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Old 25-09-2016, 05:17   #1
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The Going Rate?

Ten bucks? A hundred?

What is the going rate for various skilled marine trades are wherever you're at? Boat carpenter, mechanic, canvas work, bottom cleaning, shrink wrapping, whatever?

Have seen a few "best place to refit" or "what does it cost threads" and thought it might be interesting to focus on what the actual labor rates people are charging for cruising boat related services at various destinations.

Even if you don't know the rate you were charged, quoting what you paid to have a specific job done could still be helpful information.


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Old 25-09-2016, 05:33   #2
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Re: The Going Rate?

It varies a LOT between venues. Particularly between "developed" and "developing" countries.

Guatemala: unskilled labor as low as Q50 (~US$7) per day, semi-skilled (some good basic skills but not pro level) Q150 (~US$20) per day, pro skills (usually gringo contractors) about US$30/hour.

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Old 25-09-2016, 06:03   #3
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Re: The Going Rate?

Egypt...unskilled workers to do hull repairs supervised by one old guy that knows boats: unskilled guys get a couple of $ per day. The supervisor will want to charge you near European rates for any hull repair.

Technical trades here earn about $25 a day but are still substandard as compared to Europe or anywhere where there is a "real" boating industry aside from wooden dive boats. They also only work on a cost plus basis and will expect you to pay for their transportation and accommodations if they don't live locally (which is always hard to verify).

Fiberglass repairs in Egypt? Expect to spend 3 times as much as the same repair would cost in, say Turkey for example. And 3 times the time to do it using substandard materials and the same unskilled labor to do it.

So, my advice to everyone out there....skip Egypt for boat repairs. I live here and work in the boat and yacht repair industry (fortunately for a German boat owner who imports everything). I've been on the underside (not otherside) of that coin and can tell some stories about boat repairs here.
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Old 25-09-2016, 06:05   #4
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pirate Re: The Going Rate?

I have a John Deere engine in my boat.. Here in Portugal the local JD dealers mechanics will come to my boat if/when needed for 17.50euro's/hour..
In St Martin I've seen 'semi-skilled' workers charge $ and 'skilled' $100/hr.. elec's, mechanical etc.

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Old 25-09-2016, 06:31   #5
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Re: The Going Rate?

UK Volvo Penta engineer is £58 an hour, oh and he will charge you travelling time as well. Canvas worker, just paid £30 per hour to have my sprayhood re-stitched.

Lift a 31ft boat out, pressure wash and block off (we won't worry that its a bilge keeler) £190 and about £160 to pop it back in. Seems the going rate despite shopping around. Thankfully a combination of nice big tides and scrubbing grids means that the need for lifts are an infrequent occurrence.

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Old 25-09-2016, 06:41   #6
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Re: The Going Rate?

In the Marina del Rey area marine electronics technicians and diesel mechanics are charging $90-$100/hour; shipwrights nearly that. Painters and varnishers 1/2 that and less. My rate is $60/hr.
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Old 25-09-2016, 06:44   #7
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Re: The Going Rate?

Between 40 and 60 GBP per hour in the Solent, sometimes plus VAT, for skilled trades.

Even before the recent devaluation of the Pound, that was cheaper than in the U.S., and the skill level is incomparably higher.

The biggest concentration of sailing yachts in the world, and the biggest concentration of yachting industry companies, are to be found in the Solent area, so it's a very large and very competitive market.

So in my opinion, this is a great place to do high value work, which requires a high degree of skill, and also particularly for any project which requires having a complete array of every possible specialization.

Obviously the third world will be a better place if you need simply a huge number of someone's hours.
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Old 25-09-2016, 11:37   #8
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Re: The Going Rate?

mazatlan mexico--there ae a few companies run by gringos who charge maxibux, pay the mexicans very poorly and make "crack money" on the gringo wallet thing-- i refuse to play that game. i meet the mexicans pay em well and have friends as well as good help.
the gringo pimps charge approximately 85 us per hour. the mexican doing the work actually gets less than 200 pesos daily for existence. the pimp gets the rest. see why i call them pimps?? when a boat is sinking and needs dewatered, the gringo is not qualified to do this. i know the mexican salvor who is allowed to do this. he is paid 2000 pesos for a specific dewatering and has to pay his workers. they donot make much, but they are paid by my friend. my friend charges 2000 pesos for the specific job.. he is paid by the gringo pimp who charges minimum 10k pesos for same job. so who makes out and who suffers.
so i learn who the 'ho is and use the 'ho. ha h aha ha makes loyalty happen, as i support the country i am a visitor within.
i can tell who wants to do the work by the amount we agree on when contracting. is also easy to see who can do the work, and is good to wait a little time before contracting--they watch you as well as you watching them. reputation is important. it is not how the gringo sees you, it is how the mexican worker sees you that determines whether you pay 85 usd hourly or 20 usd hourly with a decent tip. phat city..
as for canvas and such-- those are inexpensive on a hard day. not badly done. sail work--avoid pv sails--he is uneliable in quality. some are very pooorly done, and some are excellent. he did me very very badly with poor quality workmanship which caused a tear where my sacrificial was restitched to my sail--and didnot do it as he said he would do it. was crap job. luckily there is a new sailmaker in pv, so use of the pv sails is no longer necessary!!!!
had a wood mizzen boom , 14 ft, made in colimilla--price was 1200pesos at 16 to one usd. not shabby.
each place has different prices, and each place has a specific specialty. it is not possible to specify a price unless you use the pimps and hos in the system which oppresses mexicans and makes the pimp phat. find independents and negotiate your own price. if they like it and agree, you will see them again/
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Old 25-09-2016, 14:14   #9
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Re: The Going Rate?

Pete 7,

Next time you have a dodger made, or re-stitched, pay the additional for PTFE thread (sometimes called Tenara). Our old boom bag with lazy jacks that we replaced after 13 yrs. had been sewn with Tenara, and all the thread was good. We are in areas where the UV 92 dacron lasts between 4 to 5 years.

Ann b

PS. In our case, we justified the purchase of a used SailRite on the basis of it paying for itself on that job. It didn't, quite, because the 2 wks marina fees where we needed weather suitable for laying out the fabric brought the cost of the project up. Plus, we've been doing our canvas work for a long time, now, so while we're amateurs, we do have some experience.

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