We are at a great live-aboard, do-it-yourself (DIY) yard right now in Demopolis, Al on the Tenn-Tom waterway. We just completed our own bottom job and there are quite a few of DIY'ers doing all sorts of work. There are also several good DIY yards in Florida
that we use.
I totally agree that compliance with environmental regulations
and protection of people and personal property are very important. I also know from personal experience that these can be readily accomplished with some study, using the right equipment
, a little oversight/advice by the yard and good housekeeping. If you are on a tight budget
you can save a lot of money
and achieve a first class job while not doing harm to someone else.
The insurance and compliance issues often arise because someone, sometimes even yard staff, didn't do the job right and things went wrong. Unfortunately, some yards conclude that the only answer is to overly restrict or outlaw certain activities instead of providing better training, equipment
, oversight and advice. Sometimes the yard takes the easy way out and places the blame on the insurance company; and sometimes it really is the insurance company that tells the yard to cease certain "high risk" activities.
There is usually a simple, fixable reason for problems at boat yards. For example, I really applaud those yards who rent good equipment, like vacuum sanding
units, at a reasonable price
so that the DIY'er has a fighting chance at doing a clean, safe, competent job. If everyone makes an honest effort, DIY yards can continue to safely operate while allowing the boater to undertake a wide range of DIY work.