Frequently Asked Questions
These are the most common questions that I get asked by e-mail or phone. I hope the answers help you out.
Do you repair boats in the water, or at my dock?
No. The fiberglass & spray dust can land on your neighbor's boat and cause problems later on. I've seen many other repair people do these repairs at the dock. A perfect example of this is when a guy was doing a fiberglass repair on a customers boat at the dock. Their neighbor decided to catch some rays on her boat. A Big 50Ft. Sea Ray. She lies down on the sundeck of her boat. Then all of a sudden she starts to scratch and roll all over. The next thing her whole back was blistered and red. What happened here is that she laid on the fiberglass dust that the guy was grinding next door. The dust is almost invisible when ground down.
Well she went to the marina management and screamed at them for allowing this, The Marina Management chased the guy out of the yard and banned him from doing work their again. The second reason I don't do it in the water is that the boat bounces around too much to get the lines straight or to even get a good color match. The trick to getting good color matches is to have the spray gun set at a certain distance from the job. With the boat bouncing around that's hard to achieve.
Are you able to match the color on my boat? I also have the factory Gel-Coat.
Yes I can. If I don't get a match I won't do the job. You will have to approve the final match that I get. You can see photos of the process that I go through in getting a match here. As for using the factory gel-coat. If you where given the gel-coat when you purchased your boat then its most likely no good. Gel-coat is only good for about six months. The molecular structure breaks down. It may look good in the container, but after being sprayed on your boat you'll see how the sun breaks it down a lot faster then if it was fresh gel-coat. Here is a testimonial from a customer on my color matching skills.
If you get the fresh gel-coat from the factory it will not match your boat. As soon as your boat leaves the factory the suns ultra violet rays starts to change the color of your boat. You'll see this if you have side stripes on your boat that have peeled off. You'll see how the stripes protected the color of the gel-coat from the sun. It will be a lot brighter. So when I mix up colors I like to start from scratch. I don't want to be guessing what the factory put in their gel-coat to get the color of your boat.
How much of a deposit do I have to put down for you to start my job?
If the boat is in my yard and worth more then the repair job, then you don't have to give me a deposit. I do this because it keeps me motivated to get the job done on time. When the job is completed I expect to be paid in Cash or Certified Check only. Customers have told me that they gave big deposits to other repair guys to fix their boats and then the boat just sits around for months with no work being done.
On jobs where the repair is more then what the boat is worth, I require 50% up front, the remaining when completed. (Examples: Old Boats, Boats without Engines or Outdrives, Boats without Trailers.) If the boat is not picked up from my yard in a reasonable time then there will be storage charges added to the repair charge.
Do you guarantee your work?
Yes I do guarantee my work. I make sure my customers are satisfied with their repairs. Also I'm Better Business Bureau certified. You can feel safe doing business with Custom Boat Repairs.
How long will it take to repair my boat?
That depends on how big of a job it is. I never take two jobs on at the same time. Each job that I do, I do it myself. If I give you a date or you tell me when you need it done by, you can rest assured that it will be done by that date. If I feel I can't get it done by your time schedule I'll pass on doing the job. If the job is being done outside then its up to the weather conditions on how fast I can get it done. For fiberglass work and spraying you need a temperature range of 60 degrees and up.
Do you travel to South Jersey to take care of some chips & gouges on my boat?
Being an owner operator its not feasible cost wise for me to travel that far to do chips. You have gas, toll's, travel time which can add up to a lot of money before the job even gets started, then having someone from your area to do the job.
Now if your boat is on a trailer and you don't mind taking a trip up to my shop then I would gladly help you out and give you a good deal on the repair. Just send me photos of what you need done and I'll try to give you a rough estimate.
For customers that are on a budget and your looking for a quick repair for those chips, I put together a section on how you can take care of them yourself.
When is the best time for you to check out my boat and give me an estimate?
I feel its best for you to make an appointment. I'm around Saturdays & Sundays. These are the best days traffic wise in my area for me to check out your boat.
During Spring & Summer 80% of my repairs jobs are mobile, so I'm not in my yard working. During the Fall & Winter I'm in my yard working most of the time.
Can you e-mail me an estimate if I e-mail you photos of my damage?
If I don't see the boat in person then I can't write you up an estimate. I can give you a rough Verbal estimate. Photos are very deceiving. Photos will not show how far the stress cracks run in a damage area. Also with my specialize equipment I'm able to find any hidden damage that your photo's won't show.
I have some fiberglass damage on my boat, but I don't have a trailer to get it to your place. Can you help me out?
Yes. Send me photos of the damage on your boat that you need repaired. I'll try to give you a rough idea of what it will cost to repair. If we agree to a price then I would be able to pickup your boat with my new hydraulic trailer, do the repair and get it back to your marina, or house on time. On some repair jobs I provide this service for free.
I'm thinking of buying a boat, can you check it out for me?
Yes. If the boat is in my area I provide this service for free. All I check out is the fiberglass hull and its structural components. I'll be able to tell you if your hull and its structural parts are sound and not rotten. As for the Engines, and Water system I can't help you out there. You would have to find a good mechanic to check out those areas.
If the boat is out of my area then their will be a charge for travel time, gas, tolls, and time spent inspecting the boat.
If your on a budget you can check out my tips section on buying a boat. I give you many good tips on what to look for when your inspecting a boat.
Note: Since I'm an owner operated company, I work by myself I can only look at so many boats. All I ask is that you narrow your search down to your final boat for me to check out for free. I had a customer that every boat he saw he wanted me to check out. I can't do that with my busy schedule.
Do you inspect boats out of state?
Yes. I've been to Florida many times to check out boats for my customers. When I go to Florida the boats are bigger. 40 ft. to 100 ft boats. The customers fly me down there. They pay all expenses and the time for me to inspect their boats.
One customer was having a boat built there. He was not happy on how they were building the boat. He showed me a core sample of the fiberglass that they cut out of the hull and I was shocked at what I saw. The core sample split in half when I picked it with my leather man tool. I then told him that he had a serious problem . I flew down there the next day and drove right to the factory. The fiberglass work done at this factory was the worse quality that I had ever seen in my 30+ years of doing this. I made them redo many things on that boat. While they where not happy about me being there, my customers was grateful.
When does your business ease up, so you can take care of my boat?
I usually ease up in the fall and winter. Sometimes I will do a very big fiberglass repair job in the winter that will take me about two months to complete. All I can say is call me and I should be able to give you a timeline on my repair schedule.
How is it getting to your place?
Very easy to get to. Three turns in all. Go to this link and you'll see a map of the roads you'll be taking to get to my shop.
My parents have an old boat from the early 80's that is made of fiberglass sitting in their yard. They want to get rid of it. What is the best way to do that? I know that the engine is probably rotted out since water seeped in through the covers. What's your best suggestion?
If you're looking to just get rid of it for free, or for some money then I recommend this site. You can place you ad in there for free. I had very good luck with that site.
Now if you have someone that is interested in it. Take these steps or you will be liable for what happens with that boat:
- Remove your license Plates off the trailer.
- Remove the Registration decal & numbers off the side of the hull.
- Go to Division of Motor Vehicle and turn in your plates, Tell them you got rid of the boat and give them the registration numbers so they can look them up and document it.
- Get a copy of the drivers License of the person that's buying your boat.
- Very important: Make up a note saying how much you sold it for or given it to them for free. Put "AS IS" in the wording. This is Very Important. Have them sign the paper and date it. Make a copy and keep it for your records.
Why I say this is that a lady sold a boat to a guy that didn't register the boat he used her numbers on the boat to ride around. Well he got in an accident with the boat and everybody went after her, because the boat was still in her name even though she sold it two years prior. The guy never register the boat. She had to get lawyers to clear this up and it cost her money.
I just got into an accident with another boat. Can I send you photos of the damage?
Yes you can. All I ask is that you reduce the photos. I've have customers send me photos that take twenty minutes for me to download on an DSL line. When it takes that long my computer rejects them.
Here is a site that you can download a Free program for windows XP to reduce your photos. This is a very simple program to use. It's called "Windows Image Resizer." Click here to download.
- Download the program to your computer.
- Open the photos you want to send me.
- Highlite the photos you want to send me.
- Right Click the photos, a small box screen will open, Left click " Resize Pictures"
- Select Med Size. Your Done. Send me the photos that say Medium after them.
Here is another Free program if you're computer savvy: Fastone.
I have marine Insurance and this is my first boating accident and I'm not familiar with the process. Can you help me out?
Yes I can.
- Make sure you get all the information if other boats where involve.
- Next call your insurance company. You have to get it documented as soon as possible.
- The insurance company is going to ask you to get an estimate. I recommend getting two or three estimates.
- The insurance company is going to send down an adjuster to look at your boat. He will come up with an estimate of what it will cost to repair your boat.
- You then compare the estimate that he wrote with the ones you got.
- Is there a big discrepancy in price? If so ask who will do it for the price that he estimated.
- Now you're going to have to pick out the one repair guy to do the job. Someone you can trust and has a good reputation in the business.
- You can ask him for his opinion on what the adjuster wrote up. I've seen adjusters pick the cheapest way to repair a boat. Not necessarily the right way. They are looking to save the insurance company money. I have personally seen this happen on many jobs.
- Now the repairman calls the adjuster to see what repair process he was using when he wrote up the estimate. If there is still a disagreement in price, you as the owner will have to call the Insurance Company directly and explain to them the difference in price and show them the other estimates from the repair shops.
- This is why I strongly suggest that if the adjuster recommends someone to repair your boat or if you have someone to repair it make sure Photos are taken throughout the repair process. This will help you out if the repair job fails. You'll have proof of how it was repaired.