Originally Posted by Sandero
The owner is not much of a manager nor terribly hands on knowledgeable about boats. The yard manager doesn't seem all that sharp to me either. But they both talk out of both sides of their mouths and lied to me... Owner told me to get out... in 24 hrs and he's not charging
me and I can't step foot on his property... Fine... Today they send me an invoice for $1,600... Fat chance... Let them find other suckers... I wrote back and told them I'm done with them per their last comment.
I know there are two sides to every story... I'm stickin' with mine.
You can stake your claim and tell everyone how right you are, but that will not get you the best treatment in the boatyards
nor the happiest outcome. Being "right" is often a costly affair.
I'd rather just be happy.
We are DIY boaters--every project we (my husband and I) do ourselves. We've been in a few different yards where all they do is haul, block, and then launch and/or step/unstep the keel
stepped masts. We have formed our own opinions of the experiences and the people.
I used to work in the field of accident
and mishap investigation. Interesting thing you learn there -- in the workplace, each and every person believes that they are doing their best. Dig a little deeper and you learn that each person really believes deeply that their actions are good and ethical. Seldom do people set out consciously to mess around with others or to cause problems.
Problems do happen when not enough friendly communication is taking place though.
Knowing that, I give people the benefit of the doubt. I also go WAY beyond what might be expected to make sure that I'm doing everything I can possibly do to uphold MY end of things. If masts are to be stepped, I've gotten a commitment of morning or afternoon and then made sure I was there at least 45 minutes BEFORE the expected time and planned to stay the rest of the day just in case. All smiles and friendly. No pushing people's buttons. Happy, happy, happy thoughts and cheerful talk from me.
I don't care if the other party appears to be falling apart and not doing his part--I just ask "is there anything I can do to help?" and say "Thanks so much for helping us re-step the masts on our schooner" or "Thanks so much for providing us a spot for our haulout work" and I'm inclusive: "Can I take your picture while you're running the crane? I want to remember everyone who helped us this year with our project" and so forth.
If it's a hot day, I've brought cold water
bottles in a shoulder bag -- along with a bag of grapes, fruit, or a box of cookies or home made muffins for everyone in the yard to share. It's hard for people to be mean to me and mistreat my boat when they're getting their picture taken and their mouth is full of my home made banana bread. I've got a little edge because there are two of us--my husband and I--so twice the good cheer and helpfulness. Enlist your spouse, child or grandchild to help you if needed.
We now liveaboard
the boat, so, yeah, it's not like it's far from home for us (after the first re-launch after 2-1/2 years of a rebuild
, that is...) and both my husband and I work hard to THINK of the boatyard owner and employees as IMPORTANT people to us--not just workers but people who play an important role in keeping our boat (and home) in excellent shape.
Once you begin thinking of these folks as part of YOUR TEAM rather than the enemy, you'll care about what happens on their end as well as your end. You will naturally empathize with them and they will more naturally want to make you happy because you'll connect with them--even if just for that little bit of time while the boat is making its way back into the water
and the spars are stepped.
I prefer good times to the bad ones and we've only ever had one really bad boatyard experience. We didn't hold it against the yard owner but can only say that he was in way over his head
with the whole business. When we left the yard, taking our project elsewhere, I recall
telling him that I thought it was unfortunate that the win-win overlap wasn't able to take place in our transaction: We were paying too much for too little and he was not making enough money
on the transaction. It wasn't a good situation for either party. It was not a good transaction, no, and there was quite a bit of money
wasted in the process but I'm by no means bitter about it--we're still cordial with the yard owner. His business did close down two years later. It was only a matter of time.
Because we are DIY folks and we'll be in the yard a week or 10 days working, we've often shared morning coffee or gone out to lunch with boatyard workers or the owners, we've had dinner with them, we've gotten to know them and cheer them on in their own endeavors.
We've had so many GOOD boatyard experiences that I'm always sorry when I hear about a not-so-good one.
I hope you'll find a way--with another boatyard--to build a good relationship that supports your boating
and DIY activities in the future.