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Old 24-08-2006, 20:09   #1
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Is "Extortion" still alive in boat yards in Florida?

I thought years ago PS did a piece on what things were legal and illegal for boat yards. If memory serves me correct they couldn't charge you for an outside contractor. The could require proof of insurance. Now; however, I know my memory isn't always serving me anymore. So, does anyone know the "legal" scoop of this practice and if I'm correct the whearabouts for the "complaint" department.

I have a hard time imagining a landlord getting away w/ charging a tennet when they hire someone to do some work for them. But then again, when we mention boat there are a lot more hands that go out than there are pockets to put them in.
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Old 24-08-2006, 21:26   #2
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Around here (Western Washington) the relationship between yards and contractors is usually "you scratch my back, I scratch yours". In other words, yards like contractors, and vice versa, because they have the potential to bring in extra work for which the contractor is not qualified.

Relationships are not always smooth though.

My wife works for a yard who banned a local boat repair contractor that worked out of his van. The reason? He would attempt to undercut the yard by pitching himself to other boats already in the yard. Pitching to customers like "I can fix that, and I have a lower hourly rate." A few times he said it in front of a yard employee! Not exactly the smartest business move on his part.

Hence, the yard owner banned him.

Never heard of anything legal or illegal regarding contractors. And, I have never heard a yard "charging extra" for bringing in contractors.

But then again, no yard is short on business in these parts.
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Old 25-08-2006, 03:35   #3
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In 2001, I hauled my boat at Lauderdale Marine. They allowed DIY and work by their "approved" contractors, but not by other outside services. Most of the approved contractors had facilities at the yard. The one I used to service my sail drives seemed knowledgeable and prices were not out of line.

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Old 25-08-2006, 04:23   #4
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Florida has been known to take advantage of people. I shop around for a person that I can trust before asking for prices.

So, about marina's. Some of them will take just about anybody and some will only take ones with insurance and some have an approved list and others will not take any at all. Some will let you do more than clean the boat and most will not.

General, you bet.
Too many problems from unskilled labor.

I have chosen to have the new work done by pro's and then replace it myself. That way I expect that it will be done to the highest standards. (and i hope it will not break when i push it to far)
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Old 25-08-2006, 04:41   #5
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I must be misunderstanding, when I read: “... I have chosen to have the new work done by pro's and then replace it myself ...”.

A “professional” is someone who charges for their work.

A “qualified professional” is someone whose work you shouldn’t expect to replace.

I generally recommend the latter.
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Old 25-08-2006, 05:16   #6
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Boatyards have a right to do what ever they want in terms of outside contrators as long as they advise you of their policy prior to hauling out your boat. Advising you may be as simple as a sign in the office, or a sign on the gate. It may be in the fine print in the contract that you filled out when you agreed to have your boat hauled out.

The arrangement that you mention is pretty traditional although it varies in extent. Some yards require that they do all work below the toe rail while others have more extensive or less extensive rules.

If you wish to use outside contractors, you need to ask the yard in advance to be certain that you can. I typically will also ask the yard about specific contractors and ask my contractor about the yard in case there is bad blood between the contractor and the yard.

In the end, if you don't like a yard's policy go somewhere else.

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Old 25-08-2006, 06:34   #7
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Another policy that seems to be typical in these parts, is that the contractor must abide by the environmental rules. Mostly rules set by the state. If the yard catches a contractor not complying, there will be a few warnings followed by "you can't work in this yard anymore, sorry." I've seen that happen a couple times.

Heck I have even seen a few DIY customers banned from the yard for grinding bottom paint without a tent or dust collection. ...but I digress.

Yards seem to have wide lattitude on policies regarding contractors.
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Old 25-08-2006, 14:29   #8
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Dkall, what is LEGAL is one thing. What your contract with the yard allows, prohibits, or defines, is quite something else. If the contract says no DIY, then yes, that's now legal and defined as such under contract law. If the contract is silent on the subject...then you are free to do as you please, subject only to the rest of the contract terms--which might also give them the right to throw you out on 48 hours notice.

"Legal" isn't the issue.
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