The 100K Wooden Boat Restoration Project – Can You Avoid The Financial Tsunami?


In January Woody Boater was contacted by a fellow who found a very original, post-war Chris-Craft runabout that he was interested in buying and having professionally restored. The subject boat was your typical unrestored Chris-Craft that was on it’s third or fourth owner, last used in the 1990’s in the north eastern United States and then put into storage awaiting the inevitable restoration which never happened.

The fellow was new to the antique & classic boating hobby, having never owned a wooden boat before. However like many of us, his connection to the old wooden boats came from when he was a young boy growing up with his family, who owned a Chris-Craft runabout. He always remembered the old family boat and was now at a point in his life when he was interested in owning his own classic Chris-Craft runabout.

A full inspection was completed on the boat by a qualified surveyor, and just like the old Century Resorter below, the Chris-Craft runabout that he had found was overdue for a full restoration, including bottom, hullsides, decks, transom, etc.

Although he remained very enthusiastic about his new project and wanted to move forward with the purchase as quickly as possible, he decided to hold off on the final purchase of the Chris-Craft until he could put together some accurate costs for the boats restoration. That’s where things turned ugly.

We communicated by phone and e-mail a few times during the process. Admitting that he didn’t have the knowledge or skills to restore the Chris-Craft himself, he spoke to and visited with a few professional restorers in order to get a better idea of what the restoration would cost. The cost estimates ranged from 40K to over 100K to complete the restoration work. But what bothered him more than anything, was the fact that most of the restorers he spoke to were not prepared to give him a firm price to complete the work, or commit to a specific time frame or schedule in terms of how long the project would take to completion.

Soon after receiving the information, commenting that he was not prepared to expose himself or his family to this level of financial or emotional risk, he decided to not go ahead with the project. I should mention that he was also concerned that if he decided to move forward with the project, based on his market research, once the Chris-Craft restoration was completed, there was a strong chance that the value of the restored boat would be a fraction of the estimated restoration cost – which was difficult for him to accept.

As Woody Boater continues to grow and reach a wider audience, so do the inquiries regarding wooden boat restoration services, restoration shops, suppliers, etc – usually on a weekly basis. We always try to respond to the inquiries on a professional unbiased basis so not to compromise our position in the hobby. But it’s clear that folks around the country are reaching out for information, and in some cases having difficulty finding accurate information on the subject of wooden boat restoration.

So we are reaching out to the community (both owners and restorers) to ask the question, “Was the fellow that was interested in purchasing & restoring the Chris-Craft on the right track, and what should he have done differently in order to reduce his risk, and to secure more accurate cost estimates for the proposed restoration project, which would have given him the confidence he needed to move forward with the project.”

1. Should he have prepared a detailed list of his restoration objectives and criteria for submission to the professional restorers?

2. Should he have requested a detailed list of estimated labor costs for each individual section of the restoration (bottom, hull sides, decks, stain, varnish, etc) for purposes of comparison and final cost evaluation?

3. Should he have requested an accuate breakdown of material costs (including wood, hardware, etc) for purposes of comparison and final cost evaluation?

4. In terms of a complete restoration by a professional restoration company, should he have asked for an accurate cost breakdown for outsource / mechanical work as required (such as engine, transmission, fuel tank, gauges, chrome/plating, trim, steering wheel, wiring, interior / upholstery, etc) for purposes of comparison & final cost evaluation?

5. Should he have requested a detailed time line / completion schedule for each section of work from the restoration company?

6. Should the financial / payment arrangements be agreed to based on the detailed cost estimates in the form of a contract between the owner and restoration company?

7. Should a contingency allowance on a percentage basis be agreed to and included in the contract for unforeseen / additional work?

8. Should the owner request a list of recent client references from the professional restoration company and contact the references?

9. Is there currently a guideline or some type of information available within the hobby which would provide some assistance to a newcomer in terms of how to work through this process? And if not, should some standard guidelines be developed by the ACBS for this purpose?

10. And possibly the most important item of the agreement between the owner and restoration company – Is it necessary to develop a definitive, clear understanding (in writing as an attachment to the contract) to confirm what the owners and restorers expectations are in terms of the overall project to completion?

11. Or is all of this unnecessary or unimportant for the future development of the hobby?

These are simply suggestions and comments that have been brought to our attention for consideration, which we thought should at least be published for discussion purposes.

The last time I communicated with the fellow who was considering the Chris-Craft purchase and restoration project, he asked me “I have talked to a number of people in the hobby, why do these professional restoration projects always seem to go over budget?”

When it comes to a wooden boat restoration, “How do you avoid the financial Tsunami?”

Let us know what you think, good or bad and don’t hold back.


34 replies
  1. Wiley Fisher
    Wiley Fisher says:

    The gentleman in question might be better off shopping for a boat that has already been restored. One that the owner for whatever reason wants to get out of. That way he avoids all the hassle, and in a lot of cases, the financial hit.

  2. Texx
    Texx says:

    Wiley – I agree with you. But often when you are interested in restoring a boat for sentimental reasons, it’s exciting and rewarding to personalize it by restoring it for yourself.

    But as noted, that comes with a big sentimental price tag.

  3. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Imagine all the time it would take to prepare all the paperwork. If he got several estimates a lot of shop time would be wasted. The first quote is usually what can be seen. Once it is opened up and other problems are found the price goes up. The owner may change some items and more time is needed. That’s why they are called “Estimates”

    • mark edmonson
      mark edmonson says:

      I have to agree with Jim, After being in this business for 34 years I have never found a boat that is in perfect shape under her skin. There is always something that is needed attention.

    • Bruce Rudin
      Bruce Rudin says:

      Not sure why a proper estimate is not acceptable business practice. When you build or renovate a home you get multiple bids. Virtually all contracting work is given on a bid proposal. The restorer who spends the time to do this and understand the owners needs has a way higher chance of getting the job. It’s just the way to be professional. My feeling is that throwing out numbers and no proposed schedule is why most shops and yards remain small. This is not the way to inspire confidence.

  4. matt
    matt says:

    It’s a dilema for sure. But one can usually claim that half of all the frames are going to need work. I am no expert in the restoration business. i am an expert in writing checks though. There is nothing like a $125K education on how to do that. And never will again. It was way to painful, and painful for the restorer. Something to consider is the poor guy writing the estimate when in his heart he knows that if he says its 100K you are going to run for the hills. That stress is a reason a lot of guys leave the restoration business. No one from what I can tell is getting rich in that end of the business. These are emotinal purchases.. The problem is the hacks that charge high prices for crap work.

  5. mfine
    mfine says:

    An experienced shop should have a pretty good idea of what the time and materials costs are and what time is required for the various parts of a project. I get the impression that they don’t. People who are good with wood and varnish may not be good with financials and time management. Or communication and customer service.

    As I talk to people about various shops they have worked with or who their customers have worked with, I hear the same phrase over and over. “They do some really great work but…”. The but is not always the same, although it often includes being many months over due, coming in well over quote, or being a pain in the ass to deal with.

    The situation is certainly frustrating.

  6. Allen
    Allen says:

    Great discussion, however, knowing the hobby is dying a slow death due to an aging group of enthusiasts we all have to help these kind of people in their pursuit of a wooden memory. Myself, I found a barn find boat and then joined a local club, developed friendships with members and found several willing to assist with the project. A retired model maker who had just finished his own U-22 offered assistence to replace the bottom. So rollover, removal, frame replacement was done over a period of several weeks, learning as I go…..paying him for his time and buying the materials myself with his assistence cost about $6000. Now its on to the hull……its a learning process we can promote to encourage younger new people into the hobby and the clubs are full of very helpfull and knowledgeable people…..the Florida Chapter even has a workshop club house……if we don’t help new seekers……in 1-15 years the hobby will disappear as we all age. This approach not only teachs appreciation of how these boats were built but saves a lot of money….Just my thoughts and experience…..I figure even with an M engine prof-rebuild…..the expense will be around $15,-20,000.

  7. Frank Miklos
    Frank Miklos says:

    What we do is give a rough estimate on restoration… then we dig into the boat usually a few days of work… Afther this when we can see the extent of the work needed we give a final revised estimate… this is very early in the process… This is for hull work and finish work…

    If chroming is to be done we take the chrome to the chromer and get a price… as well as the upholstery price… to the engine rebuilder if needed… and any other items needed… All prices come early… in the process…

    After this people can pull out if they want… Usually they do not but on ocassion they do…

    We do 1/3 down for hull wood work 1/3 when 1/2 way done and 1/3 at finish of wood work . and the same with finish work…

    I feel that any restorer who can’t give a firm estimate either padds his hours or does not know how to estimate a job… either way I would never take a project to anyone who does the job strictly by the hour… Then if he is having a bad day you pay much more for less work…

    Our estimates are firm after the initial teardown … sometimes we make out some times we loos a little it all works out in the end…

    One thing we tell people is that when the job is done it is done… We give a rough time frame for major restorations but finish date can range due to many outside factors …. Also you can’t work on just one boat at a time and make money… so you go back an fourth on different boats…

    Wish we could do better estimate on actual finish dates but that seems to be impossible…

    • Jeff
      Jeff says:

      I seem to read a lot of posts and comments about restoration and and old wood boats. What I have experienced is a lot of people like to put in their two cents, but have little information to actually help a guy on his project. Sounds to me Frank that you are actually in the boat business. I have had no luck with finding anyone who can answer a few questions on restoring my boat. As soon as someone finds out its a wood “sailboat” they automatically bail on me and say they only deal with motor boats. The boat is still wood and I’m going to finish it the same way you would a mahogany motor boat. Do you think you could answer a few of my questions?
      Thanks, Jeff

  8. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Really good forum going on here…..
    after reading comments:
    Allen says..”…knowing the hobby is dying a slow death due to an aging…. that is surely correct.
    Wiley is dead-on when suggesting the fellow buy one of the restored boats that the owner will get less than half his money back on.
    I say: look at it this way, you could be a CRUISER guy like me…talk about cost runup and no buyers….
    great thread, keep it going, thanks Texx and all…

  9. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I believe that, like any professional service, an experienced restorer should be able to provide a reasonable estimate for almost any job, with some leeway for items that are simply unknowable until the boat is opened up. What reason is there for a guy not being able to do that? An honest restorer should stick with his price, unless there are some very unusual circumstances, and the boat owner must be able to hold this expectation. If he doesn’t, he is signing a blank check.

    My introductory experience into the hobby was near perfect – I did as Texx has suggested and bought a boat in superb condition at a fair price for both parties. The broker I used in fact steered me away from one example of the BB model that I had determined to buy through him, though it needed what I now know to be extensive work. He presented me as an alternative the boat I in fact bought, with a clear explanation as to why I was better to spend 60% more to get it than I was to restore the initial boat. He could have sold me on the restoration job on the first boat as well, but he did the right thing. Had I bought the first BB, my introduction to this hobby would have been vastly different, intensely frustrating and very difficult to comprehend. I believe our intial enthusiasm for the hobby was cemented by the fact we drove off the lot and into the lake, enjoying our boat fully and worry-free within days. We avoided completely the process or restoration, repair and the potential problems attendant to that process.

    Now, after 4 years and buying a bunch more boats, in all kinds of condition, my advice would be DO NOT buy a project boat as your first boat under any circumstance, unless you plan to do a bunch of the work yourself and have some experience. The potential to have a despiriting experience that will jaundice your enjoyment of the boat itself and the other very positive experiences our hobby provides is too great. There are enough great boats out there that are water ready and restored that there is simply no reason to assume the risks the individual in today’s story so clearly perceived and chose to avoid.

    The restoration process can be complicated and difficult for the restorer and owner. But now, I expect a pretty firm estimate before I go forward on a major project, and if there is deviation upwards, I need to understand it thoroughly and well in advance.

    Individuals are ultimately responsible for the choices they make. Through sites like this, local chapters of the ACBS and marque clubs, there are plenty of resouces available that permit a new or potential antique boat owner to make well informed decisions.

  10. Woodenrookie
    Woodenrookie says:

    “He does good work, pause but” I can’t stop laughing. It’s a time & material industry and the “good work” statement is in every conversation at every show and every wood boat discussion.

    • mark edmonson
      mark edmonson says:

      I have another policy when restoring a boat that is the following
      When doing your restoration do you want GOOD, FAST, OR CHEAP, But you can only pick two. So think about that. If you want it Good and Cheap, it won’t be Fast. If you want it Fast and Cheap it won’t be Good, you get the picture

  11. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I think Matt and Texx have started a very good conversation, but one which is too broad for a single day or response. Lots of stuff goes into this – what is the boat made of, is it a user or show, it is improved or modernized or it is original? What does the client want, and does he even know what he wants?

    Allan broadens the point to include the threat to the hobby due to age of participants, and likely cost. Too much to cover – there is a week’s worth of topics here.

    How is this different than the classic car hobby? I hear many stories of guys spending sums vastly greater than the value of their vehicles on restoration, just like us boat guys. This could be a very interesting ongoing forum for all these aspects of the issue.

  12. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    Great topic, but not much in there on the positive side for the restorer. I don’t think people realize how hard it is in the restoration business. There are very little to no mark-up left on product any more along with all the other rising cost of just going to get the supplies needed for the job. I won’t go into the wages for being a craftsman with 20+ years of experiences. Yet no one complains when some kid changes there oil at your local quick change place. They along with a lot of others charge you $60 to $80 an hour and you don’t even know it.

    What is dying at a greater rate is the craftsman, most people can’t afford to get the work done anymore so they decide to do it themselves. The ones they call to figure it out is us, we answer the phone almost day after day and give them the answers or we type it into the forum. They say nothing in the world is free, well it’s free to them just not us. Some of us have spent half of our lives figuring how to build it or finish it just right, just the way the factory did it so we can better the hobby and create a living for ourselves and our families.

    Don’t get me wrong though I love what I do and the people I meet along the way. That is the benefit to it. But I can tell you the phone is not ringing off the hook these days I am certainly not going to the back with a shoe box of hundreds and as for my kids although straight A students will not be going to Harvard.

    • Jeff
      Jeff says:

      Wow! After reading your post I realized, I am that guy your referring to and I do understand 100% what you mean. I’m just refinishing my 16 foot sailboat so I doubt I’m your target customer anyways, but I do get your point! Thanks for all you do. People are always attracted to the ones they can benefit most from. So guys who have such a professional trade like yourself are already going to have to constantly run into that type of customer… I hope business is going well for you, good luck.

  13. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    This is an interesting subject. I think the classic boating industry has grown into a competative business that serves the hobbiests fairly, for the most part. Could shops be more accurate with their estimates? It’s doubtful. It’s not that it’s a moving target, it’s the unknowns that are impossible to put figures on. They do estimate the average cost for a new 5200 bottom on a specific boat model based on experience but the quote would still be contingent upon what gets uncovered when the old bottom comes off. The same must apply to any phase of restoration by any of the professional shops.

    There are far too many variables that could exist to expect any shop to build a solid not to exceed cost for a turnkey restoration without that number being a very safe one.

    There are many ways to enjoy this hobby. One end of the spectrum involves people that can buy an old plywood boat and restore it themselves (or with friends) and enjoy the process and the boat when it’s finished. The other end includes people that can work with a restoration shop to convert a rare antique barn find into masterpiece and enjoy that process and the resulting boat.

    One group may spent from 1 to 10 thousand on the hobby while the other spends from 11 to well over 100 thousand in the same period for their choice of boats. Most of us are caught up somewhere in the middle of these examples.

    To expect a shop to restore a not-so-rare post war boat for less than the cost to restore a rare pre-war one because it’s worth less when it’s done very simply aint gona happen.

    There’s no single bottom line to the subject. We can’t expect shops to quote firm prices for work unseen or to do the work cheaper to match the current market value.

  14. chad
    chad says:

    To avoid a T$unami, you have to know your boat inside and out. Research, research, and more research. That includes it’s history and the restoration techniques it will take to get her back on the water.

    The restoration process is an experience that should be enjoyed.

    Seek restorers that are honest, experienced, and skilled. Like choosing a friend, they should be someone you could share a beer with and openly discuss the surprises and costs associated. Nobody likes making a check out to an a_ _hole, regardless of how great their work may be.

    Of course, it helps to have to patience, realistic expectations, and a sense of humor.

  15. Peterborough canada
    Peterborough canada says:

    Done 2 new boats and found an amazing wood worker with 20 yrs exp who quoted me a price on Friday on agreed work and then asked for 20 % more the following Friday

    left his shop mid project because of costs and the cases of beer in the shop ect

    2nd builder was on track with $ but the engine he sold me that he swore up and down was just rebuilt had no oil pressure and had to be rebuilt the day the boat was complete…..did that add to the excitement getting that bill

    no warranty, i’ll look after it as I sold you junk

    both of these fine boat builders are looking to complete your dream and come with references and want your money

    if your project does not make fiscal sense then you don’t do the boat and that is another one of the reasons this hobby is dying

    boating mentality of break out another thousand is why companies like hyundia are leading Honda and jobs are leaving USA…reliable affordable and fun

  16. Texx
    Texx says:

    Nice work everyone, the comments are encouraging. This is the kind of feedback we were hoping to see on this somewhat delicate subject, a subject so delicate that it’s not commonly discussed in public forums or in hobby publications. It’s a subject that for some reason seems to only be discussed in dark alley’s, drinking establishments, or more private settings, which does little to help educate the newcomer to the hobby.

    When discussing the subject of wooden boat restoration, how many times have we heard someone say (or heard ourselves say) “If I only knew then what I know now, what a difference it would have made.” I guess that applies to life in general. But in my experience, it definitely applies to the subject of wooden boat restoration.

    But to give something back to this great hobby, it would sure be nice if we could share that experience with newcomers to the hobby, with the hope that they too could learn from our positive and not so positive experiences… and possibly avoid some of the pitfalls along the way.

    Over years as we travel to the various boat shows and events around the country, I am constantly amazed by the quality and workmanship that I see – usually a result of a high quality professional restoration. Mike Green makes a valid point, we all need to appreciate the value and expertise that a knowledgeable, skilled restorer provides and they should be compensated accordingly. The hobby can’t afford to loose these true craftsman.

    Last summer I had an opportunity to see the work Mike Green was doing on two antique 28′ Chris-Crafts in Oregon. Words can not describe the level of craftsmanship he brought to those beautiful boats.

    The challenge though, is finding a method to identify who the true dedicated craftsman are, and what steps need to be taken along the way to ensure that your wooden boat restoration experience is as successful and memorable as possible.

    Right now, the hobby polices itself which may not necessarily be positive for the future growth of the hobby.

  17. chad
    chad says:

    Why does everyone think the hobby is dying? I don’t see it.

    Lower show attendance and fewer boats in the shop can be attributed to our stellar economic climate.

    I think it’s evolving.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Chad – I think that the next generation of antique & classic boat enthusiast’s are now jumping on board, which represents the future growth of the hobby.

      That’s why steps may need to be taken so they are encouarged to get more involved in the hobby and not leave them with the impression that it’s too expensive or financially dangerous to get more involved.

      • pick373
        pick373 says:

        Three years ago purchased my first CC a 53 Special Sportsman with a KBL I was 35 at the time. I’m hooked and dont expect to ever make a dime, and will try not to lose to many though.
        Were out there is all Im saying, and its not a hobby/passion for the faint of heart or wallet.

  18. Ken Miller
    Ken Miller says:

    I was amazed at how many young men were at the recent ACBS symposium held at the Antique Boat Center in Cinncinnati. It made me think maybe it appeals to more of the next generation(s) than we previously realized. Some of these guys either restored boats for other people or were restoring their own boats.

  19. mfine
    mfine says:

    I agree that the hobby is not going to die because of the buyers aging. I am still in my 30’s and I think a lot of people in my generation appreciate the beauty of a wood boat but most are not in a position to afford one yet. What I am seeing more and more of is people in my generation buying classic fiberglass boats super cheap and fixing them up. These guys are building an interest in boating and restoration and also developing skills. I would be surprised if many of them don’t expand into the woodies they see at shows when they are in the financial position to do so.

  20. brian
    brian says:

    Paul is correct with his comment about the classic car arena being similar. General rule – you buy the best you can afford, and if you want a 100 percent perfect car, you will pay much more than the auto will ever be worth. If you do not want or cannot afford to write a big check to have your new barn find restored, then you have no business taking on such a project as you will be very disappointed.

    The same is true for boats. If you find one in a barn, it will cost you many times over to restore than to just buy another copy that has already been restored. Sensible folks on both sides of the isle understand this.

    There will always be people with more money than God who will want a particular boat restored regardless of cost. If you are a commoner, you truly only have a few choices – buy a boat already restored, even for a bit more than what you want to spend, deal with the fact that your boat that you buy will never be perfect, or keep your checkbook in your pocket and head home.

    I have both a classic sports car and a 1930 boat – neither will win any awards and they will never be beauty queens, BUT, my family and I enjoy them to the fullest and thus will have memories to spare in the future. I do budget for repairs to ensure that they are as safe as possible while not having enough to make them “too beautiful to use”. Memories are worth far more than a perfect boat with a shelf of trophies.

    This gentleman in the original article was either a fool or a cheap bugger who wanted to pay little for a perfect boat. Very unrealistic thinking to be sure. Sadly, there are still many of these folks hanging around at shows and events.

  21. Brian K
    Brian K says:

    This is a very good topic. The wooden boat restorer always wants to give the customer what they want. Problems arise with expectations on both sides. The customer is almost always concerned with the bottom line but still wants the highest quality. Any final number from an estimate seems to be written in stone in a customers mind as to what it will cost. The restorer has to navigate a delicate course of giving the customer what he wants in terms of quality, price and punctuality. The final bill on a project will almost always be in excess of expectations both from unexpected findings (like unseen rot etc…) and from add-ons by the customer. given all of this, In the end the customer will usually only remember the initial figure in the estimate and be disappointed or unhappy. As a restorer you have to walk the line of getting the business and keeping the customer happy. The best medicine for this is communication. Customers need to be informed of what they are getting for their money. A bottom replacement from one restorer may cost more but what is included may be a savings over another restorer. Communication, information and a good relationship are what is needed. A level of comfort with what the project involves is the ultimate goal of making any restoration worth doing.

  22. Gary
    Gary says:

    Fascinating topic. My take is that it all hinges on something the world surely seems to be lacking-honesty. For the novice who insists on having a boat restored, it is incumbent upon you to do your homework and find quality, reputable people to do the job. Reputations are very hard to earn, but can be lost in a heartbeat. Ask enough questions, and you should be able to determine who the good restorers are.
    Now, all people are entitled to make a living, including restoration shops. I think it is very important for the purchaser and restorer to full understand each other and set forth each person’s goals and expectations. There is no room in any profession today for telling people what they want to hear, just to get the job.
    There are plenty of restorers out there that do this work as much for the passion of what they do, as being able to make a living. One of them is a person who has already commented here-Mike Green. I knew nothing about owning a wooden boat other than I wanted one. I did a lot of research into boats and restorers and settled on Mike. I was very honest with him, and set forth the parameters (financial, personal and time expectations) that I was willing to deal with. He did exactly the same for me. It was because of these efforts on both of our parts that I was able to procure the boat of my dreams, and have it transformed into a multiple award winner by Mike. Not only do I value his talents, but most importantly, his friendship.
    The best advice I can give from my experience is this. Do your homework. Do not let emotion overcome objectivity. Fully set forth your expectations from the restorer, and have him fully explain his. Set down parameters under which you are willing to perform and have him do the same. If both parties are honest, the relationship between owner and restorer will be benficial for both, result in both parties being happy, and if you’re really lucky, have a great friendship develop.

  23. Jan Hadley - Carolina Mahogany Classics
    Jan Hadley - Carolina Mahogany Classics says:

    I agree that an experienced restorer should be able to ballpark the cost of a restoration based upon the degree of originality and/or customization desired by the owner. That is to say he should be able to estimate within about $5,000. It has been my experience that a lot of the tsunami can be predicted, if not avoided, by constant communication. By constant, I mean weekly (or more frequent) email updates from the restorer as to progress and cost, complete with photos. Of course, the customer needs to be made aware of just how much time can be required to do seemingly small tasks. I have had customers “help” me with restoring a small area and they always leave with a new appreciation for the time required. Trust repaid with honesty is still the only way to do business.

    Having restored several antique automobiles in the past, I would offer some guidelines that a prospective antique boat buyer might want to consider. Given almost any make of car, a green 4-door actually costs more to restore than a resale-red convertible. The difference in value when complete can be as much as 10:1 in favor of the convertible. I would advise a buyer to choose carefully and base his selection on the value (actual selling prices) of restored examples of the boat he is considering. In short, buy the 1940’s barrelback needing work over the 1960’s ski boat. Cost is justified proportionately to the anticipated final value. “Net” cost is the real bottom line.

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      I understand that there can be situations where more is needed than first anticipated. With a boat though, much of this can be discussed and documented. As an example, a new bottom. If it is a production run boat such as a U-22, then the restorer may have done dozens of them over the years. So how many hours did it take to do the bottom, frames, keep, chine, and transom? If they can give a price for each component, and then tell you that it may require all or a few frames done at X per frame, then one can get an idea of what it MAY cost. So the estimate can be per item, and the total can be based on worst case. In other words, the restorer may have found that 50% of frames need replacing, and he can see the chines need to be done, the an estimate could be $X.
      This would go a LONG way in helping customers happy and removing the risk that keeps them from pulling the trigger on a project.

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