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I recently purchased an 8 year old boat that required some work. Since the season was close to the end, I wanted to have the local yard perform the work. I''ve learned quite a bit from this experience- here are some of my findings:
1. estimates are given for each total job (labor and materials). The invoice lists these in separate places which are not subtotaled- you therefore have to comb through every screw, wire, and ty-rap cost to determine the total actual cost and compare it to the estimate. This seems like a convenient way to make it difficult for the customer to reconcile the totals and compare to the estimates.
2. to my surprise, most of the ''actual'' numbers on the invoice exceeded the estimates by 20% or more. Some were off by 200%. These variances were not communicated prior to receiving the invoice. Is this unusual? This quickly turned a $40K job into a $50+K job.
3. there was very little quality assurance on the completed jobs. Hinges were not tightened back up, paint overspray remained, deck hardware was not rebedded properly with the correct washer/nut combinations, wires were not labeled, wire runs were cut too short and therefore were not routed around the edge and out of storage areas, wiring was not protected by looms or panels when installed in stowage areas, panels and cabinent doors were broken, etc. It seems like everywhere I looked, there were signs of taking a shortcut. I''ll spend months verifying some of the work in the hard to reach places on the boat.
4. the series of jobs ran behind schedule by more than 30%
5. Following up in person once a month for several days each visit during the past three months and numerous telephone conversations did not seem to prevent the above issues.
6. Parts specified six weeks earlier by the customer did not arrive on time and delayed the project. The yard then attempts to charge an expedited freight fee because of the ''rush'' order.
This is a very reputable yard on the east coast. I''m sure you would recognize the name and be equally surprised.
I''ve seen a lot of articles regarding ''how to'' maintenance and ''boat buying tips'' etc. but I''ve never seen any infromation on how to contract and manage projects with a boatyard. What are their common ''tricks'' that they try to pull over on the unsuspecting customer?
Anyone have any thoughts and experiences on the subject that they would like to share?