In light of all the recent discussion about boatyards and the negative experiences that some have related, I wonder if all the great minds assembled here might come up with some ideas to improve the situation.
Perhaps there could be decided, at least among us here, to agree to a particular set of commitments as to what we expect, and how we behave with each other when we do business together.
Just for fun, lets ask the business owners to commit to keeping the customers informed as to any new developments that may end up costing them more than they were expecting. Email, fax, phone, whatever.
There is no good excuse for spending someones money without their authorization.
And lets ask the owners to actually give a crap. To answer the phone when they are called and to take an interest.
If they usually screen their calls, then maybe they can agree to change their habits while their boat is being worked on. And to realize that when work on their project comes to a halt awaiting their decision to replace a certain component or piece, time is wasted and their bill may increase.
Is an inconvenience to the worker and costs time to have to wait for approval to continue a job.
I said in a previous post that the marine service industry is different from many others. I believe that.
As a former truck driver, I will never disparage another's occupation.
But having said that, I think that the guy working on your boat is someone you really should trust. At least to some degree. You may not even know that you know the guy who fills up your local gas station in the middle of the night. (That was me) Even if he lives in the same marina. But you damn sure ought to know the guy who is fixing your boat. And you should feel good about them.
If someone is the kind of owner that says "I came to you because you are the professional, I trust your decision." That's great.
I hope they have done their homework.
Did they check the local BBB? They should.
If a business doesn't have a good reputation, or is just starting out, it would be foolish to take this approach.
Also, the business owner should be aware that it may take a little more effort to gain that kind of trust, and be willing to commit to going the extra mile.
If on the other hand a business has been around a while and people say good things about them. Then sure, trust them.
Trust and verify.
I'm sure that you all can come up with more and perhaps more pertinent stipulations. After all, isn't this just another of the problems that are mostly a result of a lack of communication?
I feel confident that the vast majority of businesses in the marine service industry, are trying to please their clientèle.
I also feel that most boat owners want their local craftsmen to succeed, if only because they don't want to grind a bottom or climb a mast anymore.
I see my customers when I am sailing. I ran into someone in the Azores once who I had worked for.
It's a small world and a small community. Let's help each other.