Voyager Marine Electronics, squared away!
If you’re an electronics installer who’s ever spent hours wandering around a boatyard just to get a bit of wood or metal fabricated — or the customer who wondered where those hours went! — you’ll appreciate the custom install trucks put together by Voyager Marine Electronics of Essex, Massachusetts. Heck, these guys don’t even need to scrounge 110 outlets, as the vehicles are equipped with big alternators, dual battery banks, and Xantrex 3kW Freedom charger/inverters! Voyager’s shop and show room aren’t too shabby either…
I visited Voyager a couple of weeks ago during its annual two-day open house, which features demo tables set up by reps from the major marine electronics companies. And while I thought it very cool that Voyager’s customers get their own electronics show, I was most impressed with the company’s obvious devotion to organization and tidiness. It extended from the trucks to the show room — where the gear was set up by category, and working when possible — to the test bench (with maybe 50 made-up power cords racked and ready)…and even to the back of the building, where the antennas are lined with military precision. I’ve got to believe that Voyager does very tidy electronics installations, and does them efficiently.
I want to show you more photos of Voyager than I normally put up in a Panbo entry, so I’m trying something new today. Below is a Picassa-based slide show, or you can see the same pictures bigger here. Please let me know what you think of these photo gallery options. Oh, and a big thanks to Garmin’s John Neyland for suggesting this field trip.
I like their install truck, Ben; thanks for posting that. Coincidentally, I’m just in the process of building a mobile lab into a 24-foot Wells-Cargo trailer (very hackable and robust spaces compared to RVs; this is my third in 25 years). With my 3000-sqft shop in the woods an endlessly irritating 3-hour round-trip drive away from my boat, it’s either this or the real-estate dance.
My mobile lab uses the Prosine 2.0 inverter removed from my boat upon installation of the new Outback unit, a solar array on the roof for unattended times, lockable cabinets and a wall of parts bins, drill press, contractor table saw that rolls outside for use, and an IP video security system with motion and loop sensing. Since I’m trying to actually get moved aboard the boat sometime while I’m still alive, I’m finding that this exercise is useful in another way… it compels me to extract the nucleus of my huge lab full of legacy stuff that I’ll never use again. Once the essence is installed in the new wheel estate, I can more easily get rid of the rest.
That mobil shop is the cat’s meow. I would think that this sort of capital investment, though not cheap, can mean faster install times and may be passed on to the customer. Seeing a rig like that certainly would install confidence in me about the installer.
Good show Voyager!
That’s definitely the idea here, SanderO. I spoke with Voyager’s Jon Schimoler and he’s clearly thought a lot about maximizing installer hour effectiveness, which is good for his customers and hence good for his business.
I was reminded a little of a totally squared away sail training vessel I once visited, whose proud mate claimed, “We don’t just have our sh*t together; we’ve got it in one pound bags!”
In regards to the truck, this must be good for them attracting and keeping top notch talent as well !
Imagine being and installer and having this at your disposal, would you ever think to leave for the competition or go solo on your own ? Would you leave a of job of 10 years, to work for this company ?
Judging from how neat everything is, I would have to guess they get their choice from the cream of the crop.
Is there a matching boat this can roll onto … so an installer can service boats on a mooring ?
In regards to the showroom … that is quite a step up from my local West Marine store in regards to variety. That also must be a big expense to have when competing with internet resellers that have no overhead. Does the truck create so much customer confidence and cost savings that people who see the storefront won’t shop the internet ? Something else ?