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Dealing with marinas

Started by jeepdoc, May 03, 2012, 06:03:11 pm

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what do you guys do as far as pricing on incentives for a marnias that get you a job? I had a marina call me to do a job a 18 ft runabout full interior i gave him my normal price he asked if i could do it cheaper cause thats what he quoted for the job and he felt he needed to make something off the job too. he said his guys would tear down the boat and all he wants is for me to cover the pieces and he would reinstall. has any one delt with something like this before?

Thanks Jeff


I work with some marinas, others I've "fired" because they wanted to pay what amounted to $10 an hour and they were unethical.  If the marina will pay me on delivery, I'll give them a wholesale price.  I know their checks are good and I don't have to wait for them.  The ones who will do the disassembly get better prices than those that don't.  I really hate pulling the upholstery out of boats anymore (for lots of reasons).  I charge them a wholesale price, they charge the customer whatever they want - I have no idea what they charge and never meet the customer.  One marina I give a 10% kickback all on the honor system.  They don't ask for it, I pay them what I can afford - typically 10% - and they've never questioned the bookkeeping.  I get paid by the customer directly.  You have to go with your gut and what feels right.  I think a marina is entitled to a finder's fee - at least in this area - since it's pretty competitive. 

Note:  All the marinas I pay or provide discounts have exclusive right to who they let in to do work.  They could bar me from entry at any time they choose.  There are virtually NO public marinas in S. Florida. 

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields


I'm not a boat guy and have never dealt with a marina but I'm wondering how did he give his estimate without getting your estimate first?

If you need the work or think this will turn into more work later, go for it. But will the future work also be low paying?

I think I would stick to my price and not get mad later when you find your not making money on his jobs.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


Well thats part of the problem they ball park the price they kinda know what that stuff goes for so they say. Then like June said expect me to work for 10 an hour. Just not what i expected
I can see fliping them  10% but that's usually a few hundred. I agree i really dont need to do their work

Gregg @ Keystone Sewing

I think this system has been in place for as long as I know boat canvas folks.


I do not do boats and I do not give discounts unless they pay in cash. I find, anytime you give someone a discount or a deal they are the pickiest customers and in the end you lose money. If they don't like your quote, they can go somewhere else. You get what you pay for...


June tou say you feel the marina deservese a finders fee are they calling you after the  ost owner came to them about the work?  Me I e had marina that wated there cut even if the boat owner saw a add aNd called me then one marine even in this type of case wanted to run the bill through there service department actually there was two places trouble was I got not deposite on the job.   Oh ya and they wanted to add 30% on top of my bill when a owner did ask then for a can as guy they told me not to tell the. Customer  a price they would

One place wanted to see my contract and  wanted 25% I had a. Anorexic sea ray dealor here who would call me for new can as asked me to come give them a prislce as owners would go to them rather them call a custom shop. So anyway. They added 30% to my price  so many times I'm sure they customer did t do it because they were to greedy they closed shop I did have a coue small dealors who I did  wholesale stuff for one moved one went out   I've got so many canal home here that I do t realy have to deal much at all with marina anymore. But before I was just starting in the area and hungry.
It's sad  I had a bost in a marina for a while and the  the cost for the divers to scrape the bottom  was reflected on the marina cut :( I hate marinas


Most Marinas here, wouldn't lift a finger to help a customer. Some Marinas ask a % of the total job price   >:(  that covers everything from canvas work to electronics, potentially a pretty large sum if some one's having a complete overhaul.
I just don't work in those marinas & tell my customer why. If they want to strip the boat & bring me the parts them selves or pay the % direct no problem but I refuse to pay. I wouldn't mind a set sum so much, it is their Marina after all.
The Main marina I work in, they only allow legal workers with papers & insurance & charge nothing. It actually works for them as we get them more boats in.  ;D



We have arrangements with a couple marinas where if a customer calls us or them it's the same price but the marina gets a 20% cut. They deal with the customer and chase him for payment but the marina pays us. These marinas give us a lot of work, that we usually get in batches. A convertible top and several repairs at the same time. These marinas also won't let other canvas guys work there, and will let us work in their storage buildings or move boats inside for us. They also advertise our name as the ones doing the work. It works good for us.
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Like Peppy says...  much the same with the marinas I work with.  They handle the customer, get the boats off the top shelf for me multiple times, and pay me on delivery.  On some smaller jobs they sometimes just say "you handle it" - i.e., they don't need any $$.  Sometimes on a referral for a boat that isn't in their marina, just someone who stopped by for fuel or some service, they'll ask for a small fee or a favor - like a small restitch of some canvas thing they use around the yard.  I'm a firm believer in "what goes around comes around". 

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields


Question:  Are there any boat shops where an owner can take the boat to have to work done?  What is the deal, overhead of a boat shop prohibitive?  Strange.



Most of the shops around here are small and simply don't have the yard space to devote to storage.  Most of the boats we work on are pretty large (30'+) and aren't the sorts of vessels you crank onto the trailer behind your pick up and haul around (although we do plenty of those too).  You hire a marine hauler to move them and you store them in your own yard or at their's. 

Marinas and yacht yards all have different rules about having work done on boats stored at their premises.  Some are very casual and encourage owners to do a lot of their own work, others are higher end and are basically in business to sell their own services and frown on owners scraping bottoms and repainting them, doing system work, etc..  So it really depends on the yard and their policies.  I am not privy to the arrangements my employer has with local yards although I will say I know which yards receive priority when they call with an "emergency", and see that their work is expedited. 


The thing i dont like working for a dealor or marina that pay me for eork is no deposite.  Bobbin do tou have customer who will have there boat 40'+ to you shop rather then just have a cancas upholstery buisness that will come to the boat?


No, Mike.  The big boats are nearly always at a yard or in the water, we simply don't have the space to have them come to the shop and even if we did the cost to haul the big guys there would be prohibitive for the customer.  They tend to pay the hauler to put it in the water and take it out and leave it at that.  We do a lot of work at several yards in the area and much of it is done when the boats are hauled and on stands for the winter. 


Bobbin when i was in new hampshire i got no canvas work once fhe boat sas out for the season. 
I turned down work on the sescoast casu i didnt knkw hos to pattern at the time and had plenty of work st the shop. Everthing was done at my shop on trailor or at my dock