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Essential Check List/Questions for boat builder & hints and tips for a boat club interview!


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Good Afternoon All Ye Wise Ones! 

 

Only me, asking for more advice, yet again!! Just a few things: 

 

1. Husband and I are visiting a boat builder over the weekend and wondered if you could advise what essential questions we should ask and what to make sure of? 

2. We also have an interview at our dream boat club which has the most wonderful moorings, we wondered if anyone knew of what types of things they will be asking us? Is there any interview prep we can be doing? 

 

Thanks so much in advance, 

 

Hannah ?

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Make sure he is building exactly what you want as changing your mind mid build is likely to prove costly.

 

I thought most boat clubs have an informal chat these days rather than an interview but don't worry about it as new members are welcomed at any boat club.

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5 minutes ago, Hrk1ng said:

1. Husband and I are visiting a boat builder over the weekend and wondered if you could advise what essential questions we should ask and what to make sure of?

 

Over the years many boat builders have gone bust, causing mayhem for their customers. Some of these companies arise again (Phoenix companies with a new name) and do the same again.

 

Questions to ask :

 

When do I pay ?

Is it stage payments (30% up front, 30% when the base plate is laid, 30% on completion, 10% on hand over) or is it all up front, or all at handover (or any permutation there of)

 

Do I get evidence that MY boat is actually being built and confirmation that at each stage the boat belongs to me (buying the steel, laying down the Hull etc etc) If not , then if the company gets into trouble the creditors can sieze any materials, part built boats etc and all you are left with is waiting for the courts to allocate payments to you of any remaining cash.

 

Boat builders have been known to show the same pictures to several customers telling them all it is their boat.

 

Most boat builders are very small 'cottage industry' and have tight margins and very poor cash flow so rely on your money to buy the materials and pay the welder wages etc and a slight hicup can cause them big problems.

 

What happens when you have said you want a porthole in the bathroom, and you get a big 'bus window' ?

 

 

Things can, and do run smoothly, but a number of deals do go sour. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

 

If you think buying a secondhand boat from a guy moored up at the side of the canal is risky - its nothing compared to having a boat built.

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2 minutes ago, Pie Eater said:

Make sure he is building exactly what you want as changing your mind mid build is likely to prove costly.

 

You should have a full written specification of what is (and isn't) included.

 

Ideally you should also get some sort of commitment to a completion date, as delays are common and you don't want to be left hanging on indefinitely while he works on someone else's boat.

 

Establish exactly what you have to pay and when, and what ownership that gives you (see Alan's post above).

 

Check that you can visit at any reasonable time to view progress on your boat. If anything doesn't look right, query it then, as errors or changes cost more to sort out later.

 

Sorting these sorts of things now and having a written record will reduce the scope for later disagreements.

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9 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Over the years many boat builders have gone bust, causing mayhem for their customers. Some of these companies arise again (Phoenix companies with a new name) and do the same again.

 

Questions to ask :

 

When do I pay ?

Is it stage payments (30% up front, 30% when the base plate is laid, 30% on completion, 10% on hand over) or is it all up front, or all at handover (or any permutation there of)

 

Do I get evidence that MY boat is actually being built and confirmation that at each stage the boat belongs to me (buying the steel, laying down the Hull etc etc) If not , then if the company gets into trouble the creditors can sieze any materials, part built boats etc and all you are left with is waiting for the courts to allocate payments to you of any remaining cash.

 

Boat builders have been known to show the same pictures to several customers telling them all it is their boat.

 

Most boat builders are very small 'cottage industry' and have tight margins and very poor cash flow so rely on your money to buy the materials and pay the welder wages etc and a slight hicup can cause them big problems.

 

What happens when you have said you want a porthole in the bathroom, and you get a big 'bus window' ?

 

 

Things can, and do run smoothly, but a number of deals do go sour. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

 

If you think buying a secondhand boat from a guy moored up at the side of the canal is risky - its nothing compared to having a boat built.

 

Thank you so much for this. Am I right in thinking that the stage ownership will be covered under the British Marine Federation Contract? 

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5 minutes ago, Hrk1ng said:

 

Thank you so much for this. Am I right in thinking that the stage ownership will be covered under the British Marine Federation Contract? 

 

I don't know, I have never seen a copy of the BMF "new build contract" - it is certainly not covered under the usual "BMF buying a new or secondhand boat" purchase contracts.

 

I'd be interested to view a copy if you get one.

 

Edit to add :

This would appear to be the contract but it is only available to BMF paid up members.

 

 

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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2 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I don't know, I have never seen a copy of the BMF "new build contract" - it is certainly not covered under the usual "BMF buying a new or secondhand boat" purchase contracts.

 

I'd be interested to view a copy if you get one.

I will send you a copy of it when we get one! I believe it will as I read an article on new boat purchasing and I've written in my notes 'BMF contract is needed as this will release various parts of the boat to the owner along the build'. 

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4 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Interesting!!! Definitely need to get clarification on that!!

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Take a spec of what you want so they can work on a price. 
If they want to build it to their spec without things you want avoid as it’s just mass produced 

Ask if they would object to a surveyor checking the final build.  
Ask what proof of ownership and paperwork you will receive though the payment schedule 

 

If it really is an interview to boat club move on! 

Edited by Chris John
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8 minutes ago, Chris John said:

Take a spec of what you want so they can work on a price. 
If they want to build it to their spec without things you want avoid as it’s just mass produced 

Ask if they would object to a surveyor checking the final build.  
Ask what proof of ownership and paperwork you will receive though the payment schedule 

 

If it really is an interview to boat club move on! 

As in don't bother with the boat club? It's literally perfect for us - 30 mins from home and at the start of our favourite stretch of canal and there are panoramic views of the most wonderful countryside. I think I'd stand a Spanish inquisition to be honest!  ?

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17 minutes ago, Hrk1ng said:

As in don't bother with the boat club? It's literally perfect for us - 30 mins from home and at the start of our favourite stretch of canal and there are panoramic views of the most wonderful countryside. I think I'd stand a Spanish inquisition to be honest!  ?

 

Some folks find the membership requirements a little 'demanding'.

 

In return for nice and cheap moorings most (all ?) boat clubs expect so many hours or weekends per year from each member on 'maintenance' (cutting grass , painting club house, pontoon repairs, etc etc) and attendance or contributions to club 'functions', fine if you are 'mixers' but for some it is not boating as they want it.

 

The club we joined (whilst waiting for the marina to be built) was proper 'Admirals', 'Commodores' etc and they were in 'full uniform' of blazers, badges and caps' for our interview.

We were accepted, but left as soon as the marina 'next door' opened.

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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Some folks find the membership requirements a little 'demanding'.

 

In return for nice and cheap moorings most (all ?) boat clubs expect so many hours or weekends per year from each member on 'maintenance' (cutting grass , painting club house, pontoon repairs, etc etc) and attendance or contributions to club 'functions', fine if you are 'mixers' but for some it is not boating as they want it.

 

The club we joined (whilst waiting for the marina to be built) was proper 'Admirals', 'Commodores' etc and they were in 'full uniform' of blazers, badges and caps' for our interview.

We were accepted, but left as soon as the marina 'next door' opened.

This has just made me giggle! I hope we aren't faced with an interview panel similar otherwise I'll be in a fit of laughter! Very 'what what what, chocs away old boy!' 

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5 minutes ago, Hrk1ng said:

Very 'what what what, chocs away old boy!' 

 

That was the flying club that I instructed at.

Then very much so when I became a part time civilian instructor in the RAF, teaching cadets to fly.

 

2-day interview in London, 1st day interview, got thru that and then an 8 hour medical.

Never seen so much 'scrambled egg' on a jacket.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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6 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

The club we joined (whilst waiting for the marina to be built) was proper 'Admirals', 'Commodores' etc and they were in 'full uniform' of blazers, badges and caps' for our interview.

The former WRG boatclub decided it only needed one officer with a grand title - the Commode d'Or.

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35 minutes ago, Hrk1ng said:

As in don't bother with the boat club? It's literally perfect for us - 30 mins from home and at the start of our favourite stretch of canal and there are panoramic views of the most wonderful countryside. I think I'd stand a Spanish inquisition to be honest!  ?

My personal view is I prefer the boat to be further from home so it actually feels like I’m going away plus it stops all the “when can we come to the boat” type friends if they have to drive further away ?

Edited by Chris John
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2 minutes ago, David Mack said:

The former WRG boatclub decided it only needed one officer with a grand title - the Commode d'Or.

But of course! Any boat club without a Commode d'Or is just cr*p! ??

Just now, Chris John said:

My personal view is I prefer the boat to be further from home so it actually feels like I’m going away plus it stops all the “when can we come to the boat” type friends if they have to drive a way ?

Very good point!! ?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Having given a boatyard properly drawn plans for some modifications and then found they did their own thing claiming the plans were only indicative, think I would produce proper drawings and specifiations in duplicate and get your copy signed upon paying the deposit. However I would much rather buy second hand where hopefully all the building snags have been dealt with and the first depreciation had taken place. I think I would also employ a surveyor to document and oversee the build.

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7 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

I think I would also employ a surveyor to document and oversee the build.

 

Excellent advice - particularly in light of the new RCR (RCD) regulations applying for 'life'.

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Most builders will build their 'standard' boat, the depth of hull, height of cabin sides, slope of cabin sides, shape of stern and fore end, where the frames go and so on. Changing any of that is bothersome and will cost.  The length of cabin (well deck at fore end, back deck and so on ) should be easy and perfectly ok to specify. If its a short boat, say less than 35` try to get a good taper of the swim - the underwater section at the stern or it will be slow and tedious to steer, in fact try to get a good long taper anyway, this should not cost extra. Its a good idea to get them to fit the engine even if its not a 'sailaway' That means that the bearers will be the right height and distance apart. I have never done this and hacksawing great lumps of steel out of heavy sections and welding/bolting new bits in is a right pain. Visit often and give them a day's notice or so, if they have left your boat untouched to work on another they might just drop everything to do a bit on yours. There are only a couple of 'extras' I would ask for, an access plate somewhere on the fuel tank, rust, sludge and biology in fuel is a nightmare to get rid of, you need to get an arm in there and I would not have an 'integral' water tank, they are not that common these days  but there are better ways. 

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Have you been able to visit the club informally that should give you a flavour of what they are like and what they expect of you. Perhaps you can even join as a social member pending boat. Do they have many spare moorings (may be suspicious but at least you can hope to get one) or are mooring spaces like hen's teeth if so would they/you be happy for you to start paying for a space before you have a boat?

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