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Old 01-11-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
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Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Hi all
I'm trying to determine the quality of the yard in Norfolk called Ocean Marine Center.
I may need to have some work done (nothing specific yet) including electrical & head systems as well as hull compunding and buffing.
Does anyone have any experiences with this yard - good or bad??
All input much appreciated, thanks
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:48 PM   #2
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

I have not used them for the things you mentioned, but have worked with them on storage on the hard and fuel and dockage.* They have been very accomodating and professional in our dealings.* I usually stay with them when in Portsmouth.* Have not heard any negatives.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:11 PM   #3
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

It sounds like you completed the deal - if so, congratulations and welcome to the world of trawlers!
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:53 AM   #4
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

The deal is still in the works, survey begining of Feb - then hopefully the move to the dark side will be complete.
Then the fun begins. The things I mentioned in my post are things I know will need to be done after purchase.
There'll be many more questions I'm sure.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:32 AM   #5
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Gull,

Why don't you try Atlantic Yacht Basin which is a few miles down the River just through the Great Bridge Lock.* They do very good work.* They are in fresh water, and have a good facility.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:15 AM   #6
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

I stayed two months at Ocean Marine Center in 2007. All I ever saw in the yard were megayachts. Very nice folks at the marina, however.

I would second the mention of Atlantic Yacht Basin for a normal person's boat repairs.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:46 PM   #7
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Ocean Marine isn't just for megayachts. They are well equipped and very experienced in working with small boats (they are boaters too). And there are far more small boats in the yard and buildings than megayachts. They do a fantastic job on paint and fairing at very reasonable prices. There is a reason megayachts go there, the staff knows what they are doing and do it to a very high standard.

Having sent a very large yacht up there twice for paint and mechanical work in the past two years,* I put them at the top of the list that includes the best yards in Florida.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:39 PM   #8
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Thanks for the input - unfortunately as sometimes happens I'm getting conflicting responses.
The main reason I am looking at OMC is the location, less than a mile from the boat's current location and they will do the haul for the survey.
I will keep Atlantic Yachts in mind as well.
Any more opinions on OMC???
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:39 PM   #9
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Where's the conflict? You only got one response from someone who has had a boat in that yard and it was positive., both times.

They have some of the best paint people north of South Florida.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:32 PM   #10
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

I've posted on other forums, got a strong "never again", but that was an experience a few years ago. Other than hull / topside work, how would you rate their mechanical and electrical/electronics abilities. I believe I will have some work that needs to be done on what I would term critical systems - ie. the work must be done right the first time.
Thanks a bunch for any insights.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:22 PM   #11
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

The technical work was first class. We had a great deal of electrical and plumbing work done. new generator exhaust fabricated, shaft seals, props, through hulls. It's a professional yard that deals with small pleasure boats, large yachts, military boats and they have a workforce that knows their craft. The only reason we don't do more work there is most of our boats come here from the Med and continue on to the Caribbean for the Winter season and Norfolk is a bit out of the way, especially for boats that use Dockwise for the crossing.

You are going to hear every extreme, some people hate the yard when the work is more expensive than they figured it should be when they have tacked on a load of change orders. Others may sing the praises when they have never used another yard or got a great deal on something they didn't expect.

Go talk to the manager, look at the facilities and the work they are doing on other boats. Ask for references, know what you want done and have some idea of what it costs to do that kind of work. If all you are interested in is low price there are many sandlot boatyards that will give you a lowball quote.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:12 PM   #12
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Rick
Thanks for expanding on your experiences. I am NOT looking for a lowball quote - I'm looking for a good, professional yard I can trust to do important (some safety related) installations without me looking over their shoulder, as I will likely have to be traveling overseas at the time of the work, and have no one else to represent me.
As for asking for references - I am not from Norfolk and don't know anyone who has used the yard (I am also moving to my first trawler - from sail). When I am there for the survey I will obviously interview the yard manager, outline my needs and inspect the facilities, as well as ask for references.
However, it is very easy to miss something in one busy visit - and hence my posting on several forums in the hopes of getting some opinions/recommendations.
Thank you again for your input.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:30 PM   #13
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Gull, just sent you a private e-mail. because their is an e-mail address that I didn't want published.* Click on it in your log in box.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:40 PM   #14
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Gull,

You are very wise to be cautious.

A. You are not going to be there when the work is done and...

B. You will be paying the bill, unlike Rick B who I would guess is having someone else's boat worked on and therefore not paying the bill himself.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #15
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

I pull at yards that other service people and I can work on the boat as I have fired/kick service people off my boat for not doing the job expected and charging for their mistakes.* There have been several times I have brought*the plant employees to get the job done that was taking the yard forever.* At one yard I brought my attorney as they would not splash my boat unless I paid their outrageous fee.*Cost me a lunch but saved hundreds.*******

**
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:23 AM   #16
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Quote:
Doc wrote:B. You will be paying the bill, unlike Rick B who I would guess is having someone else's boat worked on and therefore not paying the bill himself.
We don't stay in business and I don't remain employed because I waste an owner's money. Our existence depends on the owner staying in yachting and owners bail out in a hurry when they see that they are getting ripped off or don't trust the people who manage their boat.

We get bids on the scope of very well defined work. We know what is involved and are present to watch and inspect. We know what to expect and what reasonable expectations are. This includes the crew and the outside contractors.

I have yet to see an owner, no matter how phenomenally rich, not ask very pointed questions about where their boat money goes. These people are not stupid and they didn't get rich by not watching where the money goes. As a boat owner myself I look at the costs through those glasses.

Just because the scope and quality of work is so great, these refits are multimillion dollar events and happen every single year. Just because I don't sign the check doesn't mean I don't look at the work the same way I do on my own boat. I sign the work authorization and I have to justify it. Thinking or saying otherwise indicates ignorance of the business and is an insult to the ethcs and professionalism of those of us who keep those boats operating.

You don't get to keep doing this work by throwing the owner's money around or not getting the most from the people who hold the tools.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:36 PM   #17
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Quote:
Doc wrote:

B. You will be paying the bill, unlike Rick B who I would guess is having someone else's boat worked on and therefore not paying the bill himself.

Being responsible for someone else's money often prompts one to be even more conscious of costs than spending your own money.* While each of us can come up with all sorts of rationalizations for how we spend our own money, it's not so smart to try to second-guess the reasons another person has for spending his money.

As any business person knows, clients usually want high quality, prompt service, etc. but they also want the lowest price possible.* So I would be very surprised to find a successful business owner working up an estimate for a client with little or no thought to cost because the client was rich or was a "deep pockets" company.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if people like Rick are more successful at negotiating a lower yard price than many private owners.* The advantage Rick has is it's not his boat.* So he's free of the "I've got to get this fixed no matter what" pressure that a lot of us private owners can put on ourselves.

*
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:25 PM   #18
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

A person like RickB might be treated better and*get better price because he can talk the talk and know what is BS.** Many yards expect you to negotiate the price unless you have a written firm price.*******
*
Make sure you deal/talk to the manager or owner, not a service/yard person.* As mentioned *before, make sure others and you can work on the boat because when they have they have pulled the boat, they got you.* Also, talk like you know what you are talking as once they see a $ sign on your forehead be prepared.* So be prepared.
*
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:30 AM   #19
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RE: Ocean Marine Center - Norfolk, Va - Looking for reviews/experiences

Quote:
Marin wrote:


Doc wrote:B. You will be paying the bill, unlike Rick B who I would guess is having someone else's boat worked on and therefore not paying the bill himself.
Being responsible for someone else's money often prompts one to be even more conscious of costs than spending your own money.* While each of us can come up with all sorts of rationalizations for how we spend our own money, it's not so smart to try to second-guess the reasons another person has for spending his money.

As any business person knows, clients usually want high quality, prompt service, etc. but they also want the lowest price possible.* So I would be very surprised to find a successful business owner working up an estimate for a client with little or no thought to cost because the client was rich or was a "deep pockets" company.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if people like Rick are more successful at negotiating a lower yard price than many private owners.* The advantage Rick has is it's not his boat.* So he's free of the "I've got to get this fixed no matter what" pressure that a lot of us private owners can put on ourselves.
I think that in some cases the same*forces that come into play when you try to built your own house or major remodeling job may come to play here as well.

When you try to be your own contractor on a construction job it becomes very difficult to get the subs to show up on time or in some cases at all.* The reason is that, lets just pick one, the dry wall guy does work for several home builders and he does some odd jobs as well.* So he promises to be at your job on Monday 8:00 AM sharp.* But Saturday afternoon builder x calls and says he has two houses ready to hang the rock.* Guess where the sheet rock is on Monday.* The obvious reason is that you are a one off deal and the builder is a repeat, a gift that keeps on giving.

Rick and his guys do have a leg up on the one off customer and for more than one reason.*
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