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Old 02-11-2006, 15:14   #1
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Cost of a paint job - made me laugh

The following post is copies, verbatim, from another sailing forum. To put it into context, the original poster had been given a quote for painting his hull, but he thought that the quote was a bit expensive and was, basically, asking if this was the case. The response below was from a professional boatyard guy... I giggled

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Lazy bidding.

My opening shot bids are just as lazy. I give people a per foot price as a base and then, when we get serious about actually doing it, and eventually modify that price to fit the actual boat.

One thing is certain, sailors and powerboaters are generally different sorts of people. Powerboaters stop by or call one time and ask, "How much?" followed by "When will it be finished?" They expect the prices and dates to be real.
Sailors stop by five to fifteen times to talk about the concept of the possibility of maybe doing something to their boats when they get around to it if by then they still want to do it. They want to know about the sandpapers, thinners, fillers, primers, topcoats, number of coats, dry times, durability, possibility of blistering, colors to match their significant other's favorite pet's favorite chewtoy..which was lost many years ago but looks a lot like the corner of a photo on the cover of a magazine they have at home and thought to which we might subscribe.
Sailors usually do not actually ever get around to signing up for 80% of the work they come by to discuss and think nothing of the hours wasted by various vendors who have to set aside other tasks to endlessly chat about the sailor's dreams and ideas.

When the sailor finally does decide to have work done, the work must be scheduled between the high school graduation party for the daughter who never sails but might want to take her friends out after that party and the beginning of a series of races at the local club.

The powerboater delivers the boat to the shop.

The sailboater expects the service provider to pick up the boat at a marina; bail the boat; obtain fuel; jump start the motor becuase the batteries are dead; motor it six miles to the only facility on the lake whose mast hoist is capable of lowering the rig; remove the bimini; remove the boom; take down the headsail from the roller furler; remove six layers of crusted duct tape from each shroud; extract cotter pins that have not been moved since 1980; lubricate the turnbuckles; disassemble the rig which just happens to have a roller furler / backstay combination which is so short it cannot be loosened enough to properly take apart; lift the mast; cut and label 15 wires that have no plugs; lower the mast; secure the mast and all those lines; wires, halyards, shrouds, fragile roller furling systems; and remove the various wind instruments and antennae from the top of the mast. The sailboater expects the service provider to own and maintain a $100,000 fleet of various size trailers so that the service provider has a trailer to fit his shoal draft swing keel but full length non retractible ruddered Whatnot 32 and to take that trailer to a local ramp, sink the bearings and lights in the water for an hour and fit that Whatnot 32 to the trailer so that it can be extracted from the water and moved to the painting shop (remember this is a simple quote for a paintjob?) without damage.
Once in the shop the sailboater will visit the sailboat and probably bring a significant friend who convinces the sailboater that the entire paintjob should be a different color and perhaps have a new stripe combination.

Wait! If the boat is being painted there is the issue of the name. A powerboater either shows up with a plastic name on a scrim which is ready to install or takes the advice to go to his favorite sign shop, buys, and delivers a ready to use name appropriate to the task.

The sailor wants to hang paper on the side of the boat, which of course the sailors mooches from the shop, and draw, with the shop's marking pens, name after name after name until the sailor has a pretty good idea of what name is perfect. Then the sailor has to hear the dissertation about painted names and plastic names and consider the possibilities. ...while consuming more time at the shop not only in labor of the guys who have to coach the sailor but just by having the boat sitting in the limited work area.

Eventually the sailor manages to agree and let the service provider actually write down a plan and that plan can be accomplished by the service man....unless the sailor calls half what through the job and asks." Is it primed yet? Can we still change our mind about the color of the paint? OH can you send that color back to your supplier or use it on something else? My baby just barfed and I love the color of the sweet potatoes speckled through that barf. You know what color I mean? Oh you don't have kids? You wouldn't understand. I will bring the barf by...."


None of this addresses the parts about those wires running to instruments that have not functioned in 10 years but that was never brought up and the day spent by the rigger, who forgot to check the instruments before disassembling thee mast connections, trying to make the old dead instruments function. OR that too short backstay forestay combination and the time spent trying to winch the rig back just enough to get the damn backstay connected because the sailor is convinced a toggle would ruin the balance of the boat....

75% of my business is sailboat maintenance. 99% of my customer service time is spent on the above described half of those sailboat owning customers.

You do not know who you are. Sometimes your cluelessness is lovable but usually we just lauch at your idiocy. It makes us feel superior. It ain't money and doesn't buy anything, but it feels good.

Just like anyone in any service business lawyers, surgeons, plumbers, and sailboat repair men have only their time to sell.


And so we charge a lot less to do that big fat powerboat than we charge to paint sailboats.

We all know there is a much better living to be made in the powerboat service business.

IN answer to the original poster?? I suspect the powerboater to whom you are comparing your estimate received does not post on or even read a forum like SA. Powerboaters consider their lives too valuable to waste on **** like this. You, who do not value your time, are having a hard time understanding the value of your service man's time.

Me too. That is why I am a pauper who runs a sailboat shop.

And I just spent an hour writing this crap...because I felt like doing it.

maybe now I will go work on a boat.

Or go get lunch.

Lunch wins!!!
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Old 02-11-2006, 16:30   #2
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Hillarious and very true! ha ha Great post. Over the years I have come to respect the powerboaters after years of not doing so. Maybe it's just age... who knows.
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Old 02-11-2006, 16:57   #3
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I guess I'm missing how doing something you love is a waste of time? Especially when it is lunch...
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Old 02-11-2006, 17:36   #4
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Anyone that values lunch get my business.
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Old 02-11-2006, 17:41   #5
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This guy is experianced. Ya can just tell. ;-) :-)
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Old 02-11-2006, 20:33   #6
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Where is he? I think, I might, well, someday I'm sure I will, have to do some painting on my boat, but I'm not sure of the color, but he sure sounds like he has some ideas, at least sorta close to what I've got in mind, that is if my wife doesn't think of something better, which we all know she will.....


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Old 03-11-2006, 13:13   #7
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Weyalan:
“Lazy Bidding” made my day! Thanks for the laugh.
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Old 03-11-2006, 13:14   #8
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The mechanic never comes...

So that is why my mechanic never comes.
He has a whole marina full of power boats with the most wonderful owners in the world.
Just as well I brought a set of SAE spanners today...
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Old 03-11-2006, 14:08   #9
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This bloke says"75% of my business is sailboat maintenence.99% of my customer service time is spent on the above described half of those sailboat owning customers"Does this mean that 1% of customer service time (power boaters I presume)only equates to 25% of his business?Also he says "It aint money and doesen't buy anything"but It feels good!"Sounds like he is having a great time!"So whats he bitchen about?"And two other things that he said dosen't fit.1-And so we charge a lot less to do that big fat power boat than we charge to do paint sailboats.2-We all know there is a much better living to be made in the power service business.It dosen't add up to me!!!75% of business comes from sailboats,you would expect that 99% of customer service time to be spent in this area,considering that only 25% of his business comes from power boats.And he thinks that there is a better living to be made from the 25% of his business income.And seriously who would want to paint their boat baby puke whatever color?And maybe the fact that the power boater dosen't want to know about the particular resins and fillers and what-not says a lot about them.But given this blokes reasoning,I,wouldn't take that as gospel neither.Im sure whatever I owned and had money invested into,I would want to know the same things also.Funny yes!!!!Real,NO.Mudnut.
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Old 03-11-2006, 16:41   #10
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From the other side of the fence...
Shops. Anyone ever notice that boatrights have a standard figure for all big jobs? $15000 and 6 weeks. Doesn't matter if it is replacing 20 frames, and 30 planks, or rebuilding a transome, or repairing gelcoat crazing on a deck. Ever notice that the first week, they show up early, leave late, and can disassemble a boat faster than the IRS can find an error in your tax form?
The second week is usually spent obtaining materials. Of course, the boatright will "encourage" you to get them yourself, as he would have to mark them up. By the end of that second week, you have finally filled the boatright's wish list. He has shown up every day to sweep (usual at $25-$40 per hour) while waiting for "all" of the materials to show up. (The materials that you ordered from the "Discount source" provided by the boatright that will be there any day now)The third week is spent with the boatright complaining that the stuff you got is not wuite right, but he can "make it work". The next two weeks are spent cleaning the areas to be repaired. Now, this is usually the point where the boatright finds some unanticipated major problems. Of course these were not in any way related to the original job, but will only cost $10000 to fix, and a couple more weeks. In vane, the owner trys to say it can wait until next year, but the boatright is persistant, and explains that there is just no point in even doing the other work if you "aren't going to fix things right". You finally give in, and go empty out another credit card. The boatright gets right on the new project. In a couple of days he has it all torn down. Then the weeklong process of locating the materials he says he needs, and the week to get them. Then the week of "This isn't right but I will make it work". About this time, the boatright has taken to showing up every other day for about 2 or 3 hours. You tell him you need to get this done, and everything is ready. He explains that while he was waiting for YOU to get materials, he wanted to be fair, and didn't want to waste YOUR money by shoing up when there wasn't anything to do, so he took on another job, but it will be done in a few weeks, and he can continue with your project after that. You usually don't see him for about a week after this. You get a little worried that your pile of parts will never get put back together. You call him. He says, "I figured you didn't have the money right now, and I was waiting for you to let me know when you wanted to get going again". You, gritting your teeth, tell him, you have the money to complete your boat, and point out what the lay days are costing you. The next day, he is there. he is on time, and he jumps right into it. In seemingly no time, the "extra project" is done. It looks great. Next week, he says, he will finish up the original project. By this time, you have other commitments, and can only get to the boat on the weekends. The next weekend, you see progress. Not what you expected, but hey, it's progress. THe next weekend, you again see progress, but are a little concerned, as at this rate, you are not going to make it in the water in your lifetime. As you are walking around your boat, and starting to notice the short cuts, another boat owner comes up to you and says "Hey, that guy you hired? He sure spends allot of time chatting with everyone" At this point, you take Monday off work. You confront your boatright, and if you are lucky, you fire his silly ass. You now have a torn apart boat, are $20000 or $30000 poorer, and have no vacation time left. Most of us "sail boat owners" just bite the bullet and get it done ourselves. For about $15000 in yard fees and materials.
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Old 03-11-2006, 17:28   #11
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Our humorous painter was just illustrating the principle of the the 80/20 rule (the "vital few and trivial many", or “Pareto Principle”), which suggests that 80% of the consequence are a result of 20% of the causes. Simply put, the 80/20 rule states that the relationship between input and output is rarely, if ever, balanced - because 80 percent of your output comes from 20 percent of your inputs.

Hence:
80% of your profits come from 20% of your sales, or customers.
80% of your profits come from 20% of your products or services.
80% of the complaints come from 20% of the customers.
80% of your time is spent on 20% of your work (usually starting & finishing).
80% of the work will be done by 20% of the employees.
ad nauseam ...
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Old 03-11-2006, 17:48   #12
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Gord, this leads to the corollary:

You don't have to be that good to be better than most.
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Old 03-11-2006, 18:32   #13
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Pareto

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
80 percent of your output comes from 20 percent of your inputs.

Hence:
80% of your profits come from 20% of your sales, or customers.
80% of your profits come from 20% of your products or services.
80% of the complaints come from 20% of the customers.
80% of your time is spent on 20% of your work (usually starting & finishing).
80% of the work will be done by 20% of the employees.
ad nauseam ...
Back in the dark ages I was the ISO Management Rep for a large company. Much of our work hinged on Pareto and its value became very obvious. Recently we hired a consultant at my current company to help the president grow into his job (the business is family owned). Right off the top the guy brings us two books to read, Covey's 7 Habits and The 80/20 Principle. Oddly the latter did not live up to its title. By my calculation only 12.5% of the book had any real value... the rest was "ad nauseum". If you want a new idea read an old book...
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Old 03-11-2006, 20:51   #14
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I'll defend that "squash barf fleck" color until I die...
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Old 04-11-2006, 18:40   #15
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Pura Vida - having managed (created and implemented) two companies' QMS into ISO9001:2000 certification, I've done the mgmt rep - if you aren't doing that now, what did you get into?
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