Vendors We Love – Fort Lauderdale
One thing every boater learns over time is that it can be difficult to find reliable resources for the seemingly endless work that needs attending to on a boat. We have also learned that nothing beats a personal recommendation. Fort Lauderdale is the boating capital of the world which can make it one of the best places to get work done. There are so many options and the fierce competition can help weed out the vendors doing shoddy work or charging unreasonable prices. But that doesn’t mean everyone is great and it can be tough to navigate the massive field of players. After receiving recommendations for most of the work we were having done during our time seeking in Fort Lauderdale we were very happy to have had good experiences with almost everyone along the way. Our list isn’t very long (at this point) but perhaps it will help you make an informed decision about some work you may be contemplating. These reviews are based on our experience – your mileage may vary. We received no compensation for any of these mentions but please do tell them you heard about them from the crew on OLOH if you reach out.
Fuel Delivery – Anchor Petroleum
It’s hard to beat dockside fuel delivery. It is often said that the fuel directly off a truck is likely to be cleaner than what you get at the pump and it’s inevitably less expensive. Before leaving Fort Lauderdale we easily set up an appointment and had a delivery from Anchor Petroleum. They were very courteous and prompt. We’ll use them again.
Batteries – Batteries Etc.
There are probably hundreds of places to buy marine batteries in Fort Lauderdale but on the recommendation of a boat captain in the slip next to ours, I reached out to Jeff at Batteries Etc. when it was time to replace OLOH’s bow thruster batteries. He’s very friendly, knows everything there is to know about batteries, had some great suggestions and, perhaps most importantly, was able to deliver and install them for what we thought was a very reasonable fee (our batteries weigh around 160 pounds).
Fire Systems Inspection Services – Fire Ranger
OLOH has fire suppression systems in her engine rooms and generator room as well as around a dozen fire extinguishers throughout the boat. All of these items should be inspected and re-certified/replaced as needed on a yearly basis. I met the very friendly crew from Fire Ranger at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and set up our inspection. The guys who came to the boat for the service call were terrific and as it was our first time going through the process, they took the time to explain everything to us along the way. It was a great education on how our systems work and what can cause them to fail. After using them it was nice to hear from so many fellow boaters that they are the “go-to” fire systems vendor for them as well.
A Little Bit Of Everything – Yacht Equipment And Parts
As we’ve written about, we engaged Yacht Equipment And Parts to facilitate the upgrade of OLOH’s stabilizers. We were so pleased to have found Jim Monroe and his excellent team and couldn’t have been more pleased with their quality of work and level of knowledge and professionalism, all at what we felt was a fair price. While they were on the job we had them tackle a few more projects including the replacement of various hydraulic hoses and the installation of new Ocean LED underwater lights (one of the many quality brands they’re a certified dealer for). Their services include installation and servicing of thrusters, air conditioning systems, water makers and so much more. If you have a project in mind there’s a very good chance YEP can get it done right and we strongly encourage you to peruse their website or, better yet, give Jim a call.
Electronics – On Plane Marine Electronics
We met Jeff Comer of On Plane Marine Electronics several years ago after he had completed an electronics refit on our friend’s 75′ Hatteras Motor Yacht which we’ve helped run up and down the coast a few times so we became very familiar with his handiwork. Jeff’s a great guy, super-knowledgable and very good at what he does. He’s also eager to get it exactly right for each owner and is helpful with suggestions if there’s a better way to get things done, even if it means less of a job for him. Jeff came in for phase two of OLOH’s electronics refit and seamlessly integrated his work into what we had already done. Jeff’s located a bit north of Fort Lauderdale but if you’re anywhere in the area and in need of electronics work he’s definitely worth a call.
Cleaning and Detailing – South Shore Marine Detailing
When we first got to Fort Lauderdale we were surprised at how difficult it was to find someone reliable to wash the boat. Cleaning services are everywhere and they are understandably very busy, some apparently too busy to return a phone call or an email, even after a recommendation from a marina where they do a lot of work. Then the quality of the work can vary greatly – and we’re the first to admit we’re pretty picky when it comes to how we like our boat maintained. The first service we contracted was easy to deal with but the work was sub-par. So again, on the recommendation of a longtime yacht captain, we reached out to Robert of South Shore Marine Detailing to get on a regular cleaning schedule. Robert’s another very nice guy who is clearly aware that his reputation rests in the hands of those doing the work on his behalf so he’s either working on or looking after each job and seeing to it that his crew works to his standard. His rates are competitive and the work is solid. OLOH has never looked better than she did after his crew fully detailed her in the yard before we left town for the season.
Painting Services – Custom Marine Refinishing
When we were first working with Robert from South Shore Marine Detailing we asked him if he knew anyone who could repaint our chalky and tired looking satellite domes, one of those small details that can make a nice difference when they’re shiny and new looking. He connected us with Ralfie who picked up, painted and re-tuned our domes, impeccably refinished at what we felt was a very reasonable price. After that experience, we decided to contract Ralfie for some other touch-up work as well as our upcoming bottom paint job. Ralfie knows his stuff and is very dedicated to his work. His team was excellent, we were very pleased with the results and, again, we felt the pricing was fair. He does it all from small touch-ups to complete repaint jobs and does no advertising – it’s all word of mouth for him and that says a lot given how busy he is. We’ll use him again in a heartbeat.
Yacht Yard – Marina Mile Yachting Center
Choosing a yacht yard in Fort Lauderdale can be a daunting proposition given the number of yards that exist. There are obviously many reasons to choose one yard over another and we made our choice based on the fact that our painter and detailer both work there regularly and both had good things to say. The estimate we got from General Manager David Hole for the work we were planning was in line with our expectations and communication was good from start to finish. They have a team of experts that can tackle most any project. His team was waiting for us in their travel-lift pit at the precise time of our scheduled haulout and the work was all done well and completed on schedule with no surprises on the final bill. Check out a video of our arrival and haulout at MMYC here.