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Old 26-03-2012, 20:27   #16
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

"To re-seal these 8 windows I am quoted a price of 4-5 hours each at $96 an hour, the total cost approximately $4000 to put a little caulk in a window opening. "
Uh, no. Caulking leaky ports will not fix them. You do indeed have to REMOVE the port, clean the edges of the hole down to bare structural material, clean the edges of the port the same way, and then totally reinstall them, or the job WILL KEEP LEAKING.
Now, is that 4-5 hours each? Maybe not, but easily two or three hours each if you need to chew out old sealant and convince the port to come out--without damaging anything.
So part of the problem is just not knowing what's involved. And when you do know what's involved, daddle got it right: Vote with your feet.
I can pay someone to change my oil, car or boat. On the car it will be $30 for the cheapest rates or places, $65 for synthetic, and I know I can do the job for half. I also know that the job MIGHT be done by an a-class mechanic who has nothing better to do, but probably will be done by the juniorist guy in the shop, who may strip things out while he's at it.
And on a boat...oh sure, someone's gonna painstakingly suck all the oil out that little hole, instead of just saying "good enough" and stopping?
But if I'm not willing or able to do it myself, all I can do is shop around. Rates are rates.
One thing you can't be shy about is to ask flat out "How come that costs so much?" because sometimes, you just don't know what's involved. And even if you do know what's involved, it NEVER hurts to flat out say you can't afford that, is there any way they can do better?
A rare few folks will say they can't. Most folks want more work, and they have some margin they can give you. Yes, even professionals or mechanics.

"The marina knew i was in a bind, having to move my boat quickly. " And in a zero-sum game, just like poker, you never, ever, tell the other guy he's got you over a barrel.
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Old 26-03-2012, 20:32   #17
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor;916829
"The marina knew i was in a bind, having to move my boat quickly. " And in a zero-sum game, just like poker, you never, [I
ever[/I], tell the other guy he's got you over a barrel.

That statement leads me to believe we should not be too hard on the OP, because he is probably stuck in one of those marina's which is also a boatyard and does not allow any outside contractors. Personally I would never even consider staying in such a place, but for many it is the only option. These people are often just crooks, just as the OP says. They have a captive audience and a thousand ways of squeezing them for more money. I DO think there should be a law against that.
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Old 26-03-2012, 20:49   #18
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

There are plenty of guys out there with no office, staff, yard etc etc simply working out of a van. From the goodness of their hearts they only charge $80/hour.

Yippeee !
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Old 26-03-2012, 21:03   #19
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

If the fruit leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, you don't need to continue to pick and eat from the same tree. There are other fruit trees out there with better tasting fruit.

With that said, I do have a few questions:

1. Did you ask for a detailed explanation of what is involved in changing the ports? If they are charging you $4000 for the job, you deserve to know what is being put into it.

2. Did you seek a quote from other boat yards or contractors?

3. Have you had a chance to speak to others who have had similar work done to get a better idea of what is involved and what it will cost?

Being armed with information is the best tool you have in ensuring you receive a fair estimate.

Case in point: I took my boat in to have the bottom painted. I had no problem with the haul out fee, environmental fee, hourly rate for painting, and was willing to pay a reasonable price for the paint. I asked the boat yard owner to break down the estimate; and I noticed he was charging me $260 per gallon of paint I could buy online for $118 per gallon (shipping included). I took out my phone, popped open the browser, and did search on Google Shopping, and showed him the price. I firmly told him he has every right to charge whatever he wants and I have every right to walk away from it. When I brought it to his attention, he cut the price of the paint in half. He automatically knew I was going to walk away from it and cause his operation a loss of revenue. He wanted my business as badly as I needed the underside of my boat painted. It worked out in both of our interests; but that wouldn't have been the case if I wasn't armed with knowledge about the cost of the paint.
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Old 26-03-2012, 21:08   #20
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

10% to 20% was always considered a fair markup in retail where i was from, is that not the case anymore????
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Old 26-03-2012, 21:09   #21
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

Ahh I do engines and Trannys have been for over 40 yrs, I charge 40.00 per hr with a written estimate for free! on or off the boat. I also have had yards try to high ball me on jobs I don't wish to do or don't have the tools to do. If they do shoot me a number I feel it's to high I say so up front and try to get a better price if I can't get a fair price I leave and try another !! What else can ya do ?? can't shoot em for the theives they are LOL thats a no no most everywhere ! have your boat towed to another cheaper yard maybe ?? just my 2 cents
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Old 26-03-2012, 21:10   #22
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

Bob,, i like the cut of your Jib,,wise words indeed..
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Old 27-03-2012, 04:15   #23
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

If you don't know how to do a job or repair, how do you know that you are being charged too much?
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Old 27-03-2012, 05:02   #24
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

Whilst I appreciate where OP is coming from, nonetheless a large part of what he is paying for is not the skill in doing the job (it's not rocket science) - but the skill in not buggering the job (or boat) up! (plenty of scope for a numpty to get over enthusiastic), and for the yard to stand behind the work if that does happen.

In OP's position I would do them myself, not all 8 in one go - but spread over time.

But agree on shopping around, if allowed to at the Marina and if not move the boat somewhere else for the work to be done.
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Old 27-03-2012, 05:23   #25
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

Thanks for all the comments. I especially enjoy the ones where I am questioned about my ability to know if I'm being overcharged. I've been in heavy construction for 30 years dealing with trades and services and for the most part I can do the work on the boat, know the time it should take and if marinas were reasonable would have no issue. For instance I had some electrical work done. I received a call from the mechanic saying that the wiring was done, would I like an outlet installed? I told him I didn't want it done if he was going to charge me a couple hundred dollars. He said, No, the wiring is in it will only be about 10 minutes, $20. Later when I received the bill it was charged at $250. The original estimate of $1800 for the work I was gettng done turned into $3500. And they did work of dismantling my stuffing box knowing full well that the system I wanted wouldn't fit. So work was done for nothing. I had the same ole stuffing box I started with just a newer piece of equipment I didn't need. A skilled mechanic would have known that the stuffing box I wanted wouldn't fit prior to dismantling the old system simply by taking a measurement. What's so wrong with marinas is they have you virtually sign a blank work invoice and they insist a lean be put on your boat to have work done. Any car dealers, home contractors put a lien on your car or house when they do work? For all those seeming content with the practices of marinas I question your judgement and whether you actually have some stake inthe business. I've had too many face to face contacts with boaters feeling the same as I do so where are those comments?
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Old 27-03-2012, 05:28   #26
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

How much do you think is profit out of $90 an hour? Even for the guy that shows up in a van.
After insurances, liability, workers comp, tools, travel, fuel, licensing, trade education, continuing trade education, stocking very expensive parts, not to mention all the little nickle and dime stuff that adds up to thousands, like SS nuts, bolts, starboard, BC cable, fittings, heat shrink, little things that are just expected that never finds it's way onto a customers bill. Vehical purchase, insurance, up keep, signage. Shop leasing or ownership that also comes along with more insurance, taxes, regulations, and maitenance. I work out of most of the large marina boat yards in south Florida. There are three marina/boat yards I refuse to work in because they want 20% off the top of my bill that IS NOT allowed to be passed on to the customer. Now there is the new trend of charging for parking in a marina on each visit even for that free esitmate.
What I'd really like to charge extra for, which I do not, is a whole different converstaion all together. Like owners who want it cheap but ask a thousand questions while I work. Or explaining yet again why I do it this way. Just because I've done hundreds like it, have been trained that way and because I have more than a few years experiance doesn't seem to matter. While the self appointed expert in the boat next to you (or God forbid on an Internet board ) who has heard of it being done differently claims I'm ripping you off and charging way to much while he'll do it for beer and chips. This list could go on for hours.


OK, I feel a bit better now.
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Old 27-03-2012, 05:48   #27
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
While the self appointed expert in the boat next to you (or God forbid on an Internet board ) who has heard of it being done differently claims I'm ripping you off and charging way to much while he'll do it for beer and chips.
You aren't questioning the technical expertize level of internet boards here on CF are you?
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Old 27-03-2012, 06:06   #28
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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You aren't questioning the technical expertize level of internet boards here on CF are you?

ME??? Naw, not a chance. I love all the free advice.
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Old 27-03-2012, 06:45   #29
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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You aren't questioning the technical expertize level of internet boards here on CF are you?
stirring the pot early aren't we Don??
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Old 27-03-2012, 07:11   #30
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by thesailorguy View Post
Any car dealers, home contractors put a lien on your car or house when they do work?
Yes, actually, they do. Or at least they will if you don't pay your bill promptly. The reason that a boatyard might put a lien on your boat before they even begin work is that, for the last decade or so, they have repeatedly been getting stuck with boats that people walk away from.

I definitely see absolutely nothing wrong with them putting a lien on the boat when they do the work, so long as they remove it promptly after I pay them.

I'm also curious just what you propose we do about this supposed gouging? It has been suggested that you shop around, and walk away if you don't like the price. Is that not enough? Do you want some law passed that will guarantee you low prices? I don't understand what it is that you expect.
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