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Old 31-05-2010, 17:13   #1
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Would You Hire a Project Manager

for a refit or other major work on your vessel?

This would be in the event that you could not monitor the work yourself due to geographical distance between you and your vessel.

What would you pay for that peace of mind?

Just curious.
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Old 31-05-2010, 17:31   #2
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Whole lot of variables to consider in that question Chief. If I were in the position to afford that? Probably 5-10%.
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Old 31-05-2010, 18:06   #3
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If I didn't trust the yard why would I trust the project manager?

If only to have an interested 3rd party it could be useful. The project manager would need a hell of a resume and some killer references before he got my boat bucks.
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Old 31-05-2010, 18:38   #4
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All good points......The references would be the #1 thing as well as a portfolio of projects.

When I worked (in a not-to-be-named-yard) I saw firsthand where a Project manager could have saved the owner a LOT of un-need expense and over-runs.

When I was co-supervising a refit of an 85 footer in Fort Lauderdale there were times I was a helper to the guys on the boat as well as going toe-to-toe with the yard mangler (manager) each week as we went over the bill....some of the most fun I have had in my life.
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Old 31-05-2010, 18:42   #5
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If I owned a big boat and had big money, sure. I have a cousin that does exactly that and he makes a lot of money but then he's working on megayachts.
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Old 31-05-2010, 21:01   #6
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The concept has great Merit.

Im a good case in point...

My problem is Im too nice of guy...I let the yard walk all over me...yes I blew up once but that might not be considered a blow up to many of you.

My project should have took 6 months on the outside...Im into it 16 months now...Its an insurance job so everything should have been handled easily...Boat US has been spot on with payments and I recommend them highly in that regard....Their underwriter was pretty sleazy though....so if you ever have a claim and have to talk with one of them RECORD the conversation!

Its been one Key Stone Cops flick after another...with no end in sight.......well sort of an end....Im splashing July !st rather their done or not.

So yes on a 60K bill I would have gladly paid 10% to a pit bull mentality manager with a personality I don't have....to have had it all done right ...On time and on budget.

That 6K would have been money well spent as it would have bought me a year sailing with my kids I can never get back again for a billion dollors.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:07   #7
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Can the project manager bring with him the skills and power to hire subcontractors at better rates than I can? Can he get the right people with the right skills without my having to go searching for the best? Can he get them to the project more quickly than I can get them to come do the work?

A lot of this is in the equation. I would pay the extra 15% in a heartbeat if I found someone that could:
1) Bring the best people at discounts prices
2) Get it done quickly
3) Make sure it is done right
4) Back up the work done.
5) Gives you the most bang for your buck

A good project manager can quote the exact same price as subcontractors though, because he has working relationships with the subcontractors. He gets discounts for them and in turn he gives them work. He basically pockets money he got from their discounts and double checks their work / handles the problems that arise.

This can be a win-win. Subcontractors and clients are insulated from one another and the client has piece of mind, provided the project manager is on top of it.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:47   #8
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This is an extremely interesting thread that got me "smiling" for the first time in a while. (I love to dream) For over 16 years I have been an IT project manager and would love a very large change of pace. I would think knowing the PM process is a good first step for this type of work and has certainly allowed me to deliver these particulars for years...
1) Bring the best people at discounts prices
2) Get it done quickly
3) Make sure it is done right
4) Back up the work done.
5) Gives you the most bang for your buck

But integrating that knowledge into the nautical arena would be quite a challenge. Working with someone that is doing it successfully is the key, I would imagine, along with knowing the right vendors...not to mention the right area.

Has anyone ever done this, or is this one of those super long shot positions that are held by a very lucky few?
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:52   #9
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<mini rant on>

I've done several Project Management jobs, new build and refit, so I'm somewhat opinionated. It's been my experience that unless the owner takes an 'active" role or the surveyor is "active" the quality of the product may not be what you expected or paid for. And "active" isn't coming to the yard every few weeks for a couple days.

Having someone on site who knows the contract details and owners wishes can produce a better product with reduced anxiety and stress for the owner. Finding and fixing problems is what the PM does. The PM needs to be on site every day, all day, making sure that things are done right. If your PM has a couple boats under his control, unless they're being built side by side in the same shed, that should set off warning bells.

Then there's the paperwork!

And while there are comments about PMs that take kickbacks, the majority of us work for the owner and are compensated by the salary we're paid. Good PMs aren't cheap but we can generally save the owner the cost of our salary by getting the best product for the price. And many of us, if we are offered a kickback by a vendor, scratch them off the list. Permanently.

I get my jobs based on owner comments and observations and if they ever smell a kickback; well, the owner's network is far more efficient and carries more weight than the opinion of a PM candidate.

Any PM who's under the impression that the owner doesn't know that things cost, is in for a rude awakening. These owners didn't get into the position of paying for a PM without doing their homework.

Any owner who thinks a recommended PM is on the take, should have done some due diligence and checked references, evaluated the weekly reports, photos, and phone calls the PM should be making. Owners have a very good BS detector.

Or look for another PM.

But then, there are owners that are impossible to please, either by thinking they're getting ripped off, the PM is a slacker, or that the yard and PM are out to get them. Then the salary I get or the proof I provide isn't enough.

<mini rant off>
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Old 01-06-2010, 15:29   #10
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i was hired for amajer refit of 65 f.g. cutter in puket;5 months & majer problems with the wor kmanship of verious parts of the refit (particuly if not supervised)we launched the boat & sailed away.I worked out that of the 16o,ooo refit 20,ooo was saved in purchising suitable better goods & a little firm haggling but the main saving was knowing the job was done right in the first place.My charge is 10% of cost;I lived on board (not the most pleasent on the hard in 35deg.)
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Old 02-06-2010, 15:28   #11
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Not to drag this thread too far afield, but when I read or hear of owners temporarily moving to and living where their boats are being built, does that mean they are in the yard daily, or hourly, or looking over the workmen's shoulder? How does that work anyway?
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Old 02-06-2010, 16:01   #12
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Being a project manager is all about respect and trust. They have to flow both ways. If someone has the money to hire a PM then they typically don't have the time to do the job of a PM on their own. It really is no different then hiring a PM for a construction project, or an internet project. If I could afford a PM I would hire one. The process would be to interview alot of people and find someone who new all about the boat building industry. I think it would be money well spent on a refit. Someone has to be the PM the owner, a hired PM , or the yard. If you hire the yard to do it that would be like the fox watching the chicken pen.
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Old 02-06-2010, 16:16   #13
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If the boat needed one repair, no I wouldn't. If the boat needed a major overhaul of many different systems and the project manager was able to subcontract quality vendors for each job and present me with one bill, yes I would.

If there were say five to ten very different types of repairs needing to be made, I just wouldn't have time to find the best price and person for each job and to make the calls the ensure that everyone was staying on time and in budget.

The number one problem I've found with boat companies is that instead of putting the customer first, you're on their schedule and they like to schedule a lot of golf and sailing.

Of course, this would only be if I was actually on a schedule. I know there's a lot of folks at various marinas and yards who let the boat sit for months until they have funds to do one job. Then it sits a couple more months until they can afford to fix the next thing, etc.
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Old 02-06-2010, 16:39   #14
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I used a PM for a major refit. He was worth every cent, though the yard may have disagreed The yard was talking about 6 months, the work was done in 11 weeks and to a standard that other boaters thought was extraordinarily good.
Chief, I'd think that with your background it would be easy to add Project Management as another string to your bow.

P
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Old 04-06-2010, 00:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Being a project manager is all about respect and trust. If you hire the yard to do it that would be like the fox watching the chicken pen.
And this is the crux of the whole matter I just don't understand.

Im self employed...I use to do large projects and no one had to baby sit me...I was tenacious about doing what I said I would do, for what I said I would do it for when i said I would do it..Im still that way with little jobs, and always will be......What is with boat yards anyway???

Why are there so many that don't adhere to normal honest business practices?

I walked into my refit expecting that kind of treatment, boy have I gotten an education.

Go for it Chief...........................But if you take my ether you fired!..

Couldnt resist that...sorry.

FWIW...Im currently bidding a sewer job thats 21' deep going down the middle of the street....you dont get away with crap in my line of work it will kill you.
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