I can understand the huge disparity, because the yard rates are also paying for the yard, not just the employee. However, what bothers me is that we pay the same rate, regardless of the skill of the employee. Their best and their worst diesel mechanic are the same rate to the customer, but are paid differently, so have a different profit margin to the yard. Therefore, it would stand to reason, the yard wants to use the less skilled as much as they can. I believe this is a major factor in all of our incompetent yard employee stories.
It also bothers me that I literally pay the same hourly rate for the experienced diesel mechanic, as I pay for the entry level worker who does nothing more than grind the winch to send the rigger up my mast. Then just stands there and waits, while the clock runs at the same rate times 2 people. I paid the same rate for the experienced rigger to restep my mast as I paid for the low man on the totem pole, who was assigned to roll on a coat of bottom paint. The only exception I recall was when I asked for a quote to aggressively scrub all my non-skid, before having my hull waxed (so that the cleaner wouldn't strip the wax, if I waited to do it, after she was launched). $50 per hour for a guy to push on pole attached to a scrub brush and haul a bucket around. A job I do in about 90 minutes, but they estimated 3 hours! I passed.
I always keep this in mind. whenever you see a quote for labor of $100/hr....
In Mobile Alabama is the guy who does all my work, or as much of it as I can finagle named Donnie Brennan.
Donnie is the boatwright for the US Olympic team, and has been for 4 or 5 olympiads. He has done a huge percentage of the NA and World champion bottom jobs for major one design class winners over the last 20 years. His bottom jobs and keel fairing jobs in the raceing world are littlerly worth every penny, when I sold my J-22 years ago I sold it for $7,000 more than it would have been worth because Donnie had faired my bottom, cost me $7,000.
His labor rate is $100/hr, the exact same as BoBo the yard moron locally.
In my eyes Donnie is worth every penny of that $100/hr. He really is a master craftsman and I have never worried about what comes out of his yard. BoBo is an idiot with a paint brush who ruins as much as he fixed most of the time.
Btw years ago I worked as BoBo and I thought I was overpaid even then.