Maui Jim…Aloha*

No Tilley Hat and pre-duct tape, but you get the idea

John and I have been ardent fans of Maui Jim sunglasses for many years and many pairs. Their glasses get ever lighter in weight and more comfortable and their lenses get ever better at cutting glare on the water (we prefer their super-thin polarized glass lenses in gray).

However, John’s last pair had a problem: the rubber tips on the arm pieces started coming off soon after purchase. Because we were out cruising, we didn’t have a chance to send them in for repair. That is, until we came to rest on the dock here in Charleston SC for the winter. By then they were a right mess: John had drilled holes in the arms through which he ran green leech line to both act as a neck strap and to keep the rubber pieces from falling off. When this didn’t quite work the way he wanted it to, he added small florescent wire ties to hold the leech line glasses holder in place. Then, when one of the arm pieces broke right off, he used duct tape to reattach it. And then, to add insult to injury, he wore this fluorescent, twine and duct tape bedecked contraption with his old disreputable Tilley hat. It was really quite terrifying.

When we finally sent the glasses in for repair, despite the elapsed time and John’s various Rube Goldberg inspired adaptations, Maui Jim replaced the frames and only charged us a shipping fee ($10.00). Now that’s service!

*Aloha traditionally meant affection, peace, compassion and mercy before being taken over by English speakers as a way of saying hello (Wikipedia). I think Maui Jim gave John his new frames for free based on the original definition of Aloha: compassion and mercy for the state of his old pair!

Which sunglasses have worked well for you? Please leave a comment.

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Tom Hildebrandt February 8, 2012, 9:31 am

    They must be good glasses, but a bit pricey for me! REI shows them at $210 bucks!

    I usually order three or four pair at a time from REI, and try to keep the price to under $30; I would not rave about any of them, but they do the job and I do not feel so bad when I step on one or they get crushed in my dry bag!

    Now that Tilley Hat, now we are talking a piece of kit well worth the bucks! I have two, one of the really old school original ones, heck it must be 20 years old, and one of the newer ones; I prefer the older one, the mildew stains and what not sort of give it a seasoned patina look that is hard to duplicate!

    Reply
  • Phyllis February 8, 2012, 10:25 am

    Hi, Tom; Yeah, their high price does increase the pressure to not break or lose them! We keep old wrecked up pairs as backup. However, what we find is that Maui Jim’s do the best job for us of cutting through fog, seeing reefs in clear water, and resting our eyes in bright glare (we call them slippers for the eyes!).
    Geez! What is it with guys and their old grubby hats? John manages to get his hats patinaed in 2 years!

    Reply
    • Tom Hildebrandt February 8, 2012, 11:03 am

      Hi Phyllis

      Maybe I will get a pair, as a gift, from Santa next year!

      On the story of saving old glasses, I just throughout my coffee bin full of lenses, frames and arms that were the remains of my dead reading glasses that I accumulated over the past four years. Sometimes it was d…. hard to find new, inexpensive reading glasses (Jacarre, Brazil comes to mind) so having the bits you could cobble together with duct tape ala Joh’s fix, was a necessary thing.

      Cheers

      Tom

      Reply
  • Sid February 8, 2012, 10:37 am

    I find BoomersInTheKnow.com to be an excellent source of the hard-to-find, non-prescription, bifocal sunglasses. They come in a variety of styles, are reasonably priced, and save having to change glasses to read charts etc.

    Reply
    • Phyllis February 8, 2012, 12:51 pm

      Hey, Sid; I was all excited when I saw the BoomersInTheKnow URL, thinking maybe us baby-boomers (I’m just on the trailing edge of boomerdom) were going to finally consolidate all our accumulated knowledge and really take over the marketplace. But, so far, only glasses! Since that is an ever more important facet of our life, I’ll spend more time on the site. Thanks for the tip.

      Reply
  • Bill February 8, 2012, 12:01 pm

    I was a bit leary of reading this article based on the title; thought you had learned they were going out of business (Aloha)!

    I’m a big Maui Jim fan as well, but just ran into an issue with my #1 pair and new technology — I was outside on a sunny day and turned my I-Pad 2 on to catch up on e-mails, and thought I had a dead battery; screen was absolutely blank. Only after finally removing my Mauis could I see my app’s!

    Reply
  • Phyllis February 8, 2012, 12:53 pm

    Yikes! Never thought of Aloha being used to say goodbye. Sorry for the momentary panic incurred. But not being able to read a tablet with Mauis on is a big problem, especially since John just wrote a post on our Norwegian Cruising Guide site on how brilliant our Guide is on a tablet! Might have to add that caveat to our promotion!

    Reply
  • Sid February 8, 2012, 7:26 pm

    Bill,

    You should be able to solve you i-Pad blank-out problem by rotating it 90 degrees.

    Sid

    Reply
  • david February 9, 2012, 5:35 am

    maui jims rock! i have 2 pairs excellent!

    Reply
  • Brett March 4, 2012, 12:51 pm

    I have 2 pairs of Maui Jim sports sunglasses that I wear while sailing. Both of them developed cracks in the lenses where the frame is screwed to the lens. Even though I had both for quite a while, when I sent them to MJ for repair, they only charged me $11 for both. They were like brand-new sunglasses when I got them back! I am very happy I did not go out and buy new ones like I originally thought I would. Its so nice to find good customer service in a world where that is rare these days.

    Reply

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