Originally Posted by fstbttms
No, the primary reason there is a large discrepancy in hull cleaning rates between Northern and Southern California
is the increased pressure from competition in SoCal. I can't speak authoritatively on the LA/Orange County regions, but I do know a lot about what is going on in San Diego. There are many more hull cleaners servicing a fewer number of boats there as compared to the Bay Area. This keeps prices down. In fact, I have spoken to several friends this summer who have well-established dive services in San Diego and they tell me they've lost
40% of their clientele in the last year or so due to independent divers walking the docks and doing work at cut-rate prices. That kind of thing just doesn't happen much up here, where there are more boats, fewer divers and harsher dive conditions.
I also suspect the down economy has hit that region harder than here and San Diego boat owners are trying to save pennies wherever they can. In addition, slip fees
are much, much higher there than here and that certainly doesn't help either.
I guess somethings are more expensive and less expensive in our areas, depending on what we're paying for. Before I brought our boat down to San Diego from San Francisco
, I had all the boat's major systems work done in SF because of the higher costs in SD. I can attest to the cheaper slip rates in SF. I kept our boat at the seller's broker slips in SF for a few months before we brought her done, and the slip rate was almost half the cost of a slip in SD.
Like I've mentioned before I've never haggled about the price
for a cleaning, I've just asked what they charge. I know what that type of work is like, because I did it for awhile while I was a young man (I also did commercial
too), and I know how being in the water
all day can really sap your body.
I would think the ratio of divers to boats would be about the same in SF as in SD, but I guess that's not the case. Could some of these independent divers be laid off employees from the established dive services? That type of thing happens in construction ever time there is a work slow down...the workers become competitors.
I have noticed more empty slips in all sizes at marinas
in Shelter Island, but I often wonder where those boats go since all of SD is priced about the same...maybe they're leaving SD for Mexico