Reached out to Knothead(Steve Smith) and he graciously agreed to help me out. If you need new rigging
and are anywhere close to the gulf coast
, get yourself over to St. Petersburg and see him at SSMR Inc. He has a great partner, Andy, and a lovely wife, Jennifer, who will take care of everything.
What's it like to work with SSMR? I'm glad you asked.
First and foremost, they really enjoy having an owner involved. Since this was my first time replacing it was great to be able to ask unlimited questions, watch everything they were doing, and help where I could. They explained things along the way and had tremendous amounts of patience. In fact, they seemed to welcome pro/con discussions concerning their approach.
They're unbelievably punctual and efficient. I've had to micromanage every other project
on this boat and finish many jobs on my own due to lack of follow through or poor time management from contractors and yards alike. Steve and crew were leading the charge here. Absolutely everything that could be done without the the boat in their yard was complete before I would arrive and if they said 9:00 they meant 9:00. It was very refreshing. It's also worth pointing out the timeline I presented them with was extremely tight but they ensured everything was ready for my trip. Outstanding.
I really like the way they present options. They start with the industry/vendor recommendation, follow with their advice, and then relate to what they do on their own boats(I think Andy currently owns 8). In the end I pushed them more for higher priced items or replacements
then they pushed me. These guys definitely love what they do and are not interested in selling product. For instance, Steve was fairly persistent about servicing my existing furlers instead of replacing and pushed me hard to not waste money
on new(although I didn't listen to him is was nice). You'll definitely save some bucks with this crew.
The quality and attention to detail was great. I learned a lot while watching and asking questions. Since leaving their shop I've inspected a lot of rigging and have seen very little work like theirs.
Finally, they're simply great people. Interesting stories, huge hearts, and great conversationalists.
Would I use them again? Of course not, they taught me everything they know!
Definitely hope to cross paths with each of them again either out on the water
or in their shop.