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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 06-29-2008
Sailor Dance
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Service Levels

Hello All,

Have a question for you folks that sail in the Chesapeake. We had purchased our sailboat a couple of years ago from someone in Baltimore and brought to our home waters in Long Island.

Last spring when we were prepping the boat I discovered we had fuel leaking into the bilge, the source was the tank. Weighing all the options of actual time and skills I had to tackle this project we opted to have the yard do the work in hopes of not loosing the entire season.

The tank was cut out in late July 2007. Supposedly it was sent to a fabricator to have a new one made. Inquiry's resulted in the fabricators backed up their working on it.

Early this spring still no tank. More phone calls and then an off the shelf tank shows up, still not installed. More phone calls, they are getting to it.

New tanks installed this week, boat is still not running. A good friend of mine lost the use of his boat (Catalina 27) for a good year and half because the engine needed to come out (different yard).

Is this type of stuff the norm as far as getting boats fixed?

Thanks for your response...

S/V Sailor Dance
1990 Caliber 33
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Old 06-29-2008
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough is not normal BUT if you want work done in a timely manner, you have to show up personally and regularly is my experience! Nevertheless...find a different yard next time.
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Old 06-29-2008
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Welcome to the world of the boat yard. In there defense they have a hard time finding good help. I think that is why a lot of us try to do it ourselves. The guy that did the work at my last yard though he was good when he did something, he would appoint what ever high school kid he had working that week to do most of it.
I found that if I did it and did not do it well, I did not get as upset as if I had paid for it and had the same result. But I have no suggestions or experiences with other yards, Good luck
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Old 06-29-2008
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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."

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