Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by CaptTom, Nov 23, 2010.
What a wanker you are.
K1W1, from that phone conversation we had I can safely say he wouldn't want you working on his boat (I couldn't understand hardly a word K1W1 said ). Anybody care to give an opinion about whose loss that would be.
BTW, I wish the word "wanker" had been picked up more here. Great word. It says so much with so little.
Is that in general? for all that I wrote? part of what I wrote?
I'm hurt you didn't end it with your normal "cheers"
He went easy on you--didn't call you a 'tosser', Egads.
The contractor who is doing some radio work for me speaks perfect english ... matter of fact ... he probably has an education as good as my own and he is building a solid business.
Problem is ... his rate is $95/hr x 2 people + 30% or so markup on parts.
So ... a weeks work is going to run over 4 grand and a couple of days out of that week will be spent doing .... whatever.
I'm perfectly happy working with a guy who speaks broken english and charges half as much for hours he actually works.
Matter of fact, I sent the estimate for this work ($6800 to install an extra 240v 50 A sub panel) to Enrique (who used to work for Bertram and is an engineer who designed some of the engine and fire alarm systems as well as many other things on my Bertram 54) who is a great guy ... who will review the estimate gratis!
Anybody know a solo qualified marine electrical contractor who will work for $40 / hr in the Maryland area because I'm short on bucks and don't mind speaking in hand signals!
What no travel time? I've got a guy on Long Island that does pretty good work and is fairly reasonable (not $40 though ), but he's 3 hours from the boat and gets his hourly for it.
Try a Wallmart parking lot. You can't run a marine repair business at $40 an hour.
The problem is ... when paying the "going rate", virtually anything reasonably significant (on a 54 foot boat) is $10k.
Case in point ... leaving my boat in the water in Maryland this winter ... want to add 4 x 750W BoatSafe heaters ... two under the forward bilge ... two in the lazarette ... (the engine compartment is already handled via engine block heaters.
How much? You guessed right ... $10k!!!
How the f***. Because everything of any significance on this boat is $10k.
With the current systems, I am close to the maxing out the 240/50A service therefore I need to add an extra sub-panel on the boat to run the 4 x BoatSafe heaters. Each needs its own 15A 115V circuit.
Heaters + subpanel = $10k.
I'm sure it's not possible to run a business on $40/hr.
I'm looking for a privateer.
A guy with a truck.
I spent $250k with Saunders Yacht Services in Orange Beach AL and received no more satisfaction or "company standing behind their work" than from a privateer with a truck.
So ... It doesn't "always" matter. Big company does not mean reputable.
On the other hand, the work I had done this summer with Wayfarer Marine in Camden Maine was just right ... including the price. Spent $30k ... excellent work ... excellent support ... great company ... no issues.
Now I'm in Maryland for the next 9 months and being cautious.
And $95 an hr is no guarantee of quality work... I ve had some $95 an hr air con techs on my boat who did such lousy work I had to do redo some of it myself
Oh and the travel time included a breakfast stop on the way!
The reason so many boatbuilding companies are contemplating a move to North Carolina has now been demonstrated as this thread has progressed. In our area the current going rate at boatyards is now hovering around the $40/hr mark and most include all trades in that general rate balancing "sanders" with electricians and averaging out the numbers.
To be sure, there are some specialized fields that are charging more (engine guys and subs), but to be competitive and keep the crews busy it's whats being charged nonetheless. Trying to run a company at those rates sure doesn't help the profit column but it beats having to close the doors! I would also guess that sort of bargain rate will continue until the new construction market comes back.
I hear talk of the "normal" rates still being charged elsewhere and can only wonder.
Here in South Florida boatyard rates are $100-110 an hour at a lot of places right now. If you start doing any labor intensive project it adds up really quickly even if it's not highly skilled work. Some charge a lower rate for unskilled workers but not by much. I've figured no matter what you do in a boatyard, the bill typically works out to $1250 for each day the boats in the yard....
Most yards won't allow a privateer on their property and if you're caught using one they'll throw you out with no refunds. Additionally, most yards require upwards of $1M liability policy and worker's comp. Hiring a privateer can cost you a bundle if he burns your boat or worse, you neighbors. Also, if they do allow an outside contractor they'll undoubtedly charge him a % that will bring it up to their rate or more. It's not easy to save money when having work done on a 50 footer. About the only way is to move the boat to an area with lower labor rate, but then you have to burn the fuel to get there.
It depends on where you are... Here in so fl most yards allow subcontractors as long as they are insured. All serious private guys are insured, others well you probably don't want them on your boat.
One of the reasons we ended up at Seaport Marine in Mystic, CT was because the old guard knew wooden boats. Their labor rate per hour was not inexpensive, but they billed the hours they worked and vice versa. Cut rate yards that friends went to took sometimes more than twice as long in billed hours so the customers did not come out ahead.
I can't speak to how Seaport Marine is now since Noank shipyard took over, but Noank shipyard also had a very good reputation.
It was impressed upon me at a very young age that when you are negotiating for work (either as supplier or purchaser) that you negotiate building a relationship not a one-time trade. Yes you can beat up on price, or take a loss to keep the people working, one time. What then? Negotiate a fair deal for everyone, make sure you deliver on what you agreed to, and make sure you give and/or get value.
It seems the value proposition is what has gone out the window. Quality can be had, and bargains can be had, but value(s) is what is critical to any business relationship.
My $.02, worth what you paid for it.
Marinas around here are doing the same thing rather than keep them on staff, but when you add on the marinas cut the bill works out the same. It's also ticking off some boaters who are used to pulling in and saying 'hey Charlie, I seem to have this going on. Can you take a look'. Since he was always there he'd usually check it out, give you advise and set you up for the repair right away and save you an hours rate.
I should have gone for that green card after all...
Here in Hong Kong I used to charge US$ 45.- for skilled labor and US$ 32.- for unskilled and still got complaints from expat owners that we were to expensive...
I love when people with million dollar toys tell me I'm too expensive.
I once dockmastered in a resort marina with no mechanical services. All the people used this one jack of all trades. He had a great speel and a low price. By the end of my first year there I noticed that none of the boats he worked on ever ran again. I tried to bring in good people but they kept going back to this low priced guy. From what I understand he was last seen heading to parts unknown after collecting a bunch of winter storage money, pulling one boat out without disconnecting the shore power; then crashing (2) others.
I can't stand it and that's why I have decided to step out of maintenace and become a surveyor. Sick and tired of crawling trough **** for people who have completely lost touch with reality.
Good choice. Now you'll just wait through the 1st year of everyone's ownership for the summons to arrive (You told me the boat was in good shape and the TV blew in only 6 months. You have to buy me a new one). And I was just reading a thread on another forum where brokers were complaining about surveyors blowing sales.