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Old 27-01-2020, 11:07   #31
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I was glancing through some posts here and was reminded of something that has been bothering me.

In one discussion of repowering a 40 foot sailboat there was general consensus on $20K (I assume US dollars) to fit a new 30 - 40 HP diesel. But the breakdown of costs was what caught my eye, with nearly half the cost listed as labour.

This tallied with numbers I have heard before in general discussions around boats.

I donít get it.

Iíve removed and replaced my 96HP, 420 kg diesel engine myself, fabricated a whole new engine mounting system, replaced or redesigned the engine cooling system while I was at it, made a new transmission cooling setup and a new exhaust system and it only took me a week.

I wish I could charge $9K for a weekís work.

I mean, the parts list should be pretty minimal for a new engine. Every model Iíve looked at is totally self contained for cooling etc and just needs to be fed fuel in one pipe, seawater in another and be connected to an exhaust pipe for the results of each to leave the boat. No more work than I did for my existing engine and surely a lot less.

Sure, engine mounts are variable but I fabricated mine in about three hours, thatís all four including new steel bearers on the boat side. I tack welded them together with my little MIG and handed them to a local engineer with a 3 phase welder who zapped them together for $20 cash.

Is it REALLY such a difficult job that people are being slugged with the sorts of costs I am hearing about or am I missing something else?

This question is not academic. I am repowering in a month or so and the issue is on my mind.
FWIW. My wife and I just went to the Seattle Boat Show this weekend. While walking through the displays I stopped at a Beta Marine booth and looked up the cost of a new 56HP diesel and spoke with the salesman for the purpose of exposing my wife to why we take care of our diesel.

Cost for the engine was normally about $20,000+ but on sale for $16,000+. I asked for the installation cost and was told it would be about double...that multiplier hasn't changed in decades...my wife was shocked! My mission was accomplished.

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Old 27-01-2020, 11:07   #32
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

one of the issues boat yards have is that every boat is unique and they have to solve new installation issues on each project. Then every owner has a different idea of what he wants.
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Old 27-01-2020, 11:15   #33
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I was glancing through some posts here and was reminded of something that has been bothering me.

In one discussion of repowering a 40 foot sailboat there was general consensus on $20K (I assume US dollars) to fit a new 30 - 40 HP diesel. But the breakdown of costs was what caught my eye, with nearly half the cost listed as labour.

This tallied with numbers I have heard before in general discussions around boats.

I donít get it.

Iíve removed and replaced my 96HP, 420 kg diesel engine myself, fabricated a whole new engine mounting system, replaced or redesigned the engine cooling system while I was at it, made a new transmission cooling setup and a new exhaust system and it only took me a week.

I wish I could charge $9K for a weekís work.

I mean, the parts list should be pretty minimal for a new engine. Every model Iíve looked at is totally self contained for cooling etc and just needs to be fed fuel in one pipe, seawater in another and be connected to an exhaust pipe for the results of each to leave the boat. No more work than I did for my existing engine and surely a lot less.

Sure, engine mounts are variable but I fabricated mine in about three hours, thatís all four including new steel bearers on the boat side. I tack welded them together with my little MIG and handed them to a local engineer with a 3 phase welder who zapped them together for $20 cash.

Is it REALLY such a difficult job that people are being slugged with the sorts of costs I am hearing about or am I missing something else?

This question is not academic. I am repowering in a month or so and the issue is on my mind.
Some people are rich and some are stupid and some should not own a boat.
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Old 27-01-2020, 11:33   #34
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

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Some people are rich and some are stupid and some should not own a boat.

The pro engineers I know do not ď slugĒ or ripoff Stupid clients.

They work time and materials and deliver good value

For anyone contemplating a repower...first understand everything that must be addressed during the repower.. then to save money you remove the old engine, you remove all old plumbing, old cabling, insulation , de grease...and completely prepare everything for the new engine

Preparation also mean illumination, electrification , protecting delicate surfaces,...in the work zone


Once fully prepared...call in Professionals
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Old 27-01-2020, 11:59   #35
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

Can you not buy a new engine with these quoted figures for re-powering by a pro. Seems like it might be cheaper.
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Old 27-01-2020, 12:07   #36
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

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Or, perhaps the fact that I was able to run that business purely on word of mouth indicates that my pricing approach was a good alternative.
Spot on. You'll never find resolution when arguing with those in trades who structure their business model to simply work fewer hours and/or with less productivity per hour but still take home the same $$$ as someone who works diligently on a full regular schedule. They band together in mutual defense of their logic that, at the end of the week, allows them to work fewer hours than the average person. In economic terms it's a form of supply-side price fixation, but there's nothing anyone can do about it (given regulatory capture). I have a personal side business hustle with net overhead that far exceeds what's referenced here, and my hourly fees are much less that what's referenced here.

Rote to say, but when looking to hire help you've simply got to do your own research. Those who don't will pay whatever the man asks (if they can), which I suspect is why some of the numbers referenced on here for repower costs can be so high. And we wonder why older boats increasingly are left to rot...
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Old 27-01-2020, 13:04   #37
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

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Spot on. You'll never find resolution when arguing with those in trades who structure their business model to simply work fewer hours and/or with less productivity per hour but still take home the same $$$ as someone who works diligently on a full regular schedule. They band together in mutual defense of their logic that, at the end of the week, allows them to work fewer hours than the average person. In economic terms it's a form of supply-side price fixation, but there's nothing anyone can do about it (given regulatory capture). I have a personal side business hustle with net overhead that far exceeds what's referenced here, and my hourly fees are much less that what's referenced here.

Rote to say, but when looking to hire help you've simply got to do your own research. Those who don't will pay whatever the man asks (if they can), which I suspect is why some of the numbers referenced on here for repower costs can be so high. And we wonder why older boats increasingly are left to rot...
The folks who figure out how to work fewer hours with the same $$$ are generally called "successful businessmen". And there isn't really any "regulatory capture" in marine diesel installs, at least here in the U.S. Regulatory capture is electricians writing electrical code that gets incorporated into law saying only licensed electricians can do electrical work, and they write the licensing requirements and run the exams. Marine diesel doesn't have anything comparable, and in truth as everyone pointed out when you actually add up the costs to run a long term, professional service business the labor costs quoted are perfectly reasonable. I would challenge you to point to a specific example of regulatory capture (or price "fixation") in the small marine diesel repair and retrofit industry? And as was amply pointed out in the thread as well, comparing a professional, full time business with multiple employees to a on man show or side hustle is simply silliness.
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Old 27-01-2020, 13:21   #38
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

I may have not stated my last post correctly. You need to have deep pockets or the ability to do the work yourself if neither you don't need boat.
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Old 27-01-2020, 14:24   #39
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

I am repowering my Tartan 40 and yes, labor will be at least $9k. As for your ability to do it yourself in a weekís time for the cost of parts, I say good for you! I do not have the expertise, the time (I still have a job), tools, and a shed in which to perform the work. Boatyard labor in the Northeast US typically runs $90 - $100/hr. That is reality.
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Old 27-01-2020, 14:50   #40
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

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Ah, but GI:

Don't forget that you have two things working in your favour: 1) you are an indomitable Ozzie and 2) you are used to working with your hands :-)!

So what's a wimpy, pencil pushing Canuck (or any other nationality), who takes his car to the filling station just to have the tire pressures checked, to do?

Here's what: Pay someone - if necessary, through the nose - to have it done.

Then, of course, there are some among us (I'm not one) who in the time it takes to do a decent re'n're can earn more by pushing pencils than they can save by a DIY re'n're.

Anyhow - the OP asked for a realistic estimate. He got it :-)

Cheers

TP
You did, and I thank you for it. As a later post reminded me, maintenance is so important. The marine diesel classes are always over-subscribed, and now i know why.
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Old 27-01-2020, 15:37   #41
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

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Ah, but GI:



Don't forget that you have two things working in your favour: 1) you are an indomitable Ozzie and 2) you are used to working with your hands :-)!



So what's a wimpy, pencil pushing Canuck (or any other nationality), who takes his car to the filling station just to have the tire pressures checked, to do?



Here's what: Pay someone - if necessary, through the nose - to have it done.



Then, of course, there are some among us (I'm not one) who in the time it takes to do a decent re'n're can earn more by pushing pencils than they can save by a DIY re'n're.



Anyhow - the OP asked for a realistic estimate. He got it :-)



Cheers



TP


Yes, back when I was not a student I possibly could have made more by working and paying someone else to do the work, but now Iím a student again my time is very cheap.

But even when I could, I didnít, because I enjoy this stuff.

Itís just unnerving when there is such a huge discrepancy in what I think it should cost vs what is being charged. It made me question what I was missing.

I think the posters who noted all the extra work that a pro needs to do have clarified it for me. I know Iíll do the bare minimum that Iíd be satisfied with for myself, but if I were being paid to do the job for someone else Iíd probably have to do a lot more.

This is one of the many reasons Iíve gently turned down many requests to do paid to work on other peopleís boats. I donít want to walk that tightrope.
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Old 27-01-2020, 15:44   #42
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

You can do more good, anyway, by letting them do the work, and guide them, as needed.

Ann
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Old 27-01-2020, 15:59   #43
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

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Geez, all these guys telling me how hard it is to run your own business are making me laugh. I ran my own business for 20 years and it wasnít the drama being made out here.

Sure, DIY has fewer overheads but Iím still not seeing $9k.

Wotname made a good point about the level of finish. My engine mounts are simple painted mild steel. Same as the original 40 year old set that were there before them and I guess a paying customer wants a better finish than that.

But still... I ainít seeing it yet.
And I ainít either. I built my own steel boat designed with keel cooling, bought a used 5.9 Cummins for $1500, had it checked over and run by a diesel rebuild company for $400. Bought a new trans and adaptor for $3000. Installed it myself with assistance of marina lift, $150. Dry exhaust, ran like a champ. I realize everyone canít do this themselves, but you can piece it together and pay for the help you need and save a bundle. By the way I have been in business myself for 40 years, I know business. Secret of success ? Canít you tell, low overhead.
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Old 27-01-2020, 16:30   #44
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

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By the way I have been in business myself for 40 years, I know business. Secret of success ? Canít you tell, low overhead.

Yes! This.

I was competing with guys who had storefronts and new cars bought on tax geared leases.

All I had was a ten year old Range Rover and a laptop.

The laptop may have been older than the car.

I donít know what overheads a marine mechanic has. A LOT of tools I suppose. And a vehicle capable of securely transporting those tools. Thereís a bit in that.

One or two Iíve met have leased or bought yards or sheds of some sort. I suppose they need somewhere to do work away from the boats they are working on.

Anyway, I think Iíve found the gap that was worrying me.
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Old 27-01-2020, 16:30   #45
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Re: Repower costs... what am I missing?

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You can do more good, anyway, by letting them do the work, and guide them, as needed.

Ann

Yep, nothing like the blind leading the blind for a happy outcome.
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