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Old 11-07-2016, 11:23   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Cruising US East Coast/Caribbean
Boat: 1975 Gulfstar M53
Posts: 172
Can anyone recommend a good service yard (Middle Chesapeake)

Is there anyone out there that has had their vessel re-done in the Chesapeake Bay area and willing to "crow" about the guys who did the work?

I'm looking for recommendations from "experienced" owners on a full service outfit in the middle Chesapeake Bay area that you trust to do "quality" work (from first hand knowledge) for what I consider a major project:

We are ready to give our 1975 Gulfstar M53 Ketch a major face-lift (full bottom job [Caribbean cruising], hull and topside refinish [paint or refinish gelcoat], replace all thru-hulls, refinish brightwork [teak], rebed all hardware, portlights and mast collars, install stern thruster, underwater lights, re-engineer [extend] swim platform, un-step and service masts [x2] and standing rigging ... then re-assemble it all to get us headed south after splash and sea-trial.

Our vessel is in great shape with the original gelcoat on the hull but painted gunnels and non-skid. We do have "spider cracks" in the gelcoat in typical places (transition areas at the base of the coach roof, gunnel vents, around the base of some stanchions) gouge/scratches in the hull (above waterline). Last haul-out revealed no blisters - fingers crossed! Masts have not been unstepped in approx 10 years but no issue with tuning the rig during our ownership (4 yrs).

I'm willing to pay for quality work but like many on these forums - I am a capable DIY'er with little desire to subject my body and lifestyle (we live aboard) to a 1-year refit in a DIY yard (although I will certainly do some things myself to defray unnecessary labor costs like remove hardware [for painting] and de-couple electronics [for mast removal].

I will ask a service provider (those that impress me with a great customer service attitude) to do the work inside of 60 days (APR-MAY 2017) and will be very interested in if they guarantee their work (not sure if this is common)? I have flexibility on the time window (JAN - MAY 2017).

I have begun to reach out (via advertisements on internet) to major yacht yards in our area who often refer me to the on-site service provider contractor in their yard - and I am starting to get responses from yard service sales/customer reps but have yet to speak to a project foreman and start an estimate.

Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated from the wealth of knowledge that members of this forum have provided me for several years before I commit to any one currently 3-choices (Jabin, Annaplois Harbor, Zimmerman)?

PS - I know that some will recommend we take the boat to the Caribbean and do it there (where labor costs are cheaper and EPA is a non-factor) but that doesn't fit into our schedule as we want to enjoy cruising with a boat that is ready to go.

Looking forward to some sage advice!


SV Take Me There!
Gulfstar M53
Herrington Harbour South (Chesapeake)
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Old 11-07-2016, 12:52   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Annapolis
Boat: Hylas 44
Posts: 611
Re: Can anyone recommend a good service yard (Middle Chesapeake)

For fiberglass work, Osprey Marine at Herrington North is the go-to place. There are lots of others tradesmen right there. You would have to be your own general contractor.
If you want one-stop shopping, then Jabin's in Annapolis is an option, as are Diversified Marine and M Marine.

Scandia Yacht Services in Whitehall Bay might be an option.
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Old 11-07-2016, 13:13   #3
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 32
Re: Can anyone recommend a good service yard (Middle Chesapeake)

Talk to the yard at Gibson Island. It is available to non-members. See if they can provide all the services you want. Otherwise, Campbell's in Oxford could be a good choice.
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men, service

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