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Date: 4 February 2015. Silent Lessons.

[Posted late because of bandwidth issues.]

An online discussion recent occurred and it has relevance to those making purchases of expensive gear, up to and including live-aboard boats. Parts of the conversation are also valid when hiring expertise. The original gent asked how to know which yacht was the best. Because he will become a first-time trawler owner he wasn't  sure how to determine value, nor indeed if the boat he wanted would suit his purposes.

Thereafter a lively discussion about the practicalities of hiring boat brokers ensued. One captain had particularly good advice.

Bill Watson on TrawlerForum wrote: "Ask a lot of questions and deploy the power of silence after you get an initial answer. The urge to fill the silence is sometimes overwhelming, and you may find out things the owner originally had no intention of telling you."

Bill's a wise man. His method is one I've used to my advantage on a number of occasions...

For instance, when it came time to buy a windlass for Seaweed I wanted to know which brand was better. Only two were within my budget and would fit in the spot allocated on the foredeck for said unit.

Even then I ended up having to move my Samson post aft. It's now raised on a lovely chunk of mahogany gifted to me by Linda's fellow Bob Guthrie. (They have a really cool Egg Harbor named Sportin' Wood.)
 

 


I was fortunate in that just previously I Wanda had paid to have their windlass rebuilt. They'd been cruising and after returning to the United States wanted a professional to go over the older unit on their sailboat.  Christian's wife Mary (onboard I Wanda) shared the name of the company they had used in West Palm Beach, Florida. I called the business on the telephone.
 

Out here, folks are often referred to by the name of their boat. I cannot tell you how many cell phones I'm listed in as Seaweed Janice. It's the way things are.

Thus, pick a decent (not lewd) name for your boat. Thank you.


Two units, both from reputable companies, fit my boat.
I did not ask the repair professional which windlass was best.
 

Instead, I asked which he'd prefer to rebuild. He told me how wonderful both brands were. I kept quiet. Eventually he stated my Lewmar had a type of gearing that was important to the longevity of the windlass when used heavily.

That's why I picked Lewmar though if I'd said anything prior to his rambling comments at the end? Well, I would be no smarter than at the beginning of the conversation.
 

Asking questions is important but even more so is listening to the complete answer.


When you have a major purchase, how do you determine which product to buy?
Do you shop via price, quality or something else entirely?

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