I'm probably whinging unfairly, but it seems to me the whole marine industry has one speed, dead slow. Very few seem prepared to put themselves out & do a bit of overtime or go out of their way to get things sorted. I remember I had some major work done on my 1st boat, perfectly good job but overran by months. Not been back since, so lack of extra effort has cost them a good few bob over the last five years.
Originally Posted by rubberduck
You appear to run a successful business in a competitive field, so must have judgement as well as energy etc etc. So you will know that it is not fair to judge "the whole marine industry" by your one bad experience five years ago. Sure there are many inefficient players in the sector, but there are also many reliable, hard-working businesses that provide a good service to boat owners.
You are welcome to come over to Swanwick and put us to the test.
I can sympathise with rubberduck. I bought my current boat in August and within a month had a list of 7 jobs that needed doing. We are now in May and so far only 2 jobs have been completed. Availability of spares is certainly an issue but why does it take some people months to actually get around to looking at the job. Why do I constantly need to chase people. It's so frustrating.
A month ago my wife says "Lets spend some cash getting the boat polished for our next visit mid May" (in Spain)
So far three reminders to my "man" and nothing has happened. Spain has 25% unemployment.
Certainly lethargy in the Spanish marine industry
As has already been said, there is good and bad in every industry but the marine industry does seem to have more than its fair share of bad.
A combination of people thinking that simply owning a boat makes it legitimate to try to relieve me of extortionate amounts of cash for any kind of work and taking huge amounts of time to do so has been a major factor in making me learn how to do as much as I can myself.
The tipping point was watching a disinterested VP engineer leafing through a manual to see how to change the supercharger idler pulley on a KAD42 on our last boat and the subsequent eye watering bill made me think 'time to learn because I am sure I could do that and I would care'. Granted he got me out of a hole at the time because I didn't have the knowledge so I was grateful for that.
Don't get me wrong, I have also experienced some top people and volvopaul is probably an example (never done any work for me due to location but has been very helpful with advice etc) but I have also experienced some absolute idiots who clearly think that most customers can be taken for the same and should be grateful that they will find time to do the work for them.....eventually.
I've been a commercial aircraft engineer and now work as a marine one.
To attend (attend only, and say "what's the problem?") would cost you over £200 on an aircraft. To earn £200 on boats takes me eight hours. Out of that comes my indemnity and liability insurance. And transport costs. And a break for lunch which I don't get paid for. If its a service I will have spent at least an hour of my own time (unpaid..) beforehand sourcing parts. And possibly driving to collect them. For free. I have 80 litres of oil in stock, and that's all - do you know how many different impellers and filters there are out there for all Volvo petrol and diesel, all Mercruiser, Yanmah, Caterpillar, BMC etc engines? I can't keep that stock...that's what parts suppliers are for.
AOG - yeah, how much does that cost? Do you think I can phone Keyparts and ask them to fly me parts in to Windsor marina in 30 minutes?
If marine engineers earned aircraft money, there would be more of them, and you wouldn't have to wait so long for work to be done.
I have a customer whose boat I worked on about 2-3 weeks ago, on relaunch he has found another problem, and has asked me to pop over to have a look at it. Problem is, I'm so busy I can't do it for another three weeks. He is not unhappy about that (I hope..!) and I'm honest enough to give a realistic date. I won't say I'm going to be there when I can't, and so far (only been in business for six months) I've only had to reschedule one appointment. (ironically for this customer!!)
Granted, I am not a big south coast professional outfit, I am only me, but you pay accordingly. What else anywhere can you get fixed for £25ph these days?
To top up a B737 engine oil will cost you £200 call out + £200 labour + £50 for two quarts of Jet 2 oil = £450 to top up. How much does a full service cost on your boat engine?
I don't have a problem paying decent money for a decent job. It's what I expect to do. That includes someone's travelling time if they're not exactly round the corner from me. And if someone's spent loads of time trying to source the bits I need I don't expect that to come free either.
I do however expect someone to turn up sometime. Turning up when arranged would be a good start. Phoning me when something has come up and they can't get to me would be good too.
Getting the bill right helps as well. I only have two engines so don't charge me for the parts for four as someone did recently. In fact, trying to get a bill out of some people is like pulling teeth. If the job's been done and we agree it's finished I would like to pay you please.
Originally Posted by volvopaul
Point taken Paul and apologies.Nothing meant towards you personally,obviously. Yes i'm aware your 1 of the good guys out there. Same with all industry i guess. Good and bad.