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Old 05-12-2015, 05:29 AM
  #11  
Marine Electronics Repair
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bradenton Florida
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Almost daily, I get a call from someone with a middle aged Garmin, Lowrance or Simrad unit seeking repair services. They come to me because they've found out - to their unhappy surprise - that the manufacturer no longer supported their product. They really get angry when I tell them that I cannot help them either because the manufacturer does not sell parts or even schematics - to independent repair companies. The conversation usually ends with the customer vowing to never buy from that manufacturer again.

While I can fully appreciate and understand the manufacturers perspective - a short lived service policy CLEARLY violates the FIRST commandment of business: "Thou shall NOT piss of thy customer!".

Modern marine electronic systems can cost you a good chunk of change, and long term service and support should also enter into your thinking before your pull the trigger on a purchase. Garmin makes great, innovative easy to use gear, and if you're the type who buys new toys fairly regularly, you'll likely never be unhappy. If your 7 year old Garmin system should need repair, you will probably have no choice but to buy a used unit on eBay or grit your teeth and buy something new. Raymarine also makes great, innovative easy to use gear, but in most cases their service and support time span is significantly longer. For example - they still service 10 year old C and E classic equipment. Furuno is probably king of the hill when it comes to service longevity - AND you can usually get them serviced locally. For guys who like and want to keep their gear, or cannot afford new toys or don't want to endure a steep learning curve that comes with a new unit, this can become an important issue.