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This industry needs to wake up...

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Pascal, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    <beginRant>

    while some companies offer great service, others are just awful...

    Great experience examples. Quick Lift Davits of Miami and Chockmasters.... used them for years, always responsive, schedule service calls immediately, return your phone calls right away etc.

    Same with Imtra. Whenever I have had to order things whether LEDs, thruster parts or recently Exalto wipers... no surprise and ship right away

    Or Trac stabilizers. Popped a small leak right before a trip last month, they sent a guy with a replacement pressure sender that same evening!

    That s service

    On the other hand...

    Nautical structures (davit and swim platform). Takes a few days to get a call returned and service call scheduled. Then they won't put you on a schedule until you get to a printer, print and fill two form with credit card numbers ...

    And the absolute worst: just called Beard Marine to get service on our watermaker... after leaving a voice mail this morning because they were in a meeting i called again and was basically told to get lost. Obviously not in these words but the result was the same... : have we ever worked on that boat? No but you ve installed a new WM for me in another boat a few years back. Well sorry we re not scheduling any service until after the boat show. A month from now.

    This is government grade, IRS or Obamacare, service. Not even "sorry we're really swamped right now... "

    Well, I know who not to buy a watermaker for my personal boat from...

    <endRant>
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    So, how is it different from any industry. Some people provide better service than others.

    Now, the response you got from Beard is one you'd get from many in South Florida right now. I know several yards not scheduling business from new customers until 2018. At least Beard didn't make a promise they couldn't keep.

    Nautical Structures is in Key Largo of all places so not only have hurricane related service requests but their own issues too. In more normal times, we've never had an issue with them.

    I'm not defending bad service but saying right now is not a normal time for marine service in Florida. There are going to be a lot of frustrated boaters when they find out how long it's going to take to get their insurance repairs made. Perhaps if I'd been the one involved in the two cases you site, I would have been more bothered by them.

    I have more problem with those who are hard to reach and hard to get answers from even in the best of times. Many canvas makers seem to fit into that group reflecting more total demand than providers.

    You are doing the one thing any of us can do, deciding who you'll buy from in the future.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Last year I had made arrangment with nautical structure to replace the lock cylinders and all hoses during the haul out. They scheduled us ahead of time. We haul out do most of the other work and a week later they announced that they have to push back the work by "about" a week... while the boat is on the hard, almost ready to splash...

    As to beard i m not talking about a major project, I jut need the high pressure pump checked as it has become a bit noisy as well as the membranes which. It's a 2 hour job...

    Excusing this lack of customer service on the hurricane is ridiculous. Yes, I understand that with the number of damaged boats, larger projects will take some time to schedule. I m awaiting a haul out date for my boat to be repowered Yard or backloged with the disruption fro the storm and the number of emergency haul out. That's fine. But the storm isn't an excuse for routine stuff

    Another example... positive. Fire Ranger in FTL. I called them to arrange our annual inspection and test... no problem. Done within a few days, on time.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You've cited 6 good vendors and 2 you consider bad, so why do you say "the industry needs to wake up?" It's no different than any other industry, some good, some bad.
  5. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

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    It's difficult to find good people so the industry is having a difficult time. Kids these days all want to go to college and many have no idea what they want to do or how to get there. For instance, the unmotivated 16 yr old daughter of a friend wants to get a 4 year psychology degree "because she has always been interested in psychology". The kids boyfriend is going to enroll in some for profit college with no particular goal. I am encouraging the boy to work for my contractor friend and learn a trade. That could lead to many things.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    This is only a few of the vendors I ve worked with in the last 15 or 20 years but the ratio is pretty representative of the overall experience. That's about 30 to 35% negative experience which is a high number in field dealing with high value products

    And yes I know others have different experience with the same vendors. If someone had asked me yesterday to recommend a water maker installer, I would have said Beard Marine.
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    You are absolutely right, along with the amount of job killing regulations we ve been enduring for the past 10 years...
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, every generation puts down the next generation. I deal with a lot of young people all the time and I think this generation of young people is better than our generation and what we're leaving them with. Yes, there are some in trouble or not productive, but the vast majority are good, hard working kids.

    As to Psychology as a major. It's a worthy profession and more are needed.
  9. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Member

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    I agree. I think today’s young people get a bad wrap. I employ some and there are some go getters among them. Probably about the same percentage of them pulling the wagon as my generation. To me they are the generation that hopefully will have the political will to fix our debt problem. They certainly will be the ones to inherit the mess.
  10. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    for a Psyc major proponent, have them talk to the Councillor and ask their potential learning curve over the next 15 yrs.
  11. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Still waiting for Naiad to schedule 2 boats, About 10 months now. Victor (lead service writer) does not want to send anybody to Jax.
    Wish he would just tell me that.
    I've already fixed the issues but I'm not telling him that.
  12. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    OB,
    Nautical structures is located closer to Georgia than Key Largo for St. Pete's or Clearwater sake... Please don't bring any hurricane into the discussion of Beard Marine's horrendous service and phone acumen, They're absolutely the worst in doing ANYTHING other than sales,. All prices quoted are list price no matter what the volume or scale of what your doing. Ft. Laud or Riviera Bch office, It makes zero difference, Service? Please , I'll PM you a service contract from these jokers and I'll take the wager that you more than likely wouldn't let them aboard your vessels after reading. Anybody whos been in this industry for any length of time wouldn't waste the time nor breath defending this company. If it weren't for the newbie yacht owner that goes online and picks the most "flash" web site Beard wouldn't be in business. Simply put., Beard Marine is the worst from first sales contact through the warranty period.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, we haven't had to use Nautical Structures and haven't used Beard. My main point is that there are many good providers so that I find the thread title a bit off.

    I would love to see Beard's contract.

    They wouldn't be the first contract that we'd refused to sign as written.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I get very good prices on parts and systems from Beard but will not let them service any of my management yachts for the reasons mentioned.

    My absolute WORST pet peeve of all of the companies I deal with, the local CAT dealer who everyone already knows their name....... ohhhh and dealing with the parts department at MarineMax Searay in Pompano, they NEVER return a phone call and you always have to drive there to order any part. BUT, I've been dealing with the same contractors for years. I'm always happy with General Fabrics, Seabreeze Marine A/C, Wards, N+G engineering, DS hull, Cable Marine, and several others.....
  15. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Oldboater, as mentioned earlier, over the years i have found about 35% of the vendors i ve dealt with over the last 15/20 years gave sub standard services or poor customer service.

    This is why i have titled the thread this way.

    CaptJ, must be the same big soFl cat dealer who charged me over $4000 flat fee for an oil change, scratched all the new aftercooler pipe while installing and damaged a coolant line to a turbo resulting in a leak on the way to the exumas within a couple of hours run time. Never again. I went back to using Southshore...
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Assuming that percentage is reflective of the industry (our experience is less but probably not indicative as we're very selective on who we use), how does that differ from any other industry? Is automobile service better than marine? Home repair services such as HVAC and Plumbing better?

    It's not the industry. It's a percentage of those within the industry and whether it's 15% or 40% it's still a minority and most are avoidable. There are exceptions to that such as an Azimut owner being tied to Marine Max and more and more with Marine Max's acquisitions, Sea Ray owners on the coast facing the same. I have no problem with you saying there are some who provide bad service but I do have a problem with an attack on the industry because that includes the majority who provide good service.
  17. zen

    zen New Member

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    I'm new to this expensive hobby and it's been a maddening experience coming from the technology world. Almost every business I work with has realized that service is a key differentiator and is using it to their advantage. I drive to a SouthFL mega car dealership and they have people directing traffic, loaner cars lined up, cafes serving breakfast and coffee. They'll drop the car off at the house and pick up the loaner when they're done. I submit jobs online for house work: fences, plumbing, AC, electric and the responses come within minutes that include cost and ETA. I call an airline or a cable company and I get quick answers and decent service.

    Boating? It's another world - calls not returned, booked for weeks at a time, missed appointments, changing invoices. I now hope for mediocre service at best where they fix the problem and I don't get ripped off. I suspect it's a lack of skilled labor and high demand for the services. Maybe the best people/companies work on the biggest boats and the rest trickle down? I know a few people from outside the industry who got so frustrated they are looking at it as an opportunity (hiring headhunters and building teams). As a newbie, I've had the best luck hiring a manager who has a network of people built up for random jobs.
  18. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You just gave some excellent advice in that sentence. You don't know the industry so you get one person you trust to manage things. Another way of doing it is to find one yard you feel you can trust and let them use their co-makers. I know many would say I'm paying more than I need to but I'm getting quality service and not having issues. I did not pick who to deal with based on price. I use OEM parts. I get all scheduled service in the owner's manuals. Many things I could bypass the yard or you could bypass the manager and get direct. However, you wouldn't save doing so nor would I and we wouldn't have someone managing the work. We purchased a boat that we wanted to do several things on up front and needed them done quickly. That included watermaker, washer and dryer, a hardtop, canvas, an additional generator and probably a couple more things. We ran it all through the yard so all done in one place and all under one manager. Add done correctly and on time.

    I know people who decide to bypass the yacht manager they have, thinking they can beat his price somehow, but then the work is poorly done or not finished in time. Many who are recreational boaters bring about additional stress to themselves that isn't necessary.

    Now, in full disclosure, I do have crew with technical knowledge I don't have and they helped select the yard and they manage things for me, basically a management company but personally owned.
  19. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    And they likely insulate you from all the agravations dealing with vendors and contractors...

    I didn't even mention the crooks I ve encountered who want to pad estimates to give kickbacks
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    No, I read reports on all the activities. We just are very limited and selective as to who we deal with. Now, the one thing they do is keep everything in good condition. I've dealt with so many vendors and contractors in my life a few more really aren't a challenge. We deal with far more in our business than for our boats. Nothing unique about boats in having good and pad. Nothing unique about kickbacks. Offer one and we'll never do business with you. I refused long ago to deal with some major suppliers. Now, as a yacht management company, we do get standard industry pricing where appropriate.

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