Broadwater Stove (Cooker), Problems

The Problem

This is a beautifully fabricated four burner stainless steel stove (cooker) that, when we bought it in 1996, was billed as the best money could buy; supposedly even better than the New Zealand-fabricated Princess stove, which really was the best stove money could buy (unfortunately, our Princess stove was on our old boat, which we sold, and sadly, the Princess stove is no longer available).

The first Broadwater unit we bought had a defective thermostat. The replacement (readily provided by Wayfarer Marine) was even worse, with a defective thermostat, a ring that gushed carbon monoxide and an oven that blew out every time we closed the door. In addition, none of the rings were as powerful as those on the Princess so it took an age to cook anything. During the first year the automatic igniters failed and the grill became so weak that toasting a piece of bread took forever; grilling a steak was totally out of the question.

Distributor’s Response

At the time we bought the Broadwater stove, it was sold in the USA by Wayfarer Marine in Camden, Maine. They cheerfully and quickly replaced the first unit. We left for a 12 month Atlantic circle the next week and by the time we slowed down long enough to worry about the stove, a year had passed and Wayfarer had given up the distribution.

Manufacturer’s Response

We then started corresponding with the manufacturer in Australia who took a belligerent tone, aggressively asserting that the problems were all our fault due to poor installation or water in the lines. We had scrupulously followed the installation instructions and we checked the lines for water. In the end they sent us some very expensive parts, but made us pay for most of them, saying that the stove was out of warranty.

The Outcome

As you so often have to with boat equipment, we learned to live with it: We never used the dangerous ring, started the oven heating up 45 minutes before we wanted to cook anything, lived without a grill, learned to close the oven door very slowly, and lit rings and the oven with a barbeque lighter.

Finally, after putting up with the stove for a number of years, we looked in to repairing it only to find that it was no longer being manufactured, and so we decided to buy a Force10.

Lessons Learned

  1. You can’t judge a book by its cover.
    Don’t assume that just because something has a beautifully fabricated stainless steel case, that it is properly engineered, particularly if it is a new product.
  2. Don’t install new gear a week before heading off on a major voyage.
    Duh!
  3. Don’t leave home without a CO detector.
    We discovered the CO problem without fatal consequences because our CO detector alerted us to the danger.

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Meet the Author

John

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan’s Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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