Tom’s Tips About Choosing Boat Yards

By Tom Neale, 3/22/2007

1. When looking for a new yard, try to visit it first.

2. Check for cleanliness, neatness, things in their place, equipment well maintained.

3. Check to see if employees are working hard or lounging around joking and talking (except when they are on organized breaks).

4. Find out who would be supervising your job, talk to the person about it, and try to assess that person’s familiarity with the job.

5. Ask about the yard’s policy for letting other contractors come in. You may need this for the job on your boat. Most yards allow this, some charge a hefty fee, some don’t allow it at all.

6. Ask friends and neighbors in the area about their experience with the yard. Remember that all of us have a tendency to complain rather than compliment, so don’t over value a criticism without checking behind it if practical.

7. If it’s a specific job with clearly defined limitations, try to get quotes from more than one yard.

8. Remember that some yards may quote for an identified job knowing, however, that other jobs are going to probably surface, at which point they’ll tell you that you need to pay more. So try to define the job as specifically as you can, and ask if they anticipate any others arising once they “get into it.” They can’t foretell the future as to what else they’ll find, but try to get some idea as to what you might expect from ancillary issues.

Go to for other information

Boating and water sports involve risk. Any comments herein should be followed at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for risk or injury to yourself or others. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that use.

Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale