Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lesson Learned

Last fall I took my bimini to the local canvas repair shop to have the window replaced. This is the 14"X24" plastic that is used to look up at the masthead while sailing. It was less than 5 years old and starting to get UV damage as well as some scratches from accidentally having the boom too close.

A week ago my dear wife Ruth picked it up at the shop, expecting to pay less than $200. Guess again. The price was $400. She brought it home and presented the small cash register receipt to me. I hit the roof. $400 to replace a window? That's outrageous.

I went to the shop a few days later and asked for a copy of the work order. They replaced the window with 40G plastic, made a Sunbrella cover with Velcro on 4-sides, Repaired a binding and zipper, and installed a leather chafe patch where the boom had rubbed a bit. Material cost was $74. Labor charged was $371 for 4.25 hours at $70 per hour. Tax was $30. They had reduced the labor from 5.5 hours to 4.25 and didn't charge for the leather since I had not requested it (I suppose).

I told Tony that I was very unhappy at the charge. $400 TO REPLACE A WINDOW!!!

I tried to maintain cool, but was stone-walled by Tony, shrugging his shoulders saying that it is normal to spend half a day on that type of a job. I walked out of the shop very unhappy but with a lesson learned....Get a quote before having the job done. In my defense though, who would have thought that it would be so expensive?

I am willing to share the name of the shop with anybody that asks. Just send an e-mail to and I will give you the name of the place not to go to.

Friday, May 28, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

Memorial Day is just a couple days away, and I still don't have Water Colors ready to sail. She is in the water but without her mast. The mast is at GYC sitting on saw horses waiting to get the new roller furling installed. A combination of procrastination, weather, room at the club, and just plain fear have been the reasons.

I finally got a clear place on the lawn after most other members launched and stepped their masts. Once I put the mast back together, installed the halyards and spreaders, I started on the roller furling. The instructions are far from ideal, not written for the mechanically disadvantaged folks like me. I found the I needed to replace the lower fastener on the bottom turnbuckle of the forestay. I read in the instructions that the part should be available at a local marine store... NOT! I ended up calling the furler company in Florida and ordered the correct part for over-night delivery. As my luck would have it, they typed my address incorrectly, and it didn't make it. After several calls to the manufacturer and UPS, I am told it is on the delivery truck today.

The weather forecast looks good, and with a little luck, I can get the furler built and installed today, and maybe even step the mast if I am really lucky. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Only a couple months to launch!

My, how the winter seems to drag on. We just came out of a week of continuous snow fall, and presently enjoying a January thaw. There is still some snow on the ground, but the sun has been shining and warming things up the past couple days. The forecast for the coming week is "dropping temperatures with rain turning to snow".

I am beginning to think about my new roller furling that I have to install on Water Colors before launch. The mast is down and stored at the club, so it shouldn't be too difficult a task. If I run into any problems I always have my friends at GYC to help me out.

I promise to address the blog more often as time gets closer to sailing season. I now have a nifty small camera to take with me so that I can post some shots here on the blog.

Until then... enjoy the snow!