Bad Experiences

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Last updated 2022 09 02

Warning

The laws against defamation, non-disclosure etc. are so smart that you cannot publish the truth even if you bring proofs. If you want details, names, proofs or advice, contact us privately.

Air travel

Airport police/customs: crazy confiscation

2017 – Traveling from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Bilbao (Spain) with LATAM and Iberia. Somebody confiscated splicing needles (tools for ropes, the ¨needles¨ have no sharp tip). Within a plastic tube, 5 needles, they just left the thickest. Wow, I feel like a terrorist.

Crews to avoid

The psychotic, violent crew armed with a knife

Josu G.T. has a lot of sailing experience (fishing captain, yacht, captain, charter in the Mediterranean Sea etc.) and a high self esteem. However, during a navigation in Antarctica he did not stand the pressure and became psychotic and violent. Armed with a big knife. In the middle of Antarctica. Indeed, this is nothing like sailing with tourists in the Mediterranean Sea… full story.

The manipulative cinderella

Céline D. was hanging around Micalvi. I took here aboard Sonabia for a Cape Horn expedition: she offered to design a flyer in exchange. No need for a flyer but I supposed she had no money. Wrong. A few days later she negotiated a trip to Antarctica on a sailboat for 1850 euros. She could have paid easily her trip to Cape Horn.

Providers to avoid

Stalok (UK) – unresponsive and liars

They build swageless terminals for boat rigging and sell them worldwide. Their web site claims that they are responsive. In 2015, they left us waiting in Uruguay for a spare part until they were absolutely absolutely absolutely sure that the money was on they bank account. Note that we were already one of their customers. Instead of the truth we got a lot of ¨diplomatic¨ excuses (i.e. lies). Read the story here.

Nauticom (France): large scale scammers

We bought online iridium prepaid cards in 2016. Never delivered or refunded. We got our money back 10 months later in August 2017 by means of a Court Order (minus the bayliff fees). In fact Nauticom scammed a lot of customers (for small purchases, they did not deliver the goods and did not refund).

Nauticom went under judicial dissolution on October 2017. However, the owner of this scam company is still in business. The name is Samy Aoudia (screen company K2 international). He owns several companies that are still active: Watteo, Kamosis etc.

SVB Marine (France- Germany): 3 payments for a returned item

We bought a device online (2021). Something went wrong. The first payment was reversed immediately, and we paid again, this time by bank transfer. Ups! they charged again the credit card without permission, Somebody in France never admitted the error so we returned the item.

Result: 3 payments for a returned item. The second payment was returned but the third one was lost in space. Finally, after more than five weeks, somebody in Germany admitted the error and we were refunded. FYI, we bought the item elsewhere. Cheaper.

Workshops to avoid

Itxas Argi Nautika ( Hendaye): How to screw a sail drive and say nothing

I brought them the sail drive of Sonabia for revision and a change of seals. Result: after one month at sea, the sail drive did not function properly: the clutch was slipping. Two years later the sail drive failed on the way to Cape Horn. We found that one of the fixation studs was useless. The mechanic did a permanent damage to the thread in the engine block, said nothing and hid it with sikaflex. Total cost of the repair in Puerto Williams above 3000 euros.

There are other ¨good¨ references about this workshop but I can only tell you privately.