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Old 10-03-2013, 01:03 PM   #1
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Marina mechanic hourly rate.

I do probably 80% of all the work on my boat, 100% of maintenance - oil, filter, antifreeze changes & transmission fluid changes. About the only projects I have the marina mechanic do is Fiberglas, jelcoat bottom paint & I had him do a thru hull transducer. Having a older boat (1987) I buy most high dollar parts on line, I used to try to buy thru the marina but their prices were always 30%+ higher so I quit even giving them a try. I still buy most maintenance supplies from them because they're handy & have it in stock. They don't stock any type of electronics, filters for my boat other than for the Westerbeke gen. I made the decision that if I was going to wait for them to order a part & pay the freight I might as well shop for the best price. I was in the store yesterday & there was a new sign behind the counter "the hourly rate to install parts bought elsewhere will be $105.00" normal rate is $75.00. For some reason reading that really pissed me off & I decided to quit buying anything from them. If I need mechanic services I'll go the 63 miles down the river to Port Charles marina, they charge I believe $90.00 but have a reputation of doing excellent work, and it's a nice cruise. I know I'am being unreasonable but it seems that they're saying their parts charge is so high that if they can't screw you on parts then they'll do on the hourly rate. The only work I had planned to give them this winter was removing the rotten wood in the arch & glassing in new, installing a couple of cleats on the transom & a haul to replace anodes. It seems to me that if I keep buying from them & giving work to the mechanic I'am condoning this new scheme. Does anyone have any comments on this business practice, am I being unreasonable to stop buying anything from them, and what are mechanic rates in your area? RANT OVER.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:22 PM   #2
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A few years ago in the Mystic, Ct area it was $100 per hour, haven't checked lately.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by River Cruiser View Post
I was in the store yesterday & there was a new sign behind the counter "the hourly rate to install parts bought elsewhere will be $105.00" normal rate is $75.00. For some reason reading that really pissed me off & I decided to quit buying anything from them. RANT OVER.
Yup, I've run into that same mentality from time-to-time.

Fortunately, in this area there is enough competition that you can vote with your feet quite easily. Contrary to what they think, you don't "owe" them anything (in this case your business), which is what they are implying. It's your boat and your money and they don't have any right or say in how and where you spend it.

Be sure and share with them how you feel.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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I can understand the reasoning behind the two tier price, although it certainly isn't a good public relations move.
Local suppliers just can't compete price-wise with web based distributors.

The local marina would be far better off advertising $90/hr for everyone, and then giving those who buy parts through them an unexpected discount as a way of keeping those customers.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:42 PM   #5
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Yup, I've run into that same mentality from time-to-time. Fortunately, in this area there is enough competition that you can vote with your feet quite easily. Contrary to what they think, you don't "owe" them anything (in this case your business), which is what they are implying. It's your boat and your money and they don't have any right or say in how and where you spend it. Be sure and share with them how you feel.
There isn't any shops on the river closer than those in the St Louis area which is 60 miles south, but I will will make the trip before I'll do any business with them. The owners daughter manages the facility and I haven't seen her since I got back but I will certainly let her know how I feel.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
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There isn't any shops on the river closer than those in the St Louis area which is 60 miles south.
Well, there you go!! No competition, so they think you have no options.

If it can be done in the water, I have a couple of independent repair people and a diver that I use for anything I can't handle or don't have the time. They are independent businessmen, not surprisingly their rates are very reasonable and they do excellent work.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:19 PM   #7
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Ron, as frustrating as this is, and given they handled it poorly, there are two sides here. Chances are, you can almost match the parts pricing they are paying by shopping online. And a 30% margin is not out of line. Here is why... When a repair is needed, and parts are needed, non stock items are purchased. This takes time from a paid employee and once it arrives it has to be checked in (time). If the part/ parts are incorrect they have to be reordered (time). Once installed, if the part fails, the repair shop will need to replace it under warranty (time), and probably the parts department will be required to submit a claim and ship the defective part back (time). To remain viable and be here next year a repair shop has to maintain profit. I know there are a lot of low down repair shops out there- but if you truly trust this marina shop, it would be better to help him survive and continue to be there when you need him IMO. Done!
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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They might be doing this for the survival of their business.

Before the internet, we just let mechanics supply the parts and they make money on labor and parts (mark-up). Then Al invents the internet and the public can now buy at wholesale pricing on-line. So we start supplying our own parts to mechanics and deprive them of the income they were used to. Their income drops while their overhead is still the same. Sooner or later the labor rates will have to be increased to cover the gap.

It is also possible that this is done out of greed, but I doubt it. Income from selling parts is a big part of a repair shop's overall income. If it's taken away, they may not survive.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
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Timely thread. Just had a meeting with my business partner today and we are no longer installing customer supplied parts. Too many quality issues and opportunities for ill will primarily caused by parts we have no control over. We considered increasing rates for those jobs but decided against it.

Parts markup is mostly a break even thing for us small potato guys. 30% is our standard, less on some items.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:33 PM   #10
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A shop manager told me one time "that anyone can sell but it takes a hell of a man to buy" I believe their problem is they don't know how to buy. Last year I needed a new 8D battery for the house bank, I priced it thru the marina & then the local parts store. The marina was $80.00 higher than the parts store, they could of got it from the parts store added 10 to 20% & I would of bought it from the marina. The last marina I was in for 10 years I bought almost everything from them because they would adjust their price down from the suggest list, may not of been the cheapest but they were reasonable. I'am getting over my 1st reaction because it really won't effect me anything I have them do relates to fiberglas repair. But the guy who buys a used windlass or engine is going to take it in the shorts. I think the smarter business move would've been to just raise their hourly rate up to $85.00 or $90.00.
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