Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-09-2011, 15:43   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 944
Boat Yards and Tradesmen . . .

Hi all, I keep hearing endless stories from cruisers all over the world that most of them have been held "hostage" when they get a general "estimate" up front and then the final invoice comes which becomes insanely inflated?!?! How do you guys handle these situations when they keep padding it with excessive hours as they discovered that it would take longer than previously thought, etc..

I only wanted to ask as I think my cousin is getting into a similar situation on the west coast of the U.S. I wanted to forward everyone's thoughts and experiences with this type of "bait and switch."

Thanks everyone for your time and input!!
__________________

__________________
shadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 15:50   #2
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,189
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Boat yards and tradies...

Only lift out where I can do my own work and live on board on the hard... hence I don't use Spanish yards anymore... except in emergencies.
If I need labour I log em in and out...
Never had a problem...
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 15:57   #3
Registered User
 
avb3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Florida/Alberta
Boat: Lippincott 30
Posts: 9,913
Images: 1
Re: Boat yards and tradies...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow View Post
Hi all, I keep hearing endless stories from cruisers all over the world that most of them have been held "hostage" when they get a general "estimate" up front and then the final invoice comes which becomes insanely inflated?!?! How do you guys handle these situations when they keep padding it with excessive hours as they discovered that it would take longer than previously thought, etc..

I only wanted to ask as I think my cousin is getting into a similar situation on the west coast of the U.S. I wanted to forward everyone's thoughts and experiences with this type of "bait and switch."

Thanks everyone for your time and input!!
Problem is as with any thing that is complex... it's what is hidden that quotes can't cover.

I always think back to house reno's. Sure, on the surface things look easy, until you dig into them. If you do it right, it seems it always takes longer and more work then thought. Same goes for some car issues, especially electrical ones.

Why should a boat be much different, although, I understand the concern.
__________________
If your attitude resembles the south end of a bull heading north, it's time to turn around.
avb3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 16:11   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 944
Re: Boat yards and tradies...

Thanks for everyone's help and input!!! Please share more of your experiences so my cousin can feel a little better knowing that he won't be walking into a shark's pit, greedy for money.. I guess it's like anything else, just do some research and ask around for the best options I guess..

Also, is it normal that a yard won't allow you to work on your boat, without charging lay-days?? Plus, I think I ran into a few that didn't allow outside tradies, you had to use the yard's network.. Sounds a little draconian to me...
__________________
shadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 16:13   #5
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,762
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Boat yards and tradies...

is getting to be almost imperative to remain with your boat 24/7 as it is on hard, as thios is getting to be a real situation. i first saw it in action in 1998 in baja naval yard in ensenada--- you leave your boat, an extra more than 10 thousand usd is added to bottom line. automatic. you stay with the boat, you get a lil extra discount. go figger.
the first estimates on fixing my boat in sd were 1000usdollars, done in the slings... they sent someone out to look at my work to be done and without even looking at the problem, quoted me 8000 us dollars. ouch. at this point i am thinking that the farther into mexico you are for this work, the better....
good luck with that in your cousin's case.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 16:34   #6
Eternal Member
 
Chief Engineer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North of Baltimore
Boat: Ericson 27 & 18' Herrmann Catboat
Posts: 3,798
Re: Boat yards and tradies...

There are two sides to this coin.......How would you like it if your customer would like to "adjust" his bill because he thinks he was charged too much? Or they only send a partial payment.

I don't know where this happens in other forms of commerce.

As far as boatyards padding the bill....I have seen it done.....that's why I left the boatyards behind and went into business myself......I couldn't stand being hounded by irate customers while aboard my boat on weekends.
__________________
Chief Engineer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 16:37   #7
Registered User
 
wolfaroo's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: UK South Coast
Boat: Unknown MFV 60ft
Posts: 111
Re: Boat yards and tradies...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow View Post
Hi all, I keep hearing endless stories from cruisers all over the world that most of them have been held "hostage" when they get a general "estimate" up front and then the final invoice comes which becomes insanely inflated?!?! How do you guys handle these situations when they keep padding it with excessive hours as they discovered that it would take longer than previously thought, etc..
Piece work. One way is to only deal with tradies who will agree final price for each job upfront, in writing - there are usually one or two around who will do this (normally the honest ones!). The experienced tradies will factor in a reasonable 'unknown' contingency with any complex work so their price might not be quite as competitive as the others at first glance, but at least you know they won't be piling on any extras... has worked for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Only lift out where I can do my own work and live on board on the hard... hence I don't use Spanish yards anymore... except in emergencies.

A wise man indeed. The Spanish yards I have encountered are an absolute joke... no sleeping aboard, no work outside the guardrails, no painting by non-yard personnel, must use their antifoul service whether you need to antifoul or not, no 'polishing machines' (what???) and, best of all, have to leave the yard between 2-4pm!


haha no wonder they'll be dropping out of the euro next year. Hasta luego.
__________________
"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end."
Ursula Le Guin
wolfaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 17:29   #8
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Boat yards and tradies...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow View Post
Hi all, I keep hearing endless stories from cruisers all over the world that most of them have been held "hostage" when they get a general "estimate" up front and then the final invoice comes which becomes insanely inflated?!?! How do you guys handle these situations when they keep padding it with excessive hours as they discovered that it would take longer than previously thought, etc..

I only wanted to ask as I think my cousin is getting into a similar situation on the west coast of the U.S. I wanted to forward everyone's thoughts and experiences with this type of "bait and switch."

Thanks everyone for your time and input!!
"a general estimate" is not really worth much, other than as a ballpark indicator. Your Cousin should be looking for a written quote with the intended work detailed.

For some things a fixed price could be acheivable (raising / lowering the mast or antifouling the hull or a respray etc), but on others (relaying a deck / installing a replacement fuel tank etc ) it is simply not possible to know exactly what the work required actually is until started (and for those jobs no commercial reason for a Yard to carry the risk of being out of pocket with a fixed quote)...........the best answer I have come up with is the Yard calling me to discuss the position as soon as it looks like the original estimate / quote is likely to be exceeded (and certainly before it is!).......having said all that, most of my work is DIY

To avoid bill padding on the hours, what also helps is using a Yard you trust, not easy to acheive for a transient cruisers - for that I guess recommendation (real life & via Google) is the next best thing.....and being onsite (and being seen to be taking an interest).
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 18:25   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 944
Re: Boat Yards and Tradesmen . . .

Cheers all!! I will convey everyone's input and experiences!! I agree with you Zeehag, I think he was planning on going to Mexico anyway for any real general work.. I think he was doing the more serious work in SD before leaving, and then doing the rest in Mexico or further south.. If anyone can recommend a great boat yard in Mexico, or further south, please let me know so I can pass it on..

Thanks so much for everyone's help and input!! cheers
__________________
shadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 18:41   #10
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,762
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Boat Yards and Tradesmen . . .

.i would go farther than baja naval, as is american run corporation and charges accordingly--isnt truly a deal. also, if you leave your boat, i have seen them raise the price prohibitively so they can keep the boat. seen it. watched em do it. go farther south.
la paz has a good yard.
san carlos/guaymas spozed to have a good yard. i plan on using the shrimper yard here in mazatlan....
if your cousin stays on board during haul and work, he will get a better deal than if he leaves. he may even get a break. the folks like it when ye stick around and do some of your work . bring em beers for after the day is done.
makes a difference, even at baja naval....and their banos are awesome.....if he decides on baja naval, i can help a lil with info and advice in ensenada....i have friends who work there --natives...
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 21:33   #11
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
Its a boat...

My experience with yards has been that it always costs more than the original "guesstimate". Nowadays I mentally add what I think is the likely extra on before they start work, and have it ready when I get the bill.

That said, they'd better have a good story or I'm looking for another yard next time.

Doing at least some of my own work and buying some of my own supplies means I can keep a better handle on what's going on.
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 21:49   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: Boat Yards and Tradesmen . . .

I try to be there whenever the yard is working on the boat. There are a number of good reasons for this. As far as costs go, if you are there they know they are being watched and therefore will be less likely to do things which might run up the bill. Where I haul the guys with higher technical skills like engine mechanics are charging around $100 per hour so it is definitely beneficial to be there as much as possible.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 22:09   #13
Registered User
 
sww914's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Punta De Mita
Boat: Vagabond 39 Hull # 1
Posts: 1,842
Re: Boat Yards and Tradesmen . . .

I ran and then owned auto shops for years. As a result, the boatyard owner here confides in me a bit more than he does with other customers. He explained a very simple problem to me recently concerning boat work versus car work. I specialized in Porsches. I learned most of the ins & outs of repairing older Porsches. He explained that much of his work is custom work, one off. Not because it's a custom boat but because there are so many kinds of boats and they all have so many different systems that the yard may never have seen this particular problem before. His case in point was a leaking keel on a Hunter 36 or 38 or something. After the problem had been solved it was evident but until then it was difficult to find. Now they know how to solve a leaky keel on a Hunter 30 something but will they ever see another Hunter with a leaky keel? Maybe not. I only worked on 5 models of cars spanning about 25 years of production. I learned what most of them needed and how to do it but even with that limited of a scope of repairs it took many years to learn most of it so that each repair wasn't a new adventure. There often isn't a way to be able to tell exactly what it will take to fix a given problem until you've fixed it. The only way to serve your customer is through good communication. You must be able to show your customer exactly what you've done and what you plan to do and be able to justify every step with perfect transparency. If the yard does that then you've found a good yard.
He needs to explain that he MUST be notified of any changes or any additional work beyond the original estimate BEFORE the work is done. That's the law in auto repair and I think it should be the law for boats and houses as well, if it isn't.
__________________

__________________
Steve
http://www.landfallvoyages.com
sww914 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.