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Old 18-03-2014, 12:29   #1
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Baja Naval Boatyard

I am considering taking my boat to Ensenada to have the bottom painted. This job would include prep and light sanding, 2 coats of bottom paint, lay out and paint a new boot stripe (LP). Has anyone had experience having this type of work done recently at Baja Naval in Ensenada? Tell me about your how things went…

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Old 18-03-2014, 12:39   #2
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

When I had them quote it for my boat (turned out they couludn't haul it anyway) they weren't cheaper than anyone else. I ended up having Marine Group BW there in San Diego do the work. $2200 for two coats of paint out the door on a 38' tri. They did the work in about a week including repairing some delamination and a bunch of other stuff I tacked on at the last minute. Ended up spending about $3500 with them but to no fault of theirs, was some the delamination and the extra work including a prop change, zincs, and other misc. maintenance items i didn't want to bother with.

Professional and good quality work, they even all waited late on a friday afternoon when we got cut off by the train that runs through the yard, ended up splashing back in at about 6:30PM instead of 4:00 PM like planned.
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Old 18-03-2014, 13:09   #3
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

Baja Naval has a good reputation for quallity work and I wouldn't hesitate to take our boat there again for a haul and bottom paint. I would recommend bringing your own bottom paint to save a little there.

Now when you get there...I have a list of Great Taco places within walking distace for you!
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Old 18-03-2014, 13:41   #4
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

I've had a lot of work done by the yard in Ensenada over the years and came to be quite good friends with the old owner who has now died. His son took over the yard and kept it running in much the same manner as his Dad. Staff remained pretty much the same and the family is very highly thought of in Ensenada. As the years passed their prices rose until they were about 15% below San Diego yard prices but the workmanship, particularly fiberglass and stainless, was really good. Some of the yard workers are second and maybe even third generation. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them... Phil
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Old 18-03-2014, 13:45   #5
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

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I've had a lot of work done by the yard in Ensenada over the years and came to be quite good friends with the old owner who has now died. His son took over the yard and kept it running in much the same manner as his Dad. Staff remained pretty much the same and the family is very highly thought of in Ensenada. As the years passed their prices rose until they were about 15% below San Diego yard prices but the workmanship, particularly fiberglass and stainless, was really good. Some of the yard workers are second and maybe even third generation. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them... Phil
++10

Great people, great workmanship.
If you call they will can even come out and give you a quote.
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Old 18-03-2014, 14:02   #6
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

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Originally Posted by natew View Post
When I had them quote it for my boat (turned out they couludn't haul it anyway) they weren't cheaper than anyone else. I ended up having Marine Group BW there in San Diego do the work. $2200 for two coats of paint out the door on a 38' tri. They did the work in about a week including repairing some delamination and a bunch of other stuff I tacked on at the last minute. Ended up spending about $3500 with them but to no fault of theirs, was some the delamination and the extra work including a prop change, zincs, and other misc. maintenance items i didn't want to bother with.

Professional and good quality work, they even all waited late on a friday afternoon when we got cut off by the train that runs through the yard, ended up splashing back in at about 6:30PM instead of 4:00 PM like planned.
Was that because yours was a trimaran? The haulout slip was probably the determining factor. The travelift could handle the weight.

I'd watched Baja Naval haul a few boats this last November. They did an excellent job even with some really large and heavy monohulls. I thought their prices were much cheaper for some work than in San Diego. They had a published price list to hand out when we got there but unfortunately I didn't keep a copy. Maybe CelestialSailor kept his.

kind regards,
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Old 18-03-2014, 16:18   #7
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

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Was that because yours was a trimaran? The haulout slip was probably the determining factor. The travelift could handle the weight.
Aye.. I think it came up too narrow by about 6 inches. I may have gone there if that wasn't the case but as I said they weren't really much cheaper so not sure it would have been worth the hassle of making the trip. That and just to SD was already almost 150NM for me so I didn't see the price difference worth it even if they could have hauled it.
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Old 18-03-2014, 18:29   #8
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

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Aye.. I think it came up too narrow by about 6 inches. I may have gone there if that wasn't the case but as I said they weren't really much cheaper so not sure it would have been worth the hassle of making the trip. That and just to SD was already almost 150NM for me so I didn't see the price difference worth it even if they could have hauled it.
There is travel costs and certificates of ownership requirements, passports and visitor pass requirements too. So you might not have saved any money in the long run.

I do like Ensenada though and would go again.
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Old 18-03-2014, 19:40   #9
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

Did not realize you now need passports and visitor passes to go to Mexico... boy, times have changed and not for the better. Gone are the days when you nipped across the border for some refreshments and companionship and stayed for a few days before coming back across the border. Loved the simpler time... cheers, Phil
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Old 19-03-2014, 14:09   #10
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

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Did not realize you now need passports and visitor passes to go to Mexico... boy, times have changed and not for the better. Gone are the days when you nipped across the border for some refreshments and companionship and stayed for a few days before coming back across the border. Loved the simpler time... cheers, Phil
Things are a bit more complicated now. When I lived in San Diego I used to drive across the border and go to the dog races down in Tijuana for an afternoon or stop on Revolucion Ave. for a libation or two. Those days are gone now. However, things in Ensenada have certainly improved economoc wise since those old days so maybe a tightening up of rules and regulations might be a good thing. It keeps riff raff like me from crossing the border too easily.
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Old 19-03-2014, 20:30   #11
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

Were you the guy I boosted up in the men's washroom in Hussong's Bar in Tiajuana to climb out the window during a raid back in the 1980's?
Those were the salad days in any little border town in Mexico and Yankee $'s went along way if you got into trouble. I really miss those fun, uncomplicated days. Really a shame that rules, Reg's and their enforcement have made such adventures off limits for today's young, and not so young folks. Cheers, Phil
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Old 19-03-2014, 21:36   #12
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

I hauled out at Baja Naval in Ensenada late last year for a bottom prep/paint job and was not pleased with the results; the cost savings were not much compared to using a yard in San Francisco (where I am from), the savings were in the fact that the Baja Naval did all of the work below the waterline (only the yard may touch anything on the boat below the waterline, this includes the propeller, propeller shaft...), therefore I was free to wander around Ensenada during the day rather than working on the boat.

The result was not helped by my lack of Spanish and the yard's failure to keep me informed of what they were doing and how they were doing it.

The people at the yard meant well, they work hard, but the person doing the work did a haphazard job on the bottom - poor sanding, did not tape off the prop or prop shaft and therefore had a lot of splattered bottom paint to remove afterwards, did a poor job polishing out the shaft and prop, poor job of taping off the hull... and used a wickedly thick roller to slap on paint, leaving a ton of ridges all over the boat and a thick stippled pattern from the roller.

To add insult to injury, the paint was dragged badly when the boat was lifted by the slings, and even worse - the yard uses a kraft paper of some sort to protect fresh paint from the jack stands; that paper gets pressed into the wet paint and has been a bear to remove.

To repair the result, I have been cleaning the bottom periodically at anchor, and then follow that with a half hour working with a semi-flexible sanding block and 400 grit wet-or-dry paper and the boat is getting noticeably faster as the paint job gets smoother.

Upshot: I will not bring my boat back to Baja Naval for a rolled-on bottom job. I would much rather have the ability to apply my own paint, even if I have to pay a yard to do all the prep work.

I cannot comment about bottom paint spray jobs, as I did not ask them to do that (I used to spray the bottom paint).

I liked the yard's facilities, they are clean, neat, orderly, the people are super-nice, travel lift haul-out was done ok. Everything went well except for the skill of the person doing the work (lacking), problems with the paper in the jackstands getting into the paint, and communications issues between myself and the yard managers and yard workers. If you are already in San Diego, I would get the work done there.

My total savings were perhaps $300 on a $2000 job - not worth it for the aggravation.

-beetle
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Old 20-03-2014, 21:45   #13
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

Thanks for your post, Beetle... I'm surprised you had such a negative experience at Baja Naval. Perhaps it is because you didn't speak Spanish or didn't sit down with the yard foreman and explain what you wanted in detail. He speaks english quite well and has been working there for over 30 years, I think.
It is important that you let Arysilya in the office know how you feel about the quality of workmanship because she will make certain that it both doesn't happen again and may work out some kind of credit or restitution. When you challenge the workmanship of the yard, it is taken as a personal afront to those who worked on your vessel, unlike in an American yard where they could care less.
The guys who work there take great pride in what they do and do not want to be associated with second rate work, believe me!
Thanks for posting your experience... it will help the owners and the workers there.
Cheers, Phil
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Old 21-03-2014, 13:39   #14
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Were you the guy I boosted up in the men's washroom in Hussong's Bar in Tiajuana to climb out the window during a raid back in the 1980's?
Those were the salad days in any little border town in Mexico and Yankee $'s went along way if you got into trouble. I really miss those fun, uncomplicated days. Really a shame that rules, Reg's and their enforcement have made such adventures off limits for today's young, and not so young folks. Cheers, Phil
How'd you know that was me? I don't have any memory of it but then again I usually got back to San Diego without remembering anything. Thanks for the boost, man!
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Old 21-03-2014, 17:04   #15
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Re: Baja Naval Boatyard

yer' welcome, John... cheers, Phil
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