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Old 09-16-2011, 07:58 PM   #1
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Yachting Services?

This is not started to be a rant or gripe session.* It doesn't seem that my experiences have bee unique.* Why is it that after paying a few thousand dollars in yard bills, that you can come away with a less than fullfilled feeling.* I picked my boat up.* While the work done was satisfactory (which I am thankful for), The boat was absolutely filty with sanding dust and accumulated dirt.* Some of the decks were marked by the workers shoes.* One of the spring lines had been placed over the teak toe rail instead of through the fairlead.* Of course it chafed the varnish.

Maybe they should change the name to boating services.* I didn't feel like I was yachting as I pulled away.

I may be saying this because I am tired and sore from cleaning all this up today.* Perhaps not though.* I think that it is indicative of the philosphy of doing as little as necessary to get the money.* A little extra care and service could go a long way in customer relations.
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:56 AM   #2
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RE: Yachting Services?

"The boat was absolutely filty with sanding dust and accumulated dirt. Most work the yard does is beyond the skill set of owners."

Do you really want to pay $100 an hour to have the boat cleaned?

"Some of the decks were marked by the workers shoes. One of the spring lines had been placed over the teak toe rail instead of through the fairlead. Of course it chafed the varnish."

This however is inexcuseible m drag the yard manager down and raise HELL!
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:37 AM   #3
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RE: Yachting Services?

Quote:
Old Stone wrote:
Don - We just had a conversation at the docks yesterday about how it seems no matter how good a shop starts out, in time, it will dissapoint you. In the beginning of the season, boats were slowly sinking because someone forgot to check all the seacocks, or batteries weren't charged, or scuffs and dirt were all over, etc. Granted, marine services is a tough business to be in, but as soon as a boss takes his fingers off the project, or starts to worry about the billng, things go south. A tight economy always brings out this kind of stuff, but over on City Island, good economy or no, everyone finally gets fed up with one yard, go to another who is on good behaviour for a couple years, then the cycle repeats to changing to another yard yet again. Since ther are limited yards there, it is like musical chairs. This is very frustrating, but can't say there is any answer to it. The work ethic has greatly changed in the last decades, and not just in the boating industry, but this is not meant to be a philosophical or political rant, I'm just with you on your frustrations!

Worst thing about vesssel repairs is even when you think you have thoroughly checked everything, as soon as you get it out of the yard, something else pops up, (pinched elec line, slow leak, etc), and just go back and prove they did it!

Last thing to remember of course, is that we ARE dealing with BOATS here. They are always going to keep us on our toes.
*Carl, of course, you and FF are right.* If I didn't own a business, I might see it differently.* Our people are told over and over that it is the product and service that has kept us in business over 40 years.* If we didn't have the best customer service, we wouldn't have the most repeat business of any other builder in our area.* Do we eat some things that we shouldn't have to?* Do we take care of some qestionable items?* Yes, we do both.* It is no win to argue with customers.* Of course we eat some stuff, but it pays off in word of mouth.* My son runs the day to day of our business today.* He has learned from an early age that the object is to keep our name out of dinner table conversation and cocktail parties.* People love to complain.* We try not to give them anything to complain about.

There are yards that will not get repeat business from me.* That is the ultimate way to show dissatisfaction.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:55 AM   #4
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RE: Yachting Services?

It is too bad that we don't have a sticky on here for a Hall of Shame. Too much liability, I suppose but it would help everyone if we knew who the shoddly operators were.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
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RE: Yachting Services?

Instead of the Hall of Shame, how about making note of the really great yards! *

We had a lot of work done on our trawler before we brought her home at "Great Bay Marine" in New Hampshire. *Excellent work ethic, fair prices and great results... plus really nice people as an extra bonus. *I would recommend them very highly to anyone.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:23 AM   #6
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RE: Yachting Services?

Quote:
Doc wrote:
It is too bad that we don't have a sticky on here for a Hall of Shame. Too much liability, I suppose but it would help everyone if we knew who the shoddly operators were.
*Doc, you are right.* The reason I didn't post the name is that the work contracted for seems to have been done very well.* It was just that the level of customer care was not there.* Maybe I expect too much.* We at least have our people carry booties and/or remove their shoes before going into a customers home.* We also insist that our people leave the place at least as clean as they found it.* If we get a complaint, they know they will be called to the office.* We are fair to our employees, but will find the truth.* We have sent our final cleaning crew out to clean a home where we have a complaint.*

The point is that when others are complaining in a group about their builder our customers often mention the level of customer care we provide.* That gets referrals, and that is the best kind of advertising.* We even send out letters warning that their warranty is about to expire in 30 days.* If they have something not taken care of to send it in so a work order can be initiated..
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:58 AM   #7
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RE: Yachting Services?

Has anyone looked at or posted a review on Karen & Jeffrey Siegel's new website CaptainRated**http://captainrated.com/.*This could build into a great resource as ActiveCaptain has done. Reading reviews on both sites gives you some added knowledge to make a choice.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:04 AM   #8
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Yachting Services?

Sad but true! Same here, yards and management come and go. Service quality goes up and down. I had our local large Anacortes yard rip the teak rail off my boat while lifting her out of the water. They promised they would fix it, no problem accidents happen! After many trips to the office over a year it still wasn't repaired! I finally cornered the owner and he told me that he wasn't convinced it was their fault! I told him "The two yard employees called the yard manager down to look at it when it happened." His response, "So take me to court!".

I ended up buying the wood and paying a local guy to turn the wood to match. Cost me $200 and my time to repair it, but anybody I talked to, who mentioned they were going to haul out, heard that story. If only one person changed their mind and used a different yard, plus the loss of my business over 20 years,cost the yard how much?

He's gone now and the new management seems much better, the question as others have stated below is, but for how long?

-- Edited by Edelweiss on Saturday 17th of September 2011 11:06:57 AM
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:34 AM   #9
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RE: Yachting Services?

From 2008 to 2009, we used a yard in Sidney, BC that had a rep for being "expensive".* i.e. we were charged for the time of a project manager to shepherd the various refits and repairs, the rate was high compared to lower cost options, we likely did pay for the cleanup time (exclellent point raised!), etc.* We addressed the cost issues by making good use of the project manager to focus our spending on the critical items and not wasting money on things that would not really improve day to day life on the boat.* I can't say that we spent more or less when all was said and done, but, we got our money's worth along the way.

After two*seasons we wrote a three page love letter to the yard.* All the work was to a very high quality.* All the work was on budget.* Hard to find parts were located and installed correctly. Electronic wizardry! A minor scratch to the salon floor was immediately repaired to invisibilty. The plumber would not let us leave because the Vacuflush did not seem right and we stayed an extra day until he was satisfied. This avoided a disaster because we were picking up guests on arrival in Roche Harbor.* We saved hundreds of dollars in moorage when staying for free while in Sidney. We had a followup phone call to ensure we were satisfied. The list goes on.

I have told this story to many people and some are impressed while others tell us we paid too much.* Did we?

Bring on a sticky for an honor role!

cheers,
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:43 PM   #10
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RE: Yachting Services?

I just hired a new boat guy (from Holland) to begin some catch-up work on boat projects next week. He seems to know boat systems, and is realistic about his fees. I've got so much to do in the weeks ahead, I know my boat is going to suffer from neglecting important projects. I'd rather stay out of any yard as long as I can, and if I can't get to myself, I'd still rather have the work done at my dock. Our culture here in Miami brings with it a culture of low expectations from workers and customers alike, and it shows. I'm determined to keep my boat out of any yard for as long as I can.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:08 PM   #11
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RE: Yachting Services?

Hope my Coot will be back in the water by Oct. 5.* This is in part*dependent upon receiving parts soon.



*
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:12 PM   #12
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RE: Yachting Services?

I think you got your monies worth! If you were happy with the yards work and service the end result is what you wanted. No repeat trips to the yard for re-do's etc.
Don - Your work ethic and business savy have payed off in spades for you. When the times get tough, it is easy to cut back on marketing, warranty work and other "hidden" costs not directly associated with a delivered product. You are now reaping what your building business has been sowing for decades. Anyone can do it in good times.

We are heading for the Boat yard also. Erie , Pa. we will see what the quality of work emerges! I'll post pictures of "my cute bottom". Two week trip up into St Lawrence seaway and into lakes. Towing a crane barge.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:38 PM   #13
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Yachting Services?

The BC yards have a reputation of quality work. I think some of it is a pride in workmanship, but there is also a much higher expectation among Canadian consumers that they are getting what they Paid for and will tell you in short order if they don't. I have had good experiences the few times I've used a BC yard.

Some of our yards hire some real low lifes too (also known as knuckledraggers or potheads) and have high turn over. I especially like it when I get my boat back and it stinks of burned tobacco and later I find a butt in the bilge pump strainer!!

-- Edited by Edelweiss on Saturday 17th of September 2011 05:40:11 PM
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:08 PM   #14
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RE: Yachting Services?

Quote:
Sailor of Fortune wrote:
I think you got your monies worth! If you were happy with the yards work and service the end result is what you wanted. No repeat trips to the yard for re-do's etc.



Capt. Jack, that is the reason I did not post the name of the yard. The work did seem satisfactory. It was mainly a comment on the level of customer service in the business of servicing boaters.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:01 PM   #15
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RE: Yachting Services?

I havent been to any yards in TX. yet but I have been to 3 different yards on the Ms. coast in the past.
Here is what I have to say about them:
They pay their crack-heads and alcoholics as little as they can get away with. The crackheads and alcoholics are OK with that because as a perk, they get to live in the abandoned derelict boats in the yard. For the yard owner this is a plus because he always has someone handy for 6 bucks an hour and charges you a hundred bucks an hour. If the yard junkie screws up, that's even better because the owner gets to charge you for the clean-up of his screw-ups. It is now getting to where it is harder to find a yard where you can do the work yourself.
If you want good work ethic, find yourself another country. That might be easier than trying to find it here. It seems like once a business grows much beyond a family operation the problems begin.

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Old 09-18-2011, 12:51 AM   #16
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Yachting Services?

Don - The first part of my post (" Monies worth" was in response to Pennylanes question.). I would be perturbed as you were for getting my boat back in less than clean condition. Sorrry for the confusion.


-- Edited by Sailor of Fortune on Sunday 18th of September 2011 12:53:09 AM
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:03 PM   #17
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RE: Yachting Services?

Quote:
markpierce wrote:


Hope my Coot will be back in the water by Oct. 5.* This is in part*dependent upon receiving parts soon.



*


What broke? Or are you adding?
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:29 PM   #18
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RE: Yachting Services?

Quote:
Badger wrote:
What broke? Or are you adding?
*Water leak from anchor-locker drain, singing propeller,*shorted bow thruster from water leak, bottom-paint/rust issues.* Also,*engine*water pump (oil leak)*and sensor*(wrong) replacement.

Talk to you guys when I finish a 15-day transatlantic trip starting tomorrow.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:23 AM   #19
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RE: Yachting Services?

Quote:
Penny Lane wrote:
From 2008 to 2009, we used a yard in Sidney, BC that had a rep for being "expensive".* i.e. we were charged for the time of a project manager to shepherd the various refits and repairs, the rate was high compared to lower cost options, we likely did pay for the cleanup time (exclellent point raised!), etc.* We addressed the cost issues by making good use of the project manager to focus our spending on the critical items and not wasting money on things that would not really improve day to day life on the boat.* I can't say that we spent more or less when all was said and done, but, we got our money's worth along the way.

After two*seasons we wrote a three page love letter to the yard.* All the work was to a very high quality.* All the work was on budget.* Hard to find parts were located and installed correctly. Electronic wizardry! A minor scratch to the salon floor was immediately repaired to invisibilty. The plumber would not let us leave because the Vacuflush did not seem right and we stayed an extra day until he was satisfied. This avoided a disaster because we were picking up guests on arrival in Roche Harbor.* We saved hundreds of dollars in moorage when staying for free while in Sidney. We had a followup phone call to ensure we were satisfied. The list goes on.

I have told this story to many people and some are impressed while others tell us we paid too much.* Did we?

Bring on a sticky for an honor role!

cheers,
*Kevin, what is the name of the yard, please?
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:44 AM   #20
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RE: Yachting Services?

In Sidney, I*have found that visiting boats are quite happy with Philbrooks. A few weeks ago a sailboat had gone aground with ensuing hull damage. The boat owner raved about how Philbrooks quickly repaired*theresin/mat over wood hull. As with most yards, you pay at Philbrooks, and some bitch about the $$$. I've always been well treated when something they did was not good enough and needed follow up - in one case a refinish of a bunged up salon sole following a heater install which they did on*their own when they found*the scratches. As with all yards, I follow up and discuss shortcomings with them.
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