I used to work at a marina, AMA

What people THINK their boat looks like that they just bought off Craigslist in trade for a riding lawn mower plus cash
Closer to the actual condition of most Craigslist boats

My prior job was at a marina on a small lake. We mostly dealt with power boats under 25 feet: inboard, outboard, and sterndrive. We sold loose outboards, trailers, boats, complete packages and everything in between, and serviced a wide variety of brands. I was “general manager” but all that meant was, I got to do everything from washing boats to managing business relationships, driving the forklift, sales, web development, IT, accounting, front desk, you get the idea. I was also on the board of the local Marine Trade Association, so I got some good industry knowledge in the process.


Wondering why boats break so much? Why it costs so much to fix them? Ask away. I’m here for at least the next hour and half anyway.

(but here are all the answers: no one makes enough boats to have properly good QC, plus the season is too short. And around here, boats sit dormant for 6+ months at at time. And they’re all so different from each other that you tend to spend more time diagnosing. At a minimum, the tech probably hasn’t seen that problem 47 times before, like he might have on an F-150. Also every economic cycle and nearly every new environmental regulation threatens some part or other of the business. So, there you have it. I’ll just go home now.)

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