Deck rot repair. I'm I getting ripped off? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-25-2010 Thread Starter
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Deck rot repair. Am I getting ripped off?

Bought a Cape Dory 26 last summer.The surveryor pointed out a few hair line cracks in the deck near a stantion and now I want to get it repaired, as I love my little boat and want to keep her for many seasons. The deck is not soft so I dont think the leak is too bad.....yet.
I've read about repairing it and keep reading how the job is not hard, IF you know what you're doing. I dont.
I asked around and found a guy who will fix it for $1400....$1000 for labor (95.00 an hour) and $400 for material.
Seems steep, no? Am I getting ripped off? What is the going rate?
Is there anyone who can repair and refinish the deck for a better price? The boat is on City Island NY

Last edited by mrubin; 02-25-2010 at 04:35 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-25-2010
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Get referrals, see his work. Can't do it yourself, plan on spending lots of $$$ Make him "spell it out"

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post #3 of 15 Old 02-25-2010
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Nah, I don't think you're getting riped off as $95.00 is the going rate with most marine related businesses, however, if this is some guy working on his own, off his boat, out of his garage etc,etc with no real overhead then IMHO the 95.00 doesn't hold water

That just my opinion

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post #4 of 15 Old 02-25-2010
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Try shopping around. Craigslist usually has some adds by mobile boat repair people.
A lot really depends on the scope of the repair and the hourly rate for labor.
Any photos of the area(s) in question?

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post #5 of 15 Old 02-25-2010
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Why not learn to do it yourself. This isn't rocket science, and anyone with a modicum of brains and physical coordination can handle most of these repairs. In the long run, learning how to do this type of stuff is going to save you a lot of money.

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post #6 of 15 Old 02-25-2010 Thread Starter
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Hey Sailingdog! I've read many of your comments over the months.
If you dont mind, what are the best ways to learn how to do this right?
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-25-2010
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The simple answer is: remove stanchion, lift & remove cracked areas, remove any rotted core or damaged areas, replace. The real answer is to get a book that goes into the detail that MIGHT be necessary, depending upon your particular situation. Such a book might be available at the Library, so you could see how much might be involved and decide whether you want to try without having to even buy the book. You might also explore the idea of opening up & removing the damaged areas by yourself (the messy, grunt work) and hiring the expert to come in and make it look better than new (the delicate, refined work). The quote may be a tad high, but that may be because neither of you actually knows what's under those cracks. It could also be because he thinks it could cost somewhat less than that, and by ending up charging you less than the original quote, he'll end up with a happier customer. (Lots of Psychology involved here.) Either way, you'll need to get going if you want to have the boat ready for the Spring!
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-25-2010
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All good answers...I like the last one as well...the fairing and gel coat is the tough part..you can pretty much hack up the rest with out much cause for alarm as long as all the voids are filled and you get good adhesion...but the finish is the time consuming part.

So I liked the two step approach suggested for your first time...Pay attention how its done so you feel confidant maybe doing the whole thing next time...Just leave everything low so he doesn't have to grind away any of your build up and keep your edges low and clean as well so he can feather everything in and your golden... 400 is a little high for materials for a small job like that as well so if you decide to go with the guy..pay the labor but buy the materials yourself...He probably priced out a gallon of stuff and you will not need 1/2 of that probably.

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post #9 of 15 Old 02-25-2010
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To borrow an oft' used phrase of Sailingdog's: "I'd point out" that it is not so difficult to these kinds of repairs yourself. You can learn a good bit and save yourself a bunch of money for other things.
"I'd also point out" that there are some great resources for learning about FRP/GRP/fiber glassing right on the web: WEST SYSTEM | Use Guides among many others.
If you are at all handy with tools and are not afraid of making some dust and working with some smelly and potentially hazardous materials you should consider the DIY approach. There are gloves and dust masks that you wear to mitigate the nasty stuff.
It is too cold out to even think about attempting this repair yet as it is much easier to work with epoxy around 70 - 80 F (depending on hardener) but it is not to early to begin researching the work you want to 'have done' and even pricing the supplies that would be needed: Discount Marine and Boat Supplies - Inflatable Sales - Defender
As others have said, $400 for materials sounds a bit high.

Get your digital camera out and take some good close up pics of the area (inside & out) and post them here. You will get no end of well intended advice from the denizens here and you will save me the trip up to City Island from lower Manhattan for a consultation (not that I am a self professed expert either but I have inhaled my share of epoxy dust, gelcoat fumes and nasty thinners).

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post #10 of 15 Old 02-25-2010
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There are a lot of books, articles, and even websites on how to do this. I'd recommend using Progressive Epoxy Polymers brand of epoxies over West, but would agree that the West Systems website has some really good resources for this. PEP has much better prices, is well recognized throughout the boat building community, and makes a low/no-blush epoxy, which is simpler to deal with than the West Systems stuff.

One thing that you could do that would result in a professional looking finish is to do the repair yourself and then hire a gelcoat person to coat the repaired area after you finish fairing and sanding it. This would be a compromise between paying someone to do the repair and doing the entire repair yourself.

For the fiberglass, I recommend Fiberglasssite.com.

As for the cold weather, you can buy an epoxy specially formulated for working in colder temps. The brand name is ColdCure epoxy, and it is a pretty decent epoxy as well. Personally, I'd wait until warmer weather though.

For safety gear, I'd highly recommend getting the full-face mask style respirator, like a 3M series 6000. These are far more protective and far more comfortable than the half mask ones. Don't even bother thinking of using the disposable ones....they're useless.

Any questions... just ask.

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Originally Posted by mrubin View Post
Hey Sailingdog! I've read many of your comments over the months.
If you dont mind, what are the best ways to learn how to do this right?

Sailingdog

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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)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
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