Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?
Perhaps I have just been fortunate, but in my experience, the contractors we have used for work on the yacht have saved me money. Two small examples:
My (much) better half insisted we install a generator so we could use the air conditioning while at anchor during the summer in Southwest Florida. We subsequently visited the Miami Boat Show and were quoted a Boat Show price for a 4.2KW generator of $9,800 USD (at the time), the unit to be drop shipped, at my expense, to our boatyard for installation. That seemed pretty good until I discussed the deal with the manager of our yard, a designated service station for the brand. Through the yard, the cost for the same machine was $7,900 with the labor costs of installation the same.
Similarly, we upgraded from a manual to electric windlass. Purchased through our electrics contractor, the unit was 15% less costly than the best price I was quoted via the Internet or over the phone. And, when the Gypsy proved to be the wrong size (we had specified 3/8" BBB), our contractor handled the exchange at no charge, with no inconvenience, with one phone call.
We have had similar experience with other equipment but, in summary, our contractors have saved us money on equipment and ensured that installations were done properly, often while I was in attendance and taking time to instruct me should I need to effect repairs while we were/are traveling.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."