Do you have a used Monitor?
Did you purchase a boat with a Monitor already on it? Just buy a used Monitor? Need a manual to understand it? Contact us; we can supply a manual for a nominal cost, and of course, advice is free.
Buying a Used Monitor
Hans Bernwall, the owner of Scanmar, has often said that "used Monitors are our biggest competitors". We're always ready to help the purchaser of a used unit, but there are some factors which should be taken into account when thinking of buying one. Hans has written an article on the subject:
WHAT ABOUT USED MONITORS?
The second hand value of a product is one of the best guides to how good a product really is. When a used Monitor is advertised it is often sold the same day and often to a price that is almost 60% of a brand new unit. This is a very nice compliment to us, the manufacturer, but it also puts us in a dilemma because the end result sometimes has a few surprises for the buyers. We want to keep the surprises to a minimum and we therefore like to point out what you should look for when buying a used Monitor.
The first Monitor was made in 1973 in a garage in Southern California. At a first glance today’s Monitor might look the same but it is a completely different product that has benefited from the feedback of thousands of cruising sailors. We were also heavily involved in the BOC/Around Alone for almost two decades. Here we had the benefit to get invaluable feedback within nine months from hard single-handed racing in the Monitor laboratory, the Southern Ocean, as well as light weather sailing when no motor was allowed.
Almost every part has had design changes. About 40 changes have occurred since the early years and here are some of the major improvements:
- The material is now 316L stainless steel instead of 304 (all parts).
- The strut guard was added to the main frame for strength and impact protection.
- The pinion and ring gears were redesigned and made by investment casting 316L stainless steel.
- The hinge and latch were completely redesigned in many stages.
- The pendulum was redesigned in stages.
- The water paddle was redesigned in stages.
- The safety tube was redesigned.
- The roller bearings were redesigned.
- The connecting rod was redesigned.
- The course control shaft and pulley were redesigned in stages.
- A new light airvane was developed.
- The shape and material of the standard airvane were changed.
- All the blocks were redesigned and made in-house.
- New minimum stretch Spectra pendulum rope was custom-developed for use in the Monitor.
- Both upper and lower mounting brackets were redesigned (fewer mounting holes and easier installation, at no cost to strength).
- Lower tube end fittings were redesigned.
- Bearing material was changed.
- Hinge block was redesigned.
- A stiffening gusset was added to the airvane clamp on the weldment assembly.
- A new tiller attachment was developed.
- A new wheel adaptor that fits on either side of the wheel was developed.
These are the major changes through the years. The real challenge in redesigning a product is to make sure that all older Monitors still can be serviced with existing parts. We have managed to meet this challenge but sometimes a slight “massage” can be necessary to fit a new part to a very old Monitor.
Because of the many changes through the years we suggest that you always find out the serial number of the unit before buying it. Then you should contact us at the factory and find out what we know about the unit.
Because of the exposed location at the very end of the boat you should make sure that the “bargain Monitor” you just found has not been in a collision with a boat, dock or pier. Check paragraph 5.4.4 in the online Monitor Manual and find out how you can spot collision damage. We suggest that you go about the process just as you were buying a used car. Try to look for proper alignment and make sure that all the parts are moving freely. The most trustworthy seller in world may be convinced that it has never been hit but unless the seller never left the boat he really would not know. And never buy a used windvane without inspecting it personally.
A damaged Monitor can be fixed most of the time because stainless can be bent, welded and cut. However, if you buy a used, damaged Monitor and pay top dollars you could later find that the end result is that your “bargain Monitor” has cost you more than a brand new Monitor, and your ”bargain” Monitor is 20 years old and has gone twice around the world.
You should also remember that a brand new Monitor comes with a custom designed and fabricated mounting system at no extra charge. With a used Monitor you might not be able to modify the existing mounting system and a new mounting system may have to be purchased. We suggest that you consult our online Parts Price List to get an idea what this could cost you.