Anyone who owns a boat will, at some point, have to bring their boat in for repairs. Even if you are the type who likes to do everything yourself, sooner or later you will probably have a problem that is beyond your ability to diagnose or repair. When this happens it is necessary to bring your boat into a boat repair shop.
If you are currently looking for a good boat repair shop, you should be careful and choose well. At least if your car breaks again because of a shoddy mechanic, you can walk to a phone and call for assistance. But if your boat breaks down in the middle of the lake, you may be too far away from land to paddle back. This can spell big trouble, and means a very bad day at the least. So it is imperative that you do your homework and choose a good boat repair shop the first time around.
Finding a Good Boat Repair Shop
Before you choose a shop, you should ask around and find out what other people in the area’s experiences have been. Your local marina is a good place to begin. Since anyone who had a shoddy repair job has probably at the least griped about it around the marina staff (or been towed in after breaking down), they will probably have a good idea who to avoid. If they don’t have on-site boat repair, you can find out who they send boats to to be repaired.
Once you have narrowed the list down some, start finding more information out about the shops on your short list. Check Better Business Bureau records for the company for complaints and how the complaints were resolved, if any. See how long they have been operating, and what people have to say about their work. Ask about how long they take to finish repairs as well. You don’t want to miss half the summer because your boat was stuck in a slow shop!
Before bringing your boat in, swing by and check out their shop. Make sure that it at least appears that they have the equipment needed for boat repair. Find out their rates as well while you are there, and if they subcontract any of their repairs. Any subcontracting tends to both raise the price and increase the time needed for repairs, as well as raising the question of the subcontractors workmanship.
Also ask about guarantees on their work. A shop that won’t stand behind their work for a reasonable amount of time is probably not worth risking you boat with. Any parts the boat repair shop uses will probably be warranted by the manufacturer, but if they should fail the shop will usually take care of the warranty exchange for you.