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  #21  
Old 09-29-2013
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

New yard rates:

Taking your order: $90/hr
Researching what to do: $90/hr
Doing it wrong: $90/hr
Doing it again: $90/hr
Taking your call again: $90/hr
Fixing the teak damage from workboots: $90/hr
Keeping the tools we left aboard: complimentary, unless you tell us we left them behind
Doing the job right the first time: unavailable
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  #22  
Old 09-29-2013
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

We just raised ours to $60 Hr.. There are shops around here that charge upwards of $120 Hr.. Until we get better known, we can't get anywhere near that. Getting rich? Hah! All of the complaints above is one of the reasons we opened the shop. It's taken three years to get the respect of our peers as the yard we are in is strictly a contractor yard. I would say that if you can do the work right yourself, do it. If not, call someone like us.
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  #23  
Old 09-29-2013
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

That's the going rate around here. The issue is quality. I don't think anyone is making any money even at these rates, and the staff doing the work is often not skilled. From varnish to Awlgrip to rigging, to mechanical, I've got a pile of horror stories.

For whatever it's worth, I've done much better in Maine. The rates are usually lower, but more importantly, I've found yards that do it right the first time. We've been storing and having work done in Maine every other year, and now we're thinking of every year. We don't mind paying up for quality work.

Charlie, we've never met but from your posts and pictures with high quality work, I'm meeting a lot more of guys like you in Maine than Massachusetts.

Whatever happened to pride in workmanship? In some places it's gone, but not everywhere.
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Old 09-29-2013
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

I hope that Bill Bishop will forgive me for posting this here, but it seems relevant.

For those of you who don't know of Bill, he is a marine electronics installer in the Tampa/Sarasota area, and a very well written guy. I have never met Bill, but I'd like to buy him a beer someday.

Quote:
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013

The Miser Flag
"Hi, this is Bill." "I'm John, do you install marine electronics?" "Yes that's what I do, how can I help you?" "Well Bill, a couple of years ago I had a guy install a Sparrow fish finder on my boat, and it only works when I go real slow." I just bought a used Chartomatic Five inch combo sounder/GPS on sale off the Internet, Flag but this time I want it installed by a professional. So I called the manufacturer and got a list of six certified installers, and your name was first on the list. I want only the best to do the work."

"Well thanks John, but I suspect the list was alphabetical, and I don't think all of them actually live in Sarasota, but anyway tell me what you need done." "Well Bill, I want the Sparrow unit and transducer removed intact because I want to sell it on Ebay, Flag and have you install the new to me Chartomatic and transducer on the boat." "I can do that, John, what kind of boat is this?" It's a Magnifico 30 go fast boat." Flag Flag Flag Flag "I'm familiar with that boat John, where does it live?" I don't want to tell you that yet." Flag "Well that's fine John, is it on a trailer or in a marine facility?" "Ah no it's on a boat lift, and you will have to bring a boat to install the transducer, or do whatever you guys normally do to install these things. The water is only five feet deep at low tide, you could do it in the water." Flag Flag "Okay John this is possible."

"Bill how much will you charge me to do this?" Well it's hard to say John, I haven't see the boat, but normally on most boats it would take about three hours at $70.00 an hour to do this from scratch. That would be about be about $210 but like I said I haven't seen the boat. It might be less if the transducer wire pull is easy, but the transducer will be much more difficult to do on a lift." "Three hours? Flag You charge $70 an hour? Flag That's outrageous, I'd rather do it my self." Flag, Flag, Flag, Flag, Flag, Flag


"Well you said you wanted a professional John. I'm certified, insured, bring all of the tools required for the job to you, guarantee the performance of the system, and teach you how to use it. I can't get a plumber to show up for less than a $100 at my house, and that's before he picks up a wrench. You apparently didn't have a professional install your Sparrow fish finder or it would have worked in the first place, and in the end it will cost as much to uninstall the Sparrow as it cost you to buy in the first place." "Well thanks for the advice Bill, but "I'm not one to just throw my money around. I think I will keep shopping around." "That's fine John, If you need me I will try to help. I will flag your number in my phone directory so I will recognize your call."

"I wanted to make real sure I was too busy to take that call if it appeared. It fortunately hasn't happened yet, and I'm delighted. I'm pretty sure he has a difficult time hiring a plumber. Sheesh!
You can read more of Bill's observations here; The Marine Installer's Rant
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Last edited by eherlihy; 09-29-2013 at 11:14 AM.
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

^^^ That ^^^
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
That's the going rate around here. The issue is quality. I don't think anyone is making any money even at these rates, and the staff doing the work is often not skilled. From varnish to Awlgrip to rigging, to mechanical, I've got a pile of horror stories.

For whatever it's worth, I've done much better in Maine. The rates are usually lower, but more importantly, I've found yards that do it right the first time. We've been storing and having work done in Maine every other year, and now we're thinking of every year. We don't mind paying up for quality work.

Charlie, we've never met but from your posts and pictures with high quality work, I'm meeting a lot more of guys like you in Maine than Massachusetts.

Whatever happened to pride in workmanship? In some places it's gone, but not everywhere.
Thanks. A lot of people out there just don't care. I have a local painter/competitor that tells me I am too anal about my work. We've lost money on jobs because the finished product didn't meet my standards so we re-did it, even when it met the customer's standards. My Sons are just as anal about quality as I am. That's OUR name on that boat when it leaves...
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  #27  
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

I'm glad to pay the fee for good work, done right. I've been charged 3 hrs to change an impeller that takes me 45 mins. Why? Because they had to go back and forth for tools and dropped a screw in the bilge that took a while to attempt to fish out, couldn't get it, had to order another and come back to install. I've had fuel filters replaced that caused my bilge to fill with diesel. I was charged $400 for a "specialist" to travel to troubleshoot something the yard couldn't figure out. They never disclosed the travel fee until I got the bill. Oh yea, the specialist didn't fix it either.

Zero whining from me to pay for good work. I've told hundreds of people that you could charge whatever you like on the Bay for work that was done right, on time, the first time. The backorders would take a decade to catch up, including me.
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  #28  
Old 09-29-2013
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

Having been in a construction industry with labor as my way of making money, I find for employees, to make any money I have to charge 2.5 to 3 times what I a pay them on aggregate. So if a person makes $30 an hr with my part of taxes, vacation pay, holiday, health insurance etc, which might come out to 18-20 gross for them.......I need to charge upwards of $75 to $90 and hr. That is getting a truck, trailer, lawn mowers, edgers, weedeaters, etc to your door step, JUST TO mow you lawn! weed your beds etc. I can do a bit less with 2-3 people in the truck. BUT, what happens there, is depending upon the size of the jobs, travel time now comes into play! Granted I try to schedule jobs as close as can be.......

For me personally, I need to charge about double what I need or want.

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  #29  
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I'm glad to pay the fee for good work, done right. I've been charged 3 hrs to change an impeller that takes me 45 mins. Why? Because they had to go back and forth for tools and dropped a screw in the bilge that took a while to attempt to fish out, couldn't get it, had to order another and come back to install. I've had fuel filters replaced that caused my bilge to fill with diesel. I was charged $400 for a "specialist" to travel to troubleshoot something the yard couldn't figure out. They never disclosed the travel fee until I got the bill. Oh yea, the specialist didn't fix it either.

Zero whining from me to pay for good work. I've told hundreds of people that you could charge whatever you like on the Bay for work that was done right, on time, the first time. The backorders would take a decade to catch up, including me.


It's a shame you aren't here in Vancouver. :-)
We have the opposite experience here.
We do good work. We charge a lot less than the competition. We pay the high price to have a good sized shop, all our tools, barn space for boats on the hard (60') and dock space(90'). All as close to downtown as possible in one location, instead of having large cheap offices farther away, and billing for travel time.
If we do it wrong the first time(everyone makes a mistake eventually) we don't charge for fixing it.
Even when we can legitimately pass the buck to the manufacturer, or call a job good enough we always try to the right thing instead, even when it costs us a lot of money.
We pay a very good wage and hired the best people we know, they could easily go elsewhere with their skill-sets.
We have full insurance, and my partner is licensed up to 60 tons. We pick up and deliver anywhere.

Where we save money:
We share a single older car for work purposes, instead of financing flashy new trucks and vans.
We both live in inexpensive rental housing.
We don't spend a ton on advertising.
We start earlier and work later than any of the employees.
All of this on the belief that if we keep doing good work at a good price then it will pay off and we will be able to pay ourselves a fair wage eventually too.


We've had so many conversations like the one quoted from the Marine Installer's rant.
This week a customer we've done a huge amount of work for came in to chat. They purchased an utterly neglected but newer boat with an undisclosed accident and serious issues missed in the survey which we sorted out for them. After talking over the next projects they were hoping to complete they said.

"We really appreciate what you did, can you recommend anyone who does good work...but inexpensively?"

As my partner observed later "Everyone's expensive, some of them are good "

Last edited by Jgbrown; 09-29-2013 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: $95.00 an hour. phew

jgbrown. I wish you were here, I would give you a shot. The secret is quality and reliability, then you can charge nearly what you want, IMO.

Another serious problem in the industry is the utter inability to reasonably estimate the time it will take to do a job. While I fully understand that unanticipated variables can appear, I've seen ridiculous excess on straight forward jobs. I've even given the benefit of the doubt that something went wrong, when I've been charge 2 times the estimate. They said no, that's just how long it took and said they need to be paid for their work.

Now, I'm fine with paying the time it takes, if it should really take that long. You take a look, estimate the job and bill reasonably close to that estimate, unless you can offer something that was not anticipated.

The reason an estimate is valuable is to judge whether the yard is able to provide value in doing the job for the owner. At $500, I may not want to give up a Saturday to do the repair myself. For $5,000, I would. I'm even fine with paying for an estimate, if you guarantee you'll remain within some margin of it.

I once received a 3 to 4 hour estimate to replace my cutlass bearing, while the boat was on the hard. I received a bill for 8 hours and couldn't imagine it taking that long, so I called to ask if maybe something hung up getting the old bearing or the prop shaft out. They said, "no, we have an hydraulic press which just knocks it out without removing the shaft, however, one of our new staff that was unfamiliar did your job and was supervised by an experienced tech" They billed me for both their time and thought that made sense. The President of that yard eventually refunded me the excess over the high estimate on the condition that I not reveal their name. Imagine that.
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