When I replied to this thread a few weeks ago I had no idea that my "wisdom" would be personally tested so soon. We are going through commissioning for the season and needed some help. We had 5 issues, painting main mast
, mizzen mast
, main boom, mzzen boom and replace/refurbish propellor. On the first, I give myself a D-. On the next three, an A+ and on the prop a C.
Last April we lost
our prop in Clewiston, FL. While we were disabled in Clewiston we referred to the local "Go To" guy, who searched for our prop (unsuccessfully) and towed us to the yard. Based on this good experience we hired him to refinish our masts. He offered a good price
and seemed reliable. When we left for home for the summer, the boat was in the work area ($17 a day). The guy was supposed to pull and refinish the masts and then put the boat in the storage
area. After 17 days with no mast action (he claimed it was too windy) we told him to move the boat to storage
and we would deal with refinishing in the fall. He suggested we leave a through hull
open, since the summer rains were heavy. We agreed and told him to do it.
We returned last week, had AEGEA moved back to the work area and contacted the guy. When I got into the boat I found water
right up to the starter. He hadn't opened the plug
. Rebuild alternator
and buy new starter, $600 plus. I arranged to have the mast pulled and the guy finally showed up for that. Masts on the ground, he left and came back the next day with no tools, no saw horses, no nothing. To make a long story short, he finally got the mast cleaned up and started to paint
. He used a hardware
store roller to try to apply Awlgrip. Any of you who have done Awlgrip know that you need special solvent resistant rollers. His rollers disintegrated and left the mast looking like a hairy muppet. He also applied it too thickly, resulting in many, many runs. When I pointed these out he tried to wipe them with a paper towel, with little success, and left, leaving the runs to fill the space behind the sail track and gluing the masking tape in place. His response? "It'll sand right off. We was gonna do that today". We fired him.
We also had found a prop on E-bay and had it shipped to him for some minor repairs
. In April he told us he had sent it to the shop. When we arrived he said it would arrive in a few days. Over the summer I asked repeatedly if the bore was correct. "They're all standard". The prop arrived...1 1/2 inch shaft, 3/8" keyway, 2" prop bore, 1/2 " keyway. "No problem. We'll just get a bushing". Bushing arrived...1 3/4 OD, 3/8 " keyway. I had to contact the prop shop and got the correct bushing, which worked perfectly. That earned me my C for this job.
It took over 30 hours of intense sanding
to get the main mast back to where it was when we started. We found a shop that sprayed Awlgrip next to the storage yard who is picking up the masts and spraying them for $75 an hour. On a positive note, the masts and booms are sanded and primed (by me). The shop should pick them up on Monday and have them ready when we get back from our Thanksgiving trip back home. I'm sure they will look great and one more task in the resurrection will be done.
Was he as BSer? Well, yes and no. He showed up and dove for the lost
prop on Easter Sunday. When we couldn't find it, he arranged a 20 mile tow to the storage yard that came off perfectly. When it came to the paint
job, however, he was totally over his head
. It was quickly obvious he had never done Awlgrip. My D- for me on this one comes from not checking him out further. It would have been an F if I let it go any further. The A for the rest comes from (relatively) quickly recognizing that he couldn't do what he claimed and jumping in to make the rest of the project
happen. Fortunately the damage was limited to the main mast.
The moral of the story? I'm not really sure. At age 70 I'm just not up to heavy maintenance
work but I guess there's no choice. If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself or watch like a hawk. Unless you have local knowledge from a reliable source or know of someone's bad reputation it's easy to get into a mess. We were supposed to go into the water
last Wednesday, but now it's the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. We figure this mess has cost us about $2,800. Now I have the moral...A poorly planned project
takes three times as long as you expected. A well planned project only takes twice as long. An unplanned project takes forever and costs more than you have.