In the UK there are around 1.2 million boats and leisure craft in private ownership; nearly all Scandinavians seem to like to spend their holidays on or near water; while the Dutch are never far from a canal or other water way. Around Europe’s warmer regions sailing and river cruising are increasingly popular. Looking to the other side of the Atlantic, 86 million Americans participate in some form of recreational boating. All of these boat lovers – as well as boat engineers - need a reliable source for engineering components as they build, maintain and adapt.
Boatbuilders look to WDS Components Ltd to order a wide range of products from fastenings, hinges and handles used in cabin fittings; nuts, screws and springs for the engine compartment; mounts and vibration dampers for the transmission; and pins, catches, latches and gas struts to hold everything safely and securely in rough water.
When specifying components for use on boats and ships WDS generally promotes the use of stainless steel parts, 303 or 304 grade for rivers and lakes, 316 for saltwater application, or, where appropriate, engineering polymers, aluminium or brass.
However, the vast array of products is only part of the reason yacht and boat customers regularly turn to WDS. Yachtsmen are often ‘jacks of all trades’ and able to turn their hand to virtually any repair or maintenance project throughout the vessel. While they have commendable willingness to take on any job, they will not be expert at everything, so often help and guidance is needed.
The WDS website has been designed to be the first line of assistance for anyone who needs support in finding the perfect component. Each product page is clearly laid out with sizes, styles material choices etc. Key dimensions are given, 2D and 3D CAD drawings are free to download and there are notes and tips on how to help with selection and installation.
“Increasingly, we also have little videos showing how to fit the parts and how to make sure you get the most out them. These are proving very popular especially for people like boat owners who have to master so many jobs,” comments John Marshall, a customer support specialist at WDS Ltd.
“And, if more assistance is needed, WDS technicians and engineers are freely available on the helpline. The boating community particularly appreciates the speed and reliability of WDS’s delivery, as their orders are generally time-critical. Most orders are dispatched on the day the order is placed and arrive at their destination by next morning. Yachtsmen tend to want delivery to a coastal harbour, and we generally have good links with the local chandlers and boat yards, so that is straightforward. Similarly with the inland water ways, we have made a point of setting up good communication links with the marinas and businesses that support the boat owners and operators,” explains John.
Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.
Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.