boat builders, what are we worth

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Guest62110524, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    Ok you spent 4 years doing your "time" then you spent 40 years learning the trade
    You set up alone
    You spent 100k on gear
    Your lawyer stings you for 400 an hr, your tooth doc the same, your accountant 200, your car fixer 60 cos you have not time to fix it yourself
    So what are your rates

    Do you say to your lawyer"well thats 200 for half hour consultation, or do you spend the day talking abt his new boat, for free?
    Suspect latter
    had my own bizz building yachts cetara since 85, never got rich, made friends
    What,s your view?
    dont ferget you a re in charge 3m project
     
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  2. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: South Africa

    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    This is going to be fun,,,:cool:

    Stuart, Naval Architects charge anything from about US$90 - US300 per hour for consulting or drawing a design that is really not so difficult and does not break a sweat, cut half off his finger or get "damaged" in anyway.:confused:

    But us poor builders must build a boat just short of free and still a client would try to dry you out more, but he would gladly pay the above mentioned fee you mentioned to services receives without batting an eyelid.

    Most days I spent about 3 hours daily to talk to wannabe boat owners, doing quotes (you take a computer for a repair quote, you get charged hourly for that priviledge) advising potential customers etc etc. Wonder what they would if I say; OK, deposit so much per hour and my ears are yours to use. Tell you what, almost all would disappear like mist before the sun.:D

    Funny thing, I cannot see a lawyer before I put down his fee in advance and if any instruction are to be issued, a handsome deposit. Same with doctor, bookkeeper, the whorehouse....
     
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  3. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    The problem is not to build another boat. Any boat for that matter, I think almost any boat builder can do that.

    The thing that determines your 'worth' in terms of income is how many boats you have to build.

    If you have one boat per year, well, you're going to complain some.

    If you have them towing outside your yard and you cannot get the boats out fast enough, you'll be smiling.

    In my opinion, you determine your own worth. It should be even more fun naming the things you can do to draw the customers to you.

    First one I can think of is **** attitude of boat builders. Recently spoke with a few, they pissed me off with their crappy attitude... unless boat builders have no personality which I doubt. Needless to say I'll avoid these characters as far as possible. They want my money, I won't beg for them to take it ;)
     
  4. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    The second thing to mention would be costs. Some boat builders charge much much more than any other trade. Seems they forget, the customer is not buying the boat yard.

    There is a line where a price is fair, below that you shoot yourself in the foot, over that you are ripping.

    Seems some guys rip so much just in case they're not getting another job for the rest of the year.

    Some seems to think - a sucker born every minute.
     
  5. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Fanie Fanie

    What you are actually getting... seems the next logical point.

    You get quoted on the best, then when the building starts, it gets done as cheaply as possible with as many shortcuts.

    The one trade where the customer is never right.
     
  6. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    You all seem to forget something: it does not matter how long it takes you to get experiance, educated or licneced, it does not matter what your overhead costs are, what the material costs or your labor costs or your cost of living.

    The only thing that matters is what a willing buyer will pay for your product or services. So either you have to find out a way to make a living WITHIN what a customer is willing to pay, or you must change careers to be able to feed yourself. You either have to do your job so good customers are willing to pay more for it, or you find a way to do it faster or cheaper to bring in more customers. Learn to avoid the bottom fishers who will abuse your time and always want something for nothing, you can not make them happy no matter how much money you are willing to loose on them.

    You choose your career, learn to live within it or get out. And stop whinning about how much other people make in different careers, you could have choosen those instead but you did not.
     
  7. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    fanie you sound peeved
    when i quote I do my very best to build that boat as well as I can, with the best materials I can find
    Said so many times, there are no short cuts
    In this ind. word gets around very fast and it takes a million good words to get rid of one bad one
    Wyn is dead right
    if I start lose money on a job its my fault, I dont ask for more
    only time I made money was when i had nine men on, my charge out in 1990 was 36, the men got up to 22, if they were less skilled the owner did not get slugged 36, but a sum I judged was fitting the output of the person doing the work
    in 08 terms, if I had 100k to 400 k of gear I would still only be able charge say 60, of course I would have nowhere near 400 unless I had a shop full exp machine tools
    Once more if I had to do work twice cos I stuffed it:)) then in was on me
     
  8. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Fanie Fanie

    Can I call it disappointed ?

    My friend had himself a brand new boat made by order. Paid upfront. First boat. All seemed great at first, then trouble started.

    The boat is extremely heavy. Whoever did the glass layups obviously have no idea of boat building. The glass where it should have been 6mm is closer to 15mm. It did not add strength, it added a hell of a lot of weight.

    The hull is foam filled. As far as I know the 2 part foam is a heat insulator, not a flotation foam. I can see the weight getting worse over time.

    The trailer supplied has an axle and not a rub axle as I insisted he insists on. No, they don't use rub axle's. My friend had to take it as is (first time sucker). The boat rides so high, you almost need special equipment to get it launched. Six people doesn't get it off the trailer.

    Second problem the trailer is made from tubing, this developed some cracks which had to be repaired - for free but the fuel to drive it to the builder is R500 there and the same back.

    Third problem, the trailer is around 150kg+ on the ball (for this size boat !!) You cannot weigh it with a bathroom scale. They recon it's normal. We moved the wheels some, it's now 75kg's...

    Some cracks on the gunnel gell coat, that was fixed too.



    Manie was here earlier today and we discussed the same thing. He showed me some adds for boats that the costs doesn't seem too bad. He said you cannot believe the poor workmanship.

    Actually, these people are not boat builders. They tell an illiterate (with an IQ of 60) to build a boat who indiscretely throw a heap of materials in a mould and the customer should take it or bye bye payment. Seems the so called boat builder is too buzy spending the money to see what his philamon does. Too many of them around off late. Tactic is to wear the complaining customer out after 200 phone calls and no joy.

    I had 3 boats built for me by the same guy before I started buggering around with doing it myself. This guy would sit with you and discuss what you want, he'd phone you up after that and made suggestions to some improvements. Friendly, active, involved. There was always people in his shop that had boats built, and he was actively involved in the boat being built. The glass layups was the right thicknesses, his trailers worked and his boats felt right, to fresh or to sea.

    As I said, I've spoken with a few boat builders lately. It seems if you don't buy a boat right away they have better things to do. I would never ever buy anything from these guys.
     
  9. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    fanie

    I am sorry for you mate, you really have to ask around before you pick a builder and get references
    bit late now
    I gave 5 years warranty on my hulls now upped to 10, A boat is one big wad of cash to part with
    A relationship with an owner and builder is special, you have to form a bond, first. Thats the way i found it anyways
    yes there a lot of bad uns around, and since CAD EVEN MORE people who are just a guy with a saw and welder getting in and (boatbuilding) esp in aluminium
     
  10. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Fanie Fanie

    If you sell something to a customer, sell the product, don't sell the new machine you bought last month, the customer won't pay that. I had a guy who was going to bring me something from JHB, 80 odd km away. He decided to take the scenic route through CT and DBN (2500km) and wanted me to pay for it. My reaction was obvious :D.

    Of course. You have to start somewhere. It's like any other business...
     
  11. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: South Africa

    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    Fanie,

    There are boat builders and boat builders. I think Whoosh had real boatbuilders (ocean going sail boats etc, and not trailer power boats)) in mind when he started this interesting thread.

    I sympathize with you and others that had their fingers burnt with powerboat runabouts built in SA, but that is a reality people has to live by if buying here. That said, some small boat builders do build good boats, but as Whoosh mentioned, you have to fish for them.

    The problem in SA is basically this, you have some backyard blokes doing some GRP patch work and car parts for example and it is usually these type of persons turning boatbuilders as they "evolved". Of course 99% of them has no formal training in the properties and strength of the medium they work, and suddenly he is building boats....:eek: OTOH, I have in my shop a boat hull by a famous yard and that hull is so flimsy, I wont step on it on water.
    To prove my point about backyard guys turning boatbuilders; 45 years ago my late father bought himself a canoe (early days of GRP) and today I can still buy that same canoe, albeit with a slight change on the deck or so, but in principle the same thing right down to three "rails" in the bottom. An these things are death traps - just try to sit and row one. No one had sat down and though to himself, perhaps this thing can be redesigned and made safer.:confused:
    Over the years this canoe was copied and copied and the same applies for power boats. It is these copy cat guys that produces hulls and the best part is they do not know the meaning of basic terms like, LCG, LCB, CP etc....

    And of course the Philamon phenomenon in this country - no need to expand on that.

    As to your first reply; it is not the case of a builder (big boats) build one or ten boats a year, it is about people that takes a builders time for granted but would gladly pay for other services and advise, like for instance an attorney. We are also professional people and time is money, and that applies to every professional discipline and I think this is the issue Whoosh tried to raise with the thread.

    This guy shows the attitude of the average boating customer and would be the typical guy that walks into my premises, drink my coffee, waste my time for 2 hours or more, gained a lot of information and walk away - all that for free....:rolleyes:
    Wonder what his attitude would have been if be was a builder:?:

    To go a bit off topic. In SA you cannot make a living building boats only, in my case steelboats, orders are far and few between. One has to diversify. I run a general steel fabrication shop, traveling shotblast unit, hire labour, and on the boating side, have a GRP line consisting of a 14ft bass boat runner, 18 ft day sailer (molds busy), radical new canoe, 3m dinghy, bait boats and some other domestic fibre products. And a full time rep marketing these things now...
    And with all that I would be lucky to make a few bob....
     
  12. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    wyn

    ok I will make you a fake passport Eu, and you can come with me:)) tee hee,
     
  13. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    The thread illustrates perfectly why I stayed far of the yachting "market" and worked only in the pro field, where dreamers are uncommon and everybody knows what's quality at fair price.

    I had a small shipyard with an associate (and friend), we had a simple rule; if the margin is not good enough we did not make it. We diversified also. Happily for us, we have been at the right place in the good time with good products and innovative methods so we earned good money. That's luck, nowadays it seems to be more difficult.
     
  14. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    SO WHY ARE YOU HERE?
    most people are dreamers here?
    thanks for you poor comments to Dix abt me, esp after I had given you pos feedback
    I think my gallery speaks for ME!! and I am proud of being a boatbuilder for DREAMERS And whoever wants to build a boat, I build for commercial people and poor dreamers
    GOODDAY to you
     

  15. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: South Africa

    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    Ditto here and that's why I am a poor but proud boatbuilder....
     
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