Our boats are an investment, an investment in our enjoyment and leisure time on the water. Nothing ruins boating enjoyment more than an equipment breakdown or systems that do not do what they were designed to do.

For most of us (us included), our mechanics and other marine trades people are essential. We rely on their expertise to select reliable equipment, install it properly, and maintain it.

Emerald Harbor Marine is one of the premier vessel systems and service providers in our are. They commission many new Nordhavn’s, and also work on a variety of boats with the mantra of “Right for You, Right for Your Boat”.

For systems installation and repair, the process starts with a customer’s list of what they want or what needs to be fixed. Larry Schildwachter, president of Emerald Harbor Marine at Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle, says, “We focus first on getting to know the customer and how they like to run and manage their boat when out cruising. By knowing the customer, we can spec and install the right systems for them. If, unfortunately, something does fail, we know how we can talk the customer through the problem. There are often ways we can manually get a system, such as a watermaker, running again. By knowing the customer we know how much we can do by phone. If necessary, we will send one of our technicians to the boat with parts via floatplane. We do what we have to do to resolve a customer’s problem.”


An Emerald Harbor Marine tech tests an electronics upgrade.


Emerald Harbor Marine installed this array of antennas on a new Nordhavn.

The initial installation of a system is also critical. An installation at Emerald Harbor Marine is well documented with drawings, schematics, and photos. Again, troubleshooting is simplified when both parties are looking at the same thing. “We recently had a long-term customer who was in the process of purchasing a brokerage boat. We knew, from his previous boats, how he likes his boats set up and what systems he preferred. We flew down to Southern California before the sale was completed to review the systems and prepare a plan and a quote to set the boat up the way he and his wife wanted it. They now have a nav and communications system they like, a watermaker and clothes washing capability they wanted for extended cruising on the boat and we are there to assist him if something does fail,” explained Schildwachter.

Putting the customer first are words often said by different systems companies. Emerald Harbor Marine has a process and a plan where systems are designed and engineered for the customer’s needs, built right, and installed and documented for an ongoing relationship with the customer.

Mark Bunzel

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