Phuket Refit 2002
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[Interior] [Exterior] [Safety and Security] [Contractors] [Lessons Learned]

Highlights

We returned to Phuket after Judi's major surgery planning to install the rigging we carried back from West Marine, and hanging out at anchor for the next 6 months. HA!!  As we shared drinks and dinners with friends who had been here a while we kept hearing glowing reports "...they were really careful...", "...our new cushions look beautiful...", "...the cabinets make our boat look like new..." and more along that vein.  Before we knew it, we were thinking seriously about:

  • Painting the hull (...after all, the last time was about 20 years ago...)

  • Painting the cockpit and coach-roof  (...as long as we are at it...)

  • Building new cabinets (...the home-made cabinets work OK, but they really look cluttered...)

And so, we started getting quotes, made some commitments, hauled the boat and  got into it!

Interior

We had up to 6 carpenters and painters working at one time on the interior as new cabinets were built to match mock-ups we designed.  The pilot berth was enclosed for storage, and the companionway now has cabinets to stow many of the items that did not have a good home.  All interior surfaces were sanded or stripped, and varnished, dull wood was revitalized or replaced with easy-care Formica.  All bronze was polished and by the time it was finished it looked like we had a new yacht.  For more information and pictures check out the Interior Refit page.

Interior new.jpg (23212 bytes)

Exterior

After 2 months, when the grinders were finally replaced by the hand-sanders we were really glad to be able to hear again. Pro and his team removed all of our exterior paint, primed, and painted to a glossy new finish that makes the yacht look like new.  A new, high toe-rail will feel more secure in heavy weather and our new propane locker is much more attractive.  Se our Exterior Refit page for more info and pix.

LP paint toerail and bimini after.jpg (18790 bytes)

Safety and Security

Our original mission, to replace the main mast rigging was completed in short order, but then we took advantage of good quality stainless steel welding work by having our bow pulpit extended, lifeline gates strengthened, and all stanchion bases thru-bolted.  The staysail deck fitting leaked, so we redesigned it and built a new one - hopefully more water-tight than the original.  See our Safety and Security Refit page for the real scoop.

Our Experience with Contractors

We used several of the contractors that work at Phuket Boat Lagoon.  These are our experiences, and may differ from those of others:

General: 

  • Honesty - We found all contractors to be honest, stood by their word, and generally did what they promised.  If the outcome was unsatisfactory, most were willing to rework until we were happy.  But if we gave vague instructions, we did not expect re-work at their expense.

Contractors: (see the Phuket Yacht Services page for contact details)

  • Phuket Inter Wood Work - Also known as Nai and Toe, were exceptionally easy to deal with, they did all of our wood work, used good materials, re-worked without complaint if we were unhappy.  Not all workers have the same skill level, and some required more careful quality checking than others. We found we had to check on their work every few hours because we found it almost impossible to specify every detail of how we wanted things to look.

  • Pro Yachting - Also known as Jill and Pro, did all of our painting, and required minimal supervision.  Pro checks the work of all of his crews daily, particularly those painting hulls, and he had more knowledge of his craft that we did.  When they painted our coachroof and cockpit we had a few problems, the most serious was overspray that penetrated small holes in the boat and left a mist on our new varnish.  

  • Precision Shipwright Services - A general purpose repair facility run by Scott, an Australian with extensive experience in Thailand.  He installed the mechanical fittings on our new rigging but is capable of much more.  He will manage the re-fit of a yacht, and make it look like new, and charge prices comparable to Australia.  He has an excellent reputation, and we were happy with the work he did for us.

  • Praditsilp Phuket - Also known as Jin and Pong, did all of our upholstery.  They are masters at their trade, and make cushions and upholstery that fit like gloves.  

  • Canvas Creations - Muzza made a new bimini for us, and the workmanship was excellent.  He completes projects on time, and prices are reasonable, but not cheap. 

  • Nop Sales & Service - Stainless steel fabrication and repair, did most of our stainless welding.  A very professional outfit, quality of work is high and prices are somewhat higher than competitors, but we think well worth the extra.

  • Phuketmarine Electronics - An electronics repair outfit run by Chanwit, he seems to be capable of fixing almost anything. He fixed a radar for us, and numerous items for other cruisers.

Lessons learned

  • Specificity - Be specific at all times, make sure instructions are written down.  Give people drawings or sketches, we found using Microsoft Visio was a help in communication, as well as maintaining a record of what we had requested.  Put dates on drawings, and change the date every time you make a change - don't assume that the worker on the job has the latest drawing unless you see it in his hand.

  • Quotes - Get written quotes for all work, including changes.  Once work has been completed at your instructions, you are in a poor bargaining position.

  • Bundle your work - Try to get quotes and commitments for all of your work at the outset, we found we got better prices for large collections of work than we did for little projects one at a time.

  • Consider mock-ups - We bought sheets of cheap corrugated plastic, and used it to make mock-ups to see how our work would look when finished.  It helped a lot when we talked with the contractors for them to be able to see what they were expected to produce.  We took pictures, and attached them to the drawing packages. 

 
 

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