Anyone have any thoughts and experiences on the subject that they would like to share?
I find that dealing with a boatyard is much the same as dealing with any contractor. You need to be completely specific about what it is that you expect and what you will be charged for. Write everything down. Specifiy which materials will be used.
If the yard or the contractor balks at this - move on to someone else. The pros are fine with contracts and actually prefer them.
Realise that when you change your mind or make 'adjustments', it is going to cost your contractor time and money and you cannot reasonably expect them to absorb that. You made the change so you need to cover the expense.
Hold back 10% of the payment until you are satisfied that all the work is done properly and you have had a chance to inspect it. Discuss this at the start of the job. Don't wait until payday and then offer 90%.
I have had most success by only contracting one task at a time. If I need several things done, I break it down and hire people in logical order. The times I have had the largest number of problems have been when I used "project managers".
A couple of times I have been 100% satisfied. There are times that I have been happy with the work, but not with the time it took, or what it cost. There are times I have been happy with the price but not the work. There have been times when things were done quickly, but it was pricey and shoddy.
Given the choice - I will pay the extra money for the better work. If I have the time though, I much prefer to do things myself.