Do it yourself Boat yards or DIY boatyards will help you save some serious money.
If there’s one thing that every boat owner can agree on, it’s that boating is expensive.
Fortunately, cost-effective boating can be a reality by doing the following:
- Buy an older but solid boat
- Keep it on a mooring instead of a marina
- Look for a boatyard that’s open for DIYers
The first two steps are something you won’t have that much trouble doing because there are heaps of second-hand boats available for sale on the market today, and there are tons of mooring spots throughout Florida.
The third one, however, is not as easy to do as the first two because there are not that many DIY boatyards in Florida. They can be considered as an endangered species.
The reason why most boatyards don’t allow boat owners to do their own work is that the business model of a typical boatyard involves selling the labor of their craftsmen. So when DIYers are allowed to do their own thing, the profitability of boatyards will be affected significantly. You can, however, bring in a subcontractor as most boatyards allow subcontracted work, which comes with a service charge that varies from boatyard to boatyard.
While there are only a handful of DIY boatyards here in Florida, they are not that hard to find. Still, you need to know how to pick the right boatyard to ensure that your boat is in good hands.
Choosing the Right DIY Boatyard
There are many factors to consider when picking the right DIY boatyard. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the most important ones.
Environment & Staff
You should go for the one that makes you feel at home, especially since you’re likely going to spend a significant amount of time there. It’s best to look for a boatyard operation that has a more casual than formal atmosphere, as well as a warm and welcoming staff that loves boating as much as you do.
It’s also important to consider the location of the boatyard. Low-lying facilities are prone to catching rainwater runoff that can turn any hard surface into a slippery mess, which makes it harder for jack stands to securely hold a hauled-off vessel. Boatyards situated in more exposed locations are also risky to deal with because they are more vulnerable to the onslaught of powerful storms that can easily topple the jack stands supporting blocked-up boats.
Crew & Equipment
Even though saving money is one of the main reasons why you’re going for a DIY boatyard, you should never settle for a boatyard operation just because they offer the lowest rates in town. You need to give a careful look at the quality of the boat handling equipment and the skills of the crew. Is their boat handling equipment brand new or well maintained? Do you trust the skills of their operator/craftsmen? If your answer is yes, you know your boat is in good hands.
Blocking & Shoring
Boats are designed to float on water, so getting them to stand securely on dry land can be a challenge. Blocking and shoring involve spreading contact loads and rigidly supporting a vessel in a vertical position, and the process on how a vessel is blocked up depends on the boat’s size and type.
For instance, sailboats have an external ballast that can easily endure the pressure from keel blocks but may have trouble with the hull weight pressing down. It’s up to the yard crew to ensure that your boat is securely blocked up and that it won’t sustain any damages while standing.
In most cases, boatyard crews have the knowledge and skills required to properly execute the blocking and shoring process on most types of vessels. Still, it helps to make sure that the craftsmen in the boatyard are well-versed in hauling and blocking the specific kind of boat you have.
As the boat owner, you should discuss in advance with the yard manager which projects you want his crew to handle and which tasks you’ll be handling yourself. Doing this is a great way for you to know if the appropriate services are available in the boatyard. However, even with all of the discussions and prearrangements, there’s always a chance that even a modest refitting job would lead to new discoveries and more work. Make sure that you’re prepared to spend more than what was originally estimated in the initial plan.
Are you looking for the best DIY boatyard in Florida? Seminole Marine is a Do-it-Yourself boatyard that services clients throughout Palm Beach County and West Palm Beach. We will haul and block your boat so you can do the work on your own or with your own contractors and not be limited to the yard service options.