What would you pay to get Barlow's rebuilt? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2011
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What would you pay to get Barlow's rebuilt?

A guy a couple slips down from me asked if he could hire me to rebuild his winches. I'm an unemployed mechanic, and right now I could really use the money. I have no problem doing the job, I just don't know what to charge the guy.

What do you think would be reasonable labor charge (parts excluded)? BTW, the winches are two Barlow 16's. Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2011
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If the Barlows are 'push button' release .... you push in on the 'button' down deep in the octagonal hole that accepts the winch handle to 'release' the drum from the spindle .... then no charge! Just take them, walk to a trashcan and deposit them.
The 'springs' on the push-button release Barlows - that hold the barrel to the spindle get weak and the drum can completely fly off while the drum is under high load ... and hurt someone.

Otherwise ~$50/hr. (cash, of course) would be 'reasonable' and much cheaper than the typical 'yard labor charge' of $70-90+/hr. and unless youve worked such specific winches before it will take additional time to 'learning curve' them. Get the exploded view diagrams beforehand.

Of course, the $70-90/hr. yard charge would include the 'yard's mechanic' walking back and forth from the boat to the shop to look at the winch diagrams and then returning to a boat, and includes coffee / pee etc. breaks, etc. etc. Anything you charge him will be an honest 'bargain'.
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Old 02-12-2011
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You're a professional so charge him your normal hourly rate. That is, what you received hourly from your last employer. I'd recommend setting a flat rate, however. Figure out how much time you need, add 25% - 50% for surprises and use that as your quote. If I was in his shoes, I wouldn't want an open-ended job for such a simple job.

I don't think that it's fair to charge him a normal yard rate because you don't have yard Overhead and G&A costs. If he has a brain, he'd balk at being charged a yard rate, IMO.

If you are unsure how much time it will take you, break the job into little bits and add up each piece. In my field this is called a Task Planning Sheet (TPS). It works and comes in hand when someone questions how you arrived at your estimate.
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Thanks, that makes me feel better.... I was thinking around $50 an hour. I have already studied the Barlow PDF files, I'm just not sure about giving him a ballpark of how long it will take me.

I am definitely an honest guy, I would never rip someone off. I'm just used to having my service advisor give the price to the customer and I just do the work.
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Old 02-12-2011
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I guess my take on this is a bit different. If I were to hire you to fix my car, then as a person with 'proven expertise' in the field, $50 to you vs $90 to the shop/yard is a good deal.

But unless you're a provable 'expert' in winches, for example, and you've essentially said you're 'feeling your way', then I think $50/hr is a bit much. At that rate I think I'd be looking for a recognized 'pro'.

As a starting out point, untll you get your 'props' and/or experience to back it up, I'd say that 'helping out your neighbours' for $25-30/hr would be good for both of you.

But that's just me... I'm not out of work and I'd do it myself anyway.
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I have perfomed a great deal of work outside my primary trade when i was hungry, as well. I usually would charge about 80% of what the job was worth understanding the length of time to perform the work could be greter than an expert in the field. The next time my hourly bottom line improved as my experiance improved. I usually recieved a referal for mre work.

Now on the other hand, I have used a proffesional and I paid full price for his learning curve. These guys I will only use the second time if i in ' burn the furniture mode".

You have to make it worth your time and risk, but may not get top dollar. good luck.
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Thanks everyone for the advice, the TPS suggestion really helps.
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Old 02-13-2011
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I would quote a flat rate that I estimated at a reasonable rate. If it takes you a bit longer, I suspect the resulting hourly rate is still something you would have agreed to do the job for. No opportunity for disappointment or conflict with a neighbor.

My bigger concern would be how and where I would get parts, downtime waiting for them, etc.
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Old 02-14-2011
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this may be obvious, but id make sure the guy knows he has to buy the winch service kit too... IIRC they start around 40$. just hate to see you do an hour of free work due to a misunderstanding...
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Old 02-14-2011
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Got the parts. $40 for 2 rebuild kits (new pawls, springs, retaining rings)

So its $40 for parts, then labor

What do you guys think of $120 for labor? (~3 hours at $40/hour)

So as a total, that's $160 for rebuilding two Barlow 16 winches. How's that sound? Reasonable?
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