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Old 28-04-2008, 21:54   #1
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Open Question for Sole Proprietor Mechanics

I know that this might get moved, but in your jurisdictions are marinas requiring you to have workmans compensation? Even though you have no employees? In my state sole props are excluded, but may opt in....it is NOT required by the state.

I have a feeling that the large/chain yards are coercing/paying off marinas to do this.
Smells like a unfair restraint of trade if you ask me.
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Old 28-04-2008, 23:54   #2
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It also seems to be increasingly common that only employees of the boatyard are allowed to do any work, preventing folks not only from doing their own work, but hiring their own mechanics/painters/glassers/installers/whatever.
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Old 29-04-2008, 01:17   #3
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Same thing is happening down here to varying degrees. We go to drop something off on a boat and some of the cheeky yard tries to charge us 10% of the invoice value. We just answer "go see the boat owner". Don't know if they do or not.

We had one big boat worth of gear and they wouldn't let us in until we paid up. I just said no worries and off loaded the entire pile right in the middle of their entrance blocking it completely, we are talking about 1 1/2 tonnes of stuff here. I rang the boat, 150ft away, and told them the gear was there and why. I heard the next day the boat owner was charging the yard for the time taken for his crew to move all the gear to the boat. Nice call I thought.

A couple of the big yards also charge moonbeams in rents for the service guys and tell them they have a captive market hence the big rent.
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Old 29-04-2008, 04:46   #4
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They say it's an insurance issue, and environmental, but it seems that they want to cash out on work and prevent DIYers from saving a buck and having some "fun". Regardless the yard prices are very steep.
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Old 29-04-2008, 04:59   #5
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I had this issue a few years ago. The marinas were requiring it, as well as naming them as an additional insured.
I refused to do both. After about three months of customers complaining to the marina they couldn't get repairs facilitated. The marina rewrote their policy to be more customer friendly.
In the end we all have to remember who pays us. Us being the marina and the contractors. We live off of the discretionary income of the boaters. The boaters are well known to be an independent crowd who can and will vote with their wallets and feet.
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Old 29-04-2008, 05:19   #6
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The boaters are well known to be an independent crowd who can and will vote with their wallets and feet.

Yeah, definitely don't let yards push you around into having them do all your simple work.

If they don't let you work on your boat, just go to a different one. It took me hundreds of miles to find a yard where I can fix my boat on a haulout. I didn't stop until the right yard came along. I started looking when I was in GA/SC. I'm now in NC.

I'm happy to give these guys my money. All of the other jerkyards (ha ha - new word) in SC can have one less $1000 in their pockets now.

I found it to be a problem in Long Island as well. I went to CT marinas instead.
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Old 29-04-2008, 05:52   #7
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A couple of yards I have been in want a cut (15%) of work done by outside contractors.

George
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Old 29-04-2008, 06:02   #8
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A couple of yards I have been in want a cut (15%) of work done by outside contractors.

George
I've run into that too. When they ask after the fact. I just ask what they did to earn it.

If they ask for it up front I'll argue politely with them, again asking what they will do for me to be on my payroll.
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Old 29-04-2008, 06:13   #9
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... If they ask for it up front I'll argue politely with them, again asking what they will do for me to be on my payroll.
Not an argument we can really win. Itís their private property.
I suppose, they could reply that they let us work (& earn) in their facility.

Most yards now require outside contractors to carry insurance, often with a rider naming them.
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Old 29-04-2008, 06:17   #10
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Not an argument we can really win. Itís their private property.
I suppose, they could reply that they let us work (& earn) in their facility.

Most yards now require outside contractors to carry insurance, often with a rider naming them.
Gord,
your absolutely correct. From what I've experienced they will only learn from a decreased pocket book. I have my favorite list of yards to work with. They in turn benefit from my referrals to their facilities. The yards that are not customer oriented are still relying on the captive mentality. Eventually that will run out. Kind of like the old phone company did.
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Old 29-04-2008, 10:51   #11
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The yards that are not customer oriented are still relying on the captive mentality. Eventually that will run out. Kind of like the old phone company did.
Never Monday,

Unfortunately, the old phone company basically IS back. The new AT&T is actually SBC Corp renamed. SBC is the old Southwestern Bell, which acquired AT&T, your own BellSouth, and Pacific Telesis (Pacific Telephone). Verizon is the former Bell Atlantic / NyNex / New England Tel / GTE / Contel (years ago I began my career at Contel. Qwest is just about the only former Bell operating company still independent (used to be US West).

Up here in the Northeast, I guess Brewers Yacht Yards are the closest thing to a "chain". I think they're up to 19 total locations... We used to be at Brewers Yachthaven in Stamford, CT - they seemed OK, but all they did for us was commissioning/winterizing and bottom paint.

As far as marinas go, I tend to agree with most posters here - will all the new environmental laws, costs are going up and marinas have to either pass them on to customers or eat them - and eventually go out of business. I think one thing most marinas do wrong is any lack of proper detailed project planning. Lot's of times the instructions from a boat owner are not very "precise" because the owner isn't of a technical bent, but I (and friends in the same situation) feel totally frustrated when I ask for a detailed estimate of the work required to do X, and I get a one-item quote for "$10,000 to do X". How do you know if that's a fail price?

I have some friends at another yard tell me that I'm lucky - they don't know what the repair will be until they see the bill. If my wife ran her consulting business that way she'd lose every single customer. Lots of yards/marinas think they have a captive market - and they do if you just sit there and don't explore alternatives...
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Old 29-04-2008, 11:05   #12
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I would thing voting with your wallet / feet would be easier said then done given prefered boat location and the number of available marinas.

Requiring insurance from anyone working commercially on your property only makes sense. I own my own business and insurance protection is vitally important. There are guys smoking dope, walking off the end of the dock, and sueing you for not having a railing to protect them.
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Old 29-04-2008, 12:09   #13
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There is a difference between garage insurance and workman comp. Garage insurance is the best protection against stupidity. workman comp for sole proprietors is sensless in my opinion. I have not run into it in our marina.
As for the premium charged for outside contractors in boat yards, it sucks, and is unfair in some cases. If the contractor is doing a job the yard would get paid to do, it is fair, but when the yard does not provide that specific service, and it is specialized to the point the average boater would not have the skills or equipment, it seems unfair to charge a premium. Unfortunately, our local yard was unresponsive to this argument. DIY yards are getting more difficult to find out here, so it is unlikely that the boating community will risk losing the option to DIY by pushing too hard against a premium.
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Old 29-04-2008, 17:31   #14
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To clarify...I am not talking about yards...I am talking about MARINAS
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Old 29-04-2008, 17:55   #15
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Hence the part of my post about my marina. Of course they are not the most up to date, and the management is completely incompetent, but they have never made any requirements, or even involved themselves in the business of outside contractors working on boats.
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