By Captain Scott “Fraz” Murie
I had been managing a refit on a sportfish boat one fall and winter and was able to hire a crew (captain and mate) at the start of this project. As we started at the pointy end and worked our way back to the square end, it became obvious that it was going to be a big job.
There were numerous aspects to the project that I needed to sub out. These included welding, fiberglassing, electronics, engine rebuilds, and enclosures to name a few. I understand we all have our favorite subcontractors that we know do good work, but I was still insistent with my crew in getting two to three bids on the jobs for which we needed the subcontractors. The fact is, there is a lot of competition out there these days.
I was pretty amazed at some of the price differences that were quoted. Everyone has heard the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” While this is a true statement, in some cases, on certain projects, it really doesn’t matter. Consider jobs like sandblasting, powder coating, cut glass and the list goes on—why pay more than you have to?
We were able to save the owner of this boat thousands of dollars by doing what we could ourselves and by wisely choosing which subcontractors to hire. There is another old saying, “If you have to ask how much something costs you can’t afford it.” In my opinion, that statement is a crock of…. well, you know what’s in the crock.
I’m sure there are a few owners out there who don’t care how much money they spend, but it has been my experience that the majority of boat owners want to keep costs down when possible.
As crew, our job is to do just that. I’ve seen owners come and go many times in our business. Many are undone by overspending crews who drain their bank accounts at lightning speed. Believe me, an owner sees the effort you put forth in trying to save them money in an already expensive sport! On the other hand, they also see when their crews just spend and spend with no regard to costs.
Most people that own these multi-million dollar boats are not stupid. For owners who are new to fishing, it might take them a while, but they will catch on to ignorant spending sooner or later. What happens to owners who are bamboozled by overspending? Many get out of the sport altogether. Just remember the crew has a lot to do with whether or not the owner stays in the sport or not. So keep them in the game—your job may depend on it.
—That’s my two-minute warning. Fraz