A good boat mechanic needs to know the ins and outs of your vessel; however, it can be tricky finding the best person for the job. The last thing that you would want is for the mechanic to not fix your boat properly and then you would be spending more money on repairs. So if you’re looking for a mechanic to work on a new or used boat, Boatline has provided a few tips on how to find a boat mechanic you can trust.
Check your marine dealer
If you bought your boat from a local marine dealership, the best place to start your search might be at the dealership. You have already established a foundation of trust with them since you purchased your vessel there. Additionally, these mechanics should be familiar with your boat model if your boat was featured in their fleet. Check if they offer a mobile service that’ll have one of the dealership mechanics service your boat at your marina. However, dealership mechanics don’t have to be your only option. If you’re unsure whether you should hand your boat over to them, continue your search for a different mechanic for you.
Ask for recommendations
If you have friends or family members in the boating community, they can be a great outlet for helping you find reliable boat mechanics. After all, if you trust them as a friend or close family member, you will most likely trust their judgment in a trustworthy boat mechanic. Another helpful forum is through boating groups on social media platforms such as Facebook. Here, your friends and acquaintances can shed light on their experiences and provide insight on who to trust.
Check online reviews
A good place to narrow your search for a boat mechanic is through online review forums. Boating review sites can provide honest assessments of servicing and mechanics. In addition, it may be helpful to reach out to a few reviewers to receive their input on their previous experience. Weigh the pros and cons to determine if the mechanics are a good fit for you. Be careful when reading reviews, however. Some reviews may not be credible and deciphering which reviews are legitimate and which are not can be tricky. Check out Tips for Using Online Reviews When Buying a Boat as a guide to help you understand how to interpret reviews.
If possible, check whether there are boat mechanics in your area that specialize in the boat you have. Some mechanics are comfortable on smaller boats, while others enjoy fixing yachts. Make sure the mechanic you seek out is familiar with your exact boat model, which will also provide some relief for you. Furthermore, certain marine manufacturers offer “master technician” certification training programs. These rigorous programs are designed to elevate the technician to a boat component specialization, such as the engine or navigation electronics. During your search for a trustworthy mechanic, inquire whether the shop has master technicians.
In many cases, a boat mechanic with more experience is usually a better option than one that has less. Though experience may not be the determining factor in your search, it is a helpful one as the more experience the technician has, the quicker it could be for them to fix your problem. In turn, this will save you time, potentially cost less money, and provide a preventative measure from further damage. If an inexperienced boat mechanic does not know your boat backwards and forwards, you run the risk of your boat getting more damaged in the long run.
Once you have narrowed your search to a handful of potential boat mechanics, inquire about their rates. Some boat mechanics may be more expensive due to various factors, including experience or season. Weigh your options carefully – if a mechanic is more expensive, but has the most experience, this should still be a consideration. Likewise, if a mechanic is very cheap compared to the rest, this could be a red flag. Rates tend to be lower during the off-season, so consider scheduling a maintenance appointment during a season you are not using your boat. Overall, do not let price be the determining factor of who you can trust; they must be a good fit for you.
Finding the exact boat mechanic to trust can be difficult. As technicians vary from numerous factors, including experience and specialization, there may not always be just one perfect fit for you. Weigh your options, ask questions, and find someone who also respects you as a boat owner. If you have any reservations, do not be afraid to seek out a new boat mechanic. And if you are ready to purchase a new or used boat, check out the listings on Boatline.com for current offerings.