FINDING A BOAT REPAIR CENTRE THAT SUITS YOU
All boat owners will at some point have to take their boat in for maintenance and repairs. The easier repairs can be done by technically minded boat owners, but there will come a time when the ability to sort out the problems occurring on the boat need to be sorted out by a service centre that has the necessary tooling and technical know-how for larger jobs that are beyond the technical capability of the man on the street.
This is when your boat will need to go to a boat repair centre. The million dollar question is how do you decide which repair centre is going to get the job done properly?
If you’re new to the boating scene, then it is imperative to find a reputable and reliable repair centre, so that you can build a relationship with them for future serving and repairs. Before you make a mistake in choosing the wrong service and repair centre, shop around and do some fact-finding regarding the various service centres in your area. Ask people at your marina or boat club for their feedback. You’ll normally receive both good and bad reports for repair centres. It’s a market research exercise; the more positive feedback you receive for a service centre from different sources, the more you’re assured that you are moving in the right direction in finding a match for your servicing needs. If you receive many bad service reports for a particular service centre, this should give the necessary warning signals that you should steer clear.
Once you’ve shortlisted certain repair shops, look at the location of each of these centres, eliminating the ones that are too far away in terms of geographical positioning. It is always best to find a service centre within at 50kms of your residence to save yourself in the long run.
Doing a personal visit to the dealers you have earmarked is another good way to gauge what you can expect in terms of service down the line. Go and introduce yourself as a boat owner and ask the service manager to show you around. Most service managers will be only too happy to take you on a quick tour of their facilities.
Without making it too obvious, determine the state of the workshop, the mechanics at work and the other things that might indicate a good or bad workshop. A general look around a workshop will usually give you a good overall feel as to how efficiently the place is managed. Ask the workshop manager how long servicing typically takes, as you don’t want your boat sitting in a state of undress during the prime summer months.
Another important factor to consider is does the workshop warranty its work? If a part fails, does the workshop make the claim from the manufacturer on your behalf? Making warranty claims for parts that have failed due inherent factory faults can be a nightmare to process and recoup from the factory, and these claims are best left up to the dealer.
Once you’ve found the best possible service centre in your area, you can begin building a relationship with them. Boating is a leisurely pastime that offers many wonderful benefits for family and friends, but without a competent service centre looking after your prized possession, you could well be stranded in deep water. Having an excellent service department with qualified technicians at your disposal will allow you to the peace of mind to take your boat out on the water with supreme confidence.