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Skipper Electronics

Old 01-24-2003, 09:17 PM
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A few years back I bought a fish finder from a mail order company called "skipper electronics" I can't find them on the net. Anyone know what happened to them?
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Old 01-25-2003, 04:55 AM
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I remember them...they were one of the first; with a great catalog that educated you...like they were really helping you out. I learned a lot from them. The downside was that they were never even close to the lowest price. I have not heard of them for years. Good question.

"Never enough time to do it right; ALWAYS enough time to do it over." Boston Whaler, "MUMBLER", 24' Outrage (1996), twin 175 HP Evinrude Ocean Pros.
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Old 01-25-2003, 05:12 AM
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They were an interesting company. They folded about 2 years ago and I for one missed them. What got them was over expansion (opened up about a half a dozen retail outlets around the country in places that could not support them) that began when the founder retired and handed over the company to number one son as I understand it.

They were certainly expensive, and then they were more than willing to jack up an already high price by offering services that became less and less necessary as time went by. What they did was offer to fine tune every single device that went out the door, as well as offer additional moisture protection (put packs of silica gel inside of devices) for some sort of astronomical fee. Of course if a person decided to pay the fee they also increased the warranty time, so it actually may have been a pretty good deal in some ways. They maintained an army of skilled repair personell so they were well equiped to take care of anything that ever came back.

What I very much liked about their mail order operation (which is what they should have stuck to) was that the limited the lineup of stuff they sold to equipment that they felt was of high quality (without reguard to price) and would drop and add items from their lineup every year and in each year's catalog tell you why. That is one of the things that was unique abuot them. If a company started slipping on their quality Skipper would drop them and tell you about the quality problems. They did something else too, they rated every item they sold interms of quality. They were not a bit bashful about telling you that something in their lineup was not the world's best, but possibly a pretty good deal for the money if you were hard up for cash. See of West Marine does that anytime soon.

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Old 01-25-2003, 05:20 AM
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I share Thom's somewhat positive recollection of Skipper. I bought a package of stuff from them about 10 years ago and they were extremely helpful in their advice on installation. If you pushed them, they would price match, so I don;t feel I paid too much. But you really had to stay away from their "extra services". I remember they were especially big on "frequency matching" transducers. Supposedly, the crystal resonance differed from transducer to transducer and the sounder had to be "tuned" to match. I asked Si-Tex about this in connection with buying a CV-106 and they said it was completely pontless because the sounders were able to accomodate some frequency variation with no performance impact.

Although it is nice to have places that have techs to do repairs, so far my experience is that you are always better off sending the unit back to the factory. Every time I have done this, the factory has performed all the repairs for free (even out of warranty) and thrown in free upgrades that a repair shop would never do. Maybe I am just lucky, but it seems that others have this experience too.
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Old 01-25-2003, 06:16 AM
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They were also somewhat of a scam. Many of the "modifications" they did to justify their higher price were impossible. (pre-calibrating logs, tuning a gps)
The owner didn't retire he actually died and his widow wasn't really interested in keeping up the business. When they started to close their stores is when they started to go down the tubes.
Now for a REAL shocker for those of you who bought into their ratings......while much might have been true, the ratings were based on cooperation with the manufacturer. This I know as fact since I have 3 close friends who have worked there including someone very close to the founder.
They would threaten to downgrade ratings if a manufacturer didn't cough up cooperative funds. When they rated a product "best buy" it was theirs, not yours.
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Old 01-25-2003, 09:29 AM
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There's a name from the past. Bought a VHF from them about 10 years ago, probably paid too much, but had no trouble with it. I'm not sure if the 'fine tuning' they did was a scam or not, as I never had to take it back. If I'm not mistaken, the guy who bought my boat is still using the same radio.

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Old 01-25-2003, 09:59 AM
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There prices were high but they knew everything about there merchandise,they were pretty sharpe.They had a store about 15 miles from where I lived.They had a great display you could go in and play with any thing there you desired.Could of been just here in LA area but the sales people knew how to operate all the equipment to the last detail.Since there prices were so high I believe most guys went it there to just look because they had such a large displayand the were very curtious.JMO

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Old 01-25-2003, 10:10 AM
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I guess I should have mentioned that the people in the 2 stores I knew were well informed and quite professional. Many are still around at other dealers.

My only point was their "rating system" and pre-calibration were somewhat fictitious. Loosing their stores is what did them in. You can't justify high price when your a catalog, but the personal service at the sytores was worth extra.
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