Letters of Recommendation
Yacht Tigem noel french
To:        "tom mueller" <iysrigging@yahoo.com>
Subject:        Greetings
Date:        Tue, 6 Jun 2006 22:01:20 +1200

Hi Thom and Lilly,
You surely know how to issue a challenge which I'll try to meet but almost certainly not as
well as you did with the work on my boat.

First things first. As nothing is absolutely perfect, I can commend you on only a very little
less than nothing. Indeed, the difference is highly marginal.

You demanded that I take a strong line with Selden over my dismasting, arranged the
necessary technical reports and you were absolutely right. Selden did the best they could
and offerred to produce, at zero cost, a new mast, boom, rod kicker, furlex, fixed and
running rigging without having to admit that the swage, in question, was faulty. You
persuaded me to take their offer rather than try and negotiate and, again, I think you were
right. Trying to barter would have been an almost certain waste of time and money with the
major risk of getting me no further forward. Indeed, the situation would almost certainly
have got worse. I admit that I had to pay for the shipping but, even so, I think this was the
absolute best that could be done. Especially as the new mast has more features than the
old one.

Under your supervision, the Pulpit, stanchions, life rails, toe rail and spray hood were all
either replaced or mended and they are all now either better than new or, at the very least,
better than before the dismasting. I still can't get over the 'straightening' of the stainless
hoop for the spray hood which involved actually cutting out and replacing the bent section.
Especially as I still can't find the point where the new section has been welded on.

You arranged for new sails to be produced and, although only time will tell, I'm confident
that these are of far better quality and more appropriate to my needs than the originals. I
know the sail loft came in a week late but I also know that you were more upset by this than
I was.

You arranged for the boat to be pulled out to have the bottom repainted and you also
supplied the paint which, I'm confident, was extremely good value for money. It's a shame
that original three pots didn't quite give the planned three coats so a fourth pot had to be
bought and the boat given four coats. Now, I definitely know I don't have to worry about it
until Cape Town or beyond.

In all cases whatever you arranged to be supplied was at normal retail prices. I know
because I have a small confession. I did make a note of the retail price for a new radar
scanner from the supplier.

You even produced a miracle. People to polish the top sides on a week end.

The one question that will always remain outstanding is whether or not you secretly
arranged for me, one morning, to find a young man sleeping in my bed, where he had been
over night, while I was away at the Youth Hostel. I never did charge him anything. Did you?

As you know, other relatively minor but important jobs have been done with the help of
Mel, your trustee, in whom you, rightly, have great confidence. In all cases he did a better
job than I would have been satisfied with. Except, possibly, the end of the Spinnaker Pole
which, however, was given the greatest priority, fixed and redilevered the same day.
However, I must deny the assertion that crawling into and out of the steering gear space
below the Lazarette had anything to do with his partners later lack of satisfaction. I know
what a bar steward kind of place this is to work in but it never seemed a problem for him.

You seem to have many advantages over a run of mill rigger. One of the greatest is that
you've done a lot of sailing yourself and been in the sailing industry, in different roles, for a
very long time. As a result, I have a feeling that I didn't have to tell you what I wanted. The
radar scanner and reflector were going to be installed as high as possible anyway. The
reflector was going to be substantial but you already understood that. So it would have
been supplied, with good reason, without me asking. Albeit you would, as normal, have told
me the reasons and got my approval. You know, as well as I, that it's not good policy to
commit other peoples money without giving them a chance to modify the plan.

Having test sailed the boat into adverse winds to get to Gulf Harbour, there seems to be no
more that needs to be done except, as you predicted, to tighten up the stays and shrouds
on my return. Not a lot but a little will go a long way. One other thing. We ought to check
the screws holding down the stanchions and Pulpit as I'd like to terminate the Spinnaker
Halyard at the Pulpit instead of at the base of the mast. It seems a much more sensible
arrangement although I'll hapilly take advice on it.

In over all terms, I have to admit that I would have been quite lost without your services
and my only complaint is that you never hung around to have a chat over tea or coffee.
On the other hand you never had any excuse to charge me for that time so, perhaps, I
should be grateful. I know that keeping costs down was always a priority with you and time
was never wasted.

I think that, over all, the boat is now in a better condition than when it left the U.K. and, to
say that I'm happy, is a gross understatement.

As you know, having completed this circmnavigation, I intend to do it all again and, for me,
there's only one place to go for maintenance and only one source. They are Whangarei
plus Thom and Lilly Mueller. Although, the next time, I surely hope to arrive in a better

My apologies to you, Lilly, for the concern that I caused you but my sense of humour
means that the more serious I appear to be then the more I'm joking. So get off your chair
and finish painting those walls!

Best regards,

Noel French

Jan-Frederick from Norwegian Hallberg Rassy 39 wrote

Whangarei 05.03.07
Vi er tilbake igjen. Båten er fin og alt treverk i cockpit er nylakkert. Det er vakkert.
Thomas og Lilly har gjort en god jobb. Men mye arbeid måtte gjøres før båten
kan sjøsettes. Vel, egentlig var det kanskje ikke så veeeldig mye, men alt går så
langsomt når man er omgitt av dusinvis av båteiere og en båtinteressert
befolkning som alle ønsker å diskutere båt. Dersom vi føler en ørliten grad av
utolmodighet vet vi at dette bare er fordi vi har vært hjemme og ikke helt har
rukket å falle tilbake i den "riktige" rytmen. Det begynner å hjelpe nå.
Undertegnede står riktignok opp ganske tidlig, men dersom man er litt søvnig
etter å ha surfet litt på nettet, skrevet litt og drukket en første kopp kaffe, kan
man jo ta en ekstra lur. Når man så er klar igjen i ni tiden etter nok en frokost går
vi løs på pussing og stoffing. Det kan gå for seg til nærmere kl. 12. Da er det tid
for en tur langs kaia for å sjekke hva andre driver med, prate om slikt som angår
alle seilere og evt. ta seg en is. Ikke lenge etter er det på tide med lunsj og evt. en
liten handle runde. Hvis vi er heldige rekker vi nok en runde på båten. Ofte er det
sammekomster på kvelden med grilling og mer prat om reise- og båtliv. I 10-11
tiden er undertegnede utmattet og sovner øyeblikkelig når jeg faller om på køya.
I morgen skal Necessity på sjøen så da blir det sikkert roligere. Da kommer vi
også til å rekke noen fine turer i det flotte terrenget rundt Whangarei. Dere
hjemme synes sikkert vi har det tøfft.
Dear Tom

Thank you for this - and yes I have been very happy
with the work you have done on Galatea and would
certainly recommend you to others. This has been a
bad year for contractors but you were a shining
exception - thank you.