Boat Doc Marine Electric and Electronics is a sole proprietorship owned and operated by Captain Ed. There are no other employees – ever. Every crimp, every clamp, every connection is being made by the company owner who is a fully certified, licensed, and insured technician. There will be no indifferently trained or motivated assistants, apprentices, or others with substandard knowledge or experience touching your boat. Everything is done by the company owner. We will both sleep better that way knowing things are done right the first time.
There are lots of other things I could do to make a living but I work on boats because I love it, find it immensely rewarding to do a job well, and thoroughly enjoy the people I meet along the way. I am happy to fully discuss the job with boat owners before the job begins. In fact, I insist upon it and look forward to customizing every job to your requirements. Boat owners or their agents are also welcome to be aboard while I work. This makes it easier to customize the work, allows for changes, and usually leads to lasting friendships. It is also nice to show the customer everything that was done so he more fully understands his boat. While we can make adjustments on many things, there is no room for short cuts on safety. I would rather not do the job than have to compromise on quality and safety.
I back my work fully and without question. There is no expiration on this warranty. If a connection comes loose ten years after the job is done I will fix it at no charge. Of course, that has never happened. I have had two warranty claims in the past 15 years. One was the result of using manufacturer-supplied hardware. The other was the result of an unrelated component going bad in the engine charging system. Nonetheless, I corrected them both. I once even drove 50 miles to change a fuse that a customer could not find. When we work together it is the beginning of an ongoing relationship and you will have acquired a permanent friend and resource in the boat business.
Sometimes people ask for estimates. I am happy to give a good-faith estimate based upon what I can see without removing panels, headliners, etc. With estimates based on cursory visual inspection it can be difficult to be accurate. Every boat is different, has a unique history, and unique owners. There are often unpleasant surprises after you remove an electrical panel that makes the original estimate worthless. More than once I have removed an apparently good panel to find the internal components were burned to a crisp. Poor access to wiring and components can slow the work and increase the time required for a specific job.
Just as important is cleanliness and maintenance. This is very important. If your boat is poorly maintained, dirty, full of debris, rust, etc. it will slow the work. To get the maximum bang for the buck clean the boat thoroughly and remove all equipment before calling for service. A clean boat makes it easier to trace and examine wiring and the less gear I have to move or work around the faster I can do the job.
And remember that boats are not cars. Every 2009 Hyundai Sonata carries the same starter, bolts, and connections and takes the same amount of labor to replace. The same cannot be said for a 2009 30′ Grady-White or any other boat model.
This lack of standardization makes accurate estimates a challenge. Usually, though not always, the quality of original construction will effect the cost of the job. If the manufacturer installed a quality breaker panel with room for additional devices, and adequate wire to handle the load, then the job will be cheaper than if there is an overloaded fuse panel with inadequate wire. I encounter this often. Access is important too. If the wire and plumbing were laid in the hull and then covered with an interior headliner then it might be necessary to install access plates to do the job. The upshot is that an identical task on a Parker or Grady-White is likely to cost less than the same job on a Bayliner or Hunter.
In sum, I love this line of work and look forward to working with you. I view boat work as a partnership. You provide the financial resources and I supply the human resources. When we are done we will both be very happy with the product. As for the quality of the work, well my friend, you may drive that boat full speed into a seawall, and the boat may sink, but the electrical connections will remain intact.