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Old 07-08-2015, 11:17   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 4,803
Re: Is this "typical"?

Yup, the reality is that the work could be done by you in a weekend.
* Painting 2 coats would have taken about 4 hours, prep included.
* Jazy jacks 2 hours.
* Wax is hard to guess, but if no compounding, a few hours.
* Outboard. If you don't learn to service the engine, expect to get stranded somewhere. It isn't like a car, where you can walk home or get an inexpensive tow (or get a tow at all if you are outside the service area--read the fine print on the insurance).

And yes, there are some yards that are very timely. But generally $$$$$ too. Most of us learn to do many things and sub out only the specialized or very unpleasant. For example, I don't do new canvas, and I've hired younger backs to hump batteries, but pretty much everything else.

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Old 07-08-2015, 11:33   #17
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Wherever the boat is
Boat: Cape Dory 33
Posts: 1,021
Re: Is this "typical"?

Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Marina's are not professionally run. They mostly run by the seat of their pants with unreliable help.

It is nothing to have a boat in for repairs all season. Wrong parts delay, delays due to various reasons.

Exactly right, you need to do most work yourself. That way you control the timeframe as well as the quality of that work.

I have been to several dozen marinas. All of then looked like a very run down business.

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We have just finished with our own 1 year + nightmare with a marina/boatyard. When we purchased our Cape Dory 33 the engine needed repair and because of this we got the boat for a very low price. (well....that and a million other things) It was already on the hard in a boatyard and so our choices were to either let that boatyard do the work or truck the boat somewhere else to have the work done. Having a 33' boat trucked even a short distance is not a cheap proposition and they were offering us free storage while the engine was being repaired, combined with the low price we paid for the boat we didn't really think there was any way we could go wrong. WRONG!!!

It has taken over one year to get the engine repaired. We had to locate most parts ourselves. In the end I guess that might have been better because I am sure they would have marked them up drastically if they had located them for us. They charged us labor for doing things over again when it didn't work out right the first time. They wracked up thousands of dollars in labor costs without providing any kind of detailed list of who worked on what for how many hours or when. How do you verify or dispute charges like that?? This kind of blew my mind.

At the end of last season they weren't finished but we figured they had all winter to finish it so we were very patient and told them that as long as the engine was ready to go back in the boat in spring it was fine. Spring came and went and each time we went down there the engine was still sitting on a pallet in the shop looking essentially the same as it had looked on the previous trip.I am certain the work still wouldn't be finished except 2 months ago we threw a fit and they finally asked us for a deadline that we wanted the boat by. We gave them one that was over a month out and they still didn't get it done on time. That caused us a lot of inconvenience because based on that deadline we had taken vacation to move the boat and didn't end up getting to do it.

They did store us for free (well actually they charged us for two months storage, but they reversed it after we questioned the bill) but the outside electrical didn't work and they often turned off the water on the weekend so we would show up at the yard on the weekend to do work on the boat and there would be no water or electricity available. Sometimes they would remember to run an extension cord out of the shop for us on Friday night, sometimes not. If not then we would call someone and wait sometimes an hour until they came and hooked us up. We were extremely limited in the things we were allowed to do ourselves. No bottom painting or painting of any kind, no fiberglass work. Plus we were commuting an hour and a half each way and paying $15 a day in tolls to get to the boat to work on it, so even though the storage was technically free it was certainly costing us plenty in other ways to have the boat there. We could have been paying to store it closer to home and probably still have come out ahead plus had much more time to get work done.

They didn't get the winter cover on when they said they would (while the boat was still clean) and when they took the winter wrap off the sides that we had worked so hard to polish and wax had big black marks ground into them. They didn't protect the sides when they launched the boat either so there were big black strap marks on the hull. I can't help but think they would have been a bit more careful if it had been a big expensive megayacht. Apparently we weren't high on anyone's priority list. Maybe our 32 year old boat didn't seem like it deserved the care.

It was a very difficult situation and in the end cost us a fortune. I am pretty sure we could have had the boat moved and a repower done for what we paid for repairs....not even a complete rebuild, just repairs. We paid them double what we paid for a complete rebuild of our Cabo Rico 38 engine in San Diego.

In 35 years of boating we have never had an experience like this with any boatyard, so I am not going to say all yards or marinas are crooks. We have dealt with some upstanding folks over the years. Maybe that was our problem. Our lack of prior bad experiences had led us to be too trusting. We also had never been this "hands off" with anything involving any of our boats. A large part of the reason for that was just logistics. We were too far away to really monitor anything on a regular basis. When we had the CR-38 engine rebuilt Lance was there at the boatyard every day working on other things so he had one eye on what was going on the whole time. We will be much more careful and involved in the future. I don't think we will ever just give someone an open order to do work without coming to some very firm agreements regarding cost and time frame up front. And I will never allow anyone to hold us hostage. If we have to pay to get the boat moved in order to deal with people we trust and feel are charging us fairly and treating us respectfully, then I would rather do that even if it costs more in the end than to deal with people that I feel are disrespectful to us and our property and are trying to gouge us.

Our boat is finally in the water, the engine is running, the bill is settled, and tomorrow morning we will motor out of there and head north to bring the boat home. I will be happy to leave that place in my wake. I am not going to trash them by mentioning them by name here. But if anyone were to ask me I would never recommend them.

I would suggest you move your boat. Find a yard that treats you, your boat, and your time with the respect you deserve as the person who is paying their bills. Don't continue to subsidize an outfit that isn't providing the service you are paying for.

Cruising the waterways and traveling the highways looking for fun and adventure wherever it might be found.
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