Todd Ayers, Ayers Marine Electronics
Oct 20, 2020 > Electronics & instruments
Ayers Marine cost me a little money but saved me a lot of time and aggravation
I prefer to DIY, but for my electronics upgrade a pro showed me how to simplify my install – sometimes it pays to hire a pro
6 agree
2 disagree
Service providerAyers Marine Electronics Chesapeake, VA USA
REVIEWED BY Alan Jacobson
Reviewer did not receive an incentive to post this review.
27 reviews, 1 follower
Beneteau 40CC Imagine
My 20-year-old Raymarine E80, at left, had been cutting-edge technology when it was introduced 20 years ago, but now it would only impress Fred Flintstone. That’s why Raymarine refers to it as a “classic.” And my 20-year-old analog radar was both kaput and incompatible with the latest digital plotters. So when I decided to go cruising, I knew I needed to update my multi-functon display (MFD), radar, and add AIS. I’ve been doing technical support for a long time and playing with electricity even longer, so I was confident I could pull cable and connect everything, but there were a few installation fine points I couldn’t nail down – such as how to integrate my 20-year-old analog autopilot and my existing GPS antenna with my new digital MFD. But I couldn’t see paying someone to do the parts of the install I thought I could handle. What I wanted was a “consult” with a pro – for which I was willing to pay – and I would provide the muscle. ◉ Tap to add a comment or post a review A friend of mine who cruises a Catalina 42 recommended Todd Ayers of Ayers Marine Electronics. So I gave Ayers Marine a call. I told the woman who answered the phone that I was looking for an estimate on an install. She said she would transfer me. I told the next person I was looking for an estimate to install a Raymarine AIS, Axiom 12 and digital radar. But before I went any further, I asked his name. “Todd,” he said. “Todd Ayers?” I asked. “Yes,” he said. So now I realized I was speaking to the owner. I wasn’t prepared for that, but I was delighted to be in this position because now I knew I was dealing with the decision-maker. I’ve owned my own business for almost 30 years. I know what it’s like to run a small business. Customers always want you to compete on price, but a small business can’t. Here’s why: By its nature, a small business doesn’t make as many sales as a larger business. So a larger business can afford to charge less per transaction – and make less profit per transaction – because it is making more sales. Ultimately, a large business makes more money with volume. The opposite is true of a small business. That’s why I always introduce myself as a small business owner whenever I begin a business relationship, so the person on the other end of the phone knows that I understand why they can’t compete on price. So I was prepared when Todd told me he couldn’t offer the prices I saw online, but he assured me he would take my call whenver I had a problem – a service most discounters don’t offer. So I assured him I wasn’t merely going to pick his brain then order from Amazon. Likewise, Todd understood that I wanted to keep my cost to a minimum, so he agreed to offer me the best price he could on the hardware, and to allow me to do some of the install myself – including hanging the new radome. I hired Ed Gray at $80/hour to hang the radome, while Todd would have charged me $200/hour for two of his guys to handle this task. Ultimately, Todd and his installer, Adam, saved me time and money because they knew I didn’t need to run a cable for an external AIS antenna or integrate my Axiom 12 with my existing GPS antenna. Here’s why: We didn’t need to run a cable to an external AIS antenna because the antenna can receive through one thickness of fiberglass, so we could co-locate the antenna with the AIS below deck. And we didn’t need to integrate the Axiom 12 with my existing GPS antenna, which was 20 feet away on the stern rail, because the Axiom 12 has an internal GPS. Without Todd and Adam, I would have been fishing cable needlessly with Ed, and paying him for the privilege. So that’s the dollars and sense of a professional install. But Todd offered more – something that Amazon and other discounters don’t – someone to call when there’s a problem. And there was a problem – months after the install. I was underway on an ocean passage when the MFD started crashing. As soon as I got a cell signal, I called Todd. He said he wasn’t sure what the problem was, but he was willing to overnight me a brand-new replacement as soon as I got to a marina he could ship to. Ultimately, Todd charged me less than retail but a bit more than Amazon. But he saved me more than the difference by eliminating some needless steps on the install. And he charged me nothing for offering service after the sale. And that is priceless.
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