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Old 26-02-2014, 19:25   #1
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Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

Hi there - I have a 1996 461 Beneteau and I would like to do a lot of work on it to make it bluewater cruise worthy (solar panels, watermaker, genset, electrical equipment, autopilot, etc). It's currently in San Francisco and seems like everywhere here is super expensive. Are mexican boat yards cheaper? Is the quality comparable? What about differences between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego? Price/hourly labor cost is a major factor but I would also like to work with the boat yard to learn all the systems in and out. Any suggestions on general area to get the work done or even specific boat yards?
Thanks!
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Old 27-02-2014, 17:37   #2
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

Go North. I think the best boatyards I have seen are in Oregon and Washington. If you decide to come up here, I can tell you which ones I like. Charile Cobra works his magic out of Bellingham.
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Old 27-02-2014, 21:23   #3
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

We used Canal boatyard in Seattle and Berkeley Marine Center in, you guessed it Berkeley. Both good yards and we could work alongside their guys.

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Old 28-02-2014, 22:07   #4
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

Boat Harbor, Port Townsend. So many skilled shipwrights and other marine specialists there and they generally don't charge as much as most other places I've been. Boat Harbor is the yard but it contains many businesses. The Port of Port Townsend does the haul out and they aren't inexpensive, but once in the yard if you want to work on your own boat that's ok and if you aren't an ass you can get advice on the work or hire someone to do the stuff you can't do. Wonderful skills, wonderful people, great place overall.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:00   #5
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

I use Ventura Harbor Boatyard. Great team, owner operated, will allow DIY. Ventura/Santa Barbara/Channel Islands are a great area to be while doing the work.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:48   #6
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

No doubt I'd rather go to Washington to get the work done but if you are headed the other direction Ensenada has a great yard that does good quality work rather cheaply. Baja Naval. Maybe there are others here that have used their yard that can get more specific.

Take your own specific paints and panels with you because sometimes getting high tech specific stuff is not easy down there.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:57   #7
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

+1, SkiprJohn... used them several times on both power and sail... Phil
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:39   #8
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

CSR Marine in Seattle, or Shelter Island Boat Yard in San Diego.

I find San Diego to be about 2/3 the cost of Seattle.
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Old 01-03-2014, 22:29   #9
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

Having just done a major overhaul in Port Townsend, Wa. I would say they are 1/3 less or more in cost and 50% better quality. Also they really are great about letting you work on your own boat, even use their shop. It was two years in the yard that I never want to do again but the Shipwrights Cooperative was a fantastic outfit to work with.
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Old 04-03-2014, 13:17   #10
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

Really appreciate the input! I guess I should mention that I'm in San Francisco and only looking to go South. Any one have experience with the boat yards in Baja? San Diego vs San Francisco/Berkeley in terms of price and quality? Obviously these are pretty broad questions but just looking for some input.
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:06   #11
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Re: Best boat yard on west coast of North America?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumberg View Post
Really appreciate the input! I guess I should mention that I'm in San Francisco and only looking to go South. Any one have experience with the boat yards in Baja? San Diego vs San Francisco/Berkeley in terms of price and quality? Obviously these are pretty broad questions but just looking for some input.
You have had two gentlemen ( SkiprJohn and Capt Phil ) suggest Baja Naval (in Ensenada). I would concur, but NOT ONLY FOR THE COST.

They are CRAFTSMAN there, that care about the work. They have pride.

They get parts from the US, so no worry about quality.

They also have a US phone number you can ring.+1 (619) 819-5048 or +1 (619) 819-8588.

They also speak English. The quality of the work is WORLD CLASS.

I am biased. I had my work done (complete refit/refurbish on 55 foot vessel, with new deck, repaint etc) and was impressed, and everyone who has seen their work has been impressed.

Best of Luck

ps. The city itself is also very nice, wine country.... scenes, warmth, people...
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