Marine Contractors—Who to Use, Who to Avoid - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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  #21  
Old 07-14-2008
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Three companies down in south Florida that get kudos from me:

Florida Rigging and Hydraulics. They're the 'local' Lewmar and Pro-Furl people (plus other lines). They've always bent over backwards to get stuff for me or point me in the right direction. If you need Lewmar or ProFurl parts, talk to Tim.

Southeast Power. Sell and service the Phasor generators and engines. Great people to work with. If you have a problem with a Phasor generator, call Martin. He's Dutch, and his accent is a little rough sometimes, but he's an absolute wizard.

Rich Beers Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. Custom made cold plates and systems. After five years, our system is still working flawlessly. If you have some odd system that has to be custom built, he's the man. Talk to Rich.

An honorable mention, too, for Marlin Marine. Rob gave me a hand doing a heavy-duty compounding on the hull, and he went up the mast to polish and wax the entire mast. (All 71 feet of it.) If you're just back into Miami and need some cosmetics, give Rob a call at 786-487-9444. He also does little paint touch-ups and that sort of thing.

Now, on the other side of the coin. Companies I'll never willingly do business with again.

Vetus US. We bought a bow-thruster from them. 12 7/8" 24VDC unit. It failed straight out of the box. I called them, and was told they were closed for inventory. A week later, I called and was told everyone was on vacation. I gave up and tore the whole thing apart and found out that the electrical guts of the thing are NOT marine grade in any sense of the word. The problem turned out to be the plunger on one of the large contactors that is under the gray plastic box. I tore the contactor apart and found that a tiny bit of surface rust, caused by condensation, had frozen the plunger up. I sanded the plungers on both contactors, put a thin coat of silicon grease on them and fixed the problem.

A year later we had a bilge pump in the forecastle fail, and the bow thruster motor was flooded with saltwater. Vetus wanted more for a replacement motor than I paid for the whole thing. Long story short: They have terrible customer service in the US. I finally got the parts I needed by calling Holland and raising H*** with the VP of Operations there.

Mango Marine. At Fort Lauderdale Marine Center. Enough to say they don't do a very good job, and are bloody expensive.
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  #22  
Old 05-06-2009
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This thread haven't had much updating for a while, especially nothing positive, so I'll drop a note.

This year I used West River Rigging (located in Shady Side, MD) to do some work on my mast. I am happy to say that they were pretty darn good, and around the Annapolis area they are so far my best experience with a rigging company. They are not a big outfit (owner Paul and a few guys working for him), which made dealing with them actually more direct - something I personally prefer. Certainly orders of magnitude above my past (terrible and already described elsewhere) experience with Chesapeake Rigging. (Sheesh, I hope I don't jinx it somehow.)

Also, Marty's Bagworks (in Edgewater, MD) doing pretty good work on my new bimini so far

(Too bad neither will give me a discount for the free promotion here )

Last edited by brak; 05-06-2009 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 05-06-2009
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Kim Horn, Riverside Surveying, Riverside NJ - Kim did a fantastic job surveying my Catalina 22 a couple of years ago. Her price was reasonable, she was patient and answered every one of my questions. She seemed to enjoy sharing her knowledge and her survey was first rate. We spent a couple of hours sailing after the survey and it's obvious she enjoys her job.

Compare that to a surveyor I won't name in Norfolk last year who acted like surveying my 30 was just a boring afternoon and answering questions was a chore. His report was accurate but strictly boilerplate. He didn't do a bad job, but I wouldn't recommend him.

Skip Moorehouse, Moorehouse Sailmakers, Lumberton NJ - Skip did some work on my jib. His shop's not fancy but he does good work, he's honest and extremely knowledgeable. Everyone who mentions him recommends him. I've never heard a bad word.

Since I'm still a relative newbie I really value knowledgeable people who are willing to share their knowledge.

Jim
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Old 05-07-2009
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Conlyn Marine Services

Kudos to Conlyn Marine at Herrington Harbour North in Deale, MD. I bought my new Yanmar through them, and they did the basic installation and alignment of the block while I did the rest. They were reasonably priced, efficient, and got things done when they said they would. They assign you a point of contact on their staff, and he answers all your questions, gets parts, and generally guides you along. Can't go wrong there.
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Old 05-07-2009
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One to avoid: Schooner Creek Boat Works in Portland Oregon
I stopped in there to get an oil leak in my old Volvo MD17C repaired and unfortunately left without a clear written estimate of the job to be done as I trusted them. I called then a week later and they said they hadn't had a chance to look at it yet. I called again another week later and got the same response. I drove down there (200 miles) the next weekend and found my engine completely torn apart and in three boxes on the shop floor. No two parts remained connected. I hit the ceiling and ended up with a large bill and a partially rebuilt engine as a result. I was stupid. The engine never did run right and a year later one of the heads failed and let water into the engine cylinder. Again I hit the ceiling and ended up with a new Beta engine that I installed. They paid only half of the cost of the engine.

One to use: A&D Yacht Service in Scappoose Oregon
The new owner, Andy, is a very fair man and will hold to his estimates even if the actual cost is more than he had estimated. Their work isn't always top quality but they are getting better all the time. I trust them completely and I've used them for significant jobs including repainting my topsides.
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  #26  
Old 05-07-2009
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Dwayne—

Good to know... and I like the new avatar.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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