What’s up with Stidd, a “success disaster”?

Stidd gallery 5

The perfect complement to your ultimate helm full of screens and buttons? How about a plush leather Stidd chair…maybe even, as here, with joystick and trackball controls built right into the arm rests? Stidd virtually owns the high end helm seat market, but I’m sorry to report that something seems to be amiss. In fact, it’s not really the sort of story I like to cover, but when three independent and reliable sources voice similar concerns to me, all unsolicited, in just over three months, I feel obliged to speak up. 

First, an otherwise cheery megayacht captain showing off a major rebuild grumbled about how much trouble he’d had getting something like a $100,000 worth of Stidds, citing very poor communications and multiple failed delivery dates. Then a friend having a custom boat built called me out of the blue to ask if I knew anything about Stidd; he has a friend who raves about Stidd’s customer service, but this fellow’s boat builder couldn’t get straight answers about product availability, if his calls were returned at all.

When the owner himself stepped in, he claims he couldn’t get Stidd to take his check, let alone give him straight dope on product availability. He—quite experienced at business—is the one who suggested that Stidd, and its prospective customers, might be suffering through a “success disaster”. And he has purchased his chairs elsewhere. Finally an industry insider I mentioned these reports to allowed that his company has also had a tough time with Stidd…poor communications, unpaid bills, etc. Three strikes and you’re out? I don’t know about that, but it sure sounds like getting a fine Stidd chair has become a hassle.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

3 Responses

  1. Eli says:

    Wow, very interesting. I know the Stidds start out at around $8,000, and head north pretty quickly depending on the options. As far as I’ve seen, these things are what you get when you want a plush helm chair. Who else is making anything to a similar spec?

  2. Gary says:

    I ordered 2 Stidd seats in April – the unbelievably expensive “anti-shock” model for the new Maxweld Boats aluminum cat (www.maxweldboats.com) I am having built. They had no trouble taking my check, or in promising delivery in 8 weeks. The time is coming up, I will send a report on if they arrive on time. If not, we might be driving the boat from a couple of folding chairs for a while!

  3. Gary says:

    The Stidd seats I ordered in April with 8 weeks lead time were shipped at 8 weeks. For me, everything has worked as promised. Tempest in a teacup?

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