Greek/Croatian boatyards, do they charge a commision for work done by others

seanfoster

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Hi All,

Not sure if this is the right section to post in, but I am looking at buying a yacht either in Croatia or Greece this year and have heard rumours of unexpected costs suddenly charged by marinas or boatyards when you get a third party to do work.

I was thinking of flying in a UK based surveyor and possibly rigger (both I trust!).
Is it likely they would be charged a commission?

Just trying to put a rumour to rest.

Any views would be appreciated!
 

Mistroma

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I know that some in Greece charge for contractors. I seem to remember that Cleopatra near Preveza charge something like 25% but not certain of that figure. I did run into one couple who'd wasted time coming over early to sort stuff out on a friend's boat. They told me Cleopatra wouldn't allow them to stay on the boat in the yard and they had to rent a place. OK for owners to stay on the boat in the yard, for a small daily charge. I think they might have gone to the office to sort out work being done by the yard and said they'd monitor it. Big mistake.

I expect it varies a lot from place to place.
 

RichardS

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I've never heard of such charges in Croatia but I've never actually used an external contractor.

I don't think it would apply to a surveyor anyway as boatyards do not normally have their own surveyor. I was not charged at my marina when I used a surveyor.

Richard
 

seanfoster

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Thanks for the replies, I've heard that Croatian boat yards won't even let owners work on their own boats due to 'health and safety' reasons, although I get the impression it's more to do with extracting every last penny out of their customers!
 

AndrewB

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In my experience, many marinas and yards worldwide charge a commission if you bring in an outside contractor, if indeed they will allow it at all. This is hardly surprising as part of the way marinas make money is either to provide services themselves in-house, or to licence 'approved' local contractors who are of course charged for this privilege. But as well, they are quite reasonably concerned that such contractors are properly insured.

Some yards will not allow owners to do work they deem hazardous (which in practice means to other yachts, rather than to the owners themselves). This typically includes exterior painting/antifouling, metal work such as welding/grinding, and rigging. It is always worth checking the yard's policy in advance if you are wanting to do this while laid up.

My only experience of this in Greece is at

(i) Gouvia Marina, Corfu, where they proposed a 25% surcharge on an outside contractor I used last year (as both their licensed contractors were too busy to do this in my time frame). However in the event they did not bother to actually collect this fee.

(ii) Cleopatra Yard, Preveza, three years ago, where they refused permission for me to bring in someone in, after the yard's own service department (which is good, by the way) quoted an unacceptable price for some work. In the end I was obliged to do it myself.

I get more upset by yards that insist you go through them or their approved contractors even though they do not have competence, and then they add a premium for simply placing this work with outsiders who you haven't approved and probably don't even get to meet. Worst country for this is New Zealand, where at both Whangarai and Auckland I realised from talking around that yards were charging massive commission, perhaps doubling the price, for just acting as agents, and you had little come-back if the work was done to a poor standard. The trick in such places is to worm out of them who will actually do the work - they'll be reluctant to tell you - and then deal with those people direct. This way I had my anchor and chain regalvanised for a third the price that I was quoted at Westhaven Marina - the place was just a couple of miles away.
 
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Irish Rover

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Ionion Marine, Preveza quoted me an unacceptably high rate for anti-fouling last year and then refused permission for an outside painter to do the work.
 

grumpygit

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In my experience, the larger and can we say the more professional yards, here there will be a greater the chance of getting charged a commission on work from outside contractors.
Where in Greece, good english speaking surveyors in certain areas are thin on the ground and their normally can be booked up weeks ahead, especially in the Preveza area.
I don't think there would be a problem flying in a surveyor and I doubt a yard would charge any commission on this. There are also good riggers in Greece that charge reasonable rates.
In Greece I feel your biggest and most frustrating problem will be any dealings with the lethargic and ineffectual brokers.
 
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seanfoster

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Once again, thank you everyone for your replies.

I think it's confirmed what I thought, and shouldn't be a problem if I go for my 'own' surveyor.
I agree with the comment about brokers, I have been dealing with one in Croatia who is a franchisee of one quite well known around these parts and I have been quite amazed at the basic lack of knowledge this particular chap has about boats, and also is only arranging an appointment for me and the owner! Not exactly sure what he's doing for his commission.

On another note how have people generally looked for an overseas english speaking surveyor? I'm reluctant to go with brokers recommendations for conflict of interest. When are the busy periods for boat purchases in general (if there is one?)
 

alexsailor

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Thanks for the replies, I've heard that Croatian boat yards won't even let owners work on their own boats due to 'health and safety' reasons, although I get the impression it's more to do with extracting every last penny out of their customers!

I keep the boat in Croatia (Punat) and they charge 100eur/day/outside contractor/person
Do not know about other marinas.
I think it all depends if you are present and working on a boat by yourself.
Then I do not see a problem if "a friend" helps you....

There were regulations that owners are not allowed to use scaffold because a man fell off and broke a leg..
But now they allow it. So things keep changing.

When selling/buying a boat in Croatia it is not that common to hire a surveyor.
Brokerage companies usually just show you a boat and place a meeting with the owner.
 

Crisby

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Hi, a slight thread hijack if that’s ok, does anybody know the situation on Sicily with regard to working on our own boat, our standing rigging quote was extortionate and I have a feeling the yard (Trapani) is not keen on us doing our own work.

It may be mentioned in the contract but it’s in Italian!

Chris
 

grumpygit

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Hi, a slight thread hijack if that’s ok, does anybody know the situation on Sicily with regard to working on our own boat, our standing rigging quote was extortionate and I have a feeling the yard (Trapani) is not keen on us doing our own work.

It may be mentioned in the contract but it’s in Italian!

Chris[/QUOTE

Think outside the Italian rip off box! Your heading for Greece.
 

Baggywrinkle

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I have my boat in Marina Veruda in Pula, Croatia - 9 years and counting, I have an annual in-water berth.

Done plenty of work myself, both in the water and on the hard, including anti-fouling, have also brought friends with me to work on the boat. We stay on the boat even if it is on the hard. I do all maintenance myself, but it gets hauled out once a year for paint and anodes (which I no longer do, just too much like hard work). Never had a problem or been charged.

To find the guy who does the anti-fouling, I just wandered round the hard and found soeone who seemed to be doing a good job on someone elses boat. We negoatiated a deal and there was no premium for working in the marina, unless it is off-book or hidden. The price seemed reasonable. The other way to find good people is to ask round the charter companies, they have given me loads of tips where to get parts, some have even donated bits or actually done some work for me, even let me use their workshop.

I think the trick is to look for a marina with a high level of DIY going on on older boats, they seem to be more tolerant than marinas catering solely for charter fleets and loaded private owners - a quick look round the marina to determine the size and age of the boats is worthwhile - older, smaller boats are usually run on a shoestring so the marinas are more likely to be accomodating IMO. Go where the locals go.

In Veruda I have seen boats on the hard with the owners living out of camper-vans while working on the boats.
 

ITH

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Sean,
We are currently selling our Nauticat 35 (Carpe Diem) in Greece and are using a UK broker - Williams & Smithells - which has an office in Lefkas, and an associate in Leros visiting the yacht and acting as the broker. The boat is in the Agmar Yard (now called Moor & Dock) which is in Partheni, Leros.

We have wintered her there for a number of years and whilst we do not carry out our own antifouling, we know of several yachts in the yard which do, and have not encountered any problems. Ditto with working internally on engines and electrics - but can't say about rigging.

Agmar also owns Lakki Marina in Leros, which is only a couple of hours sail from Partheni. The marina has a very relaxed approach to people working on their own boats afloat there.

Details re our boat are on the williamsandsmithers.com website, and on Google : https://photos.app.goo.gl/9mB3iU45Q4a5MEDh9
 
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