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Anchorlift Windlass Problems

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by SeaEric, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    I wanted to warn everyone about a bad experience with Anchorlift windlass warranty and support.

    In June 2013 I purchased a new, in the box Anchorlift Dolphin 1012C Windlass on ebay from ebay seller Gulfstream Marine in Clearwater, Florida. All went smoothly with the transaction and delivery. I had the windlass professionally installed in July 2013. Now, three months later the windlass is getting quite stained with rust spots. The construction is reportedly 316L stainless, which should most likely not get rusty in 3 months (on the upper Chesapeake - in nearly fresh water) The boat is kept in a covered shed slip.

    Anchorlift says: 5-year factory warranty applies only to products purchased through authorized ANCHORLIFT dealer. This was a reply from "Roy" their technical manager in Norway.

    I can't seem to find any "authorized" Anchorlift dealers in the US except their own USA office in Largo, Florida. Their website offers a phone number which goes to voicemail, and a "yahoo" email address which no one seems to check. There is a note on their website that states: Please check back soon for more convenient purchasing options.

    Gulfstream Marine says: This unit was sold discounted and without warranty as described on ebay. I use to represent anchorlift as a dealer before anchorlift decided to import their products directly to the US. Sorry, I couldn't be more help but there is nothing else I can offer you.

    Original ebay listing (still available online) makes no mention of there being no warranty.

    BUYER BEWARE. Here are photos of the 3 month old rusty Anchorlift windlass.

    Attached Files:

  2. MysticDolphin

    MysticDolphin Member

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    why i dont use ebay... like to be able to have someone to grab when something becomes a piece of junk.
  3. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Yep, I always enjoy (and instill) the thought of reaching out to touch somebody when a deal goes south. Up-bringin from da swamp.
  4. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Apparently whatever took place with Anchorlift left a lot of surplus product floating around the U.S. Right now there are 135 listings on E-bay, mostly by surplus dealers.

    Interesting that at the same address of Gulfstream is Nautilus Marine. Both show ownership by same person. Also that person is an inventor of things like windlasses apparently and Nautilus is a company of anchoring systems. So, it would appear that at some point they started selling their own product.

    There are many companies in the US that sell Anchorlift products including large ones like West Marine. Their web site only lists distributors.

    Frankly, I wouldn't drop the matter so easily. Try the Vancouver number and see what happens there. I'd point out that you had no way of knowing Gulfstream was no longer a distributor and that the matter of who you purchased it from really has no relevance to what has taken place. That is was a product they manufactured and it is within the five years. Did the original paperwork come with it? Any warranty information?

    One other thing I'd point out. Apparently there is some widespread problem and you're not an exception. Given the surplus being sold on ebay doesn't surprise me. Maybe the US surplus was supposed to be returned or not exist. But the reason I say this is they put the disclaimer bigger and bolder than anything else in the warranty section on the front of their website. That is highly unusual as it's normally a fine print item and not normally a big concern. Tells me they know there is some substandard product floating around. Whole thing with Gulfstream sounds suspicious but Anchorlift is certainly not helping themselves regardless of what has taken place.

    They have very poor legal standing in refusing to service you as the fact Gulfstream was no longer their dealer has no real relevance to the problem. Just perhaps the fact they are now bitter enemies. (That is assuming Gulfsteam didn't use parts they had and make these themselves.).

    As to E-bay, one does have to be very careful about new items that should have warrantees as manufacturers will refuse simply because they want to control their channels of distribution. So it becomes important to determine who is selling. Are they a current retailer or selling surplus?

    I've had great results on ebay purchasing collectibles. Simple to examine on delivery and then it's all done. As to new products and things like software I'm generally more skeptical. Long ago bought a cell phone for a friend there and it was fine.

    Edit: Upon further investigation, apparently manufactured by Bada in China and sold under many names. Nautilus may be importing from same company under their name. Quick is another brand. Tangled web. Sounds like you're the victim of a bitter divorce unfortunately.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  6. franzmerenda

    franzmerenda Senior Member

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    Sorry to see what did happen to you; thank you very much to sharing this as a warn.
    We more often and, not only here, should advertise bad quality products and/or bad sellers behaviors; it might be, buyers wouldn't be considered only as numbers! :mad:
  7. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. This thread is now the second result in a Google search for "anchorlift windlass problems". Yachtforums is a powerful resource. Thanks for helping to get the word out. And - Thanks Carl!
  8. DMS

    DMS New Member

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    The flip side of this that some of us can only afford to buy these products from Ebay. The Anchorlift windlass is a dynamite product and it is affordable. The only way that the windlass pictured could have rusted like that is from applying On-Off or some other mild acid solution while cleaning the boat. I have never seen 316 Stainless develop circular rust spots from normal seawater.

    You buy a product from Ebay for the price. If you need a 5 year warranty for a windlass then you have to pay for the warranty. Of course a suit from Norway is going to disparage an Ebay seller since they are cutting into his bottom line. At the very least this forum should be labeled "misleading complaints about a great product".
  9. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    This coming from an Anchorlift dealer who sells these products on eBay! :confused:
  10. DMS

    DMS New Member

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    But you have to consider the whole story here if you are going to take sides. Look at the photo and tell me if you have ever seen 316 stainless steel corrode like that from normal use. You cannot blame a manufacturer after careless mistreatment of the product. I am not a dealer. I buy and sell marine products.
  11. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    The Anchorlift windlass in the photo was three months old at the time. The boat is kept in brackish water on the upper Chesapeake Bay IN A COVERED SHED boat slip. This particular Anchorlift windlass was not mistreated, it was not even left out in the weather, it was NOT touched with chemicals - ever. I have since polished it with NevrDull to try and remove the rust, but the rust keeps coming back. It's clear enough that there is some "316 stainless" that is anything but. I'll post a few more recent photos of the subject Anchorlift windlass. As of now, it's still on my boat.

    It's good that you have revived this two year old thread. This will make it pop up even sooner in a Google search.

    Edit: Here are a few photos from last season. The condition of my almost 50 year old boat makes that rusty Anchorlift windlass look even worse. I'll get some current close-ups of the windlass and post them here.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
  12. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Please forgive him for he knows nothing of what he sells, where it came from, nor knows when to speak.
    It was a dead dawg till he brought it up again.
  13. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    The fact that it has rusted like this must surely raise the idea in even the most biased of supporters that maybe the shiny stuff they see is not what it is claimed to be.
  14. Martin Buxton

    Martin Buxton New Member

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    It seems clear Sea Eric purchased a cheap China copied knock off from E Bay. China has no rating system for stainless i.e. #304 /#316 etc. Stainless means "Stains Less" in China. As a professional I have procured & installed 5 Anchorlift products over the past 6 years all from Port Supply, the contractor segment of West Marine, every unit to date looks & performs today as they did 6 years ago. Unlike Sea Eric the systems we installed live outside & no cover. So far Anchorlift products have proven to be a lot of bang for your $ & rival the looks of Maxwell, pull just as strong & draw less amps for a lot less $.
  15. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    Hi Martin, Welcome to YachtForums.

    So, I'm curious to know: The Anchorlift windlass products that you purchased through Port Supply - Where were they produced? If not in China, then where? The one that I purchased off ebay sure looked like the real deal, ie packaging, paperwork, etc. If it wasn't genuine Anchorlift, then they went to a whole lot of trouble to make it look like it was. I even ordered the Anchorlift wireless remote at the same time from the same ebay vendor. It all looks authentic and I guess it works ok as intended. It's just a crappy quality finish IMHO.

    Thanks for keeping this thread alive. It sure pops up early in a Google search. Turns out it's a good attraction for encouraging new YachtForums members. Win-win.
  16. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Please forgive him for he knows nothing of what he sells, where it came from, nor knows when to speak.
    It was a dead dawg till he brought it up again.
    Again..
  17. Martin Buxton

    Martin Buxton New Member

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    Eric, thanks for the reception to YachtForum. To answer your question RE; where do Anchorlifts come from? Oslo Norway, Norway uses the same metallurgy index as the U S for stainless & in Anchorlifts case the 300 series specifically 316. Of all the 300 series 316 possesses the lowest % of carbon & iron which is why it's so desirable in the marine environment. Mirror polishing any series of stainless closes the pores thus reducing the tendency to rust. A mirror polished part fabricated from true 316 stainless wouldn't show even 10% of the rust on your Anchorlift in 3 decades let alone 3 months! I don't know what you paid for your Dolphin series but currently the MSRP is $1,280 USD, the current Port Supply discount yields a net of appx. $860 USD not including any applicable state & local sales tax, no FRT. CHGS. West Marine / Port Supply operates 280 retail locations throughout the U S including Canada & Puerto Rico, these locations are supported by 2 major warehouse facilities in Calif. & Fla., they are the largest marine retailer in the world at this time consequently their purchasing power affords them to deal directly with the manufacturer, their not dealers buying from a distributer, they are the distributer! Based on these facts I'm fairly confident the last 5 Anchorlift products we've supplied came from Oslo Norway & not China or Taiwan, hope this helps.
  18. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    I'm learning a little more about where my Anchorlift Windlass came from. It's becoming clear that olderboater's analysis above is spot on.
  19. strongfinish

    strongfinish Member

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    Any updates on your pursuing of retribution?

    Free BUMP
  20. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    Retribution was not my pursuit with this thread. I wanted my fellow yachtsmen to be aware of information that I discovered the hard way. As of today, there is still self described "closeout" Anchorlift windlass product being offered for sale on ebay, and I'm sure in other internet venues. This merchandise may or may not be of the quality one might expect from this brand name; including but not limited to materials, finish, warranty or performance. Unsuspecting purchasers should be aware of this potential.

    As far as my own situation with my still rusty Anchorlift windlass, I was contacted back in February 2016 by the current owner of the Anchorlift brand. He reached out to me by PM on this forum. We had a very nice conversation on the phone where he did his best to try and explain where my windlass came from. There were apparently some unfortunate circumstances surrounding a warehouse full of inferior quality display product, he says "never intended to be sold" that made it's way to the market. This gentleman did offer to replace my Anchorlift windlass with a new one. He promised that the past problems with Anchorlift are in the past and that the company is doing quite well and producing and marketing good quality products under his leadership. I certainly wish him all the best.

    He did imply that this YachtForums thread was not helpful to his business. As a member here I am in neither a position to remove this thread nor edit my prior comments. The thread stands. I chose not to accept his offer of a replacement Anchorlift windlass. There was no quid pro quo expected or received.

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