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post #11 of 34 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork

Wow that crazy,

I build houses and do high end finishing carpentry, painting, renos.. Talk to the shop guys or any one.. And set a sq foot price.. That way it's far to both you and the guys doing it.. I would never hire anyone for an hourly rate, they tend to take longer witch means more $$
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post #12 of 34 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork

Pure capitalism at work -- they are charging what the market will bear (and at HHN, the bears run around in many cases with big fat wallets.) Don't forget that the yard is passing their overhead costs on to you. That means employee wages, health insurance, yard bonding/insurance fees, etc, etc.

From what I've seen at HHN, you can expect at least two guys to be working on your boat should you go that route. They do decent work, and actually seem to take the time to sand, clean, mask, prep, and finish the work. Having said that, I am aware of a few folks who have been less than thrilled with the results.

I take it that DIY is not an option for you?
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post #13 of 34 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork

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Originally Posted by bjung View Post
I really need to work on the exterior teak on my boat,
Then work on the teak.
Or work to pay somebody to work on the teak.
Or, if the guy working on the teak is costing you more per hour than you earn, take a couple of days off and work on the teak.
Or hire your buddy the house painter with low self-esteem. He only charges $25/hr? A business that grosses $50K/yr isn't a business- it's a hobby that isn't surviving.

IMO boat maintenance is a lot like illegal immigration. If you don't want to do it, you really can't bitch about the cost.

As boat jobs go, it doesn't get much more user-friendly than brightwork.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #14 of 34 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork

Many self-employed folks, if they are really running a business, buygin insurance, putting away vacation pay and retirement and paying social security just like any real business does, are paying themselves about 1/3-1/4 of their "rate".

So while I wouldn't be surprised to find some guys off the truck working for $10 an hour, I wouldn't expect them to know how to varnish teak properly. How to get a real mirror finish with zero bubbles in it. Off the truck. I'd expect to pay at least $25/hour for someone who knew varnish. On the books? Yeah, I'd expect $50, $65, even $75 just depending on reputation and competition.

If you've got a painter working for $12/hour...give him some scrap redwood to practice on, and if he can do, you've also given him a lucrative new career!
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post #15 of 34 Old 07-11-2012
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Of course in the end you could do it yourself at the extended rate of double the quoted cost complete with a locker full of stuff you'll forget how to use in a couple of months or alternatively becoming the dock rat who's addicted to the preservation of everything wood.
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post #16 of 34 Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork

Worked on a boat last summer, a trawler, which had the exterior teak "done" by the "how much can I save" mentality. The guy they hired decided that after stripping the teak, per the owners instructions, he would go to Home Depot and get some Thompson's Water Seal.

Yep he sprayed the ENTIRE boat. To this day the teak WILL NOT take ANY varnish, Cetol or other type product as the SILICONE in the Thompson's has permanently destroyed tens of thousands of dollars of exterior teak. It may be 30+ years before that teak will take a finish again.

Up here $45.00 -$75.00 is about the going rate for a brightwork guy/gal with a clue.....

If you want beautiful brightwork you have two options:

1 - Learn to DIY

2 - Have a 7 figure income.... Brightwork can easily exceed the value of many boats if paid for professionally...

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-Maine Sail / CS-36T


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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-11-2012 at 07:55 AM.
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post #17 of 34 Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork

There are two thoughts here. Ya get what ya pay for and pay me now or pay me later. The best alternative is to learn how to do it right yourself and take the time.

Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration
The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

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post #18 of 34 Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork

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Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
There are two thoughts here. Ya get what ya pay for and pay me now or pay me later. The best alternative is to learn how to do it right yourself and take the time.
+1 on Charlie's thoughts.

BJung -- I didn't want to come off as a Richard earlier, but this is really a no-brainer. DIY (all or part of the job) is the way to go.

Take the time to think about it.

1. Brightwork is not a critical system, and therefore speed of repair is not a factor. Your boat will sail just as well with bare teak as it will a Bristol finish.

2. The type and quality of the finish is largely a matter of taste, so it's really hard (but not impossible, as MaineSail noted above) to make a non-recoverable mistake. Yes, you can drive yourself to drink -- in itself not necessarily a bad thing -- trying to decide what finish to use or even if to use a finish at all, but what else are you gonna do when there's nothing else to do?

3. Even of you don't want to do the actual finishing yourself, you can shave a whole lot of hours off of the bill if you do most of the prep yourself. Paying yard rates to have someone else scrape varnish or mask gelcoat is just bad math.

4. Some (like Vigor) will say that the time spent babying your baby yourself has intrinsic value, in that she will take better care of YOU when things get dicey. Hard to prove, but always a good excuse to spend time at the boat (if you've got someone significant keeping track of how you invest your leisure hours.)

5. The downside is that it can become habit forming -- sometimes to the point that it becomes distracting. Once you've got hundreds of hours invested in a showroom finish, you may get a little anal about maintaining and protecting it. This is likely why you see many actively sailed boats with crappy looking or bare brightwork, and many dock queens with Bristol finishes (NB -- this is a generalization, and not meant to say that boats with great looking brightwork are dock queens. )
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post #19 of 34 Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork

Maine-
"the SILICONE in the Thompson's has permanently destroyed tens of thousands of dollars" Yah, which is why some folks and most yards only want to know about INSURED contractors.
Porfin, I'd argue that brightwork DOES have a ticking clock and MUST be done on schedule. If you don't keep up with it, water gets under, wood deteriorates...Hey, how's that insurance policy?!
And than if you want to do the prep yourself, you've got all that varnish to dispose of, and you have to make sure you're not going to gash or burn or scrap the wood beneath the varnish as well. "Ooops" is forever in that case.
At a certain point...you make your compromise. Which to many of us means going over to someone else's boat when we want to go "OOH! and AAH!" over brightwork. :-)
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post #20 of 34 Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork

I'm a brightwork junky. Some people like to fish or tan or nap when the boat's not moving- I like to scrape, sand and brush on a coat of finish. It's soothing, and I feel like I have earned the beer I drink.

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