For a little bit over a year we had our boat docked at the Sheraton Marina in New Bern North Carolina
. This marina happens to be about 5 or so miles from the Hatteras factory, also in New Bern. Since we were a Catamaran
we got the privilege
of being put on the "F" dock
. Well, this happens to be were they put all the "large" boats that come in. A lot of those boats were from Hatteras. These boats were there for lots of different different purposes. Sea trials, repairs
and final commissioning.
Well I learn quite a bit about large boat commissioning by talking to workers, captains and other assundery folks. In some of those discussions, many things became apparent. Hatteras uses a LOT of subs to do their commissioning and customer requested work! I'd guess (based on the work I saw at the marina) that this was about 80% of the folks. A lot of work that was done, I thought would have taken place in the factory. Stuff like wiring
Radar, wiring Satnavs, antennas, water
was done right in the water
, by sub contractors, prior to customer delivery
. Now, this does not mean that it is bad work, it just suggests that the work can and is done outside the factory, by non-Hatteras folks (Lots of the were previously with Hatteras and now are on their own!). The issue is that some of these same folks, you can hire, and get less expensively. You just have to take a WHOLE lot of care with who you get, cause it is not necessarily you get what you pay for. Often times you can get Yo-Yo's who don't especially care about the work they do, and don't charge you any less for the work.
It is not necessarily so that it is more cost effective to have the work done by the factory. It REALLY depends on what it is!! Like I said, I was surprised at the stuff they completed when the boat was out of the factory. I do know that Hatteras did have supervisors and QA people checking the work that their subs did and they took some care to see that it was done right. I also know they pass those cost on to the purchaser! But, it is not something that a well read owner couldn't do themselves with a significant cost savings. Indeed, if you're so inclined, a lot of work could be done by the owner with poteintially LARGE savings!
As to equipment
, a LOT of consumer electronics
can be used in place of "marine" equipment. It depends on where you put it on your boat. I used a Dell "24" monitor
connected to a Home theater style PC that I built my self. I connected the PC to car stero amplifier and feed Bose all weather
speakers in the cockpit
and Bose home theater book shelve speakers inside. I used halogen lights that I got from Ikea as primary light in the cabins an heads. They were about $25 each, vs $60 for lights that were not as attactive (They were also originally 12 volt with a 120 volt transformer I just took off and threw away! the monitor
was also 12 volt, with a transformer! I removed the transformer and wired directly into the 12 volt system)
So, most of this setup has been aboard for 3 years now, pretty extensive long range cruising. VERY few issues with any of it. Just make sure you try to get good quality stuff and make sure you evaluate the conditions you will put it in. Out in the cockpit
, Only weatherized, marine stuff is used. Inside the boat, you have more flexibility.