Hourly rate: Hourly rate is $130. Clock starts when I arrive at the boat and stops when I stow the last tool. I come to you, but you can bring your boat to me if you wish. CASH OR CHECK ONLY. No credit cards, bitcoin, etc.
Travel: Usually no travel charges in Charlotte County except Boca Grande, Burnt Store Marina, Englewood, Manasota Key, etc. is a flat $75 per round trip. Travel to other locations can be arranged.
Money saving tips:
Clean your boat before I get there. On rare occasion I will show up to give an estimate or do a job and find the compartment I have to work in is covered with mold. One time I even had a guy deliver a boat for repair and it had a small tree growing in it. Another time I showed up to do an installation and found the inside of the center console was black with mold, had oil spilled all over the deck, and was crammed with oil, other lubricants, leaking containers, and miscellaneous gear. Recently, I looked at a boat where the aft compartment had pumps with wire nuts, badly corroded components, minimal/inadequate batteries, unsecured wiring, broken hoses, and was covered in mold.
There is a reason clean up crews wear hazmat suits and respirators when they are doing mold removal and mitigation. That stuff is nasty and will give you respiratory diseases that are tough or impossible to cure. Things are always worse in a boat. Technicians work in tight places and get covered with mold, dirt, debris, etc in the process. Having a clean boat to work on is not only safer but saves you money. I can see the components, analyze the situation and correct a problem much faster if I can see the parts, decks, and bulkheads clearly.
Remove your gear. I bill by the hour. If I do a 4-hour job but spend 30 minutes of that time moving or working around fishing and boating gear, that just cost you an extra $65. I move fast and work hard. Working around you or your stuff is going to make the job more expensive.
Good access means money saved. People often ask for rough estimates and I do my best, but every boat is very different. In doing boat work, good access is crucial to the cost of the job. Boat manufacturers often give extremely poor access to components. This means installing access hatches or often working with one hand on a pump you cannot see. I recently encountered a flats boat so poorly designed the only way to change the bilge pump was to cut a hole in the livewell. This has never happened to me before but boat builders scrimp on access because it costs them money and does not help sell a boat. Removing seats, ice chests, etc. from the boat can often save you some money.
Working on boat lifts. Keeping your boat on a lift is usually a smart thing to do. There are no fouling problems, you eliminate or reduce galvanic corrosion, and I have never seen a boat sink when stored on a lift. It does complicate some repairs and service however. Lifts usually are a problem for me only when I am installing a transducer. Regardless of the type of transducer, I must be able to inspect the bottom of the boat to decide where to place the transducer, as any fittings, intakes, steps, or strakes can disturb the water flow across the surface of the transducer. The problems vary slightly with different transducers.
Transom-mount transducers require 3-4 stainless screws. I use higher quality fasteners than supplied with the unit and the largest screws I can fit. They require a considerable amount of torque to drive them. This cannot be done leaning over the side so the boat must come out of the water or another boat must be available for me to work from. This is the owners choice. I have been asked to use my electric drill and 5200 sealant from canoes, kayaks, inflatables with leaks, pool toys, and even a block of Styrofoam with a cord on one corner. Needless to say, those proposals were not suitable and we always found another way to tackle the problem. The work boat must be safe, stable, have enough deck fittings so it can be tied off and secured well, and must have room for tools. Also, keep in mind I am using 5200 quick cure sealant. This is sticky, gooey stuff and dealing with it can be as challenging as the fasteners. The boat needs to be out of the water for at least 24 hours for sealant to cure, though I strongly recommend 48 hours.
Transducers using any type of fairing block must be done ashore.
Here are your options for transom-mount, in hull, and thru-hull transducers:
- Remove the boat from the water or lift and put it on a trailer or blocks.
- Provide a boat for me to work from. A flats boat works well but I have used jon boats and hard dinghies.
- Take your boat to a boatyard and have it hauled and blocked. This would be a good time to pressure wash it and do any other bottom maintenance. Plan on the boat being out of the water for two-three days. This is because of yard space, tides, and cure time for 5200 sealant. I cannot do the work while the boat is in the slings.