Author Topic: How to ruin a boat.  (Read 1568 times)

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Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 159
How to ruin a boat.
« on: February 16, 2017, 03:09 PM »
About 2 weeks ago we finished another boat interior and usually we varnish it ourselves. The reason for this is simple, you get the best quality when a shipwright varnishes his/her own work. However, due to the amount of work we have the owner of the company decided to hire a house painter to varnish this one. We all (the shipwrights) warned him not to do this because painting a house is completely different from varnishing a yacht interior. We told him there's an 80% change it has to be re-done and we were proven correctly. The painter did a truly hideous job and now everything has to be sanded back to bare wood and re-varnished. When we warned the owner of the company not to take this route we also told him we're not going to re-do the entire interior and we're sticking to our guns. You want to dismiss our warning, that's fine. Just don't expect us to correct your mistake.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3263
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 03:17 PM »
Is the young lady apprentice still there?
I ain't no mathematician but i have some negative and positive screwdrivers
I ain't no pilot but i have some planes.
I ain't no sucker but i have a vacuum.
And I has me some saws, and some sandpapers.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 547
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 03:18 PM »
I agree with your stance in principle, but as an employee, I'm not sure that's the best attitude.

If it's a client/customer then , ok.  I'd still offer to fix it for 3 to 4x our normal rate WHEN I have an opening.  Which could be next week or next quarter.  Then it's his decision that the economics aren't worth it not a refusal on your part to not help.

Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 159
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 04:07 PM »
Is the young lady apprentice still there?
Yes, she is and she's doing very well. I can see her develop into a very good shipwright.

I agree with your stance in principle, but as an employee, I'm not sure that's the best attitude.
He has 4 highly skilled shipwrights with each a minimum of 20 years of experience working for him and he dismissed everything we said. We're not doing it no matter what he says. If he doesn't like it he can fire us and close the company.

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3379
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 06:00 PM »
You want to dismiss our warning, that's fine. Just don't expect us to correct your mistake.

Why did the owner decide to hire this painter? Were there other more qualified painters available? is he the owner under pressure to complete the project at a lower price or much faster than originally agreed to?
Is
It sounds like the relationship between the staff and the owner has gotten very acrimonious.
This will not end well for either party. As the skilled labour, he needs you and presumably you need him, could you not negotiate a reasonable solution such as finding a qualified person to execute the work that you don't have time to do etc.
Tim

Offline AtomicRyan

  • Magazine/Blog Author
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  • Posts: 12
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 07:25 PM »
The owner is the king of his domain. And it is HIS domain, not yours. In my mind, the instant an employee gives me an ultimatum is the instant that employee is handed walking papers.

Now, that doesn't mean he's in the right and you are in the wrong. It just means that rather than threatening the owner, you need to start looking for another job... and take control of your own domain.

Offline bobfog

  • Posts: 747
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 07:55 PM »
All hail the shipwrights!

Shipwrights
God
Jesus
Mother Teresa

Has the female apprentice got to the point she's running rings round us all yet? Pray tell...

Offline Wooden Skye

  • Posts: 997
  • My little girl was called home 12-28-15
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 09:19 PM »
I hope you put it to the owner a little more diplomatically.  If the owner has so much work that he has to get someone else to finish, maybe he should hire someone specific to the task, because this could be a costly mistake.
Bryan

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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 739
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 10:03 PM »
It may not have worked out, but he's not necessarily wrong either.  How much does it cost to employ a shipwright with 20 years of experience?  How much to employ a house painter?  I suspect there is room in the middle to find a better painter.  These are the things business owners have to work out.
-Raj

Offline Hurricane Whisperer

  • Fifty
  • Posts: 90
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 10:13 PM »
Dear Nose,

I'm cutting you off. 

Sincerely,

Face

Offline Hurricane Whisperer

  • Fifty
  • Posts: 90
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 10:14 PM »
It may not have worked out, but he's not necessarily wrong either.  How much does it cost to employ a shipwright with 20 years of experience?  How much to employ a house painter?  I suspect there is room in the middle to find a better painter.  These are the things business owners have to work out.

Exactly.

Offline johnbro

  • Posts: 120
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2017, 12:17 AM »
About 2 weeks ago we finished another boat interior and usually we varnish it ourselves. The reason for this is simple, you get the best quality when a shipwright varnishes his/her own work.

That's an interesting conjecture--what's it based on? I know in the large commercial boat yard I used to work with they had specialists who just did paint and varnish--these were multi-million dollar yachts so the level of finish was very high quality. But the other tradespeople (cabinet makers, composite folks, electricians, etc--all shipwrights of a fashion) didn't do varnish.

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2397
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2017, 12:27 AM »
The owner is the king of his domain. And it is HIS domain, not yours. In my mind, the instant an employee gives me an ultimatum is the instant that employee is handed walking papers.

Now, that doesn't mean he's in the right and you are in the wrong. It just means that rather than threatening the owner, you need to start looking for another job... and take control of your own domain.

It may not have worked out, but he's not necessarily wrong either.  How much does it cost to employ a shipwright with 20 years of experience?  How much to employ a house painter?  I suspect there is room in the middle to find a better painter.  These are the things business owners have to work out.

Agree with both these sentiments. In the past I have been the 'boss', now I am an employee. It's great when employees make suggestions for improvement or solving issues, rather than becoming the problem themselves.

Is this your reaction to a single 'bad' day, or is it the culmination of longer brewing issues? If there is no respect either way, something has to give. Him or you! If you cannot discuss and work this through then take control of your destany before, as a worst case,  he either sacks you or the business closes.

Is he cutting corners here due to business growth or decline? If decline you should also consider your options for employment elsewhere. If growth, can not you and your fellow workers negotiate with him the employment of a person specialising in marine varnishing? That would leave you and your fellow shiprights the time to concentrate on; well on shiprighting.   [smile]

What ever you decide, best wishes for the future.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 12:46 AM by Untidy Shop »
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Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 317
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2017, 10:03 AM »
About 2 weeks ago we finished another boat interior and usually we varnish it ourselves. The reason for this is simple, you get the best quality when a shipwright varnishes his/her own work. However, due to the amount of work we have the owner of the company decided to hire a house painter to varnish this one. We all (the shipwrights) warned him not to do this because painting a house is completely different from varnishing a yacht interior. We told him there's an 80% change it has to be re-done and we were proven correctly. The painter did a truly hideous job and now everything has to be sanded back to bare wood and re-varnished. When we warned the owner of the company not to take this route we also told him we're not going to re-do the entire interior and we're sticking to our guns. You want to dismiss our warning, that's fine. Just don't expect us to correct your mistake.

I hope that you were more diplomatic, but...

I also understand that the owner showed disrespect for your expertise and judgment, and now expects you to do the work to cover his assets.  If it looks like it's going to become a pattern, I'd look for a new owner.  If he is properly contrite and willing to change, I'd cut him some slack.  Sometimes you have to train the bosses, and a trainable boss should not be abandoned lightly.

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1679
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 12:25 PM »
As a side note, can you post pictures so we can see the varnish work?  Just curious what went wrong. Also, I learn from my mistakes and from others making mistakes.
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 159
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2017, 01:53 PM »
There was an interesting development today. The shipyard is actually owned by a couple and his wife does all the accounting stuff. She paid us a visit this morning and told us she also warned him not to hire a house painter to do the work of a specialised yacht painter. She sided with us because she has the numbers on what this mistake is going to cost the company. Basically, he thought he was being smart by hiring a cheap house painter to varnish a yacht interior. He didn't tell his wife and made the decision by himself. She fully understands why we're p1ssed off. We put a lot of effort into this interior because the client only accepts absolute perfection. She asked us if we're willing to re-varnish the interior as a favour to her and she's going to throw in a small bonus. She also told us she's been in contact with a yacht painter who's going to do all the varnishing starting with the next interior. We all know this yacht painter because the yacht building business is a very small world in the north of The Netherlands and we know he delivers top quality.

This will not end well for either party. As the skilled labour, he needs you and presumably you need him
We don't need him. There's a high shortage of skilled shipwrights because this is not the kind of work most kids want to do nowadays. They want some cushy office job with a useless job title instead of working with their hands and creating something from scratch. I only have to make a few calls and I can start somewhere else within 3 days.

The owner is the king of his domain. And it is HIS domain, not yours. In my mind, the instant an employee gives me an ultimatum is the instant that employee is handed walking papers.
It's a simple case of supply and demand. The demand for skilled shipwrights is much higher than the supply. Good luck finding 4 shipwrights with our experience who are so tuned into each other. We're the reason the yard is doing so well and making a nice profit.

I hope you put it to the owner a little more diplomatically.

We're not very diplomatic [tongue]

That's an interesting conjecture--what's it based on?
A shipwright who received a traditional training is also trained in varnishing. Over here it's more or less expected a shipwright delivers the same quality as a specialised yacht painter. There is one difference though. You can't catch everything the first time (maybe you missed some dried glue in a dark corner or some pencil lines) and you can correct the small things you missed as you come across them during varnishing. A yacht painter will just go over it because he/she doesn't look at an interior the same way as we do.

Is this your reaction to a single 'bad' day, or is it the culmination of longer brewing issues?

Is he cutting corners here due to business growth or decline?
He's made some dumb decisions before that ended up costing the company a lot of money. This was the last straw for us and also for his wife. He promised us that from now on he will listen to us. Time will tell if he's serious.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 04:07 PM by Lemwise »

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1765
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2017, 03:55 PM »
Well it's one thing to p1ss you guys off and another to p1ss off the wife.  [doh]
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1679
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2017, 03:56 PM »
Well it's one thing to p1ss you guys off and another to p1ss off the wife.  [doh]
  Um... Wisely said... [wink]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 159
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2017, 04:53 PM »
And let me tell you she's not happy. She also wants to take a more active role in the company now to avoid something like this happening again. Given her insistence on budget control, a well structured company and planning ahead this is a good thing. All in all I think this fiasco is going to lead to some positive changes.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 547
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2017, 04:58 PM »
Are you sure who is really the boss in this operation ?

I'm thinking there is about to be a change in upper management .   ;D


oh, and I'd hold out for more than a "small" bonus.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1271
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2017, 05:14 PM »
"do you want to talk to the BOSS or the person in charge???"  [wink] 
 right up there with..."It's not that I don't hear you: I'm ignoring you". 
"our hourly rate is $45.00, $55.00 if you watch, and $75.00 if you tried to fix it yourself before bringing it here"

all signs hanging above our keys & machines in our retail shop
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 05:19 PM by rst »

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3379
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2017, 06:20 PM »
She asked us if we're willing to re-varnish the interior as a favour to her and she's going to throw in a small bonus. She also told us she's been in contact with a yacht painter who's going to do all the varnishing starting with the next interior. We all know this yacht painter because the yacht building business is a very small world in the north of The Netherlands and we know he delivers top quality.

Good to hear.

There's a high shortage of skilled shipwrights because this is not the kind of work most kids want to do nowadays. They want some cushy office job with a useless job title instead of working with their hands and creating something from scratch.

Yes, and parents who discourage their kids doing skilled labor. It's pathetic really, the kids can't pay their university loans off because they can't find a job in marketing or media etc., but don't want to work as electricians, carpenters or cabinetmakers etc.
Tim

Offline Lemwise

  • Posts: 159
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2017, 06:45 PM »
Are you sure who is really the boss in this operation ?

I'm thinking there is about to be a change in upper management .   ;D


oh, and I'd hold out for more than a "small" bonus.
Even though she mostly works from home (she comes to the company once a week) we always suspected she's the one behind a lot of decisions. From now on she's going to come in at least 3 days a week so she can keep a close eye on things. And I will say this about her, she commands respect... and she's made it abundantly clear she has no time for BS'ing around.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3263
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2017, 06:50 PM »
It may loose something in the translation, but she may "give him a shellacking "?
I ain't no mathematician but i have some negative and positive screwdrivers
I ain't no pilot but i have some planes.
I ain't no sucker but i have a vacuum.
And I has me some saws, and some sandpapers.

Offline DB10

  • Posts: 805
Re: How to ruin a boat.
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2017, 07:10 PM »
She asked us if we're willing to re-varnish the interior as a favour to her and she's going to throw in a small bonus. She also told us she's been in contact with a yacht painter who's going to do all the varnishing starting with the next interior. We all know this yacht painter because the yacht building business is a very small world in the north of The Netherlands and we know he delivers top quality.

Good to hear.

There's a high shortage of skilled shipwrights because this is not the kind of work most kids want to do nowadays. They want some cushy office job with a useless job title instead of working with their hands and creating something from scratch.

Yes, and parents who discourage their kids doing skilled labor. It's pathetic really, the kids can't pay their university loans off because they can't find a job in marketing or media etc., but don't want to work as electricians, carpenters or cabinetmakers etc.
Tim

Very true but Unfortunately self entitlement and getting your hands dirty don't work we'll together.