in
Martinique also allows for an expert advisor to all Martinique businesses
that you might deal with. I know for a fact that the businesses I mentioned
above have a great relationship with Amel and communicate often on specific
issues that are unique to Amel...you will not find that anywhere outside of
France.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse

Yacht School (formerly Amel School) - Supporting Amel Owners (
http://www.yachtschool.us/ )
720 Winnie St

Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970
My Calendar ( https://preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/p/calendar.html )

Yacht School ( https://preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/ )




Andrew & Kate Lamb
 

However I think positive recommendations on this forum are very useful and have helped me in the past, and should be encouraged - which are of course individual personal opinions and experiences.

Andrew
Ronpische 
SM 472



From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 4:54 pm
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Always check your contractors' work
 
Ken,

IMO, FaceBook or other social media is where people can freely rant unchecked about stuff. I for one prefer this forum to be clear of opinions and criticism (such as I am doing now).

" Open discussion, with honest opinion, with no "political" agenda, that's what I think owners are looking for. " As an owner, this is NOT what I am looking for.




With best regards,

Mark

Skipper
Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275
Currently cruising - Vista Mar, Panama


-----Original Message-----
From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ken Powers SV Aquarius
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 10:33 AM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Always check your contractors' work

Bill,

I agree, maybe this isn't the place to have open honest discussions
about things that happen when working on, or getting your Amel
repaired..  My question is, where is the right place, because I want
to be a member there?

I want to know when someone does a good job, and when someone really
screws up a boat! That's called clout....  If someone messes up my
boat, I am going to put it on YouTube, and I am going to tell everyone
I know what happened... In a way, that helps all Amel owners.

Open discussion, with honest opinion, with no "political" agenda,
that's what I think owners are looking for.  I stand behind everything
I write!  If he had a bad day with me, someone else can back him up,
and tell the rest of the Amel owners how great he is at his job.  You
know, I listened for 10 minutes while he ranted in French screaming at
me!  And, in the end he was totally wrong!  You really want to try to
tell me he knows Climma, or that he is a good manager?   Look, if we
all tip toe around the facts, where shall we go for facts?


Ken Powers
Aquarius
Soon to be in Never Never land

On 8/21/19, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:
> Ken and others interested,
>
> I do not think this forum is a place to criticize any business or person for
> work performed on any Amel.  The reason is that it would be one-sided, and
> we all know that there are at least two sides to every story.
>
> Caraibe Marine and all of its shops in Martinique are owned by Philippe
> LECONTE. I know him very well and if anyone wants help with any problem with
> any of his 8 different shops in Martinique, please ask me. My email address
> is brouse@.... I also know Patrice FOUGEROUSE who manages Caraibe
> Refrigeration for Philippe. I have found him to be very knowledgeable
> regarding Frigoboat and Climma. He has also been very responsive. I also
> know each of the managers that run Philippe's shops.
>
> It is true that anyone can make a mistake, you and I included, and anyone
> can be wrong, but regarding the honesty, integrity, and professionalism of
> Philippe and all of the managers that work for him, I believe they exhibit
> the very high standards.
>
> This year we had the first ever Amel Yacht Owners Rally in Martinique.
> Philippe LECONTE and Caraibe Marine Shops sponsored the rally and bought a
> wonderful dinner for all of the participants. BTW, la Marina du Marin,
> sponsored with reduced rates and other stuff, Carenantilles Yard gave away a
> free haulout to one Rally participant, I gave away 2 of my Amel Books, and
> JP and Stephanie at Caribbean Yacht Sales paid for the drinks at dinner.
>
> I think that Martinique and all of the Martinique businesses I mentioned
> above have created a special place to bring your Amel. In my "circle of the
> world," I found no better place, especially considering the fact that Amel
> has a company owned service facility there. The presence of Amel in
> Martinique also allows for an expert advisor to all Martinique businesses
> that you might deal with. I know for a fact that the businesses I mentioned
> above have a great relationship with Amel and communicate often on specific
> issues that are unique to Amel...you will not find that anywhere outside of
> France.
>
> Best,
>
> CW Bill Rouse
>
> Yacht School (formerly Amel School) - Supporting Amel Owners (
> http://www.yachtschool.us/ )
> 720 Winnie St
>
> Galveston Island, TX 77550
> +1(832) 380-4970
> My Calendar ( https://preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/p/calendar.html )
>
> Yacht School ( https://preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/ )
>
>
>
>