Re: Trust, but verify...

Bill Kinney


Unfortunately, these mechanics on this project were not at all amateurs, although their work was certainly substandard.  They were full time mechanics working for a major marine service firm. I don't want to point the finger at any specific organization, because that would dilute the message (and get me in trouble with the forum rules!)

This wasn't a case of something that was Amel specific being misunderstood.  Nor was it a case of hiring somebody who was a "shadetree mechanic."  The organization that did this install does MANY engine installs in a year in a major east coast yachting center.  I have no idea how many of them they get this badly wrong.  That's really not my point.  I really just want to push out the fact that these things happen, even with "well qualified" and referenced checked mechanics, and everybody need to be sure they have a way to protect themselves. Some of us have the technical background and skillset to mange the technical sides of these projects. Many others (most?) do not.  For those who are not comfortable evaluating the technical side of a complex boat upgrade project, there is a need to plan ahead to get a second opinion.

It is certainly fortunate to be in a position to be able to do everything yourself, but it is unrealistic to expect that to be an option for all owners.

In discussions I have had about this with people in the industry, the conclusion I have come to is that the really good, and smart, mechanics and other tradesmen, quickly learn to move "up market."  There is a LOT of opportunity for capable and competent people in the super yacht end of the business where the money and working conditions are a LOT better. Just as an example, one of the the best marine refrigeration and electrical businesses in Annapolis no longer works with private clients at all, only professional yacht managers are considered desirable clients.  I certainly understand WHY, but it is still a pain for us with boats that have annual maintenance budgets of less than 6 figures.  We are left with the second string...

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD, USA

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