Choosing a Boat Yard for a New Build or Yacht Refit? Here are 5 Steps to Help Ensure You select the Right Crew
1. Interview several different boatyards before you commit to one.
First impressions are often indicators of future performance. How quickly does a representative from the yard return your calls or emails? Are they professional and courteous? Thorough? Able to provide information in a timely manner? Visit the yard in person. How clean is it? Does the yard foster a sense of pride among its tradespeople? Don’t have time to interview the best boatyards for your job? Call us, and we can give you our firsthand recommendations.
2. Clearly define the scope and cost of your project – in writing.
Some yards will promise the world and then find themselves too overwhelmed to carry out the project. Key terms and project milestones must be well defined. Both parties should understand payment terms and expectations before the yard sends the first invoice. Clarify if you have received an estimate or a quote (and know the difference). Not sure if you’ve covered all the details in your work order? We can review the documentation with you.
3. When it comes to pricing, don’t focus on labor rates alone.
Every yard’s billing practices are different. A yard with a low hourly rate may accrue more hours to complete a job than a yard with a higher hourly rate. Some yards charge a different rate for engineering services than their standard hourly rate. Research the total cost of similar projects in other yards and compare. Need help evaluating the comparables? Give us a call and we’ll guide you through the process.
4. Have a plan in place for managing change orders.
Change orders are inevitable during big projects. Even some of the most closely managed refits and new builds require change orders due to an owner’s request, a change in technology, or an unforeseen issue with the boat. Include a process in your work agreement for determining how these changes will be priced and a method to analyze how they will affect the project’s schedule. Don’t have the time or interest in managing these nitty gritty details? Call Becket & Company.
5. Are you happy with the final results?
Has the yard delivered on the original agreement? Are all systems functioning? Has the vessel had appropriate sea trials? Are there any loose ends? Is billing in order? Prior to sending your final payment installment, review all your invoices to double check for errors or erroneous charges. Payment is due once you have accepted the finished project, not when the yard says they have fulfilled agreement obligations. Want someone else to make sure everything is in order? Call us.