Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Close, but no cigar, not even a boat

This weekend was whats known in the UK as a Bank or public holiday. Why banks need extra holidays gawd knows. They dont open until mid morning, they hardly bust a gut all day and then shut up early and no longer work Saturdays either.
Easy life eh? Maybe thats why they have failed to process my final payment transaction to the yard and so thats where the boat stayed all weekend.

Badger has gone on hols for a week and the crane firm who were tipped for standby cover are almost twice the price so Ive taken the decision to leave it until Badger gets back next Monday.

Oh well, patience is a virtue and I should be sainted for mine. At last the weather has resumed normal summer service and it made the job of pulling the boat out of the fabrication shed much more pleasant.
A rough guess puts the weight at about 11,000 KG or 11 tons and as can be seen in some pix, it rolls rather easily on gas cylinders.
Some sarcastic comments were made about the strength of my deck cleats but they held fast when the wire rope was attached to them and took the traction weight perfectly.

There was about 4 inches to spare between the door posts as the boat was dragged out and the gunwhales will need repainting to cover where they got scraped

I spent the afternoon vacuuming out the hull ready for a coat of bitumin paint tomorrow.
Im beginning to wonder if its going to be large enough for my needs as it suddenly looks rather small out in the yard. The workshop certainly looks larger now.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The long and winding road..........

.......That leads somewhere at last.

All these months, all the grief, lies, subdifuge and time wasted, and now I know what it was all about. Martin has had a lot of personal 'stuff' to deal with. He also claims that my boat has been under priced by £8k, and I have seen his reluctance to build it. On Tuesday afternoon he commented that the boat has turned out a lot better than he thought it would. When I pressed him for an explaination, he said he had doubts about being able to get the hull shape right and the overall look. That probably hasnt helped him feel enthusiastic about building it.

This week has seen a mad rush, thanks to Clive, the new guy at the yard, who had his own business building and fitting out boats but sold out due to the hardships in the industry at the moment.
His experience and muscle has helped push the job forward and so on Monday this week it was decided that completion is possible by tomorrow, Friday. The cabin sides went up in a day, then the ribs to support the roof and finally the roof sheets themselves.
The only fly in the ointment is Badger, the crane driver who will load and unload. He is off on 10 days break this weekend and if the boat isnt ready to load by 0700 Saturday, it will be stuck in the yard for another 10 days.

So, Ive had to make the final ballance payment this week to ensure funds are cleared. The final invoice included some extras such as the engine cradle, but it came to £500 more than it should have. When I pointed this out to Martin, my suspicions were confirmed.
He tried to say that the original quoted price was too low and the real price is almost a £1000 more. He started punching out numbers on his calculator to justify his claim but I told him he was talking crap and moving the posts. We had an argument during which he said the boat was mis priced by £8000 and that he would never have agreed to build it for the original quoted price. I had all my receipts and paperwork to hand and showed him.

I laughed at that contradictory statment. Why give me a written quote if it was knowingly the wrong price? Which ever way he tried, I had the answers and stood my ground. He finally decided to accept I am correct but said he wouldnt be paying for the craneage and haulage.

I was only too happy to agree with him as that was always to be my cost anyway, and I have already arranged both and agreed a price with Badger for the crane and A&P for the truck.

It aint over till the fat Lady sings, but im fingers crossed that Saturday will be my last involvment with M&D Boatbuilders. What more can I say?. Ive debated how much I should say about the whole fiasco here in a public blog as I have a few people advising me of legal pitfalls. Everything Ive documented is true, has been said, has happened.
Im finally looking forward to achieving my original intention to enjoy building this project.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Giving up the will to live

Martin W has been back from holls this week. I was promised I would have the boat before he returned but, alas no. This week has seen about 1 days work done. Aaron started the week off with a dash to hospital after putting down a 9'' sander and reaching over the still spinning disc and taking a slice out of his wrist. Hes in plaster and off for the next few weeks.

Another long suffering customer announced he was calling this week to see his boat, so Martin W has spent a few days cutting and welding plate to resemble the rudiments to keep the customer happy. Needless to say, he was umimpressed. Poor chap must have been expecting to see a finished hull but only saw 12' of plate on the floor with yellow marker paint detailing the various stations.

Martin the boss finally decided to confide in me on Thursday. I thought the subject of money might be the catalyst and so it came to pass. Yes, he wants some more from me and that conversation brought an admission that hes been moody and miserable, but not just with me, its everybody. Hes been under a lot of pressure apparantly. Getting hassle from all sides, both at work and at home.
It didnt stop him taking off to Paris for 4 days last week with the family, leaving Martin W with no wages, no steel to build my deck and 9 empty argon bottles in the yard and only 1 half bottle attached to a welder. How do you expect people to work with no materials? A time and a place Martin, to work and to play. Prioritise wisely.

On a better note, Martin has now admitted I was right 4 months ago when I told him to employ more people. 2 new guys are starting on Monday. The business is 5 boats behind this year and thats crippled the company for cash flow. Customers have been let down, at least 2 I know of have cancelled orders and the rest have been pissed off.

At least the hull is complete now and the bow is ready for the forward bulkhead.
The space under the forward deck will hold the water tanks. I need a larger tank than Martin was going to provide. He wants an extra £350 to double up the capacity so ive decided to supply my own tanks but I need a little more space, so the deck has been raised a few inches to accomodate this. The gas locker is almost done and just needs a watertight lid.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Still no change

I took the pix so we may as well see them. Martin has been on his own today, still doing a bit but its hard when the phone keeps ringing.
The shelf in the pointy end is the floor of the forward locker which will be both gas locker and anchor locker.

No change

Its a new month, August. In one of my more peskymistic moments I thought I was joking when I said I wouldnt get this boat untill August, and now here we are.
How time flies eh, in fact time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a bananna, or so they say.

I took these pics last Thursday, and hoped to see more to photo on Friday, but the yard closed for an irregular day off. Sigh.