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post #45 of Old 12-11-2012
Maine Sail
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Originally Posted by Cruiser2B View Post
did not mean to insult you, $7300 is a lot of me. Amazed that there are people out there that can charge these prices.... and sleep at guess is that he or she will sleep quite well. hope it turns out well. 5-6000 is a ton of labor! I hope you get 60-70 hours out of them at minimum.
Our dodger & Bimini was 78.5 hours....

Go to boat meet with client on specifics and take preliminary frame measurements (most boats are not right in front of the canvas shop)

Go back to shop to bend, crown & manufacture the frame

Go to boat and "test fit frame" for "aesthetics" and agreed customer shape/dimensions/height etc.. A good shop will often want to get agreement on the new frame before moving forward.

Send frame out for custom welded grab bar (not all canvas shops are capable of doing a "top shelf" welding job for a grab rail).

Go back to boat to install both frames, every hole needs to be properly bedded and sealed. Backing plate access for the dodger & bimini frame need to be available for a "proper" installation. This required taking much of the interior apart to gain access to the where the feet would be mounted. Some guys just use screws, I prefer through bolting and was glad to pay for this extra time....

Pattern for dodger & bimini (got windy and ran out of time in "calm" on our job and had to come back to complete it, this happens). I was there during the patterning. It took two guys 4.5 hours on the first round before it got too windy to continue patterning. I suspect another 2 on the next round...

Go back to shop and sew dodger. With W.L. Gore Tenera thread, which is what was used on ours, this can add up to two+ additional hours in labor alone during the sewing as Tenera is quite finicky through the machines.. I will NEVER, EVER use polyester thread again and am GLAD to pay a premium for Tenara thread....

Return to boat and install dodger & bimini. On our boat this took two guys nearly 8 hours, I was there during the installation. Remember every fastener needs to be properly bedded, mounted & sealed. The snaps, lift a dots etc. are all installed on-site so the fit is just right. The dodger MUST fit correctly and there is a LOT that goes into a proper fitting and installation to get it "just right". If any nip & tucks need to be done to the dodger or bimini it goes back to shop for more tweaking. If old screw holes from a previous dodger could not be used they are filled, and this can really add up..

Once the dodger & bimini were installed the patterning for the bimini connector piece could begin

Pattern for bimini connector

Sew bimini connector

Return to boat and install bimini connector

If it does not fit "perfectly" back to shop for "tweaks"..

With a quality canvas shop this is not a 20 hour process at $80.00 per hour it is closer to 65 - 80+ man hours at the going rate which around here is $75.00 to $90.00 per hour...

BTW my washing machine was just repaired and they charge $97.00 per hour + travel + make a 400%+ mark up on the parts... Not just a "marine thing"... My canvas guy actually earned his money compared to the flunky who changed a $3.00 sensor then charged me $68.00 for it + $218.25 in labor and $65.00 "travel" to come 9.5 miles from his shop.

My car repair shop gets $95.00 per hour to work "flat rate" which means the mechanic fixes it in 15 minutes and they still charge me for a full hour because that is what the shop rate manual tells them to charge..... At least with my canvas guy I pay for an honest hours worth of work.....

I just changed the transmission fluid on my car yesterday for total cost of $36.00 for four quarts. It took me about 20 minutes. The dealer wanted $185.00 and they ge the transmission fluid at their cost not the $9.00 / quart I pay for the "proprietary" fluid.......

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-11-2012 at 08:15 AM.
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