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Old 03-03-2010, 09:35   #16
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Find out from boatyard management if anyone but their people can work or supervise there. If not, then your search is over. If so, ask the PO or Broker for leads. Ask about Surveyors. Check references. Go there, interview the candidate(s) Make a selection.

Plan for a shakedown cruise followed by more work before you head off into the blue water.

I'm the one with the hat.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:38   #17
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Is the boat at a reputable full-service yard? Tell the service manager what you want, and let them give you cost estimates. It's not a bad idea to have the head of each service department go through the boat quickly and list up things that they think should be priorities. Having someone knowledgeable look at the rigging, thru-hulls, hoses, etc., might save you some serious pain later. A full service yard will look seriously askance at you if you try to bring in outside contractors.

If the boat is not at a high quality full-service yard, consider moving her to get this work done. As many nice boats as I see when cruising through that area, I'm sure there is someone who can take good acre of you.

I've lived 2000 miles from my boat for 6 years, but I keep her at an excellent yard, and have a good relationship with the yard workers as well as the service manager. When there is a misunderstanding (as happens), we get together and make it so nobody feels ill-used. As others have said, having a full-service yard turn-key your boat isn't cheap but, if the yard is a good one, they can do the work much quicker and better than you. After all, it's what they do for a living.

This may be a good time to be getting work done, as business is down at even the best east coast yards.

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Old 03-03-2010, 11:17   #18

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"The problem with Yards is delegation..."
I know one yard, one BUILDER actually, which was supposed to be very high quality. They installed all four cockpit winches on a 45'er neatly oriented the exact same way. Which left the self-tailers on the port side backwards....but matching.<G>
Matter of fact, I think that shop was in Rhode Island...
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:35   #19
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Thanks Sahara, I didn't know boatyards give estimates worth a darn. I'll give that a try.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:28   #20
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I was very fortunate to have a Marina dockmaster who will only recommend people who he trusts to do good work. Within six months, one of the recommendations has become my "go-to" for everything. I simply email him the issue and he takes care of it. So far, there have been no disappointments and generally I've been surprised that the price was considerably below my expectations. In those cases, an hour $tip has been added to the check. I'll continue with this person as long as his performance continues to meet my expectations. Frankly, I'm delighted.

So, ask for recommendations from the yard.

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:45   #21
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I too have a Nonsuch and am working on the same issues upgrading to a modern cruising boat.
I have found that the unique rig is a bit of a challenge as most surveyors are not familiar with it. The integrity of the mast is crucial. I hooked up with the original rigger from Hinterhollers yard to set me on the right track as to what was required. I too have my experienced brother for guidance as he has tons of experience that I don't have.
Being in the real estate development business myself, I can see that boats are unique to that type of business. We have been doing all the work ourselves and I too will do the diesel course.
I agree with the comment that perhaps delivery of the boat (shipped) as these are not "blue water" boats and could provide a very interesting first voyage.
I will continue to gain experience sailing Lake Ontario and future upgrades, familiarizing myself with all the systems on the boat. Should I require a good yard, she is located at the largest on the lake.
The comment on the warranty for engine work also makes perfect sense as your boats new home would be quite a trek for follow-up work.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:15   #22
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I need to borrow your brother. Lol, I guess this site equals lots of brothers.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:45   #23
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I did make up a scope of work for the job - non technical. In the booklet I made up I had pictures of evey item I wanted, web pages from suppliers, web pages from forums from people telling thier experiences doing the work, suggestions for vendors near the boatyard. I also included a section on the engine since I had just finished the Max Boring 3 day class.
I mailed the book (scope of work) to the yard owner ten days before I flew to the U.S. to discuss the work with him. He told me that this was above and beyond anything he had ever been given before and that this would make life simple for him because he knew exactly what I want. He is going to send me an estimate and I will post again when the job is complete.
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Old 06-06-2010, 13:42   #24
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My experience would suggest: Do the minimum remotely. Personally inspect everything even the little things. I have been remote refitting an 87 Endeavour 42 for 2 years at different yards up the East Coast. My opinion of 4 different yards is that the boating "business" is attractive to flaky lying &%$! who will ignore you because you're not there. Yard apes will loosen off thru hulls and not tighten them up. They'll put in puny little toy turnbuckles to hold the anchor windlass platform. I have been waiting 2 months and am currently watching the calendar tick over to "too late" to get the yard to measure the bearings for the (out of production) winches and tell me the dimensions so I can order them from Australia. If you want something done right, corner them in the yard and supervise their every move.
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Old 06-06-2010, 18:00   #25

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Thta's not particularly the boating business. Finding a reliable contractor of any kind in ay trade, has become extremely difficult. Forget the crooks, the inept, the ones who just don't show up or forget to finish the job, finding someone who knows how to answer the phone is hard enough these days. (And half of them, probably shouldn't be allowed to use telephones or answer them either.)
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Old 06-06-2010, 19:46   #26
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One dirty little secret of yards is this....if there is a lot of distance between you and the boat......the boat gets put on the back burner......then you call them and say you will be down in a week to see how things are going.....they then drop everything to work on your boat (quality be damned....we'll fix it later)

That is why you either need a project manager or pay per completion of each item on the list.
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Old 06-06-2010, 20:29   #27
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Having just been through this (my boat is in Washington and I am in Utah) I think you are getting very good advice. Get it to you, then do the major work. It will be cheaper in the long run. I was lucky that in one of my many runs up to Washington I fell into a few guys that watch out for my boat when it is being worked on. I wouldn't count on developing that relationship long distance however....
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Old 19-11-2010, 03:19   #28
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Job complete -- Follow up post

My boat was worked on in New Bedford. The boat is now home in the Virgin Islands.
What I learned in short is to pay for the third party supervision.
It was agony dealing with an unresponsive boat yard owner who definately knew he was in the catbird seat.
Writing the check was a seperate agony most of you are familiar with.
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Old 19-11-2010, 04:19   #29
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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Good renovation and re-fitting is VERY, VERY time consuming - be ready to pay top $$ for a good job.
agree .. and that's why boats are so expensive to start with: it just isn't easy work. reno probably tougher than building new.
sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most.
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Old 19-11-2010, 12:06   #30
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I would be leery of a project manager who was also the general contractor. That sounds like conflict of interest.

I've worked as a project manager and was paid a base salary plus a bonus for completion on time and on budget.

I'd suggest checking around and finding a project manager you can interview, either in person or via phone. Check his references and make sure you both understand the scope of work and responsibility.

Most project managers are very good at their job. Competition is high and your reputation gets you most of your work. If both of you understand the contract and work list, you'll be well on your way. The other thing to do is keep in regular contact, either by phone, email, or photos.

If the work affects stability or seaworthiness, you may want to have a survey done at the end to insure that nothing affecting those items as affected.

Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/M.I./C.I. 500-ton Oceans
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