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Old 31-12-2009, 07:25   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Grand Bahama
Boat: O'Day 34' sloop
Posts: 5
Sailboat Repairs - Grand Bahama

It probably will not be of much interest for Americans and Canadians since they can do everything in the states, but for Europeans coming across the Atlantic this info might prove to be of some value.

I’ve dealt with two companies on a Grand Bahama Island.

Knowels Marine and Yacht Services - first experience:
-will take on any job without any expertise or knowledge of what is involved
-will not a give a firm quote on anything
-time line on any repairs unpredictable

Jobs done:
  • Fibreglass repair – result: jell coat not sanded properly and sticking out 1/8’from the level of the boat.
  • Mast rewiring – result: wires rattling in the mast, 3 weeks later 2 out of 3 fell off and now are sitting at the bottom of the mast inside. Roller furler swivel assembled up side down. Halyards on the wrong sides of the spreaders – 15 minutes after the mast was put back I had to go up in a bosons chair to clear the mess.
  • Mast painting – result: paint run off , looked better before painting (this people actually pride themselves on great workmanship in painting)
  • Plexi windows change – result: leaked like crazy the first time we washed the deck.
  • Reseal the “u-bolts - to the chain plates” on the deck with 5200 - result: now the water not just drips but gashes in. U-bolts’ nuts, which are fixing the u-bolt to the chain plate came loose(no spring washers), one fell off – that could’ve cost us THE MAST.
  • Install the bracket for under the deck autopilot – result: carriage bolts were used on a fibreglass and now they are loose

It took me full 3 weeks to repair these “repairs” and I‘m still wandering what I’ve paid my money for.
On top of this the owner on this “fine” establishment will put on the bill $15 here $25 there and even will try to add 2-3 feet to your boat for the travel lift and storage – just in case….maybe you would not notice.

Audley Harding Marine Mechanics - second experience

Jobs agreed to be done:
Manufacture davits and wind generator mast – result: three weeks later ZIRRO, ZIP, NADA!!!
This guy was very fast collecting small deposit, but after that started real circus
Do not believe - I’ll call you back – this is an extremely rare event.
Do not believe – I’m off the Island – 10 minutes later you meet the guy in a local hardware store
Do not believe – I’m going to the work shop and than we are coming for the fitting of the davits – never happened
I’ve asked around to find out if the guy is just a crook? No! He is considered very good and honest tradesman!!!!
So….. no deposit back, no davits, no mast for a wind generator.

Bringing stuff from the States for your boat.

FedEx - “the best of the best”

Time Line
Friday 11 AM - Package arrived on the Island
Friday 3 PM - I’m signing all the paperwork for the customs for FedEx to clear the package
Monday next week 3 PM I call FedEx:
Me:- Hey, where is my stuff?
FedEx: - Still at Customs.
Tuesday 3 PM I call FedEx:
Me:- Hey, where is my stuff?
FedEx: - Still at Customs
Wednesday 10 AM I call FedEx:
Me:- Hey, where is my stuff?
FedEx: - Still at Customs
Wednesday 2 PM visit to FedEx office
Me:- Hey, where is my stuff?
FedEx:-You should have received it on Monday, you didn’t?
Me: - NO!
Ten minutes of thinking, talking, figuring out something by FedEx people.
FedEx: You see one girl made a mistake on a customs form on Monday and customs refused the entry of the package, but now she called in seek and nobody knows where the paperwork is and she does not answer the phone.
Thursday 10 AM I call FedEx:
Me:- Hey, where is my stuff?
FedEx: - You know, you have to pay the duty on your package!
(As “funny” as it is, it took them only 1 week to find that out)
Me: - No, because it’s a boat in transit
FedEx: -You didn’t give us a cruising permit
Me: - Yes I did, you took a copy of that yourself
FedEx: - Oh…. Really…. You sure…. Oh yea I think I remember something….. OK…..I see what I can do….
Friday 4 PM – 8 days have passed the package is PICKED UP, NOT DELIVERED, because the delivery driver is too busy…….

Here you go….. this is THE FedEx – the best of the best!!!!

After the fist encounter I thought that maybe I’m just an idiot magnet, but after spending two months in the Bahamas the only advice I can give you - avoid repairing in the Bahamas if at all possible.
There is one more Boat Yard on a Grand Bahama Island – Bradfords Marine – American run company and I’ve heard they do provide good professional service, but they were way too pricy for my budget.
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Old 31-12-2009, 07:36   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Cruising NC, FL, Bahamas, TCI & VIs
Boat: 1964 Pearson Ariel 'Faith' / Pearson 424, sv Emerald Tide
Posts: 1,531
Cool This is a large part of the draw.

The culture and societal norms in the Bahamas are not like the US, or Europe.

This is a large part of the draw.

It is an interesting attitude, often associated with Americans, that where ever we go ought to conform to where we came from.

Abaco Yacht Service, Black sound, Green Turtle Cay has a pretty good reputation among cruisers. I would not go in expecting prompt service though....

I hope you enjoy your time in the Bahamas, but yes... I would not recommend undertaking a major refit there.
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