S/V Leander Letter


S/V LEANDER
8 Melvin Avenue
Lynn, Massachusetts 01902
United States of America
1 781 592 3808
baran@post.harvard.edu
www.sailingleander.com

2 January 2013

Dear Cater Marine:

Resting here in London, having nearly completed our circumnavigation, I write to thank Cater Marine for all the help provided us during our journey. I can say without exaggeration that we have found no other chandlery better suited to meet the needs of cruising sailors.

It has been several years since we spent the southern hemisphere summer of 2008-09 in Opua. Our project list was as long as our arms, as we wrote about in our blog at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/leander/?xjMsgID=94785.)

Cater and Bob Fassio couldn’t have been better partners, the opposite of the know-nothing chandlers we often encounter. A fellow cruiser, Bob always understood our desire to fix things properly without wasting money, to avoid the need for flash gear when a simple solution could be found, to do things by ourselves when we could, and to find the right professional when we couldn’t.

Cater consistently helped find the right solution, even if it meant less money in their pockets and more in ours.

“Nah, you don’t need a new one. The part that you have was built thirty years ago, and they don’t make them like that anymore. All you need is a little bit of epoxy.” Or some new machine screws. Or some No. 8 cable. Or a piece of teak.

Sometimes the help was beyond what could be expected of a chandler. For example, we needed a peculiarly-sized boat hook to replace one that had broken in the Pacific. Finding nothing appropriate in the catalogs, Cater gave us at no charge a used one that was “laying around.” It was a perfect fit. When we needed a step-down transformer, to adapt the 220 volt shore power in New Zealand to our 110 boat system, Cater lent us one at no cost, “until you figure out just what you want.” We used it for months. When we needed to fashion an eye-splice at the end of our stainless steel center-board wire cable, Bob came to our boat on the weekend “during his free time,” and swaged the wire for us, teaching us as he did so.

Of course, not everything was free. We purchased volumes of stuff from the shop, from ground tackle to paints to electronics, and became increasingly confident that Cater was giving us fair deals on quality equipment, a confidence that has only increased as we have continued our travels.

When we left, we kept Bob’s email and telephone number handy, and I have emailed and called him regularly, because I know that he’ll either have an honest, thoughtful, and quick answer to my problem, or refer me to someone else who does.

The examples here are also numerous. In April 2010, when we were in Indonesia, he found a tech to help troubleshoot a failed VHF radio, and later helped us find identify the appropriate replacement antenna. In October 2010, when we were in Turkey, he found a part number for a new impellor on a very old macerator pump, and then antifouling paint compatible with the product we’d applied in New Zealand. In March of 2011, he consulted with us about how big of a bus bar we needed to serve as a common ground for our boat. In July of that year, he gave us insight about replacement refrigeration systems. In September 2012, in France, he spoke to us about sizing a heater for the boat.

We left the shores of New Zealand a long, long time ago, but our relationship with Cater continues to be one of the most valuable we have formed on this trip.

Folks should know about the value of your services, Post this letter for them to see, Cater. Certainly, you’ve made our journey a lot smoother

Paul Robertson & Sima Baran

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  • Eno
  • Icom
  • Raymarine
  • Nautilus Braids
  • Furuno
  • Harken
  • Fusion
  • Rocna
  • Profurl
  • Johnson Pumps
  • Shimano
  • Martek
  • Jabsco
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