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Old 22-03-2012, 21:47   #1
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Help! I'm Being Taken to the Cleaners!

Well, maybe but maybe not. Let me explain.

First off, this is a great forum and for a guy getting back into sailing after a long hiatus it is a fantastic resource. As this is my first post I will try to come straight to the point.

I have a new to me 2001 Beneteau 331 that I will be cruising on Georgian Bay this summer. The boat is in very nice condition, passed all surveys with flying colours. We are having a few things installed at our marina next week to make the boat a more long distance cruiser as well as providing a safer more comfortable boat. Right now the boat is quite bare bones so after much thought and quite a bit of wheeling and dealing over the winter here's what I was able to scrounge up.

A Raymarine C90W MFD/chart plotter, a Ray 55 VHF, a X5 auto (wheel) pilot and a Raymarine network switch. All will need to be installed with a new 400AH AGM battery and a 2000watt Magnum MS Inverter/charger.

Taking into account I have already purchased these bits, I have just received an estimate from the tech at the marina regarding the number of hours to install all of this. I was shocked to say the least.

Now, before I go into the reasons I am not doing the work myself (all good reasons I assure you) what in your learned opinions are ball park estimates of the time required for a qualified, professional marine installer to do this kind of job. Now I know there are always variables at work here (fabrication, cable runs etc.) but I'd really like to know what you guys think.
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Old 22-03-2012, 21:53   #2
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

However long it takes to do the job right. Might take a week. Might take a day. The right person for the job will charge the right price.
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Old 22-03-2012, 22:27   #3
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

So many possible variables. A lot depends on the knowledge of the boat by the technician and the ease of access to the needed parts installation. Having done all these jobs at one time or other I can see a minimum of 3 days to a max of a week. Cable routing in some boats can be a real bitch. You mentioned that you bought all the bits. Does that include all the connectors, wire, screws , etc. All these are required for the installation. The estimate should be close if the jobs don't change. Additional stuff seems to happen on every job.
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Old 22-03-2012, 22:32   #4
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

My guess, with easy cable routing, is 25 hours @ $75 per, so around $1875.00, but that is dated. How close was I?

Things like crimping all connectors and soldering (remember, marine use), shrink tubing and the $350 crimping tool needed to handle the inverters DC input cables, well it is time tedious if done right for the salt air it will be exposed to.
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Old 22-03-2012, 23:05   #5
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

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Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
My guess, with easy cable routing, is 25 hours @ $75 per, so around $1875.00,
Says about $18 an hour here.
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Old 22-03-2012, 23:18   #6
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

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My guess, with easy cable routing, is 25 hours @ $75 per, so around $1875.00, but that is dated. How close was I?

Things like crimping all connectors and soldering (remember, marine use), shrink tubing and the $350 crimping tool needed to handle the inverters DC input cables, well it is time tedious if done right for the salt air it will be exposed to.
Sounds about right to me too. I asked myself how long it would take me to do it, and I thought a week which is 40 hours. Someone with more marine electronics experience should be able to do it a bit more quickly so 25 hours sounds good.

I really hope the OP is going to TELL US what they quoted.
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Old 22-03-2012, 23:19   #7
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

You got reasons to not do it yourself? So then suck it up and get in the experts!

Alternatively, wait until you are ready to sail / cruise and then DIY.

As an example (which may not applyto you, but you never know...), we bought our boat (just like you,) then bought a few more gadgets, various pieces of equipment and electronic toys, loaded them onboard, headed off to the Bahamas, found a nice island and then quietly spent a few days installing most of them. Over the following months, we headed down the island chain and installed the rest of them ourselves at suitable locations (desert island, sandy beach, fresh free seafood etc).

To finally get to the point, what is the rush?? The boat has sails and a rudder, so just GO! Sort out the finer details later.
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Old 23-03-2012, 00:20   #8
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

20 years ago I bought a 20 year old Cal 40 for $16K. I added reefer, freezer, solar, inverter, battery bank, wind vane steering, HAM HF, large alternator, water maker, Loran C, and a few other goodies and worked alongside the techs. I matched the purchase cost to get cruise ready.
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Old 23-03-2012, 03:40   #9
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bigman99.

Depending upon the amount of cabinet fitting (vs simple surface mounting & exposed wiring), I'd bid up to 24 hours.
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Old 23-03-2012, 03:57   #10
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

There's a lot of variables not considered. Will there be other mecahnics working on board at the same time. Is the boat clear of junk and not being used as storage. Like Deckofficer stated, are you sure you have all the small pieces that not only add up in cost by nickle and diming a job quite a bit, but in time taken to track them down. Did you consult with the tech you want to use when you were deciding what items you were going to add and purchase yourself? I'd also add hours to the job if the owner wants to hang over the techs shoulder all day to ask questions and learn.
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Old 23-03-2012, 04:27   #11
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Says about $18 an hour here.
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Those figures are what you can expect as an employee. I just had my electrics and charging system checked @ $100 p/h.
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Old 23-03-2012, 04:32   #12
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

It doesn't matter what the job costs in other locations. It only matters what it costs in the location where you are having the work performed. If labor rates are higher there than other locations, it still will be less expensive than moving the boat to a less expensive labor rate area.

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Old 23-03-2012, 04:54   #13
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

Some of you guys are WAYYYYYY off. Unless the tech is doing it under the table...it's easily $100/hr times 3, 8 hour days. I would say more like $2400....EASY!!!!

I know I used to install, sell for a marine electronics businesss. An because most of them have gone out of business around here...even that price can barely sustain a really partial season, cut throat business.

And for the guys who get the "under the table" guys to install...good luck finding that guy when something doesn't work when you really need him!!!!
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Old 23-03-2012, 05:07   #14
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

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Those figures are what you can expect as an employee. I just had my electrics and charging system checked @ $100 p/h.
You're in Australia where any idiot can get paid good dollars.
These guys are in the US where the economy has turned to **** and they have 8% + unemployment and $7 minimum wage.
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Old 23-03-2012, 05:16   #15
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Re: HELP!! I'm being taken to the cleaners!!!

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You're in Australia where any idiot can get paid good dollars.
These guys are in the US where the economy has turned to **** and they have 8% + unemployment and $7 minimum wage.
You obviously have no idea about labor conditions or rates in the US. Would you want a minimum wage employee to do this work on your boat?
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