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Old 05-02-2023, 11:25   #1
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Stainless fabrication costs

Can anyone speak to the relative costs of stainless fabrication in the US vs the Caribbean. Weíre in St Maarten and received a dose of sticker shock for a solar arch. We had heard from others who have had work done, that the costs here were lower than the US but we donít have a quote from the US. Thanks
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Old 05-02-2023, 11:28   #2
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Who did you go to in St. Martin? FKG is the most well-known, but also the most expensive place.
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Old 05-02-2023, 11:43   #3
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

FKG is where we got the quote. They seem extremely disorganized at the moment - nearly 7 weeks just to get the quote. Wondering if they threw a big number on it just to shut me up. Awaiting quote from one of their fabricators that is now on his own, but can’t imagine it will be shockingly less. Really want to know relative costs. Don’t want to leave here only to find it’s worse back home.
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Old 05-02-2023, 12:25   #4
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Shipping to St. Martin is quite cheap, even for big parts. So you could get a quote from Kato Marine in the USA as a viable alternative. I have heard good things about Ral (Ral Marine Metal Work) and another shop at Bobby's Airport marina, they are worth checking out to get a quote as well.
I'm being blown all over the place today in Grand Case but am going "inside" tomorrow on the Dutch side. Where are you located?
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Old 05-02-2023, 12:52   #5
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Thanks, but a solar arch might be a bit large to ship. I think the next quote will tell us a lot, just not how it might compare to US. We have an acquaintance who had an arch that was a little smaller made here a year ago. Our quote was nearly 2 1/2X theirs!
A bit gusty out here, ain’t it! We’re out in Simpson’s Bay along the north side. Saw gust of 35 this morning. Looks to be a lot less rolly closer in or on the southern side. Prefer to stay outside and make water.
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Old 05-02-2023, 12:58   #6
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

BTW our acquaintance said their quote was just a little more than 1/2 what they were quoted in US, which was why we were hoping to get it done here.
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Old 05-02-2023, 13:27   #7
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Actually, shipping with 4-Star or Tropical from Florida is not expensive at all, even for a bulky and heavy arch. It is worth getting a quote from either of them and factoring that into the price. I wanted to get some stainless chain yesterday(for the dinghy) and was shocked at the prices - so I guess that a big cause of the jump in prices is the raw material.
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Old 05-02-2023, 13:58   #8
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Just looking for relative costs. Same, less, more. Here vs US
Thanks
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Old 05-02-2023, 14:29   #9
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Is your arch already designed or do you need to have the fabricator come to the boat to do the fit? Big difference in time for the fabricator and another possible reason for a higher quote.
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Old 05-02-2023, 15:29   #10
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

I highly recommend Steve Lippincott of St Petersburg, FL of Lippincott Marine. Three years ago, he fabricated a steel arch and replaced the bimini structure with steel, too. And, he fabricated a fiberglass hardtop instead of a new bimini. He will likely ask you for some measurements and photos, and then he can generate CAD drawings for you to review.
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Old 06-02-2023, 05:24   #11
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Thanks, but due to insurance, Fl is not feasible. Itís either here or mid Atlantic. I have the names of several reportedly good fabricators in US, just not quotes. I didnít get one because of previous reports on costs being lower here.
Still looking for someone who has knowledge of relative costs between eastern Caribbean vs US
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Old 06-02-2023, 05:27   #12
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Design (which is nearly self evident), fabrication and fit. It’s a cat, so we’re talking a 6’ x 18’ frame w supports which will weigh hundreds of pounds.
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Old 06-02-2023, 06:31   #13
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Shipping with 4 Star costs 1.75 per pound, so a 300lb solar arch from Florida to Philipsburg will cost US$525 with no other shipping charges. That is about what I paid to ship my Starlink RV unit from the USA to St. Lucia

Get a quote from Kato marine for your boat, they are very responsive and have a great reputation for building quality items. That shouldn't take more than a day for them to compute, your catamaran is already on their list of completed items. And get a quote from Ral to see the difference to FKG.

Then you can see what the comparative costs are if you were to add in shipping to SXM.
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Old 11-02-2023, 04:34   #14
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Re: Stainless fabrication costs

Hey, tracyandkimo. Can't answer your question with respective costs but just had some welding work done in St. Martin. Mark (don't know his last name) has a one man shop adjacent to Time Out Boat Yard (TOBY) on the canal on the French side. Super competent and super reasonable. FKG knows their stuff but definitely pricey and seem to prefer the big jobs. Good luck. Feel free to PM me if I can help.
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