This is our work in progress price list for bottom jobs.
We hope to regularly add more photos and descriptions and generally edit the main document
America’s Favorite Boatshop
15605 Checotah Drive Austin, Texas 78734
General Price List
Bottoms, Topsides, and Decks
The purpose of this document is to help our customers predict how much various services cost and plan their boat care accordingly. Payment policies and other services are addressed in other documents.
Everybody wants a perfect boat and we love trying to create them, but somebody always gets stuck with the bill. After 35 years of trying to create a price list , we still have no set formulas to describe the pricing of the various tasks on the hundreds of unique boats owned by our diverse clientele. This represents our best try so far. Please feel free to criticize, vigorously complain, berate the author, and offer suggested edits.
Bringing the boat to our shop
Boats arrive here from all over the planet by all sorts of delivery systems. Our prices are totally dependent upon our involvement. Our Standard Bottom Job prices include mast down /up/ tune/ ramp hauling /launching and we discount our labor price by about 30% when boats are delivered to our shop and picked up on their own trailers by someone other than us. For all other work,(not bottom jobs) transportation is absolutely not included in the base prices and needs to be calculated as a contribution to the total cost.
Rigging> masts down, up, tuning, booms, biminis, and etc:
Our Bottom Job Prices include taking down masts, hauling boats from the water, and re-rigging the mast and boom as ready to sail. It is a leftover special service of ours from the eighties when no one but us cared about polluting our drinking water with the filth generated by removing old antifoulants. As the only sailboat service within fifty miles of Austin who did all the work indoors and far from the lake, we had to compete and rigging was free..
All the other sailboat service and repair shops are long gone, but after 35 years it just seems to us that all bottom jobs ought to include de-rigging, hauling, launching and re-rigging. Our standard Bottom Job price remains as a “slip to slip boat left ready to go sailing” package. We offer a modest discount as a reward when boats are delivered to our shop.
Our Standard Bottom Job Price Formula
Our base price not including materials or trailer expense is $60 per LOA foot for boats 25 feet and smaller. (C&C 24 @ $60= $1440) ($1500 for a Catalina 25)
For each additional foot LOA we add $6 per foot. 26LOA = $66 27LOA= $72 28’LOA= $78 etc All your junior high school math still comes in handy!!
(Pearson 26 @$66= $1716) (Catalina 27 @ $72= $1944) (J-29 @ $84= $2436)
(Columbia 30 @ $90 = $2700) (Beneteau 35 @$120=$4200)
Your total price depends on all the other factors described in this document.
Base price does not include trailer rent, materials, ramp fees, or marina fees.
America’s Favorite Boatshop
If you have your own safe to use trailer and will deliver your boat to our shop when we have available space in our yard and your boat is scheduled for service that day or within a very few days and you will pick it up the day we finish, the only reason to read this section is to decide whether you wish to continue enduring the hassles of trailer ownership.
Everybody who has ever owned something with tires knows tires need to be replaced way too often. When you add in lights, brakes, carpeted pads, adjusting jacks, and paint, it only adds more money. The final stroke is either occasionally soaking the whole mess in the lake for as long as an hour or maybe it is ignoring the structure as it sits in the sun and rain much of the time. Those of you who use our trailers have to chip in.
The great news is we have a trailer to fit your boat and carry it properly. For over 150 varieties of sailboats, we have notes telling us EXACTLY how to set up one or more of our well maintained trailers to carry it as well as any custom built trailer dedicated to that boat.
In the interest of brevity we decided not to list every boat here. Prices are for a typical visit to our service shop and include hauling at the nearest available ramp, sitting under the boat while the boat is at our shop, and launching at the nearest available ramp. Tall loads are hard to carry. Boats with deeper keels generally need much higher capacity trailers than their displacement might indicate. Maybe we will put the entire list on line someday…
5000# Magnum ($100): Cal 20, J-22, J-24, Kirby 25, Capri 25, Ranger 23,
San Juan 24, Merit 25, Freedom 21, C& C 24, S2 7.3, Fixed Keel Catalina 22,
10,000# Yellow Magnum ($150): Pearson 26, Catalina 25, Hunter 25.5, Catalina 27,
Cal 24, Cal 25, Cal 27 MK III, Cape Dory Typhoon, Catalina 250 wing, Catalina 270
10,000# Green Magnum ($150): Avance 33, Beneteau 33 Shoal, Catalina 30 shoal,
Cal 2-27, Capri 26 wing keel, Catalina 27, Catalina 28 MKII, Catalina 30, Hunter 27
10,000# Blue Magnum ($150): J-29, Beneteau First 30, Beneteau 31, Beneteau 311,
Beneteau 323, Beneteau 325, C&C 29, Hunter 31, Hunter 34, S2 8.0
20,000# Howard Gooseneck ($150): San Juan 7.7, Columbia 8.3, Columbia 8.7,
San Juan 28, S2 7.9, S2 27, Ross 830, Ranger 29, Pearson 28, Irwin 30, Catalina 30
15,000# Trail Rite ($200): Beneteau 34, J-88, J-92S, Beneteau First 30, Hunter 34,
Ross 930, San Juan 30, Beneteau 33, Beneteau 35, C&C 37, Ericson 37
Renting our trailers:
Forget the thought. We don’t want to ever let any of our trailers out of our control for a millisecond ever period. Some boat owners want to sit boats on our trailers for a while to dry out or do some work themselves or avoid paying slip rental. The ONLY way this happens EVER is if we gain some convenience of our own by hauling early or launching late. Tying up our trailers is sorta like sitting in your favorite dentist’s chair or occupying the car lift at your local garage. The entire notion is absurd. Don’t ask and we won’t give you a disappointing and rude reply.
America’s Favorite Boatshop
Rigging> Masts down, up, tuning, booms, biminis, and etc:
All sailboat rigs need to be inspected annually or more often. As we cannot put your boat in our shop with its mast up, the opportunity to have a good look at the rig is forced upon us. We take down and re rig dozens of masts every year, and although we claim no particular expertise in rig inspection, we are sailors and we have been looking at hundreds of different boats and watching them age with various amounts of grace for a very long time. We do our best to look at your wires, halyards, lights and we will tell you our opinion about what we think should be done to best care for your asset.
There is a huge difference in time and labor needed to simply take down a well maintained simple mast and to disassemble Biminis, lower and fold roller furling sails, disconnect complicated light, radio, and instrument wiring, and do battle with years of corrosion and duct tape. Lowering your mast and securing it safely for transport to our shop can take two or three men from a half hour to half a day. If ongoing lack of maintenance causes us to spend a lot of extra time we have to charge for that time. Our labor rate is $80 per man hour.
We do our best to re-rig the boat so it is tuned well for general sailing on Lake Travis. For cruisers, that means a general rig set up for optimum performance in 10 to 15 and so it won’t be in trouble when the wind howls. For racers, we do the same thing but expect the sailors to tune the rig before each race for the expected conditions. If asked, we will gladly offer a little coaching about how to adjust rig tension for various wind conditions.
We can generally take down and secure a nice new simple well maintained mast for transport to our shop within an hour. As most of the sailboats on Lake Travis are decades old, there are many ways the rigs can spend additional time (money) as we work to disassemble them. Layers of old duct tape, horribly frangled cotter pins, seized turnbuckles, electrical wires whose weathered insulation crumbles, corroded electrical connectors, seized screws and shackles, halyards jammed on broken sheaves, knots that have not been untied in many years, Biminis, and sails left on furlers, consume our time (money). We expect to encounter a few problems disassembling any rig, but when the minutes become hours, we are forced to pass on the cost. Our labor rate is $80 per man hour.
Part of what we do is inspect as well as we are able. We check lights. We look at the shrouds, and turnbuckles. We look at sheaves and halyards. We straighten wind vanes and replace screws, rivets, and most light bulbs as a matter of course.
When we believe fittings, fixtures, wind vanes, wires, antennas, spreader boots, or etc need to be seriously repaired or replaced, we will discuss that with you before proceeding.
America’s Favorite Boatshop
Hauling and transport to shop
There are ramps all around Lake Travis but we prefer to use the safest and nearest. Our trailers may be perfectly designed for use on the highway and we are experienced trailer haulers, but there are all sorts of other drivers out there who don’t share well. As the Austin Yacht Club is the premiere supporter of racing and teaching junior sailing on the lake, we have worked to build the very best ramps and rigging facilities. As the Club welcomes new racing members and supports the sailing community generally, we have arrangements to haul and launch even non-club members for a very reasonable usage fee. Generally, that non-member fee is about $100 to $150 for using the ramp and mast crane to haul or launch.
Hauling and launching labor is included on our bottom job package prices. In every other situation, our hauling fees are generally about $10 per foot LOA for boats with pre-set trailers. These numbers are generally adequate for virtually any sailboat under 35 feet currently floating in Lake Travis.
When hauling includes extra persons, swimming, adjusting the trailer in the water while others fight with winds as they try to hold the boat in position, and multiple part way up the hill and abandoned attempts to make some “borrowed from a friend” trailer work, all those present may cost $80 per hour per man.
Transport to our shop is generally included in our hauling fees. We are not in the business of transporting sailboats to other bodies of water and happily refer those who need that service to one of the transporters with whom we have had favorable experiences.
Cleaning off the growth and calcium deposits
Power washing your boat is an expected part of any bottom job. Nobody hires us to put on fresh paint because the old coating is still working perfectly. In Travis, the high calcium content creates deposits all around the waterline and sometimes a couple feet up on the topsides. We acid wash and remove calcium deposits from every boat as a matter of course.
Our no-charge cleaning service is not to be confused with thoroughly washing your deck and polishing and waxing your topsides and oiling your teak and washing and folding any dirty laundry found in the cabin. Most of those services are offered separately but we do promise to do our “cleaned by guys” best to bring the rest of your boat back as clean or cleaner than we found it.
Our last step at the shop before hooking to the trailer hitch and heading to the ramp is usually a quick rinse of the deck. We generally use our pressure washer to knock off all our dust and we do at least try to rinse the marina dirt from the non skid. When it isn’t varnished, we gently clean the teak. As a really thorough cleaning of old gelcoat with a pressure washer can wash away the old soft oxidized layers, we often choose leaving dirt. If we think cleaning will result in removing that last bit of color from your thirty year old deck and causing your boat to look like it absolutely needs a paint job, we will leave the dirt.
America’s Favorite Boatshop
Evaluating the Bottom’s condition
It is beyond our abilities to completely evaluate the condition of a sailboat bottom until we have cleaned it. In many cases, we cannot evaluate the condition without removing the old failing antifoulants and epoxies. Most blistered bottoms are impossible to evaluate without opening some of the blisters and sometimes we just cannot tell how bad it is until we actually spend some time trying to fix it.
The on-line version of this document will eventually have lots of photos that MAY help a boat owner to guess how much blister repair will be necessary and what ridding the hull of those repairs might entail. Our INTENT is to eventually create descriptions here and on line will help a boat owner to:
1. Understand the condition of the boat
2. Understand the costs related to fixing various problems
3. Understand the benefits of fixing the problems
4. Understand the risks (if any) if the problems are not repaired.
5. Create a maintenance plan that neither wastes funds now nor cuts corners now which will result in excessive costs later.
Bottoms is normal well maintained condition
Regular bottom coating maintenance is like any other paint maintenance plan. There is a perfect time where it is just barely time to re-coat the old stuff while it is still just barely good enough to add a coat but not good enough to push for another week without increasing the cost of the recoating process.
We never see those bottoms. Our base price is based upon a well maintained bottom we have previously painted in our shop whose old coatings can be cleaned, lightly sanded and re-coated. We expect to find five to ten blisters, a few bare spots, some gouges, and maybe even a dinged keel or chipped rudder.
Rusty steel keels
The very first keel we sealed with epoxy in 1980 is still doing just fine. In fact, we have never had to entirely strip and reseal any keel we have sealed in epoxy at our shop. There have been a few of our sealed steel keels whose coatings have been scraped off by repeated groundings, but the main parts of even the most abused keels were is reasonable condition.
BUT------------Certainly there is a but!!
It takes a lot of really filthy hard work to prepare a nasty rusted keel for proper sealing, and many layers of epoxy must be applied to properly seal that prepared keel. We need to grind off every bit of the old paint, epoxy, any fillers, and the rust. That brutal process takes hours, uses many expensive grinding discs and makes a nasty black mess of everything anywhere near the event. We then apply epoxy to seal the keel, add epoxy fillers to fair the keel, sand that smooth, and add more layers of epoxy and the antifoulants. The price is $1000 plus materials and tax. Materials usually range from $200 to $300. Those materials include grinding discs, epoxy filler, and epoxy sealer. The antifoulant is included in the materials charged to the bottom job price.
America’s Favorite Boatshop
Old failing layers of paint, epoxy, fillers, and illegal coatings.
Every preparation job includes some sanding. On the other hand, multiple layers of old failing paint can add entire days to the sanding process and consume as much as $100 in extra sandpapers.
The other thing?>> The boat should never get to this condition. Properly chosen and applied epoxies and antifoulants don’t become all loose and flake off the gelcoat. For that reason, if all the paint was originally applied by us, and the bottom has been worked on by us within the last three years, we do not charge additionally to strip old coatings back to bare gelcoat.
BUT---------Here we go again with but….
If the reason the entire bottom needs to be stripped to bare gelcoat is years and years of neglect, multiple applications of incompatible coatings, coatings added over inadequate preparation, or the fact the coatings contain the universally banned TBTF, we will have to charge by the hour for the extra time, by the disc for extra sandpaper, and, in the case of TBTF for the necessary additional personal protection we need while handling hazardous materials.
A complete strip back to bare gelcoat generally adds $300 to $700 depending on the size of the boat.
Keel cracks, gouges, and etc
The good news is, some of the worst looking problems on keels are non-structural and inexpensive to fix. Most gouges, dents and even gaps between the fiberglass stub and the metal part of the keel can be “fixed” with a simply stroke or two of a putty knife. We usually don’t even both to pick up a phone to ask questions as it is simpler to just fix the problem for free.
If the cracks are structural, we will contact you and discuss repair options. If the damages are from an impact or grounding, your description of the event often helps us understand the failure and design a proper repair.
Some models of boats have a history of structural problems in their keels and rudders. The internet is a boat owner’s friend. Most every kind of production sailboat has at least a few discussion groups and forums. If yours is one of them, thoughts about repairs commonly needed and costs of proper maintenance will be described in those forums. If we find structural problems, we will discuss solutions and prices.
Shaping and Fairing your foils
We have created foils for use in World champions and Olympic medalists and our designs have been under boats as they have won lots of other hardware. We do everything from improving the shape a bit with a few minutes of grinding and some well placed putty application to building keels to closely match our carefully designed templates. We believe the foils in the water are every bit as important as the foils in the air and, if you would enjoy having a faster sailboat, we will be happy to help improve your boat speed and pointing
America’s Favorite Boatshop
Polyester boats blister when left floating in the water. The question isn’t about if. It is about when and how bad. Certain brands of boats have more blisters than others and some models built during certain periods have downright horrible blistering.
Finding blisters on a bottom is not the end of the world. In fact, even the most severe blistering can be fixed for less than the cost of a new replacement boat. (Sorry, but I do actually have a point to make.) Blistering on a bottom adds from nothing to thousands to the price of creating a perfect bottom. Minor blistering can be ignored for a few more years without destroying the boat. In fact, the only blisters we absolutely have to fix are the ones whose tops we sand through while trying to remove the old coatings. We cannot paint over oozing blister goo. We can paint over lots of lumps. We think it is a horrible way to treat the bottom of a boat to let the blisters continue to grow and we don’t like pushing lumpy boats through the water, but we also understand budgets.
Blisters commonly range in size from a half inch to two inches in diameter and generally are holding water about two layers beneath the gelcoat. Some boats have entire delaminated areas. Some have hundreds of blisters that look like somebody glued split peas to the bottom of the boat before painting over them.
It doesn’t matter what kind of blisters we find, the only way to repair blisters is to individually cut away the top skin and 100% clean away the “decayed” material. We have efficient tools and easy to use fillers but the process still takes lots of time. We expect to spend a few minutes on even the best of old boats repairing a few blisters and include that in our standard prices.
Generally speaking, a 1980 Catalina 27 will have grown about $2500 worth of blisters since it was first launched in Lake Travis. If we have seen the boat regularly since 1980, it is likely we have spent that money already and there may be very few blisters left to be filled. Some of our oldest loyal customers’ most blistered boats have passed through for subsequent regularly scheduled bottom jobs every two or three years with no additional repairs.
Bottoms of twenty to forty year old boats we have not seen before and / or that have not had a bottom job in a dozen years are generally is pretty sad shape. It isn’t quite like failing to visit the dentist where you end up with dentures because you failed to have tiny cavities filled. In fact, failing to apply fresh antifoulants regularly probably saves a lot of money. The boat remains perpetually grunge covered and sails poorly and the blisters grow and the rigging may simply fall down because the mast is never inspected, but stripping all the paint and fixing all the blisters every ten years probably costs a little less than doing four bottom jobs in the interim and keeping the bottom coated with fresh paints.
BUT…here we go again.
It is a lot more expensive to re-do an old neglected bottom than to redo a well maintained bottom. Blister repairs generally range from $200 to $2000 plus materials of $20 to $400 and of course it is all taxed by our wonderful politicians.
If you bring us an old abandoned 26 foot boat you bought for $500, odds are, the bottom will need $5000 from your wallet to create a reasonably smooth pretty surface. The fact is, new boats similar to those old abandoned boats sell for $100,000. We can probably refurbish or replace everything and make the thirty year old classic like new again for less than half that much... and to some extent, because "they just don't make 'em like they used to,"... we can create something better than a new soulless piece of plastic.
America’s Favorite Boatshop
Caring for topsides
This isn’t about bottoms but we are asked to polish and wax many of the boats that are in for bottoms. In fact, many boat owners have us paint or re-gelcoat the topsides while we are servicing the bottoms. There's more here because, we decided to make one long price list to cover most of what we do and to guarantee you would have a document for your bed stand guaranteed to cure even the worst insomnia.
Polishing and waxing
Our standard price for compounding and waxing your topsides is $12 per foot plus materials. The standard price is based upon a finish in reasonably decent condition we can polish with one application of our most brutal compound and then apply a couple coats of wax. Generally the compound, buffing pad, rags, and wax cost about $50 for a 25 foot boat, $100 for a thirty foot boat, and $150 for a 35 foot boat.
If your boat has not been polished in eight or ten years it is likely a simple compounding job will look streaky and worse than just leaving the consistently oxidized surface alone. However, a second pass with the compound will usually bring back gelcoat to a pretty glorious shine. Additional passes generally cost about $5 per foot and consume your money by using 30% to 50% more material.
When the gelcoat is sufficiently deeply oxidized compounding simply removes the remaining coating, we will stop and suggest either leaving it dull or scheduling a refinish.
NOTE: Compounding does NOTHING for nail scratches, chips, and crazed gelcoat. If you can catch your fingernail on an imperfection, we cannot make it go away without doing additional gelcoat or paint repair.
In 1984 R.S.Means published a book describing price ranges for the boat repair business. They surveyed boat yards all over the USA. The average price for repainting topsides with Awlgrip was $100 per foot. That was 30 years ago. We are proud of the fact we can still repaint a Pearson 26 in good condition for about $3000 and accomplish that task IN WHITE in either Gelcoat or Awlgrip. Dark colors can cost as much as $5000 because EVERY IMPERFECTION shows.
HUH?? Good condition? Nobody paints a boat when it is in good condition! That is somewhat true. Good condition means it is just old, dull, mildly scratched, has some discolored old patched areas, and maybe in some places the gelcoat is worn through. Beat up surfaces with deep gouges and fractures from flexing or old paints that look like a dried up flaking mess consume lots more effort and material.
Applying new plastic names to well polished surfaces
Within reason, we will put on a new name or stripes without adding to your bill. We send customers to Stokes Signs for names and TX numbers and we stock and sell 3M Striping tapes in a variety of colors (or will try to find the color you want)
We aren’t gods of application but we are pretty good at making nice straight lines and probably less likely to, leave bubbles and wrinkles in a name than the average person. It’s free. NO COMPLAINING!! No one ever has but we don’t want to oversell our abilities and disappoint someone.
Walter Allan is always welcome to hand paint his wonderful names in our shop