And then, without warning, MultiTech fired the manufacturer.
So, our boat is a big boat. So much so, that when we went on our first solo sail with limited experience, we knew bow thrusters would be in our future. While we were cruising the Bahamas, we researched options, reaching out to manufacturers, and decided on adding the JetThruster system to Seamlessly.
We planned for a quick stop-and-go refit, which turned into a much bigger undertaking. Our initial plan was to get to Fort Lauderdale for a few weeks and have MultiTech remount our windlass and convert one of our big winches to electric. In case you aren’t up to speed with boating jargon, the windlass is the winch that pulls up the anchor. Because of our very good experience working with Gerald Webb at MultiTech, we thought it would make sense to tackle another big project; adding two bow and two stern thrusters to our catamaran. We also had MultiTech working on adding cabinets, polishing the boat, repainting the bottom of the boat, replacing zincs, get custom fridge-freezer gaskets, and a few other bits.
When Gerald Webb from MultiTech mentioned having experience with the JetThruster system, it solidified our decision even more.
We’d had an existing relationship with JetThrusters, having worked with them for awhile figuring out what system would work best, they offered to give us a great deal on the parts, and we were excited to move forward.
This is when things started to go sideways.
Alex Miller, the MultiTech Operations Manager, went back and forth with us on invoicing, charging us more for parts than JetThrusters had set the price to, pocketing the difference and not being honest with us on that fact. In a conversation where we were weary about their ask to pay them the full amount before the project started – we were paying by check and they wanted the full amount beforehand – Gerald said, “if we can’t trust each other, we shouldn’t be doing business with each other”. We agreed – Gerald is a stand up guy and goes to great lengths to ensure the customer is happy.
The caveat was that we wanted JetThruster on the boat at all times, helping with the instal because Alex had made it very clear that their team had no idea how to instal the system and needed the guidance.
We wrote the check, $56,986 USD and braced ourselves for a large project.
On the JetThruster side, we worked with Andrew Banks; incredible stand-up guy, who put in the parts order for the components and provided us with an estimated delivery date of April 17 or 18, 2019 — recommending a haulout date of Monday, April 21.
Alex Miller, scheduled to have us hauled out on Monday, April 15. We raised our concerns with Alex, reminding him that Andrew had said that the parts wouldn’t come in until Friday, and that JetThruster couldn’t have guys on the ground until April 21.