Sanibel Boat Repair – The Hey Mon Gets a New Sole July 26 2013, 0 Comments

Think getting a boat repaired on Sanibel is a piece of caviar to get done? Well, it’s a lot more challenging than one would think. And this extends to the Ft. Myers area and most of South Florida for that matter.

When I purchased the 25’ Hey Mon from a former Guide out of the Sanibel Marina a couple of years back, I knew the boat (a center console Parker) would serve me well for the future. At the same time, there were a few things I figured had to be done to bring her back to pristine condition. A new sole (floor) was at the top of the list. And the biggest reason this had to be done was because the repair guy, who supposedly put in a top-flight new floor about 5 years ago when the guide had it, really botched the job up badly. The dude had no business doing the floor since it was way out of his capability league.

Like so many other tasks for boats and otherwise, there are obviously a mess of people doing work that is subpar and they could give two hoots about the job they do. And, they take the money and run. I was vowed and determined not to let that happen putting in a new floor on the Hey Mon.

Here's a lesson I’ve learned on the big water highway of life.  Family members, friends and trusted business associates can be the best source for providing recommendations of pros that can do the job right for any task at hand.

To find out who could do the floor on the Hey Mon at the most reasonable price, I talked to a lot of people. There were those who just wanted to throw some flooring over the flooring. Others threw out exorbitant prices without even looking at the boat. (Amazing). I finally talked to one of my friends on Sanibel, Christy, who was the answer to my boat prayers. We’ll get back to him in a minute.

I figured if the floor in the Hey Mon had major soft spots, it was likely there were stringers that were questionable as well. And those stringers are critical; not only for supporting the floor, but also for ensuring the entire structural integrity of the hull. They pretty much hold the entire boat together. Because of all of this, I needed a person who I trusted to give it to me straight about what was really up and the extent of repairs that would be needed.

Back to Christy. I met this 78 years young gent on Sanibel about five years ago. Having worked and managed two of the premiere bait and tackle shops on the island for years, he’s well connected. Further, one of his passions is restoring older boats. So, when I approached Christy for some input, he was Johnny-on-the-spot to provide recommendations on who could do the floor on the Parker and also the critical rigging after it was put in. Turns out, the guy who’s doing the project is Christy himself with assistance from a few of his marine repair buddies. And he respects my pocket book. I know he’s not going to take me down the river on inflated prices.  

Trust and mutual respect for one another are two cornerstones for forming true and lasting friendships. In addition to having great relationships in the North Country and beyond, I have been lucky to meet some truly outstanding people in the Sanibel/Captiva area who I’m proud to call my friends.

If you are a boat owner, there are options galore as to where you can get your boat repaired. Unfortunately, unless you know who you’re dealing with, there’s the unfortunate chance that the repair won’t get done right and you’ll also be looking down the bore of the proverbial money pit.

When facing a pesky boat repair or anything else for that matter, talk to those you know and trust. Nine times out of ten they’ll steer you in the right direction. In the end you’ll have the comfort of knowing the job will get done right and at a fair price. That’s peace of mind we all can live with.

And if you still end up in a quandary about a boat issue, give us a shout.  Regardless of where your ark is located, there's a good chance we can put our heads together to get you on the right course.

In a few short weeks the Hey Mon will have a new "sole" and be ready for relaunch in mid-September. She’ll be beautiful and strong and will probably outlast me. I can’t wait to see her --- and look forward to all of you enjoying her as well.