Does this repaired teak look like $345 or $5,200?
Oct 19, 2020 > Carpentry
Was Hinckley crazy to ask $5,200 for a $345 teak repair?
When I was stuck, the Hinckley Company couldn’t be bothered. But Daytona Marine Group was happy to help.
4 agree
0 disagree
Service providerDaytona Marine Group South Daytona, FL USA
REVIEWED BY Alan Jacobson
Reviewer did not receive an incentive to post this review.
27 reviews, 1 follower
Beneteau 40CC Imagine
In Season 7 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine of “Seinfeld”) blames Larry David for damaging her antique coffee table. Then she demands $500 to repair it, but Larry refuses to pay. Instead, he goes on a mission to identify the culprit. Watch him interrogate his friends to find the perpetrator, asking each of them the same question: “Do you respect wood?”
Like Larry, I respect wood – specifically the teak on my boat. During a midnight watch on an ocean passage, I noticed that a piece of my teak toe rail had gone missing. As improbable as this seems, I was to blame.
A piece of my teak toerail exited from my boat.
You see, my Beneteau has a design flaw: The factory did not allow for expansion between the cleats and the toe rail, and over time, the teak and the cleats expand at different rates causing the teak toe rail to split. I had tried to repair the crack with West Systems Six10 epoxy adhesive. But this only put more stress on the split in the teak, and eventually about a foot of teak exited the boat.
Klaus Brinck Hansen posted this image on Facebook that shows the same issue on his boat – expansion of the cleat cracks the teak toe rail.
At the time of this discovery, I was underway and enroute to Daytona Beach. So there little I could do until I anchored days later – just off the ICW in the Halifax River. But how do you find someone to fix your toe rail when you are anchored more than a thousand miles from anyone you know who works on boats? ◉ Tap to add a comment or post a review First I called Daytona Marina & Boat Works. I got a call back from Bruce. He said they had no marine carpenters on staff, so he referred me to Victor Karnavas of Daytona Marine Group. So I left a Victor a voicemail and hoped for the best. But it was already Friday afternoon. What were the chances that I would get call back with any encouraging news? Better than you think. Victor called back around 3 pm. He said the repair would cost “a few hundred bucks, we have the materials.” We agreed that the repair would go much faster if I could remove the cleat. I told him I would try to remove the cleat over the weekend and call him Monday morning. I could tell that Victor didn't have much faith in my ability to remove the cleat. But he agreed to talk again Monday.
I chisled away part of the toe rail before attempted to remove the cleat. Note the safety line tied to the cleat, as my biggest fear was consigning the cleat to the briny deep after removing the nuts that secured it from below.
On Saturday I felt like Borat: GREAT SUCCESS! I managed to free the cleat in about an hour. I merely needed to remove two interior panels in a galley cabinet to access the ends of the bolts that secured the cleat to the toe rail from inside the boat. The nuts were easily removed with a ratchet and a deep socket set.
I removed the cleat without losing it or my dignity.
So I called Victor first thing Monday morning. I sensed he was surprised that I had removed the cleat because he didn't seem prepared to deal with my repair that day. But he rewarded my effort by saying that Vance could meet me at Halifax Harbor Marina in a few hours. So I headed to the marina. About an hour later, Vance showed up dockside with a block of teak. I stayed up on deck for several hours as Vance shaped, sculpted and sanded a block of wood to match the complex curves of my toe rail. It was a pleasure to watch a master carpenter in the execution of his craft. To put it mildly, Vance respects wood. As he worked, we got to talking about working on boats. I told him my biggest fear for this repair was dropping the cleat overboard. In the photo, above, you can see the safety line I tied around the cleat before attempting to remove it. Vance laughed. He said he had divers retrieve three of his phones that had gone overboard. Not for the phones – the saltwater would render them useless – but for the data on his SIM card. Then he let me in on secret I am happy to share with you: Vance said the key to holding on to things (and not dropping them) is to concentrate on the thing you are holding. “If you let your mind wander,” said Vance, “you’ll release your grip and that’s when things fall.” Try it yourself. Vance’s advice has never failed me. A few hours later, Vance had made my toe rail good as new.
My repaired toe rail glows in the late afternoon sunlight, as if God had done the work himself.
The next day, Victor showed up to collect a check for $345, which I was quite happy to pay. Here's why: Before I found Victor and Vance, I emailed the only person I knew in Florida who works on boats. Chuck Ruble had been the boatyard project manager at Deltaville Boatyard when my boat was there for a refit. Eventually he took a job with Hinckley in Stuart, Florida. So I emailed Chuck and got the following response: “Thank you for reaching out to Hinckley regarding your repairs. I have read your email and wanted to address and answer your questions and concerns as soon as possible. From the information and picture you provided, the estimated cost for the repair will be in the neighborhood of $4,500. Due to the difficulty that could occur with the cleat and working in the water over the rail, this could be a daunting and time consuming task. In addition, our available dockage is minimal to none this time of year so that could be an issue, the cost to haul would add another $700, but that would include a pressure wash. Unfortunately, the yard policy is no live aboard’s, so you would have to work something out. We would need the boat here for up to a week. Please feel free to contact me directly with any further questions.” Regards, Donald Plant Service Manager, The Hinckley Company 4550 S.E. Boatyard Drive | Stuart, FL 34997 I know that The Hinckley Company respects wood because so many Hinckleys are made of wood. But based on their estimate, they didn't respect me.
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