Boating is a hobby and a lifestyle that many of us enjoy with our friends and families. An inevitable part of owning a boat is the maintenance required to keep it in good condition. Sooner or later your boat will need maintenance and repairs. Choosing the right facility and professionals can make the difference between a pleasant experience and a frustrating one.
In most cases, you will have many different boat yards to choose from, so you need to make sure you give it some thought before choosing where to go. Find below a few tips on choosing the right boat yard.
If your boat is under a lease of a specific warranty, most likely you will have to take it to an authorized dealer. Even if your boat is not under warranty, dealerships have an advantage because they usually have better professionals and dealer parts. Engine manufacturers require their dealers to have the proper training on current models, as well as a sufficient parts inventory. Using a dealership give you the peace of mind about any disputes that can't be resolved at the dealership level may be able to be addressed with the manufacturer. The downside about using a dealer is usually a higher cost; dealerships are typically considerably more expensive due to higher costs for facilities, training, and wages. Most well-established independent shops also produce high-quality work, especially shops that are started by, or staffed by, former factory trained technicians. Unlike a dealership, they have to survive only on repairs, so they may work harder to solve problems but they may also cut costs and give you lower quality parts.
2. Make sure you ask for recommendations
Fellow boaters are the best source of information for local repair shops, and they're not afraid to tell it like it is. The most recent recommendations should carry more weight on your decision. The best advice is to talk to others who've had similar repairs done on their boats. Keep in mind that recommendations are good as long as they're impartial and unaffiliated with any shop or boatyard. Surveyors accredited by the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) and the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) are a good bet because they're required to be independent.
3. Don’t wait…! You should find a good shop before you need it
Most yards have a specialty, either the type of work they do or the type of boats they work on most often. Make sure so find a boat yard that deals with the type of repair your boat needs. Some yards are terrific with diesel engines, but don't have the facilities or personnel for fiberglass repairs. Others can do amazing woodwork, but don't have experience in welding. Likewise, a shop that works mostly on small runabouts is probably not a good choice for a large trawler. We recommend you to choose a yard that offers full service, and has experience on all the most common maintenance issues and repairs your boat will need. Also make sure you look for boat yards that offer dealer parts and expertise.
4. Look around when you are making a decision.
You can tell a lot about a facility by looking at it. Is it neat and well organized? or are there pieces of boats in every corner for no apparent reason?
Are the equipment and tools rusty and poorly maintained? If the shop won't invest in equipment and upgrades? Do they invest in the best technicians? And would you get the highest-quality work? Are the boats in the yard well-supported on stands? What are the people like? If you're greeted with indifference by the service manager? Or he's not interested in hearing the details of your situation? Does the shop had lots of boats in the yard?
Another point to have in consideration is to, took for shops that invest in American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) certifications for their technicians; they've made a commitment to make repairs that comply with crucial safety standards. There are eight areas of certification: electrical, systems (plumbing, water systems and tanks), diesel engines, gasoline engines, corrosion, air conditioning/refrigeration, composite boat building, and ABYC standards. Ask if they're a certified clean marina? Chances are if they are taking care of their waterways they will take care of you.
5. Do your homework, look for relevant reviews
Online recommendations are a mixture of good and bad, more reliable ones have real names attached and specific details in postings. Fellow boaters are likely the best folks to recommend a yard, but go one step further: be sure that the repairs are similar to what you need. Another option is to ask a marine surveyor. These professionals are often knowledgeable about the quality of work in local repair yards, as long as they’re impartial and unaffiliated with any shop or boatyard. On the other hand, a handful of bad reviews is probably reason enough to look elsewhere. Complete reviews with details are more reliable than simple postings.
A few more things to consider: Don't shop on price alone. Rates are partially determined by location. In popular boating areas near big cities, prices may be substantially higher due to overhead costs; some backwater shops might do equally good work at lower rates. Also, don't let convenience be the deciding factor. The shop on your way to the lake might be an easy place to drop off your boat, but do your homework and make sure they're up to the task.
At Whiticar you can expect dealer expertise, professional mechanics and multiple convenient locations on the Treasure Coast (Stuart and Fort Pierce.) In addition, Shearwater ( a division of Whiticar) offers a professional mobile service, authorized dealer parts and expertise.
Visit our website for additional information about our services. http://whiticarboatworks.com/