I have to second what Cam said- If at all possible be there! I live aboard half of the year, but fly home from time to time during the summer. If I'm on the boat when we're getting work done-it gets done in a timely fashion and done well. We pay premium dollar to hire very reputable companies and even then if I'm not present they simply do not do as good of a job. When I ask for an estimate I get it in writing and then when I hire someone to do the job I ask for a projected completion time. I write that on the contract. And I refer to that when I have to phone them to see when the work will be finished. I have also learned to prepare the boat for the work. If someone is coming to work on the engine I have already emptied the locker they need access to and have garbage bags and a roll of paper towels handy for them to use. The more prep work you do the less time they will have on the clock and the more dollars you can save. It also lets them know you are actively interested in what they are doing to your boat. In Annapolis the going rate is 85 to 110 an hour. And trust me they round UP when they are on the clock. Recently we had to have a deck/steaming light replaced. The rigger came without everything he needed to complete the job. So he had to make a trip back to the shop, then back up the mast. I did not get charged for the time he spent going back to the shop. But I think the reason was because I was on the boat when he arrived-and when he came down so quickly I asked if everything was completed. "No" he had forgotten his tester at the shop. So instead of two hours of labor-I was fairly charged for an hour.
"The God's do not subtract from man's
(or woman's) allotted time the hours spent in sailing."