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Old 02-11-2012, 17:44   #46
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Re: Is There an Inherent Defect in Sailors Brains ?

I've been self employed for a while (a few decades) and for most of that time doing 200 -240 surveys a year, I averaged 2 or 3 invoices a year that I could not collect on.

Over the last two years my average has gone up to 1 or 2 a month. Depending on the amount I will take them to small claims court which is a PITA but I get all my money and costs (eventually) or I just send the smaller amounts to a collection agency which takes 30% off the top after they collect.

One curious thing I've noted is that of all the ones I took to court or sent to collection, all but two were lawyers. If I find out a client is a lawyer before I start the job I get cash (no cheques) up front before I start.
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Old 02-11-2012, 18:19   #47
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Re: Is There an Inherent Defect in Sailors Brains ?

I don't work onlawyers boats either.....except my personal lawyer....I also tend to stay away from PhD(s) who insist I call them Doctor
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Old 02-11-2012, 18:49   #48
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Re: Is there an inherent defect in sailors brains.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous7500 View Post
I only have one question, well a two part question. Do you provide an estimate for the work before starting and do you require a signature authorizing the work to be done before starting?

I used to do all kinds of work on a handshake or a gentleman's agreement. Not anymore. We will quote, schedule and process work without purchase orders. But nothing leaves the building without having a purchase order on file.
Very good ,also have a "change order " form ready to go if they start talking about wanting something done in a different way...They forget about all the favors you did for them for "free" when they were crying about this or that not being what they wanted...Now its time to get paid and they want to hold you for ransom...Always have a "change order "form and an ink pen handy, puts a stop to all the guessing of wheather you will get paid for what you have done... ...
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Old 02-11-2012, 21:52   #49
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Re: Is There an Inherent Defect in Sailors Brains ?

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I don't work onlawyers boats either.....except my personal lawyer....I also tend to stay away from PhD(s) who insist I call them Doctor
And, cruisers who title themselves 'Captain'.
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Old 02-11-2012, 22:01   #50
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Re: Is There an Inherent Defect in Sailors Brains ?

A problem for voyaging sailors is that we don't have a 'home' yard. There are some unscrupulous operators out there who know that a voyaging boat won't be back and that there will be no repeat business from them.

Those who have been burned and end up with the s****y end of the stick, tend to become cynical and they become the yotties that yards don't like. They argue the price, want to be in on the action when repairs are being made, won't pay for a kid to spend 30 minutes on the cell to his girlfriend when he is sitting in your engine room and the boss is charging his time out at $x per hour.

Cruising sailors can therefore develop a reputation for being tight and difficult to get along with in matters of repairs. It is simply that one feeds from the other and where one operator compromises honesty and trust, he tarnishes the reputaton of his entire industry.

Quotes and estimates are rarely be accurate; we know and understand this. But if you are punctual, knowledgable, hard working, pleasant to your customers and want no more than fair compensation for quality work, then you will prosper both in business and in life.
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Old 03-11-2012, 18:05   #51
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Re: Is There an Inherent Defect in Sailors Brains ?

Ever Heard of a "not to exceed" estimate?
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Old 03-11-2012, 22:26   #52
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Re: Is There an Inherent Defect in Sailors Brains ?

A not-to-exceed estimate is not worth a blurt if the job has to be done. Often, not every problem can be appreciated until after the work has commenced. Staying below a predetermined cost limit can lead to a substandard job.

I am not quibbling about eventual costs, I am concerned, as I clearly state above, that "fair compensation for quality work" is what I expect and what I will pay for.
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Old 03-11-2012, 23:56   #53
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Re: Is There an Inherent Defect in Sailors Brains ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I've been self employed for a while (a few decades) and for most of that time doing 200 -240 surveys a year, I averaged 2 or 3 invoices a year that I could not collect on.

Over the last two years my average has gone up to 1 or 2 a month. Depending on the amount I will take them to small claims court which is a PITA but I get all my money and costs (eventually) or I just send the smaller amounts to a collection agency which takes 30% off the top after they collect.

One curious thing I've noted is that of all the ones I took to court or sent to collection, all but two were lawyers. If I find out a client is a lawyer before I start the job I get cash (no cheques) up front before I start.
Which is exactly what lawyers here (Australia) require. Pay up front or no work.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:20   #54
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Re: Is There an Inherent Defect in Sailors Brains ?

If I don't know the yard, i usually ask for a written estimate, and then I always add "plus/minus 10%". Well it rarely comes in at minus, although that has happened. The ten perCent has kept me from being really ripped off. I know that lots of times when you start a job other things need repairing that you just couldn't be aware of when the quote was made.

The above method also allows me to have continuing cordial relations with my local yard
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:31   #55
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Re: Is There an Inherent Defect in Sailors Brains ?

I have become a very jaded after several years in the Med. Back home I can't say I was once "ripped off". Any jobs that came in over the quoted estimate were only because unforeseen problems had been encountered along the way and I feel it is not the contractor's responsibility to wear the cost of that.

On the water is has been a vastly different experience and I have become so wary of ANY work done. It started within a few months of purchasing the boat six years ago. The stern gland was leaking and needed to be replaced. We organised a haul out, paid a couple of thousand euros to the yard and mechanic and subsequently found only the hose clamps had been replaced! Thank goodness we picked this up before we were put back in the water.

The most recent was during our last haul out. Only contracted out a minor job but it underscored the problem of having work done here. We had spent a month on the hard antifouling and replacing the anchor winch etc. Lack of equipment and a decent workshop meant many tasks were a slow process. With only days to go before launching, I approached the marina workshop to quote on cutting 3 small bits of aluminium (10cm cuts, 8mm thick, I'd pre-marked the cutting line on each) and to bend a thinner sheet (to act as a protecting deflector on the new windless motor). Quote was: "50 euros per hour, expected time half an hour". 25 euros seemed high, but exhaustion was taking its toll. To cut a long story short I was presented with a bill for 2 hours labour!!!!!!!!!!

I think here in the Med many tradesmen consider anyone with a boat to be fair game for being ripped off (either with quality of work done or fee charged). As a result we have done 99% of all work on our boat personally over the last 5 years. Not what we initially envisaged, but we have learned a lot and all maintenance has been to the highest standard giving us safety and reliability and peace of mind.
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