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Old 21-09-2018, 05:19   #1
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Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

I am contemplating going to this yard for some upgrades & etc. to our Leopard 40 when it comes out of charter in the Bahamas this spring. Anyone have experience with this yard? Pros / Cons?


Any other Florida East Coast yards that are notably good with cats in general and Leopards in particular which would be worth checking out?



Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old 21-09-2018, 06:00   #2
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

Our Experience... They are very nice, honest and talented folks - from the president/owner to the receptionist who do high quality work at a fair price (by south Florida standards) and who know the Leopard line like the backs of their hands. Like all yards things can take longer than anticipated. JC has more work than they know what do do with. I hear their waiting list can be several months long. They did a bunch of "post-commissioning" work for us in March, 2017 after we took delivery of our L40 from TUI. We are on the Chesapeake but are going back to JC in November on our way to the Bahamas to have a bit of work done.
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Old 23-09-2018, 04:31   #3
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

Great people but as said above they have lots of work on their schedule. We spent six months there doing a major refit. We were told four months. First it was April, then May, then June. We finally got done at the end of June.
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Old 23-09-2018, 05:27   #4
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

Thanks to all. I have about six months before we could have our boat there so it sounds like I am getting started in about the right time frame. Is there anyone at the yard I should specifically contact? Please feel free to PM.
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Old 23-09-2018, 06:01   #5
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

I suggest starting with Jenn Arbelo. She schedules the work, manages the office, handles customer relations, invoicing, etc. The owner is Kent Grimbeek and the project supervisors are Raf Escobar and Laurent Facchin.
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Old 23-09-2018, 06:07   #6
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

Cracker Boy in Riviera Beach.
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Old 23-09-2018, 07:31   #7
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

Just my 2Cents, FWIW

We bought our Leopard through JC and were basically happy with the process. They recommended we use a closing company in Lauderdale, turns out it is owned by JC, which is OK with me. However we were much less than impressed with the closing company, quite a few errors in the closing paperwork that had to be corrected.

We then returned a few months later to have some work done including a bottom job. The yard at Harbour Towne Marina is used by JC for their "on the hard" work. There are always bottom jobs being done and as you can imagine the yard has quite a bit of bottom paint dust from the sanding.

Our boat was returned to us quite filthy, it was just plain nasty. I did complain about it and there was a lot of finger pointing and quite a bit of apologizing but no efforts or even offers of helping clean the boat. Our broker, used for the purchase, said "That's not JC, not who we are" and was embarrassed but still no resolution.

It took us weeks to get it cleaned by ourselves.

After our lightening strike in the Bahamas in April I contacted JC. I knew from speaking with another yard that we were looking at between $80K & $100K in repairs as everything on the boat needed replacement.

I guess I made a mistake mentioning the condition my boat was in when returned from my earlier yard work. Not stating I was upset with JC but that I hoped it wouldn't be returned in the same condition as before. Jenn didn't even give me a return phone call; she sent an email that was fairly non-committal.

I guess a $100K repair was to small a job for JC to even be bothered with. We went with another yard and are nearing completion now. The repairs are only $86K so I guess Jenn was right in not calling back, it IS to small of a repair for JC to be bothered with.

We won't go back, there are many yards to chose from.

Also we may be ready to move up to a larger boat and we won't use JC for listing our present or buying our new. We are just that turned off by our experience.

That is just our experience and is just one "slightly less than positive but not totally negative" opinion in a sea of positives from other people.

Maybe we are just overly sensitive..
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Old 25-09-2018, 17:04   #8
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

I would echo that they are good yard with good people. We did a bunch of upgrades to our boat last year with them. Overall work was good, any issues we had got resolved. I would say they are victims of their own success, very busy schedule and boat owners need to be proactive to keep things moving along. We had scheduled our work months in advance but they were not ready for us when we arrived. Once things got started, it took a month longer than planned. All that said, I would go back.
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Old 03-10-2018, 13:04   #9
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

Our purchase experience with Just Catamarans was pretty chaotic - it felt like it was the first time Just Catamarans sold a boat. We are brand new, so maybe our expectations are just too high.

On the service front, the people at Just Catamarans are REALLY nice, but they require CONSTANT follow-up. We are still waiting for them to do a bunch of things... and have to continuously follow-up.

We will probably start looking for another company to help with some of the to-do list items. Just Catamarans is just really slow and requires that constant follow-up.

Good luck
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Old 04-10-2018, 17:59   #10
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

You might look at Bradford Marine in Freeport. I have Palarran there and will be doing between $25 and $40k of work on her before launch. They refit Mega Yachts all the time so their abilities should be quite high. Except rigging. They don't do new standing rigging.
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Old 20-11-2018, 07:42   #11
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

We have had a very positive experience with Just Catamarans after our lightning strike in July. We are now (November) wrapping up after 4+ months of repair work.

We purchased our Lagoon 450S from JC in February, and they took on our boat repair with one day notice after a lightning strike in July - we were towed from Biscayne Bay. We were in a bind with a ship dead-in-the-water and reached out to JC. They figured out how to put us in a safe place as we evaluated the situation.

Rafael and Laurent (JC's Technical Directors) know catamaran systems, and I feel confident in the work. They lead a pretty diverse group of technicians. They are both great for giving sound technical input, bouncing off ideas and understanding trade-offs. Given my engineering background, my questions to them were numerous. I never felt put off.

The original repair estimate was 2 months and $35K. The end result was 4 months and $75K. Costs rose because as systems came on-line other systems were found damaged, and in need of repair/replacement; e.g. we did not (could not) discover the power systems (chargers, inverters, and batteries) needed replacement until basic electronics were up and running.(lightning strikes are tough). The schedule slips was partially due to lead times for replacement parts from France, and also JC's work load - fortunately we were not in a rush.

JC's home, Harbour Towne Marina has easy access with no bridges to negotiate from Port Everglades. A blessing as we were towed in. Our sea trial from Harbour Towne was much easier than our purchase sea trial, out of Lauderdale Marine Center, with 4? bridges to negotiate before hitting Port Everglades. Harbour Towne Marina was able to lift our Lagoon 450, although I was told they could not lift our cruiser friend's Lagoon 560 due to trav-lift width restrictions.

Clean-up was mentioned in an earlier post. Our boat become a mess while being worked on for 4 months. Upon our request, JC included an acceptable clean-up at the end of our stay. I suggest making sure that is identified in any estimates, and set as an expectation. We asked about this as we were nearing completion and it was not an issue to schedule. But, it was added to our bill. So being clear ahead of time is key. Our clean-up was two people and 4 hours work.

The net of our lightning experience is that we have a boat that has been looked over, and worked on by a very competent technical team, and I now understand many of the technical details of our home. And, we now have someone to whom we can ask questions in the future. I attribute a great deal of that to the JC technical team, their attitude of doing very good work, and a perspective of satisfying their customer.

I'd go back.

By the way, Pantaenius was our insurance provider. They were great, and JC's ability to work with the surveyor to ensure our repairs were warranted, justifiable, and covered by Pantaenius was a huge load off my mind.
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Old 20-11-2018, 13:38   #12
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

I'm really happy that you had a good experience with Just Catamarans.

Our experience is nothing like yours. We have structural problems with the solar arch they welded together, pieces of the project just aren't complete... and the worst thing is, there is nobody to really talk with. Rafael is a really nice guy, but actually getting him to focus and come up with a plan of attack, has been really difficult. Our current invoice is at $42,674.28.

We are desperately trying to get a handle on this project, it seems completely out of control at this point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by geekoman View Post
We have had a very positive experience with Just Catamarans after our lightning strike in July. We are now (November) wrapping up after 4+ months of repair work.

We purchased our Lagoon 450S from JC in February, and they took on our boat repair with one day notice after a lightning strike in July - we were towed from Biscayne Bay. We were in a bind with a ship dead-in-the-water and reached out to JC. They figured out how to put us in a safe place as we evaluated the situation.

Rafael and Laurent (JC's Technical Directors) know catamaran systems, and I feel confident in the work. They lead a pretty diverse group of technicians. They are both great for giving sound technical input, bouncing off ideas and understanding trade-offs. Given my engineering background, my questions to them were numerous. I never felt put off.

The original repair estimate was 2 months and $35K. The end result was 4 months and $75K. Costs rose because as systems came on-line other systems were found damaged, and in need of repair/replacement; e.g. we did not (could not) discover the power systems (chargers, inverters, and batteries) needed replacement until basic electronics were up and running.(lightning strikes are tough). The schedule slips was partially due to lead times for replacement parts from France, and also JC's work load - fortunately we were not in a rush.

JC's home, Harbour Towne Marina has easy access with no bridges to negotiate from Port Everglades. A blessing as we were towed in. Our sea trial from Harbour Towne was much easier than our purchase sea trial, out of Lauderdale Marine Center, with 4? bridges to negotiate before hitting Port Everglades. Harbour Towne Marina was able to lift our Lagoon 450, although I was told they could not lift our cruiser friend's Lagoon 560 due to trav-lift width restrictions.

Clean-up was mentioned in an earlier post. Our boat become a mess while being worked on for 4 months. Upon our request, JC included an acceptable clean-up at the end of our stay. I suggest making sure that is identified in any estimates, and set as an expectation. We asked about this as we were nearing completion and it was not an issue to schedule. But, it was added to our bill. So being clear ahead of time is key. Our clean-up was two people and 4 hours work.

The net of our lightning experience is that we have a boat that has been looked over, and worked on by a very competent technical team, and I now understand many of the technical details of our home. And, we now have someone to whom we can ask questions in the future. I attribute a great deal of that to the JC technical team, their attitude of doing very good work, and a perspective of satisfying their customer.

I'd go back.

By the way, Pantaenius was our insurance provider. They were great, and JC's ability to work with the surveyor to ensure our repairs were warranted, justifiable, and covered by Pantaenius was a huge load off my mind.
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Old 21-11-2018, 13:02   #13
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsuredApple View Post
I'm really happy that you had a good experience with Just Catamarans.

Our experience is nothing like yours. We have structural problems with the solar arch they welded together, pieces of the project just aren't complete... and the worst thing is, there is nobody to really talk with. Rafael is a really nice guy, but actually getting him to focus and come up with a plan of attack, has been really difficult. Our current invoice is at $42,674.28.

We are desperately trying to get a handle on this project, it seems completely out of control at this point.

What else does that $42k bill include?
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Old 21-11-2018, 19:14   #14
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGuppy View Post
What else does that $42k bill include?
I should have noted that I'm not unhappy about the cost of the project (um, not saying that I have too much money...)

We got 4x 300Ah lithium-ion batteries and the solar arch. The solar arch is freestanding. They found a few electrical wiring issues they fixed while merging the 2 house battery banks... there are other bits... but again, not an issue about cost, but the project management and quality.

I just they are just way overbooked/worked... good people though.

Does that answer your question?
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Old 23-11-2018, 07:18   #15
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Re: Just Catamarans Dania Beach FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsuredApple View Post
Our purchase experience with Just Catamarans was pretty chaotic - it felt like it was the first time Just Catamarans sold a boat. We are brand new, so maybe our expectations are just too high.

On the service front, the people at Just Catamarans are REALLY nice, but they require CONSTANT follow-up. We are still waiting for them to do a bunch of things... and have to continuously follow-up.

We will probably start looking for another company to help with some of the to-do list items. Just Catamarans is just really slow and requires that constant follow-up.

Good luck
If nothing else, the past year of bigger boat ownership has taught me that the marine service industry tends to have lousy customer service, and often lousy repair service as well. Having to hound someone for weeks or even months just to give you an estimate for a repair seems to be normal. Then once you have the estimate, it's like pulling teeth to get someone to commit to a date. There are of course exceptions to this. Some people and companies have excellent responsiveness and customer service, but they are the exception.

All that being said, JC tends to be on the better end, which doesn't bode well for your future service needs.
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