Half Empty or Half Full?
you ever thought about taking your boat to another lake to explore some
"uncharted territory"? Well you are in luck! With the rapidly
changing lake levels Lake Travis' "coastline" is new and different
every weekend. As a dedicated Lake Travis boater myself, I "feel your
pain" but I have found a "silver lining" in this situation.
After getting frustrated trying to get my boat into some of my usual spots,
I went on a search. What I found was that there are all sorts of new coves
and there are really some great new anchorages out there. Two weekends ago
we had a perfect spot in a cove with one other large boat. It was a very
windy day but we had a sheltered, calm area with perfect (25') anchoring
depth. I am actually looking forward to getting back out there and finding
some more. Of course a good depth finder is a must when exploring new
stomping grounds. A chartplotter with bottom graphing capabilities is my
tool of choice. If you are considering and upgrade, this is the season to do
it. A good gps will also help you find the center of any given cove and many
of them actually give you a 3D visual of the bottom contour. Another trick
that I have used over the years is to "read the shoreline". This
may sound a bit obvious but it you look at the visible-above the water
shoreline and imagine it continuing at it's current angle blew the water
surface it can usually give you a pretty good indication of what lies below.
It you see cliffs, chances are you have deep water even close to shore. If
you see low flat plains and sandy areas that look like they were once under
water, stay clear or proceed slowly with much caution. There are some random
islands out there that some local knowlege may still be the best warning.
Here are some tips of some places to pay some extra attention to. The main
basin is the place that will fool you. The largest expanse of water on the
lake is actually where most of the hidden/underwater islands are.
I would pay extra attention when boating in
these areas, Windy Point, stay very clear of the point and there is a bit of
a narrow opening to get though going to the dam. The left hand corner past
Sandy Creek heading towards Jonestown The right hand side of the entrance to
Hurst Harbor, Arkansas Bend, swing wide to the left going around it and
enter the coves slow and straight on. Also, there is a shallow point that
juts out from the Austin Yacht Club on the right. It goes almost to the
center of the channel so stay left when headed towards the dam.
Some new places to check out. The coves going
into Cypress Creek are becoming very nice anchorages. There are three nice
coves in Arkansas bend right before you make the corner. Right across the
lake from the entrance to Rough Hollow there is a big sandy
"beach" that appears and just to the right of it is a nice
anchoring spot. Anchoring on the south side of the Sometimes Islands is also
very nice but approach them slowly and cautiously.
It's still all good out there, just different.
My boat draws 5ft plus so I have to really be on the lookout but I am still
all about boating and exploring the "new Lake Travis" !
Ever heard the old expression "Jack
of all trades, Master of none" ?
There is a lot of wisdom
in that phrase. What made me think of this is an oddball outdrive problem
that one of our techs just encountered on a customers boat. Even though this
is an unusual problem that is very hard to diagnose, we have seen it before
and even know all the tricks to getting it fixed quickly and so it lasts. There
is a reason why we know so much about this.
At Eriksen Marine we
turn away a lot of work. This sometimes upsets people. We don' t do
outboards, we don't do jet ski's, we don't do sailboats, we don't do boats
older than 1986, we don't do jet boats, etc,
etc. Anything that is
outside of what we specialize in gets sent
down the road. Many other yards will take in anything that comes in the
The problem with that is
that those yards are often working on things they know little or nothing
about. This often means that the customer ends up paying for the
"learning curve". Something
as simple as screwing in the wrong spark plugs for a tune up can cause a
complete engine meltdown. When that happens you have two possibilities.
1. The yard will tell
you that "the engine is bad" and you end up paying for something
that they broke, or
2. They "fess-up" to the mistake and say they will rebuild it for
you at no charge. Now you have the guys who have already proven they don't know
the finer points of your engine- rebuilding
it! Will it ever be
right? Neither one of these is a happy
Factories also make
mistakes. When they do, they send out service bulletins that tell their
dealers what the cause of the problem is and what the correction for it is.
Sometimes they will even cover the cost for the fix after the boat is out of
warranty. If your repair shop is not a dealer for that brand, they will have
no way of knowing about these things. Then the "guessing" begins.
Remember that "learning curve" and who pays for it? You do.
We had another one just
today. A customers boat would not restart out on the lake on hot days.
Several of us remembered that his model engine was eligible for a factory
recall that fixes a "vapor locking" issue.
We checked the serial numbers online with the factory (since we are an
authorized dealer) and sure enough, that is what it needs. Now imagine the
freelance guy or "my buddy the car mechanic" trying to fix
this........... He will change
parts on that motor until he is blue in the face and it will still do the
same thing. At this point you have also paid for lots of perfectly good
parts to be changed. If he doesn't know about the recall, he can be the best
mechanic in the world and it still wont get fixed. ever......When you work
on the same things over and over again patterns emerge.
Once you see enough of
these you can do what we call a "desktop diagnosis". This is an
almost clairvoyant ability to tell you over the phone what the problem is
before even seeing the boat. When the boat comes in,
"bingo", just what we thought. We even have pet names for
certain jobs. We call a bellows and shift cable job a "Combo platter
#4". We know exactly what goes in there and even have most of the part
numbers memorized. We also have pre-made estimates for common repair jobs.
Fast moving commonly used parts are in stock and sitting on the shelf
so repairs can be done right away. Specialization and years of experience
make this possible.
I decided early on to
look at what is most common on Lake Travis and focus just on fixing only
those types of boats as efficiently as possible. This is a win-win situation
for both us and the customer. Even
so, you can still run into problems that are new and have to be figured out
on the fly. Even in those cases the extra experience on that model helps
eliminate most false diagnoses before we search for the real problem.
For example- Noises that are normal aren't
considered problems that lead to "chasing a ghost". (again at your
expense) Just knowing the characteristics of each engine gives us a huge
The medical profession
does the same thing, podiatrists, gynecologists, gastroenterologists etc. In
the Aircraft world, you have Airframe guys, Power plant guys, and Avionics
people. Builders use a variety of subcontractors, Electricians, Plumbers,
Cabinet makers etc. Imagine if the same
crew of guys had to build the entire house.... That
would be a disaster! If you have a ski
boat, houseboat, or cruiser with inboards or stern drives we are your
Specialists. In fact if you are on Lake Travis we are likely to have worked
on your boat for its previous owner(s) and have history on it. That kind of
knowledge is hard to replace and should be a comfort to you when you trust
us to do your maintenance and repair work. This has been our philosophy from
the first day we opened eleven years ago. One trade, but we master it as
well as we possibly can.
We thank you for your
The Shamrock went on its first test run with the new engine yesterday. It
ran great and made really good speed but the exhaust system was not up to
the flow of the new engine and it blew out. So we upgraded it with some
stuff we had around the shop. It's a 'Hot Rod" now... It has dual group
27 batteries, a PSS shaft seal and three bilge pumps. I plan to also add
solar chargers to the T-top (one for each battery- the bilge pumps are also
separately wired to each battery). With such redundancy, hopefully it won't
try to sink every time we have one of those famous Texas turd floaters. It
looks very cool and it sound like a boat should. Definitely "Eriksen
images for larger view
am sure most of you have seen that low flying white helicopter that swoops
down low and chases boats around the lake from time to time. Well, it is not
a madman it is the BOATPIX.COM guys! You have heard me before talking about
how nice it is to have a picture of your boat up in your office so you can
"enjoy" it even while you are at work. Well, these guys take that
to a whole new level. Here is how it works. If the BOATPIX.COM guys see you
out there on the lake looking "photogenic" (don't forget to
smile.) They swoop down and take some high resolution digital pictures of
your boat from low altitude. Usually they will wave at you to let you know
that they "got you". The cool thing is that they can get right
down over you even while you are running at full speed. That makes for a
picture that could go on the cover of a magazine! So if they get you, how do
you get the pictures? Here is how it works. Just go to their website "boatpix.com"
(there is a direct link at the bottom of the
eriksenmarine.com website also), and tell them what kind of boat you were
in, what your location was, and the date and time. They will ask you for a
credit card number. When they find your pictures, they will make large super
high quality prints and mail them to you. There is no charge unless you
decide to keep them. If you don't like them just send them back. A price
sheet comes with the package. If you only want some of them, just return the
unwanted pictures and you are only charged for the ones you keep. You can
also buy them as digital files. I can tell you, I just got four of my boat
and the quality is unbelievable. I had to have them! If you see that white
chopper that says "boatpix.com" on the tail, make yourself seen.
It is the coolest thing ever!
Warranties with a catch
of the main reasons people buy a new boat is so that any problems that it
may have will be covered by its "warranty".
We are all familiar with a new car that is
under warranty and any problems that it may have will be quickly fixed by
the nearest dealer. There is usually a dealer within just a few miles of
wherever you are and oftentimes they even have a loaner car program. Once
again the automotive industry has set the bar very high and the marine
industry is several years behind.
One thing that most people do not realize is
that boats and their engines actually have separate warranties. For example,
a Cobalt boat can only have warranty work done by the Cobalt dealer, but its
Volvo engine can be repaired under warranty by any Volvo dealer. Eriksen
marine is an authorized warranty station for both Mercury and Volvo.
Warranty repairs to those engines can be done right here by us, but if a
seat breaks or a cabinet door fails to close, that must be fixed by the
dealer for that brand of boat. Now here is the sticky part. As the owner of
the boat, you are responsible for transportation of the boat to the dealer
for repair. If you did not buy a trailer or you have a larger boat this
becomes problematic. Some dealers will come out to the lake to make small
repairs at not charge to keep their CSI (customer satisfaction index) rating
up but they are not reimbursed by the manufacturer for doing so. Boat
builders make carrying the line/brand contingent on a high CSI, but they
often do not pay the dealer to do the things neccessary to take proper care
of the customer. Some dealers are better at this than others. Choosing your
dealer can be just as important as choosing your boat.
If you bought a new boat from a company that
has no local dealer, your warranty is almost worthless. Sometimes an out of
town dealer will ask us to do their warranty work for them. This is
difficult to do. We have no factory support, no dealer agreement. Estimates
and approvals have to go through multiple channels which adds time to the
repair. Parts have to make multiple stops which makes them take longer and
nobody really knows if anyone is going to get paid for the repair so there
are issues about releasing the boat etc. I am about to the point where I
just don’t want to do that kind of work anymore. Warranty work should
really only be done when there is a dealer agreement in place to back it up.
The generator companies are also some of the worst. We have sold brand new
generators and then had to wait months to get reimbursed for warranty work
done on those same generators. We take care of it right away so the customer
doesn’t have to wait but there is a limit to how many times you can do
that before you just stop selling those generators.
Then we have "extended warranties".
These are really nothing more than a supplemental insurance policy on your
engine. If you read the policy on one of those plans you will find that that
there are hundreds of "exclusions". These are items that are not
covered. These companies know what the high failure rate items are and
"lo and behold", they are "excluded". The aftermarket
warranties are the worst about this. Many boat builder-extended warranties
are simply aftermarket warranties with the builder’s name at the top. We
have actually had good results with the Volvo and Mercruiser warranties.
They are basically a continuation of the original warranty that came with
the engine when it was new. Warranty claims can be filed online and there is
no waiting/arguing process that delays repair work. Also, a Mercury or Volvo
dealer can release the boat to the customer without having to worry about
getting stiffed on the bill.
If your extended warranty is
"aftermarket" we require that the customer pay for the repair when
they take possession of the boat and the warranty company reimburses the
customer. These aftermarket warranties are often thrown in as closing tools
by new boat dealers. They have a high retail price but actually cost the
dealer very little. If there is a $2,000.00 gap in the negotiations of a
boat deal the dealer can throw in a "$2,000.00 warranty" that
really only cost them a couple hundred dollars. Then when the boat breaks
and the warranty doesn’t cover it the repair shop gets to deal with the
In conclusion, our recommendation is to by a
boat that has a reputable, local dealer and stick to extended warranties
that are provided directly by the engine manufacturer.
the boats on Lake Travis keep getting bigger and bigger we have to
continuously upgrade our equipment to be able to handle them safely and
Last year we added a second, larger Travelift to be able to lift and
unload the 40 and 50 ft cruisers that seem to be the rage here lately. That
machine has been in use almost every day since we got it. Many days we have
both Travelifts going on the same day.
Now we are doing the same thing with our big boat haul trailer and truck
Most of you are familiar with our "platoon" of white painted
Military trucks that are pulling boats up and down the ramp.
The smallest one is actually an "Airport Tug" This all wheel
drive, all wheel steering truck was originally built to move bombers around
a military airport. If you engage the four wheel steering it will
The next one up is a 2.5 Ton Military 6X6 also called a "Deuce and a
half". The interesting thing about this truck is that it’s 6cylinder,
turbocharged engine is "Multi-fuel" It will run on Diesel,
Gasoline, Heating oil, Kerosene, Vodka, just about anything. This is very
similar to the trucks you see carrying troops in most war movies and M.A.S.H.
The third one is our 5 Ton Military 6X6. This big boy has just been
unstoppable. I have yet to find anything that it won’t pull. It’s 6
cylinder Cummins has a valve cover big enough to walk on.
With the challenge of dropping lake levels and a non-useable boat ramp in
front of us, I felt that it is time for the ultimate
"go-anywhere", "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead",
haul out truck. We are probably going to be doing our haul outs straight off
of the ever receding shoreline. We need something that simply will not get
stuck. Ever……… Right now, as I am writing this, our truck supplier is
re-furbishing a 10 TON Military 6X6 for us! This mother of all military
trucks should be here and in service in a couple of weeks. When the Army
needs to deliver an M1 tank, this is the truck they use to haul it there.
Imagine, this truck has double the capacity of our biggest one. When this
bad boy comes on line, I won’t care where the shoreline is. We will just
drive out there to it! Keep an eye on the parking lot and you will know it
when that thing arrives. It will be hard to miss.
Also we have just added five more big boat haul trailers to the fleet.
The biggest one should be able to comfortably handle large diesel powerboats
in the 50 plus foot range. We are busy re-bunking and re-painting those
trailers now. More haul out trailers allows us to have more large boats in
the yard at a time. This translates into faster turn around times for the
customer as more jobs can be done simultaneously. All year round we have a
waiting list of boats wanting to come out of the water. With more big
trailers available, the wait will be much shorter as we should almost always
have a suitable trailer ready to go.
Right now we have fourteen trailers (eight of them are large eighteen
wheeler style, fifth wheel type), four haul out trucks, and two Travelifts.
For a small independent shop, that is a serious investment in gearing up to
accommodate your boat repair needs as quickly and safely as possible. We
appreciate being your #1 choice for servicing your boat or yacht. This new
batch of equipment should give you one more reason to choose us.
Thanks and have a great summer!
GET STRANDED ON THE LAKE? There are two types of boaters. Boaters who
already have been stranded on the lake and boaters who are going to be
stranded on the lake.
We are just at the beginning of the season
and we have already had three boats stuck out on the lake with overheated
engines. Those of you who already know us, know that our mantra is
"maintenance, maintenance, maintenance". Those who do it are less
likely to be tying that rope to the front of their boat. But even then
things can still happen. Eriksen Marine is not in the business of towing
boats. During the summer we have a little joke that every Saturday at 4:30
in the afternoon we get "the call". "I am in Devil’s cove
and my battery is dead" or "I am in front of Lakeway and my boat
just overheated" In the past we have referred those folks to Lake Tow
(694-6945) who have always done a great job bringing folks in who have
broken down. This would be a handy number to have in your cell phone.
Now you also have another option. Coastal
boaters are probably already familiar with Sea Tow. This is a boat towing
service that works by the hour $150.00+ or by the membership. The membership
is an outstanding deal. You pay a one time fee and it covers you all year
Under the ownership of Paul Arcediano, Sea
Tow Central Texas, which opened March 1st, operates out of
Emerald Point Marina in Austin, TX.
With over 20 years experience in the marine
assistance industry, Sea Tow provides members with numerous benefits that
offer "Peace of Mind on the Water"™. Priced at $149 per year,
the Gold Card membership covers every vessel registered to, or owned by, the
member and includes unlimited FREE service area towing (to home port,
transient dock, or dock to dock), covered ungroundings, fuel drops, jump
starts and prop disentanglements. The Sea Tow Lake Card, designed
specifically for those who boat on a single, specific body of water, is $119
Since we have seen the need for s service
like this we are selling the memberships in our parts department. You can
buy one over the phone and we can leave the kit in your boat if you like.
Or, you can also buy one online from the link at the bottom of the home page
on our website www.eriksenmarine.com
We buy insurance for peace of mind. We
maintain our boats for peace of mind. For less than $150.00 + tax we feel
that the Sea Tow membership completes the package nicely.
A picture is worth a thousand………………….
Have you ever had one of
those days where everything just seems to go wrong no matter what you do? I
had one of those today.
If you are reading this you are probably a boat owner. If you are a boat
owner, you also probably work pretty hard for the things you own. The boat
is one of those things that are supposed to make all that hard work worth
it. It’s a place to go relax and have some fun. If you are that busy you
don’t always get out to the boat as often as you like. I had a customer
today who hasn’t been on his boat in four months and his boat slip is in
his back yard!
I have a suggestion for you.
When you bought your boat the dealer gave you brochures that showed all
these spectacular, scenic pictures of people out on the water just having
the time of their lives in the "Lake Craft 272" or what ever the
model is. Looking at those pictures makes you want to be that person. The
quickest way to do that is to buy a "Lake Craft 272". So you do…..
The amazing thing is that the dealer did not sell you a bill of goods. Odds
are that you have lived out those some of those scenes that the brochure
promised. I am sure you can remember some of those. Here is my suggestion
(finally!). The next time you are out on your boat, the sun is shining, the
water is clear, and you are having a good time, have someone take a picture
of your boat out on the water (from a distance so you get the whole boat).
If you have friends with boats, take pictures of each other as you zoom down
the lake. (Let a passenger do the picture taking of course). Very few people
actually know what their boat looks like out on the water. You see it in the
slip, or you are in it. When you see that picture of your boat out on lake
with you in it, all of a sudden you realize that you are now that person in
that glossy brochure. Wow, that is cool. Now here is the best part. Take
that picture, blow it up, frame it, and hang it on the wall in your office.
The next time you having "one of those days" turn around and take
a look at it. "Hmmmm……… Nice…… Saturday is just a couple days
away." Also, I will bet that is sparks some interesting conversations
with your customers, clients, and co-workers. Everyone has a boat
Or if it is a digital photo, use it as your desktop on your computer
I actually had a customer e-mail me a picture of me in my boat as I was
idling around a marina. When I got that picture it kind of put a spark in my
day. "Man that boat looks great" I look at it all the time. Today
I looked at it a lot, and you know what? Things aren’t so bad after all.
Perked me right up and I didn’t even have to burn any of that precious
Nope, I am not talking about that new boat
sales frenzy that is in the auditorium every January. I am talking about
movies with boats! Nothing gets the old boat fever boiling in the middle of
winter like a great movie with lots of "boat action". Here are
some of my favorites.
- 1. My latest favorite is "IN TO THE
BLUE". Two words. Jessica. Alba. Wow…….. Oh yea, and there is
lots of boating in a really nice 50’ express cruiser in the Caymans. I
had to get out on the water right away after watching this one. Now if I
could only get my girlfriend to wear that same blue bikini Jessica wore………..
- "THE BOATNIKS" This is an old
Disney film from "Herbie and the Love Bug" era. It is a comedy
that takes place in Marina Del Ray, the largest marina in the world. As
old and corny as this movie is, it is still funny and I guarantee you
will recognize some of your dock neighbors in it.
- "DOVE" This is the true story of
a 16yr old kid from California (Robin Lee Graham) who embarked to sail
around the world alone in a 24ft sailboat! This was in the late
seventies with no GPS or even Loran. The movie re-creates his journey
with some amazing sailing and storm scenes. I saw this movie when I was
fifteen years old and still remember it vividly. West Marine used to
sell the movie in their stores. Maybe they still do.
- "WATERWORLD" Critics shredded
this movie but I thought it was great. Like "MAD MAX" on the
water. My favorite part was the "smokers" a gang of gas
guzzling bandits that worship Joe Hazelwood (captain of the ill fated
Exxon Valdez) like he is a god.
- "PERFECT STORM" Another true
high seas adventure. The special effects are very believable in this
- "DEAD CALM" for the "terror
and suspense" crowd.
- "DAS BOOT" with due respect for
"Hunt for Red October" DAS BOOT is the ultimate submarine
movie. A German U-boat movie by Germans, starring Germans, in German. Of
course an English version is available at the video store. How would you
like to be in your twenties and be handed a 200ft Diesel electric
submarine to command and be sent out to sea? These guys were just kids
being sent to their death. Those U-Boats were awesome machines!
- Any "JAMES BOND" movie. They all
have great boat action. If fact, at the New York boat show this year
they are displaying the original boats featured in some of the 007
- "CAPTAIN RON" It’s a family
show. There is one scene where the half drunk captain comes blasting
into a crowded marina scaring the hell out of everybody and slides the
boat into a parking spot so perfectly the whole place goes silent.
- "WHITE SQUALL" This is a true
story about a young captain and his wife who run an old sailing ship as
a sort of training camp for boys. A real adventure. When they hit the
mother of all storms there are some shots taken from below the waterline
that will blow your mind. One in particular, I will never forget. If you
have a big screen at home, this is a must see!
I sure many more could be added to this list.
If you see a really good one, let me know what it is and I will be scouring
the video store!
BOATS ARE FROM MARS, CARS ARE FROM VENUS
If you are an adult in America, you have probably purchased at least one
or more likely, several cars. Maybe used cars when in college etc, and new
ones as you get older and more established. When it comes time to buy a
boat, it is only natural to draw upon those experiences to make your boat
While both are motorized vehicles, there are some key differences that
you might consider when you are making your choice.
- Boats last longer than cars. I look at the age of a boat in "boat
years" this is like "dog years" but reversed. A 12 year
old human is just a child but a 12 year old dog is in the final stages
of its life. I consider an early 90’s boat to still be a fairly
current boat while an early 90’s car is pretty worn out. Cars also get
driven almost every day. How many "miles" do you really put on
your boat in a year?
- Another factor is size. "Size matters" The larger a boat is,
the less important the year model is. A 53’ Hatteras built in the
seventies still commands top dollar and gets big time respect on the
waterways. A seventies vintage tri-hull metal flake orange bow rider is
a candidate for the landfill. (If they will take it)
- To use another example look at private aircraft. Most people don’t
realize that many of those fancy private jets or twin turboprop
corporate aircraft that look so sleek and shiny are 10 to 25 years old
or more. I got the chance to ride in a King Air 100 one time. While I
was busy drooling all over it, I was shocked to learn that it was built
- Everyone knows that when you drive off the dealership lot with your
brand new car is depreciates $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 the minute those
tires hit the street. For most folks this is an acceptable loss to take
for the privilege of driving a brand new vehicle that is under warranty,
reliable, and has that brand new car smell. If you are buying a brand
new $300,000.00 boat (this only buys a mid grade 38ft boat with gas
engines) how much do you think that first weekend will cost you in
depreciation on that boat? That better be one memorable weekend! No
amount of "creative financing" makes that go away. In fact
many "low money down" plans make that initial drop even
larger. We have seen several folks that are $100,000.00 upside down in
their one year old boats! What would that do to your portfolio?
- When you go house shopping, do you only look at brand new houses? Of
course not. Just like a big boat, a well maintained house that is ten
years old still is relatively young.
There will always be a place for new boats. For some of the folks who
can afford it nothing else will do. If you are in that league, more power
to you! We love new boats too.
The point I am trying to get across is that if you treat buying a boat
like buying a car you can miss several important factors and possibly get
less for your dollar when there are more dollars at stake.
When the fixing breaks down
things just don’t go like they are supposed to. The Eriksen Marine service
department is in the business of fixing things when they go wrong and doing
maintenance to reduce the odds of something going wrong. At the risk of
sounding like Abbot and Costello, let me take this one step further.
Something goes wrong. While fixing what went wrong, something goes wrong
with the fixing.
Contrary to popular belief most repair shops are
honest. It is natural to be suspect of repairers. The amount of
techno-jargon needed to describe a problem and a fix to a customer often
leaves the customer unclear on what you are really doing. Often, they just
throw their hands up in the air and say "just fix it". Under these
conditions it is understandable that the customer is left wondering if he is
being taken advantage of.
After this uneasy beginning he pays the bill,
picks up his boat and what was supposed to be fixed isn’t. This is when
the true colors of the repair shop will be visible. Will they stand
behind their work?
Mistakes happen. If these boats were perfect
there would be no need for repair shops or warranties to start with. When
you fix something that has already broken once, the repair needs to be as
good as, or better than the original. When it is not done correctly
the can of worms opens. A good shop will recognize that a mistake was made,
apologize for it and correct it right away. Sometimes this does not happen
and the provider of substandard service follows up with substandard customer
service, excuses, denials, etc. Never the less, if this happens to you the
best course of action is to give the repair facility that made the mistake
the opportunity to make it right. Most shops will. We have had customers
come our way with "substandard" work that was done elsewhere.
(from different places) We recommended that they return to the shop that did
that work and have it corrected there. I assured them that the shops would
stand behind their work. Some of these customers responded by saying "I
don’t think they can fix it right". Now what do you do? Pay
someone else to do the job again, or take it back to the folks who couldn’t
or didn’t get it right the first time. Those are your choices.
The time to think about this is when you
choose who is going to work on your boat. Price-wise we are all about
the same. Number one question is about integrity, but number two is about
ability. What is your favorite repair facility capable of doing? If the job
gets big, can they handle it? If they blow up your engine, will they fess up
and fix it? Can they afford to fix it? You could always take them to court
but who wins then? Your boat is still broken and you are both spending the
money that could fix it on attorneys.
Boating is supposed to be fun, not a big pain
or stress. All boats break. All shops are capable of making a mistake while
repairing it (including us). Choose a repair shop that has an honest
reputation and the ability to correctly do whatever may come up during the
course of the repair. The lake is small community. Ask people about their
experiences with different shops. Look at their facilities to see what they
can handle. Then you can make a good decision at the beginning.
By the way, if you want to know what Eriksen
Marine is capable of, check out the "special projects" page on our
This is a showcase of what we are capable of doing. Sometimes we just like
to show off. Don’t you?
TRADE HER IN ON A NEW ONE?
While boats are not typically
looked at as "an investment opportunity", a quick scan of
the price tags on the new boats at the boat show "gives one
Suddenly the boat you currently own can feel like it is
worth more. As a boat gets older it is supposed to depreciate. However, at
the same time replacement cost of that boat keeps going up. If you
take good care of your boat cosmetically and mechanically it really should
hold its value over the long term. If you wait about twenty years, you can
probably sell it for what is cost brand new.
Power and Motoryacht magazine in their January 205 issue did a "boat
test" on a fully restored 1967 Chris Craft 47 Commander, diesel powered
cruiser. This boat brand new cost $80,910.00. The current "price as
tested" value of a boat like this ranges between $250,000 and
$500,000.00 according to their article. Replacement cost of this boat would
approach at least $800.000.00. Keep in mind; this is was a fully restored
and re-powered boat. That wasn’t cheap either. They probably spent over
$200k on the boat. Also this was a classic, mainstream type cruiser that
still looks good today. Don’t try that with some off brand houseboat, or
an orange metal flake tri hull runabout. The wrong boat will never be worth
much, no matter what you do to it. The Formula 36 in the picture attached is
a great example of a boat that will always look good as long as it is kept
up. While I am writing this, that boat is listed on our website for
$119,900.00. Care to guess what a new one goes for?
If you buy a brand new boat and try to sell it just a couple of years
later, be prepared for your wallet to take some harsh punishment. If you buy
a used boat and spend $5,000.00 changing the color of the interior, you are
unlikely to sell the boat for what you paid plus five thousand. However, you
should be able to sell the boat for pretty close to what you paid for it.
If you fell in love with a new boat at the show, by all means buy it! The
prices are always the best around show time. The Austin area has some great
boat dealers and most of the good quality lines are well represented here.
Just pick a good model so that after you recover from the depreciation dip,
it will hold its value. Quality brands and gimmick free styling are things
to look for.
A common myth is that if you buy a new boat you won't have any
problems. All boats have problems. New boats have systems in them that have
only been briefly tested if at all. If the boat is brand new, you do not
have to pay for getting these items fixed since they will be under factory
warranty, but things will still break and need to be fixed. Another factor
is a brand new boat is likely to have the latest model of engine in it. If
you are getting one of the first batches of those, the odds of a recall of
some kind being issued on your motor are much higher. Manufacturers do their
best to test their products before putting them in the marketplace but it is
almost impossible to predict or test for every possible scenario that may
come up when the product is operated by the customer in different
environments all over the world. When the first generation of Fuel
Injected motors came out, a large percentage of them would "vapor
lock" on a hot day. If you shut the boat down for a few minutes to go
for a quick swim or pick up a skier the engine would not re-start, or it
would run for a few seconds and die. You were stranded on the lake and had
to get towed in. We saw this with every brand.
When this kind of problem first arises, nobody knows how to fix it.
Not the dealer or the manufacturer. All you can do is wait for the factory
to re-engineer the part or system and come up with a fix that cures the
problem. I have seen this take months. Generally after the first year most
boats have their bugs sorted out and are pretty reliable if maintained.
Add together the large drop in value a new boat takes in the first
year and the "sorting out" time of a new model and it starts to
look like the best boat to buy may be one that is one or two years old.
While there is nothing like a brand new boat that nobody has used but
you, how much are you willing to pay for that? After you have taken it out a
few times it will not look much different than one a few years older. This
is one of the reasons boat builders come up with new styling
"cues" every year. That way at least your dock neighbors will know
that your boat is a "2005". This also works in reverse. In
2008 your boat will still be screaming "2005!"
Remember the P.T. Cruiser and how people were paying $3,000.00 over
list price to be the first on the block to have one? I try to look for
boats that have consistent styling and don't change dramatically over the
years. These boats will hold their value the best and look good the longest
weather you buy them new or used.
If you do choose to buy a new boat, remember Eriksen Marine can do
all Volvo, Mercruiser, and Westerbeke warranty work right here at the
marina. We are authorized dealers for all three. The boat does not have to
be hauled all the way back down to the dealer for that.
Boats are more of a luxury item than an investment. But if you buy
"smart" you can go swimming, not "take a bath".
The parade of lights is Dec. 3rd. It
might be a good idea to test run your generator or have it serviced.
Low oil level or a weak impeller will cause it to shut down in the
middle of the parade and could blow your chances of winning one of
those coveted trophies!
- 2. Yes, it does freeze in Austin Texas. If you are
not going to be using your boat until spring, have it professionally
winterized so you don’t have expensive problems next summer. Have a
reputable shop with a building and a storefront do this job. You don’t
want to be trying to find "some guy in pickup" when you
discover that your block is freeze cracked.
- Key fobs and flyers are cheap. Your risk is much
lower when dealing with a company that has invested their future in
establishing a facility, and equipping themselves to properly service
your boat. This type of place looks at you as a long term customer not
just a way to make this week’s car payment.
- Bottom job time is also here. It takes an average
of ten days to do a complete bottom job. Your boat’s antifouling
paint should be renewed every two to three years. Also, most insurance
companies are requiring that you have your boat periodically surveyed.
You can to this at the same time, while the boat is out. Our bottom
job prices have not changed in six years. Material and labor costs
have both gone up. This will be the last winter that we will do them
at these prices. If you can I would get it done this winter to save
some money and be ahead of the game.
- We know that you are busy and don’t have time
for phone tag. Make your service request online at www.eriksenmarine.com
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Bigger, stronger, and longer lasting!
No, I am not talking about the latest
"natural male enhancement" product. Eriksen Marine has invested
in another large piece of equipment in order to serve you better. We were
the first and still the only ones to bring a real traveling boat hoist or
"Marine Travelift" to Lake Travis. This is the giant square
crane that we use to unload large boats off of transport trucks and off of
our trailers for bottom jobs etc. Ever since that machine arrived Eriksen
Marine and Emerald Point have become well known as the place to ship your
boat to for launching/commissioning etc. Over the years our machine has
served us well, lifting boats almost every single day. However, as the
years pass the boats keep getting bigger and more expensive. We have been
approaching the limits of our machine. (48,000lbs)
This year we decided to take the plunge and
get a bigger Travelift. We just took the delivery of the "new(er)"
machine and will be putting it together in the next couple of weeks. It is
a "Marine Travelift 50AMO". This machine will lift a 100,000lb
boat! It is also an ‘open ended" machine. What that means it there
is no need to remove antennas, arches, biminis, or hardtops to get the
boat under the hoist and lift it. This machine more than doubles the size
of boat we can lift and launch.
We also added another big boat haul out
trailer to the fleet. Eriksen Marine now has three haul out trucks, five
big boat trailers, and now two travelifts!
We have been fortunate to have so many
folks trust us with their big and expensive boats we felt the need to
upgrade our equipment accordingly and to add redundancy so your boat doesn’t
get help up waiting on a broken truck etc.
So, if you have eyes for a 50’+ cruiser
bring it on. Our "equipment" is plenty big enough to handle it.
Back to Reality……..
kids are back in school and there is only one more holiday weekend to go.
Things at the lake were definitely at fever pitch again this year. Eriksen
Marine is well on its way to a record setting year in both service and
sales. Our service department beat its all time record month three months
in a row. Not only that but just over halfway through the season we sold
more boats than we did all year last year. When you are operating at that
kind of pace your resources and personnel are tested to and beyond their
limits. If any of you had trouble getting through on the phones or a quick
enough response from us, let me assure you we were not goofing off up
here, we were all scrambling to keep up.
Now that the kids are back in school the
needle can come down out of the red zone and we can go back to providing
the more personalized brand of service that we are known for. It is a
whole lot easier to return phone calls when the phone rings every
ten minutes instead of stops ringing once every ten minutes. The
challenge to us is to provide both speedy service and high quality service
when it seems that everyone on the lake needs it that same day. If you
have ever watched "American Chopper" or "Monster
Garage" you have just a taste of what it is like up here in June and
July. Heck, those guys are only doing one project at a time. I
would like to see them do ten or fifteen at once like we do! Then I would
I would like to thank all of our long term
customers and our new customers for your patronage and your patience. Even
when we are swamped we never forget that of all the shops you can choose
from, Eriksen Marine is your choice. A second thank you goes to all the
folks who send their work requests in from the website. www.eriksenmarine.com
Accuracy and efficiency both get a boost
when we communicate that way. We understand that timing is everything and
if your boat is ready two days after your visiting relatives go back home
that doesn’t do you much good. We are on a first name basis with every
FedEx and U.P.S. driver in the area and we understand that every job is on
a deadline. Labor Day weekend is right around the corner so let’s get
those messages in here early so we can get you done in time. There goes
that phone again, Gotta run!
See you on the lake!
|Deep Thoughts from Grant
Why do we buy these darn boats anyway?
Do we need them for transportation? Spending $100,000.00 on a
cruiser to drive to Jonestown at 15miles per hour and 50 gallons per hour is not exactly
the most efficient way to get from point A to point B.
Is it to go fast? A 70mph boat is a pretty darn fast boat, but I hit 70 every day driving
to and from work.
Is it to have a place to stay on the weekends? A hundred bucks
will get you a pretty decent hotel room and you dont even have to wash the sheets.
Yes, there is a real reason why we do this boating thing and it is something
that we often lose sight of in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.
Due to a recent death in the family, I just went on a long trip
down memory lane. I went to my old hometown, saw old school buddies etc, etc. One thing
that quickly became apparent is that many of my fondest memories involved boating and
being on the water. There is something about being out on the water in a boat that makes
the time you spend really stand out from the ordinary. Even when things go wrong it
usually still makes for a memorable time. Ever been caught out in a storm on your boat?
Its quite the adventure isnt it? At the risk of sounding like some cornball
boat brochure, I will also say this. If you get the right group of people out there on
your boat for the weekend, it can form a unique bond within the group where even years
later you all remember "that crazy weekend we all spent out on the lake" and
smile. Boats are the perfect vehicles for this kind of experience. All you have to do is
load up the family or your "crew" and head out there on the water to see what
happens. Loading them up in the Suburban and driving up and down 183 is not likely to feel
quite the same.
Summer is right around the corner. Soon it will be time to get on
the horn and round everyone up for some serious Texas style boating. Years from now they
will all still remember it. Even that guy who never chips in for gas and drinks all your
booze will eventually thank you. You have about a month to get ready and spring will be
here. I dont know about you, but I plan on putting some miles (hours) on my boat
this summer. Ill see you out there! If you are taking pictures, make sure you get my
good side, eh? One day my grandchildren may be looking at that picture.
Its the holiday season. That
means its time for turkey and stuffing, Christmas tree shopping, winterizing, family
get-togethers, bottom jobs, cold winter nights, warm jackets, fiberglass repair,
mistletoe, office parties, annual maintenance, relatives coming to visit, eggnog, monthly
winter maintenance, decorate the tree, replace impellers, new boat cover, open presents,
parade of lights.
I could go on and on about the
Holidays! If for some mysterious reason all this holiday talk makes you want to suddenly
call Eriksen Marine to have your boat serviced/repaired at off season prices before the
rates go up next year give us a call or shoot us an e-mail!
These two things are always true.
1. It is cheaper to maintain it than repair it.
2. Nobody wants their boat tied up in the shop in middle of summer.
At Eriksen Marine we do things a
little differently than most shops. Even though we are a repair shop, we dont
want your boat to break down. We want our customers boats to be well maintained and
reliable. While this approach may cheat us out of some of those big, expensive,
catastrophic repair jobs I see it like this. Happy customers will bring us more customers.
Most of the folks that I see being towed in off the lake are somewhat less than happy.
(Trust me. I am the first one they call). I want our customers boats to have the
rope tied to the back of the boat not the front. While nobody can promise
you that your boat will never break down (even brand new boats break down), our mechanics
are trained to look for problems while they are small. This takes a little more effort on
their part but if we can prevent an engine overheat or and out drive failure we are doing
right by our customer.
When you winterize your boat with us we offer a labor discount on
any routine maintenance when done in conjunction with the winterization. Winterize your
boat with Eriksen Marine and do the annual maintenance every time and you will spend less
money on boat repair every year. You can get it all done right from your computer if you
like. I will even send you progress pictures so you can see it happening.
All I ask is that you send your friends to us too. Just explain
to them that it costs twice as much to tie rope to the front of the boat. If they
have been on the wrong end of the rope they will know exactly what you are talking about.
I would also like to thank all of our loyal and long term
customers for your business this year and I wish you all a great holiday season!
512-266-3493 press 2 and 2 again to skip the phone prompts and go straight to my extension
SOAK IT UP
This is my favorite
time of the year. That 100 Texas heat dials back just enough to be warm instead of
scorching. The water temperature in the lake is a Caribbean-like 86. We still have
long days where boating after work is a spur of the moment option. A little boat ride and
an evening swim sure takes the edge of your average work day. On the weekends the lake
around the marina no longer feels like the lower deck of IH-35. You can go to restaurants
on the lake for a frozen margarita and not feel like you just crashed a Kappa Alpha frat
party. Even Devils Cove becomes a nice place to hang out and relax without having
your boat taken over my uninvited guests.
In the service department we are no longer scrambling to get as
many boats back in the water as we can for the weekend. We can work at a more normal pace.
In most cases you can get top notch service with our full attention in a day or two.
We have two months of this to enjoy before the cold damp winter
and early nights make boating a rare occasion. Up north, they are already starting to put
their boats away for the season. We are very lucky here in Texas to have this extended
season. I dont know about you, but I plan to soak up as much of it as time allows.
266-3493 press 2 and 2 again
That is a sound you are likely to
hear after someone installs automotive parts on your boat motor.
In last months column "Parts is Parts" I
promised to explain some of the differences between automotive engine parts and marine
engine parts. Yes they do cost more. Here is why.
We already know that a marine engine operates in a hostile
environment, (heat, moisture, extended high rpm, long periods of non-use, full throttle
operation on stale fuel, etc. etc.) Your engine compartment is a torture chamber that
would make Saddam proud. Aside from all that there is another large difference that many
A marine engine operates in a relatively closed
compartment. There are air vents, but they are small and baffled to keep water out. If the
engine in your car develops a fuel leak, the fuel dumps out onto the road where it will
most likely evaporate. If the engine in your boat develops a fuel leak it collects in the
bilge of your boat where it will stay for a long time. As an extra bonus the fumes stay in
there too. This is why gasoline powerboats have an engine compartment blower. We are all
running that for four minutes before cranking the engine right?
The United States Coast Guard has strict requirements and
safety standards for fuel and electrical systems on gasoline powerboats. Starters,
alternators, distributors, battery chargers, anything electrical that is installed in the
engine compartment must be "ignition protected". What this means is that the
Coast Guard has tested these items to be sure that they do not emit open sparks when
operated. Their automotive counterparts (pun intended) are held to no such standard and
can emit open sparks.
Fuel systems have similar requirements. For example,
pressurized fuel lines must be solid steel, not flexible rubber. Fuel pumps must have a
separate, clear discharge hose that dumps fuel into the intake of the engine in the event
of a diaphragm failure. Carburetors must vent down the intake also so the excess fuel is
either consumed by the engine or it floods the engine and shuts it off. If the float
sticks in an automotive carburetor it just pours out all over the top of the engine.
Your auto mechanic buddies and the friendly folks at your
local discount auto parts store will have no clue about these things. Dont take a
chance on this stuff just to save a couple of bucks. Not only are you gambling with your
own life but the lives of your passengers. Let me assure you there is more to a marine
part than a higher price and "Marine" stamped on the box.
If you would like to read last months newsletter or
any of the previous ones they can be found on our website www.eriksenmarine.com
There is a common expression that goes
something like this. "A bolt for a car is fifty cents. The same bolt for a boat is
There is some truth to this, except for the assumption that it is
really the same bolt. In the next two columns I will attempt to explain why this
perception exists and what the differences are.
There are two major differences between boat parts and car parts.
The first issue is mass production. The second one is the requirements on the parts
An auto manufacturer will build tens of thousands of copies of
the identical car (except for color). A boat manufacturer may only build one or two
hundred of a specific model. Any builder buys most of the boat from various vendors and
suppliers. About the only things they really make are the hull, cabinetry, and upholstery.
Windshields, railings, dash panels, etc. are almost always
purchased in limited quantities from a supplier who prices it based on how many they are
building. Engineering and tooling costs are spread out over each unit so the more they
make the cheaper each one is. This is where the quantity difference between a 200 unit
boat builder and GM making 50,000 copies comes into play.
Since this stuff is so expensive the boat builders dont
want to keep big inventories of spare parts.
If you need a part for your Suburban, chances are the local
dealer will have it on the shelf or can get it in a day. Every piece of that Suburban has
a part number and sitting on a shelf in a GM warehouse.
Marine engine builders like Mercruiser and Volvo (we are dealers
for both) have good systems like the car companies. Unfortunately, this is not the case
with boat builders. While some are better than others, most of them have no such system at
all. You would be amazed to know how many times we call a boat builder to get a part for
one of their boats and are told, "That boat is four years old, we dont have
parts for that!" or "We moved the plant and dont have the records of what
we used that year". Nine times out of ten, we skip the builder completely and go
directly to the vendor that built the piece for them. Thanks to the internet we can
usually find them pretty quickly. Sometimes we have to have the piece fabricated from
scratch. All of this adds to the time and cost of repairing your boat. A Chevy dealer gets
parts from Chevrolet. As of today Eriksen Marine had two hundred and thirty seven
different vendors we get your boat parts from. U.P.S. and FedEx are here daily. We pride
ourselves in being resourceful and diligent in tracking those parts down. This is a large
part of what we do that the customer does not see.
Many in the industry are trying to fix this problem. If boat
builders are forced to stock more spare parts, guess what will happen to the price of new
boats. That may not be the best solution either. The burden has always been on the boat
yard or the dealer to find these pieces on their own, quickly and at a reasonable price.
Next month, I will explain the differences between the actual
parts on a car and similar parts that are on your boat. Believe it or not there actually
is a big difference.
Have fun out there!
Try not to break anything
"Gentlemen start your
The air is warm. The sun is out and the
starting gun for the season just went off.
Before you load up that cooler and bring your friends out for
a weekend on the lake, it might be a good idea to give that boat a quick once over. Boats
operate in pretty severe conditions. (Been out on July 4th weekend?) Imagine
letting a race car sit in a warehouse for six months, then drag it out and toss it into
the Daytona 500. When that puff of smoke comes out of that engine hatch remember it can be
expensive to put all that smoke back under the hatch.
Here is a quick list of things to check before you head out
on the lake.
- Batteries- dont act surprised if they are dead. Check
the water in the cells and slow charge them. While boats can be jump started, batteries
dont go from dead to charged up in thirty minutes. If they are really low, it can
take more than a full day of continuous charging for them to recover. Every year we jump
start people, then they go out and shut the boat off 30 minutes later. The next call is
for a tow. If your batteries are two years old you need new ones. Marine batteries should
be replaced every two years, working or not. Another option is to buy a "Jumper
Pack". These small, portable jumper boxes that only cost about $60.00 and are very
handy to have (even in the trunk of your car)
- Check the engine oil. If it is low add some. (Straight 40wt)
If it is high, the oil may be contaminated with water or fuel. This should be checked out,
or at least get the oil changed. Check all other fluids while you are there. If you have a
Mercruiser, check the gear lube bottle. If it is low you will get a warning horn out on
the lake. Dont mix brands of fluid in that bottle. We have genuine Mercruiser gear
lube in quart bottles available over the counter.
- Check the blower, bilge pump, and running lights. These things
all have a habit of rusting up and failing over the winter. Better to know that they work
before you really need them.
- Start the boat up and let it run for at least 30 minutes in
the slip and come up to operating temperature before you take off. Water pump impellers
can rot and crack over the winter. When that happens they will oftentimes fail on the
initial start up in the spring. It takes a little time before the symptoms of overheating
show up. Letting the boat run for a while before you go reduces the chance that you will
have a surprise overheat right after you pass the breakwater. Also while it is running in
the slip look the engine over to be sure that there are no water leaks coming from hoses,
- Another reason to let the boat warm up in the slip is to make
sure that is idles well. Moisture in gas tank and stale fuel can clog both carburetors and
injectors. Combine an engine that stalls out at idle with a half dead battery and you will
be calling for a tow.
- Start out with fresh fuel. Conventional wisdom used to say top
off your tanks for winter. That is no longer true. Todays fuels have been
reformulated for low emissions. This fuel starts to turn to varnish after only 90 days.
Also the higher alcohol content actually makes it absorb and separate moisture from the
air. The best thing to do is to top that tank off with fresh fuel at the start of that
first day out. This way you are not pushing that engine to run on stale old gas.
If you have done all of this and the old boat still
wont go, it is time for professional help. Eriksen Marine is open every day but
Sunday. Our phone number is easy to remember 266-FIXD. (266-FIXED works too). Or even
better, repair requests can be sent in from our website www.eriksenmarine.com.
Lets keep that smoke in the engine where it belongs and
have great season. Have fun out there!
NOW MORE THAN EVER
Strange days indeed. The world is changing dramatically all
around us. Who knows what will happen next? Every day we are bombarded with news reports
that are designed to keep up glued to our sets. Anthrax, snipers, kidnappings,
embezzlement, terrorists, WAR! What a mess.
Wouldnt it be nice if there was a place you could go to
get away from all that and spend some quality time with your family and friends?
Wouldnt it be nice if even just for a few hours, you could isolate yourself or your
group from all of that? Wouldnt it be nice to go where nobody can find you, turn the
music on, pick up a cool one, lay back, relax, and just soak up the sun?
If you are reading this, odds are you already have access to
just such a place. Your boat will take you there. It wont take you to the grocery
store. It wont mow the lawn. It wont get you to work. In fact these boats are
specifically designed not to take you to any of those places. In fact, why did you
buy that boat in the first place? I know why, to get away from it all and just have some
good old fashioned fun. This is not frivolous. It is a real, psychological, human
need. It helps us keep our attitudes adjusted and reminds us why we work so hard in the
first place. The positive effects of a great weekend on the lake last long after the
weekend is over. Do you have a picture of your boat out on the lake on your desk or in
your office? On those days when nothing seems to go right, we could all use a little
reminder of good times that we have had in the past and will have again as soon as the sun
The economy has brought the price of the average boat down,
but the value/benefits of boating have gone up. Now, more than ever.
"What we have heeeere
is a failure to communicate
The season is here and the phone lines are heating up. At Eriksen
Marine we know that you are busy and when your boat breaks you need to get it in line to
be repaired as quickly as possible. The last thing that most people want to do is sit on
hold or wade through a seemingly endless maze of voicemail options.
We want your message. It is our livelihood. During the peak hours of
the day we man those phones like it was pledge drive week at PBS. Still you may get our
voicemail. Nine times out of ten that is because we are already on the line with another
customer so please dont feel that your message is not getting heard. All of us here
check those voicemail boxes between ten and fifty times a day. Sometimes people get
discouraged and hang up on the voice mail. When you do that, here is what happens.
My voice mail light goes on. "Oh, got a message!" Thanks
to the modern miracle of our Lucent phone system it takes a mere fifteen keystrokes to get
that message out. "Punch, punch, punch
., o.k. here is the message,
.)". While I am doing that, the person who hung up on the voice mail has
now hit redial and is calling again. Guess what happens to them? Since my extension is
busy while I am checking messages they get dumped into (you guessed it) right back into
the voicemail. I was here on the phone the whole time but still we have "failed to
For our Emerald Point customers here is a quick reference guide on
the various ways to get your message to us quickly without burning up a lot of your
- E-mail- This is by far the best solution. Almost half of our customer
communication is now done via e-mail. Work orders or sales inquiries can be sent straight
from our website www.eriksenmarine.com or you
can e-mail me directly to email@example.com
Updates on repair progress and even pictures of the job under way can be sent back to you
so you have the best information possible.
- Fax- our fax machine is on 24 hours a day and it is checked
constantly. Our fax number is 512-266-7717
- Voicemail shortcuts- quick reference so that you can skip the
messages and prompts. 266-3493 (266-Fixed)
Grant, 2 and 2 again Sales/Jerry 1 and 1
Service message line 2 and 1 Billing/Sheri 3
We are open 9am to 5pm every day but Sunday. If it breaks or need
maintenance, youve got our number. Have fun out there!
TO MAKE A SALE?
"No, I dont want to fix it right now.
Im selling the boat."
I hear this about ten or fifteen times a year. At Eriksen Marine we service boats but we also sell them. Since we are
in both ends of the business, we get to see what happens when a buyer looks at a boat that
hasnt been maintained, or needs repair. One of two things happens.
1. The customer loses interest and moves on to the next boat
2. The offer drops by more than the amount required to repair
or service the boat
Todays customers are quite educated. Before most people
will make an offer on a boat, they will have a marine survey and/or a mechanical
inspection done. They will also request the service history on the boat.
We have service records in our computer system that goes back
over four years. This is the report card on how well the boat has been taken care of. Were
regular oil changes done? Was the impeller replaced every two years, or did the owner wait
until the engine overheated to change it? Was the drive unit pulled and serviced every
Maintaining a boat is expensive, but a boat is also an
expensive piece of equipment. Every time you have it professionally serviced you are
helping preserve the value of your investment. Every boat you own, you will eventually be
trying to sell to somebody. When that day comes, how will your boats report card
What if you are a do it yourselfer and do your own
maintenance? My suggestion to you would be to keep a log book of all the maintenance you
do and keep it with the boat. This way you have some kind of history that you can give to
the surveyor or to the repair shop that is doing the inspection.
What if you just dont have the cash right now to spend
on it? "If I had the money to spend on that I wouldnt be selling my boat!"
The best approach here is to be prepared to adjust your selling price to allow the buyer
to pay for the service. Either way you end up paying for it, but at least it will
be his cash. The problem with this method is that it drags the buying process out. The
buyer gets involved in all the problems that the boat has and all the service that it
requires and you take the risk that "buyers remorse" sets in before the
deal closes. Your sale can vaporize before it completes. This is the risk you take when
you leave the repairs up to the buyer.
We understand that sometimes it hurts to see that hard earned
cash go towards maintaining a boat that is running just fine. The thing to remember is
that one way or another, you will be paying for it anyway. You are a whole lot better off
staying current on your maintenance schedule and enjoying the operation of a well
maintained and more reliable boat while it is yours. This way whether you are ready to use
it or sell it, "She is ready to go!"