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Detailing price/ft'...... what's fair?

Old 05-08-2010, 02:09 PM
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Location: Manhasset, NY
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WOW..... I guess the numbers are all over the place...... $18/ft seems to be in the upper middle somewhere....... not so bad considering the boat looks like it came out of the showroom....... I actually told him to not touch the cabin because I already took care of it....... I figured he would spend a little more time on the hull............ Thanks guys.......
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:17 PM
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I think there may also some geographic reasons for the swing in pricing. Seems stuff costs more out east then say here, especially in NY. Florida has some pretty big swings as well due to dealing with a mobile guy in his truck as apposed to a large full service marina facility, lots to choose from down there i would guess. My numbers is pretty constant with the upper end of what we have in my area but to be honest i keep it that way because i dont have a lot of time to tend to those type of projects.
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:09 AM
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I guess I'm surprised that you didn't know the price before they did the detail job. I would have wanted to know ahead of time.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:14 AM
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I have a buddy who is a nut about his boat. To the point he brings a detail guy with him on poker runs to clean the boat every day. This boat is 3 years old, all salt water and totally flawless. The kid he uses is 20, somewhat a jack of all trades type kid, certainly not a detail expert but a good worker/scrubber. The boat never got out of shape/less than perfect so for this kid to clean it weekly it was more a maintenance job than a detail job. I am not sure what John pays him since he does a lot of stuff for him other than the boat.

So I asked "Ben" to do my boat. He shows up all excited to do the work and brings a buddy. They are looking at the job (32 Sunsation and a 15 Whaler). They hit the job at $14 a foot ($658). I thought it was high but I have already seen the end result in my buddy's boat. They start talking about all the "supplies" they are going to need (like bucket, soap, sponge, rags, cleaner, wax, etc) and I start to get nervous thinking they don't know what they are doing (found out later John provided Ben with everything). So I ask where they get the idea for the rate, Ben's buddy works at a marina (not detailing but rather dock hand) and that is what they charge at the marina. I still figure they really can't screw this up so tell me when and I will have both boats ready. Ben calls a few days later saying he has to go out of town but he can send his "crew" over. This is laughable since he is essentially a "do boy" for my buddy. The kid is always broke and John gets him to do anything. I told him to call me when he gets back in town, only to never hear from him.

A month later I had the boat in for service at a marina. I asked the shop foreman about a detailer. He has a great guy that gets $15 a foot. I go to pick the boat up and it was perfect, even rivaling the day I go it new! I never met the guy who did the work but easily would have tipped him $100 I was so happy with the outcome.

If the job came out perfect and you were thrilled with the result I suspect the price is secondary!

Last edited by Jupiter Sunsation; 05-09-2010 at 10:18 AM.
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