There are many reasons that motivate people to buy a sailing or motor boat. Generally, emotion plays a central role but many other elements usually affect – or should affect – the purchasing process. One of them is the capacity to offer a good post-sales assistance.
As all owners know very well, boats can easily get broken. After all, they live in salty water and small or big failures are inevitably part of the game.
The reason why boats always get broken in August is obvious: most of owners, in fact, use them in this period and the difference between a well-organized shipyard and an imprepared one is huge in this respect.
We have decided to test them. Because of her age, our Daydreamer often needs some repairs. More specifically, we had to replace a pair of bilge pumps and repair the small pantry’s wooden door, heavily stressed by our demanding crossings.
Course of events and works carried out
We dial the number of Rio Yachts Assistance Centre in Sardinia, the Continental Marine of Agleintu, a village situated between Santa Teresa di Gallura an Castelsardo. Ugo Soldi ( his surname – Money in English- made us a little scared) is the official dealer of the shipyard for Sardinia. The telephone rings and we area little worried since we know very well how we’re generally welcomed in August. Very surprisingly, on the contrary, Ugo answers and listens to us!
We explain our needs, insisting a little on the bilge pumps ( to tell the truth, one of them is perfectly working and we have no safety problems), we add that we’re sailing in the archipelago and we haven’t chosen a port yet.
Ugo replies very peacefully and proposes to come on board on the following day. Moreover, he offers to phone the Port of Santa Teresa di Gallura to check availability and book a berth for us. At this point, we need to pinch ourselves because, maybe, we’re dreaming.
We clearly answer yes. Santa Teresa di Gallura is indeed a municipal port situated in the Strait of Bonifacio offering the lowest rates in this stretch of coast. After some minutes, Ugo phones us back: he has made a two-day reservation from the following day. So, we set up an appointment for the next day.
On the following day, after mooring, we meet Ugo. He immediately makes us feel comfortable, he’s a calm pragmatic person. We show him our bilge pumps and he takes some photos with his smartphone to acquire their features. The appointment is for the following day at about 11:00. Meanwhile, mistral is coming and he has to move some boats for safety reasons, otherwise, he says with a smile, ” they’ll go down!”.
We decide to not ask for an estimate to make our test realistic, we say goodbye to him and he goes away.
Surprisingly, on the following morning, Ugo comes in time with Nicola, his assistant. They climb on board and start to dismantle everything.
As for the bilge pumps, Ugo and Nicola immediately find the reason of the failure: we’ve a sea cock blocked. They disassemble, free and put it back into place. The replacement of the two bilge pumps continues with the system cleaning, repositioning and testing. Everything is working now.
We also ask them to take a look at the shower drain pump that doesn’t work. In this case, too, the reason of the failure has been found and solved with no problem. On board, we also have a watertight bowl with embedded pump that has got broken. Ugo invents a solution to avoid replacing it and manages to insert a new pump into the bowl.
Now, it’s the turn of the pantry door, whose main function is to preserve food and drinks while sailing. One of its two hinges has bent over and its self-tapping screws have been eradicated from the wood. Very patiently, the joint is straightened and the two screws replaced by two new models with greater length and size.
Meanwhile, we remember that our stainless steel tank positioned under the dinette sofa has its thread damaged. Ugo and Nicola take a look and realize that one of the nuts has been badly screwed, which has ruined the thread. Very patiently, this problem, too, is successfully solved.
It’s late in the afternoon and it’s time for us to get the bill.
Ugo does his calculations and asks 250 euros for labour and 480 euros for the three pumps (two for the bilge and one for the shower drain). The total price is therefore 730 euros, VAT included.
Conclusions and feedback
The Continental Marine and Ugo are a real miracle. They carried out works in about 6 hours, the price is honest and, above all, they’ve tried to avoid us spending crazy prices for unnecessary replacements (shower system).
Considering we’re in Sardinia in August and that we’ve simulated a bilge pump failure, the price is not only honest but also quite affordable.
Rio Yachts has chosen a serious reliable – and even kind – dealer. We recommend it both for emergencies and winter works and repairs.
Continental Marine Sas di Ugo Soldi
Via Stazzo Campesi 118/C, 07020 Aglientu OT