Date: 19 September 2016. Varied
Guest author Rich Gano on M/V Frolic.
This piece is for
The Writer's Block.
It's written by Rich Gano. I came to know him through his beloved woodie Calypso. She was a Grand Banks with emphasis on the Grand.
Cap'n Rich offers a perspective on boatyards and the work performed
recommending a yard or specific repair shop, no two boaters are
going to have the same experience with a yard because no two boats
and their associated problems are the same, and repair yard and
repair personnel turnover guarantees varied results over the years
if not months.
I live near a well-known local
yard and know the owner, and his staff knows I know their boss.
However, that did not prevent them putting my propellers on the
wrong shafts once. Can you imagine what would have happened had I
not caught it and tried to back out of the lift on launch day? I
watched the same pair of mechs [mechanics] incorrectly reinstalling
my shafts into their couplings at the tranny [transmission] and had
to insist they redo the job properly.
They no longer work there (not
because I turned them in to
their boss), but who's to say their replacements are any better?
In my memory,
this same yard built high quality 70-foot sport-fishing battle
cruisers (the molds are still sitting there). So why were they
making those mistakes on my simple jobs?
The folks building the big boats were a series of teams or
individuals brought in for their specific parts (maybe somebody from
SE Florida for the stabilizer installation) while the guys working
my simple job were the low-level employees of the yard staff.
Your average run of the mill yard
is not likely to employ true experts in any given area. As an
example, when I took the wooden-hulled Calypso in for a bit of
re-caulking of her 40-year old seams, I was advised by the yard
owner to employ a specific outside contractor well known for his
wooden hull expertise.
I learned in
Navy yards long ago that you get the job you inspect and insist on
- leave your boat to the mercy of the yard at your own risk.
That said, there are variations on that theme. A friend of mine who
owns a large steel-hulled trawler and has neither time nor the
inclination to involve himself in the technicalities of repair and
maintenance problems pays a mutual friend of ours to perform and/or
oversee yard work, including stabilizer repair by out-of-town
experts, in this same local yard. His choice of overseer is
excellent as our friend is extremely demanding and diligent in his
efforts on behalf of the owner.
doubtless Cadillac yards out there where only white-clothed, long
time employee/technicians work and where the rich folks take their
mega-boats for loving care, but most of us are dealing with the
real world of smaller boat ownership with carefully husbanded
funds and yards like this one.
Today, as is usually the case, the yard is crammed with a lot of big
boats getting a lot of high-dollar work done. Is it top quality work
today? I have no way of knowing because I have no idea who is
performing the work and who is inspecting it.
Captain Rich's new boat Frolic
2005 Mainship 30 Pilot II currently in Panama City, FL
What do I say when asked if I recommend the yard? Well, I tell the
questioner, they have never dropped my boat - yet.
Rich Gano on M/V Frolic.
In the Bilges, Locations,
The Writer's Block
MIA in the Abyss ~
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