I contracted J & R Marine Services, Inc, of Placida Florida to perform repairs and paint my 45 ft Columbia sailboat. Robert Pocklington (Joe), and Ronnie, his partner, are quite charming. Joe repeatedly told me he has been in the business for over 30 years. Ronnie stated that she would be glad to 'teach' me all about boat repair. They are excellent at 'getting' the work, if only they walked their talk.
Joe will also tell you he is semi-retired, this certainly is apparent in the ethic of current management. They showed me other boats that they had worked on...and assured me that my vessel would be shown the same quality and careful workmanship. Work began in earnest with invoices appearing weekly, they never had a problem asking for money. Nor did they have a problem getting paid, invoices were usually paid within 24hrs of receipt. Their workers were initially professional and seemed to be providing quality work. [continued below]....
As time went on I began to notice defects in work already completed, this was never the fault of J & R, but rather due to the age of / or issues with the boat. Of course if you've been in the business for over 30 years, there are no surprises, Right? Before the $8500.00 paint job was completed, Ronnie informed me that she and Joe would be going on vacation.......for a month. She assured me that all the work would be done in a professional manner and that I should pay for the job before their departure. Ronnie also stated that she would always be available by phone or email, and that this holiday would not effect my job.
I made the mistake of trusting her, and paid for the job in full. Joe and Ronnie left on vacation, and from that day on my job was never properly completed. Ronnie's employees said they were told they must move my boat away from the paint area to make way for other work; that they were not given time to properly finish my paint job, and expressed their own disgruntlement with management.
J & R Marine Services Inc. took on many new jobs while management was on vacation, but they didn't allocate time to complete the work that they had already contracted and had been paid for.....
The rushed and disjointed paint job left the following critical problems: dry spots in multiple areas including rubrail and stern, many pin holes which I'm told are not repairable without respraying, overspray on rubrail and tape from plastic prep. Although the crew made attempts to correct defects the boat now looks like a paint job attempted to be repaired (large fuzzy spots next to clear shiny spots ; buffing spots that look like a bad wax job) MOST CONCERNING- bubbling of the paint along rubrail and above the rubrail (this seems to be increasing as the days go by) The crew stated this might be because the primer wasn't fully dry after so many days of rain, but that they were told to shoot the boat so that other work could be moved into the paint area. I called and emailed Ronnie but Joe returned my calls and told me I was being unreasonable (even though he had never seen the paint job). Ronnie stopped returning my calls, and never returned an email.
J & R management returned from vacation SIX weeks later. Joe did come by my home to look at the paint job, offered me a cash settlement for the defective work......then changed his mind and told me to 'do whatever I needed to do" regarding the work by his company.
Ronnie certainly did 'school' me in regards to trusting contractors and paying before completion of work. In my opinion, J & R Marine Services was a great company when Joe was in charge. Now the lip service is great, the work is sub standard. The real shame is that the guys doing the work are real craftsman, if only Ronnie would give them the time to do their jobs correctly instead of running after the next greenback.
EVERY REPAIR ATTEMPTED BY J & R MARINE SERVICES HAD TO BE REDONE AT LEAST THREE TIMES ! I FINALLY REFUSED TO PAY FOR THE FINAL REPAIR OF THE RUDDER SINCE IT CONTINUED TO LEAK AFTER 4 REPAIR ATTEMPTS.
view J & R 's work on youtube under: J & R Marine Service , Placida Florida, review of work http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HZ4Gw2TClU&feature=plcp