Tale of Three Belts!
John & Irene Hunt
Thu 21 Aug 2008 20:28
Lamen Bay, Epi, Vanuatu. 16:36S 168:09E
You will recall that we were delayed in Bora Bora for a couple of days waiting delivery of a replacement belt for the Facnor furler on the genoa. We had gone to great trouble to order them through New Zealand, who then ordered them from Italy and they finally got to us in Bora Bora. What was delivered was four replacements kits. Two for Storyteller and two for Southern Princess. Each kit contained a drive belt, the driving pulley, a tensioning pulley and a receiving pulley, an allen key and replacement bolts and screws with detailed instructions on fitting all wrapped up in a sealed plastic bag. Remember we had just asked for replacement belts. Each kit cost NZ$498.00 plus NZ$368 for DHL a total of some NZ$2360.00 for four replacement belts!
A few days later the newly installed belt shredded and I replaced it with the spare one from the kit. Now I was down to no spares so inspected and photographed the belt I was installing. It was made in the United Kingdom and it is really just a timing belt like millions installed in cars around the world. Emailed my mate Brian Molloy who could not find the manufacturer however he spoke with Facnor UK and managed to have them deliver a spare belt only. The cost GBP98 for the belt and GBP60 making a total cost of GBP158 or about triple for NZ dollars so about NZ$450 for the belt delivered! Boy this is getting very expensive!
Neither John Gilder or me really understood the great cost of these belts as they are as common as muck in the automotive world. JG had a crew man who had returned to Australia and JG contacted him with belt numbers and details. No problem the Poggi belt supplied by Facnor was readily available in Australia, normally, however they had some on back order which would take a few days, however they had another more expensive brand, Optibelt which they could let us have immediately. Cost? For the Poggi A$18 each and for the more expensive Optibelt A$22.00!!!! Or about NZ$25 each!!!
Talk about a rip off for the first two Tales!