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Old 10-06-2021, 07:14   #1
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Lightbulb How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

Hey folks,
Things have been slow in my neck of the woods because of the pandemic. I bought a sailboat then the country shutdown (and my usual work as well). I'm thinking of ways to make a bit of money doing things that I enjoy and that are useful.
So tell me please, how much will you pay to get the winches on your boat serviced? Any advice? I'm only going to do manual winches.
(I know that a lot of sailors just do this themselves but I also know that it takes some time and maybe they're not crazy about doing it?)
Should I charge differently depending on the size of the winch, should I have a set cost per winch? Should the price depend on the condition of the winch?
Has anyone done this before? I'd be happy for any feedback.
Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:31   #2
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

Servicing winches is one of the easiest things to do. The types that might pay you to do it for them probably cruise on motor yachts. And those donít have manual winches.
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:07   #3
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelles View Post
Hey folks,
Things have been slow in my neck of the woods because of the pandemic. I bought a sailboat then the country shutdown (and my usual work as well). I'm thinking of ways to make a bit of money doing things that I enjoy and that are useful.

Like the others, i don't think there's a significant market for winch service, but there are certainly other boatish services that are sought after. My best advice is to ask around your neck of the woods to find out what's actually in demand. The more things you can do, the more opportunities.
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:16   #4
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

I don't think many people seek out someone to service their winches. It's usually the rigger doing a rig inspection that recommends this -- and then does the service as part of their upsell of work needed.

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Old 10-06-2021, 08:42   #5
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

]It is much easier to have folks pay for work they simply cant do or do not understand.

My suggestion would be basic rope work.

A fine splice on a dock line can command $10 each

If the power boaters in your marina use their boats often , by putting splices around or thru dock cleats , to depart they simply need to cast off.

The lines stay attached to the dock.

On return the dock lines are simply put in place on the boats cleats with a single breast like that puts tension on after the engine is secured.

Simple to set up, do it on your own boat first to se how lines stretch

It only takes one customer in a marina for the others to want to enjoy the simplicity, and ease.

Usually a 35 to 60 ft boat will need at least 5 lines (many use more) so that 10 splices , a fast & easy $100. for a mornings work.

Only do simple 3 laid line till you learn if you want to bother with the complex stuff.
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:42   #6
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

I wouldn’t pay being I do it myself.
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Old 10-06-2021, 09:11   #7
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

I'm with the others - I prefer to do this myself for several reasons. First, I can check out the inner workings of each winch on the boat. The first time I did the winches on a boat new to me, I discovered several missing pawl springs. A technician would have noticed this too but I then new that the PO was not particularly careful when working on the boat.

I also find it therapeutic. You mention that you like cleaning winches. So do I - as noted in a previous post, its easy (and can be a bit messy) but provides a measurable sense of accomplishment.

Lastly, I know that the work was done to my standard. This doesn't mean that it is the best, but its what I think is good.

There are sailors that do everything themselves. I'm not one of them so I am willing to pay for splices (as noted above as well), sail repairs and canvas work. At the moment I am looking for someone to replace a headliner but nobody seems to want to do that.
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Old 10-06-2021, 09:32   #8
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

I was thinking maybe some place seasonal, but I bet a lot of folks would consider this a good excuse to visit their winterized boat. I once packed up the parts and brought them home. I forget why I was stuck at home that week, given it was pre lockdown.
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Old 10-06-2021, 09:36   #9
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

"...Should I charge differently depending on the size of the winch, should I have a set cost per winch?..."

could it be you have not serviced all that many different winches so far?
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Old 10-06-2021, 09:39   #10
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

Perhaps you should service your winch and see how long it takes. You will get quicker with practice. If it takes you an hour and you want $40 per hour you know your price. I know one person in Annapolis who does winch serving as part of a broader service offering. Maybe you can team up with others and offer a package. I pay someone to wax the boat and varnish the teak each year. The biggest problem I see is most people don’t service their winches anywhere as often as recommended and wait for a problem
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Old 10-06-2021, 10:15   #11
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

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Originally Posted by FAST FRED View Post
]It is much easier to have folks pay for work they simply cant do or do not understand.

My suggestion would be basic rope work.

A fine splice on a dock line can command $10 each

If the power boaters in your marina use their boats often , by putting splices around or thru dock cleats , to depart they simply need to cast off.

The lines stay attached to the dock.

On return the dock lines are simply put in place on the boats cleats with a single breast like that puts tension on after the engine is secured.

Simple to set up, do it on your own boat first to se how lines stretch

It only takes one customer in a marina for the others to want to enjoy the simplicity, and ease.

Usually a 35 to 60 ft boat will need at least 5 lines (many use more) so that 10 splices , a fast & easy $100. for a mornings work.

Only do simple 3 laid line till you learn if you want to bother with the complex stuff.
Most people just buy docklines with the loops pre-spliced then cleat them to the dock at the appropriate length.

I would say tasks such as waxing and varnishing would be better opportunities...not because they are particularly difficult but because they are tedious (washing and waxing a 40ft boat is a lot of effort) and require repeat services (wash and wax at least annually and for obsessive people maybe monthly).

Of course, it's a good idea to talk to the marina as most will at least require you to sign in and provide proof of insurance. Others may prohibit outside contractors entirely.
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Old 10-06-2021, 10:27   #12
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

"One trick Pony" type stuff is going to tough to cobble together a living. Think about residential services. A Handy Man will do anything. Build a deck, build a fence, Build a shed, finish an attic or basement room.

What you're proposing is a handyman who just does one thing, like powerwashing. It's not something done often, and can be done by almost anyone.

You'd be better off selling services washing and waxing boats and bottom painting.
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Old 10-06-2021, 10:48   #13
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

Winches are supposed to be serviced?
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Old 10-06-2021, 10:51   #14
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

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Originally Posted by Shelles View Post
So tell me please, how much will you pay to get the winches on your boat serviced?
$20 for my 4, $5/ea.

But since I have done them I know it is easy and the price would have to be pretty low for me to pay to have done. So am not a market target.
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Old 10-06-2021, 10:56   #15
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Re: How much would you pay to have your winches serviced?

If I was to pay someone to service my winches, I'd want to pay by the unit. I would expect larger ones to cost more and take more time. And if any of those winches fail to properly operate, id want a full refund, no questions asked.

My boat has 4 winches. Even at 30 minutes each, you won't make much money servicing winches.
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