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Old 04-13-2015, 03:04 PM   #101
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You know guys when you think of buying a boat would you not contact the manufacturer of your engine for a 3/4 day course ?
You can see how it would save you bucks in the long run, quite apart from giving you confidence to tackle remedial maintenance.
MTU, Volvo, M.A.N ooh it fair makes my eyes water thinking about the bills.
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:31 PM   #102
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By Bligh, "(Sorry mule, I know you think profits should be illegal)."

As labor leader Samuel Gompers once said, "The worst crime against the working people is a company which fails to make a profit. ... Yet, how does one determine the parameters of a corporation's moral responsibility to the welfare of its ..."
There is more, but I expect my management team to run the business responsibility, running responsibility includes all aspects of the business, sensible pay for managers, workers with investors being taken care of. All legs of the stool must be there or it will fail.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:39 PM   #103
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Marin is partially correct. There certainly is demand for CAT's expensive service. And living expenses may drive labor costs. But there is much more to it. I am sure there are also lower priced mechanics in most geographical areas. I know here in CA there is a wide spectrum of mechanics available to take my money. CAT, I'm sure has intentionally placed itself at the higher end. Why wouldn't they? CAT is in business to make a profit (Sorry mule, I know you think profits should be illegal).

Here is another way of looking at it. When I was a kid and my father end I took trips together across country, we never stayed in hotels. My dad thought it was a wast of money. We slept in his van to save $$. I did the same thing intil I was about 26 or so at which point I thought ponying up $35 bucks for a motel six was a good investment in a good nights sleep and a shower. Fast forward 20 years, and my preference in hotels is a Days Inn minimum and often a Hilton or Marriott that may be 5, 10 or 20 times the price of the motel 6. Both places give me a place to sleep and shower, but to me, I feel I really get 'more' when you stay in a Marriott. My kids get to use the pool. Breakfast is often included. The beds are more comfortable. Clearly, many people dont see the value in spending the money to stay at a Marriott. Conversely many people would never set foot in a Motel 6 as they don't see any value in it and prefer the Marriott instead. That is why there are Marriotts, Motel 6's, and everything in between. (I am not plugging Marriott BTW - just using it as an example)

At some point CAT decided they want to be a Marriot or Hilton type company. Some of you guys are talking like CAT is crazy for charging high prices. Well, I bet CAT is doing just fine. I'm sure plenty of government, commercial, and high end boat owners are content paying CAT's prices for their work.

I will say that in my own business, ignoring the 'going rate' and charging what will make my company profitable has been a wise decision.
Bligh, nice theory, but you failed on one key point.

Cat doesn't own the dealerships, they don't force the dealers to run their businesses in the manner desrcibed by the OP, they don't set labor rates, and they can't control what parts are sold to the consumer for. Clearly there are markets where this model works, and markets where it won't. Go to a waterman's town like Crisfield, MD and you will find a dealer like T&S Marine. One of the larger Cat and Cummins dealer /rebuilders on the East coast. There business is built on volume with low overhead. They ship to much of the East coast and out of the country because of their prices. No fancy show room, just a squared away shop with 8 or 10 employees, well stock parts room, and a seperate building with maybe 100 to 200 motors waiting to be rebuilt when they're sold. Genuine Cat and Cummins parts sold at substantial discount, and honest labor rates that are probably 60% of the FL boutique dealers. While most of their business is rebuilding engines, you'll find them working on a waterman's work boat, a million dollar sport fish in OceanCity, and the occasional yacht. Same quality of service as the boutique dealers, but for a whole lot less money.

Ted
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:00 PM   #104
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Bligh, nice theory, but you failed on one key point.

Cat doesn't own the dealerships, they don't force the dealers to run their businesses in the manner desrcibed by the OP, they don't set labor rates, and they can't control what parts are sold to the consumer for. Clearly there are markets where this model works, and markets where it won't. Go to a waterman's town like Crisfield, MD and you will find a dealer like T&S Marine. One of the larger Cat and Cummins dealer /rebuilders on the East coast. There business is built on volume with low overhead. They ship to much of the East coast and out of the country because of their prices. No fancy show room, just a squared away shop with 8 or 10 employees, well stock parts room, and a seperate building with maybe 100 to 200 motors waiting to be rebuilt when they're sold. Genuine Cat and Cummins parts sold at substantial discount, and honest labor rates that are probably 60% of the FL boutique dealers. While most of their business is rebuilding engines, you'll find them working on a waterman's work boat, a million dollar sport fish in OceanCity, and the occasional yacht. Same quality of service as the boutique dealers, but for a whole lot less money.

Ted
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:11 PM   #105
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We're talking certified dealers with certified mechanics vs. the rest of the world. I'm not saying others can't be good. What I am saying though is that CAT, as good manufacturers do, has requirements for those dealers and mechanics. Not only does it insure continued education on the products but it costs money. Time off for training has to be paid for.

It's an individual choice who you choose to work on your boat and it's engines.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:31 PM   #106
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We're talking certified dealers with certified mechanics vs. the rest of the world. I'm not saying others can't be good. What I am saying though is that CAT, as good manufacturers do, has requirements for those dealers and mechanics. Not only does it insure continued education on the products but it costs money. Time off for training has to be paid for.

It's an individual choice who you choose to work on your boat and it's engines.
Not sure if this was directed at my post or not. For the record, T&S marine is a certified dealer for Both Cat and Cummins with certified techs for Both manufactures.

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Old 04-13-2015, 10:24 PM   #107
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Not sure if this was directed at my post or not. For the record, T&S marine is a certified dealer for Both Cat and Cummins with certified techs for Both manufactures.

Ted
It wasn't directed at your post or any specific post. It was in response to the OP and other comments in the thread. Definitely not aimed at T&S.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:38 PM   #108
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A few months I was conducting an inspection of a large yacht. The 1400 HP Cats had recently undergone a rebuild using Cat parts as required and recommended by the local large (more tha marine) Cat dealer. The Captain, Engineer and crew did the rebuilds with some over the shoulder guidance from the Cat dealer. Had Cat done the work the estimate was about $65K but with no labor charge the crew did it for $27K of parts. And needless to say the crew did not provide a warranty for work performed.

I have been directly involved with Cat on negotiating long term maintenance and rebuild agreements on very large earth moving fleets with no thoughts as to getting ripped off as the competition was often higher priced.

A marine service shop I routinely work with is certified for Cat, Cummins and JD engines. If any gouging occurs it is across the board. Access to the ER is a big issue for this shop's pricing, often overlooked by owners when evaluating costs. A few days ago I noted two new Cummins 6.7s being dropped into a vessel with all in costs exceeding $100k. These would be great replacements for a pair of 3116s someday. Maybe 13 large, well spent, every few years isn't so bad.
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:35 PM   #109
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Update: the end of the story. Had a pleasant conversation with the CAT dealer's service manager who said he would review the estimate. He called back a couple of days later with a revise estimate for roughly $6K. He eliminated some things I could do myself, reduced the radiator caps to $5.61. I told him to go ahead with the work. The next morning he called and said a tech had resigned and they could not get to my boat in time for me to leave per my plan that they had originally agreed to.

Plan B went into effect. I engaged a former CAT tech who had gone out on his own and had a great reputation locally. He quoted the work at between $5 & 6K. I told him to go forward. He did everything on time and handed me an invoice for $5,100. He did more than CAT said needed to be done including all new hoses, washing down the engines and touching up the paint.

We left Stuart,FL today. The boat is purring like a kitten and I couldn't be happier.

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Old 04-27-2015, 09:33 PM   #110
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So is it fair to say the $13K price was a trial balloon to see if you would bite with a lower more reasonable price if you objected?

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Old 04-27-2015, 09:47 PM   #111
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Seems so.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:18 AM   #112
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Howard,

Great thread and I'm glad you are cruising again. Love your boat!!
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:31 AM   #113
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If someone PM'd you and wanted the contact number, would you recommend the Plan B mechanic?
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:51 AM   #114
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Absolutely, without hesitation.
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