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Old 07-11-2006, 03:39 PM   #1
jbess
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Cool To Slip or Valet, that is the question

Now that we have had the boat out several times so far this season and have gotten comfortable with the whole launch-recover-trailering business, I find myself not wanting to tow back and forth from Connecticut, wanting instead to spend all our time on Winni. I do have a place to store the boat at my in-laws place, but thought how convienient it would be if it was already in the water, or at least in a rack ready to be put in the water a a moments notice.

You see, it is only a 3 1/2 hr. ride from Ct to NH, so we could be in town by 9pm on a friday evening, out on the boat Saturday and possibly Sun morning and home to Ct by supper Sunday. The question is this, what makes more sense, valet at say... Channel Marine/Thurstons or Irwins (closest to where we stay) or look for slip space on a seasonal basis? What are the pluses~minuses and which is more cost effective? Any help is appreciated, Thanks in advance, Joe
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:35 PM   #2
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Default Talk to Ames Farm.

Not that far from where you stay (Rte 11 in Gilford), and would have you out on the main body of the lake, not having to mess with the Weirs channel and bay every time you want to use the boat. While up here, I think you can leave the boat at Ames.

Valet can be interesting, especially on a busy weekend. this past weekend at West Alton, there were three boats tied up two deep and two boats tied up three deep (that's a dozen boats tied up in the space of two). In fact it may have been more.

Slip is nice...take down the canvas, fire it up and off you go. Doesn't matter if you decide at the last minute to go out (full moon rising at 9 PM, you pull into town at 830...gee hon, let's go for a ride...). Drawback is a higher cost for docking.

good things either way you go.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:45 PM   #3
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Talking

Nothing can compare to having a slip where your boat is always ready to go and is supported 100% by the water rather than sitting in a rack with point contact. If you have a shore power hookup at the slip and on your boat, your batteries will always be charged. In a slip, you don't have to call anyone ahead of time to launch it and you don't have to worry when you come back in that it might sit at a temporary tie-up until the valet can get to it. Most importantly, each and every time a boat is racked, unloaded, trailered, launched, you run the risk of hull damage. A simple ding or a major gouge, but the odds are in favor of something getting broken or damaged. And I don't know what is worse............having your boat in the top rack or in the bottom with two or three boats above it.

On the flip side, racking is cheaper. Most good racks are in buildings so you don't have the sun bleaching your canvas or your gelcoat. However, you will have bird droppings and maybe even some spiders, although dock spiders are standard equipment with most slips. Racked boats don't leave their owners wondering if the bilge pump will still be working after a week of rainstorms. Racked boats tend to have cleaner hulls at the end of the season, since they don't live in the lake all summer long. Finally, racking can be easier to find available when all the slips are rented. And, to repeat, it is cheaper.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:46 PM   #4
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Thumbs up

Started the valet service after buying a new "used" boat from Channel Marine at the beginning of last season. We used the boat every weekend and vacation last year. I can't say enough great things about their service, attitiude and staff. I just call when I'm about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs away and it is in when we arrive. When we leave they put it back on the "shelf" until next week. Never have to worry about it breaking loose from a mooring or sinking during a storm. It's carefree and I highly recommend it! Plus I enjoy going through the channel. It's the biggest boat show every week on the lake.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:47 PM   #5
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Default Damage

Our boat was damaged when we had it in a rack. When we had it in a slip, the gel coat blistered. Insurance covered the damage in the rack, but not the blistering. I'd say your safest, cheapest bet is Ames Farm.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:49 PM   #6
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose
Our boat was damaged when we had it in a rack. When we had it in a slip, the gel coat blistered. Insurance covered the damage in the rack, but not the blistering. I'd say your safest, cheapest bet is Ames Farm.
Rose, where was the blistering........above or below the waterline?
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:04 PM   #7
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose
I'd say your safest, cheapest bet is Ames Farm.
Ames is the place we launch from. I like it alot as its nice and wide and has 2 ramps. But am I correct in saying Ames just has available parking for the boat on the trailer? If that is the case, I already have that at my in-laws. I am trying to decide if racking or sliping is a better way to go than trailer/launch/recover.

If I store at Ames, I obviously wouldn't have to pay the 20 to launch, right?
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:08 PM   #8
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Call your rack candidates and check closing times and what happens if you come back after that. It can be a PITA to have to be back by 5PM on a Saturday night.
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:08 PM   #9
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin C
Started the valet service after buying a new "used" boat from Channel Marine at the beginning of last season. We used the boat every weekend and vacation last year. I can't say enough great things about their service, attitiude and staff. I just call when I'm about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs away and it is in when we arrive. When we leave they put it back on the "shelf" until next week. Never have to worry about it breaking loose from a mooring or sinking during a storm. It's carefree and I highly recommend it! Plus I enjoy going through the channel. It's the biggest boat show every week on the lake.
Hey Kevin, we also bought "used" from Channel. Like yourself, were very pleased with the way we were treated. The demo was top notch and my wife and Faye (fianance/paperwork lady?) acted like they knew each other for years by the end of the transaction. I am kinda leaning towards their valet for 07 if available.
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:12 PM   #10
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrc
Call your rack candidates and check closing times and what happens if you come back after that. It can be a PITA to have to be back by 5PM on a Saturday night.
Hmmm...havent thought about that, good point!
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:02 PM   #11
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I come back frequently after 5:00 and it's no problem. They are usually still hauling out after 6:00 pm(on weekends). However, stay out as long as you want. If they are closed you can just tie-up at any of their docks and they'll haul you out in the morning. Or leave it in if you are using it the next day. It's very user friendly. Enjoy!
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:43 AM   #12
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbess
If I store at Ames, I obviously wouldn't have to pay the 20 to launch, right?
In the past, if you stored your boat on the trailer there, you didn't have to pay the launch fee.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:54 AM   #13
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Thumbs up Rack

We Rack at Harilla and we love it. Plenty of day docks so we can head out to the store by car if need be. The service is fantastic. I never thought twice about my boat during all those soaking spring rains, I knew it was safe and sound in the rack dry as a bone. We boat as late as we want on a Sunday because they just rack it Monday morning when they open. The plus is having a mechanic on duty (Goodhue). If I ever have any problems they are fixed during the week. Two thumbs up for Harilla Landing!

As for Nightwing's comment "and is supported 100% by the water rather than sitting in a rack with point contact." A rack is the exact same "contact" with your boat as a trailer. Also we all pull our boats for the winter don't we? They usually end up in a rack or a trailer right? So as far as point contact goes it is a non-issue.

Negatives - make sure you know the schedule of your marina (closing times etc.) Nothing like driving 3 hours and your boat isn't in the water when you wanted it to be. Other than that I highly reccomend Rack storage, especially if I lived 3+ hours away from my boat.
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:21 AM   #14
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelnut
As for Nightwing's comment "and is supported 100% by the water rather than sitting in a rack with point contact." A rack is the exact same "contact" with your boat as a trailer. Also we all pull our boats for the winter don't we? They usually end up in a rack or a trailer right? So as far as point contact goes it is a non-issue.
Depends on what the hull is resting on. The rack that we rented had vertical 2x10's with no padding. The boat was placed on its lowest chine in such a way that the fiberglass was chipped off in several places, to the tune of $2000+ in repairs. So point contact definitely IS an issue. Luckily, insurance covered everything but the deductable. The deductable wasn't covered because when you sign up for a rack, the rental agreement clears them of any liability if the boat is damaged in the racking process. I know many people have had luck with racks...we did not.
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:37 AM   #15
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Default My $0.02

I had valet last year at Meredith Marina, they wouldn't take my larger boat for this year, so I have a slip at Parker Marine.

Meredith is a great operation and I really liked them. That said, if you get back after 5:00 or so, you have to leave your boat tied up, and there are only so many dock spaces available for that. I was ALWAYs worried, therefore I was always back around 5 or 5:30. Now, it wasn't a big deal, because my youngest was only 4 months old at the start of the season, and didn't tolerate a long day anyway.

This year, the slip has been great (aside from the high water causing my year to start late, but it impacted everyone I'm sure). Boat is ready to go, we stay up on the lake later, and it's nice to have a place to just hang out. In a valet, they want you out of the boat, and the boat out of the water, ASAP.

So, this is my list based on my experience with the two places I'm at. Possibly not all valets have the same concerns?

Valet Pros:
- Boat stays MUCH cleaner
- Cheaper
- Less worry/work (proper tie up of the boat in the slip, less worry about wind/waves/weather, etc...)
- Can have them fuel the boat prior to launch.

Valet Cons:
- Possible limitations on hours (both launch and retrieve)
- No place to hang out, clean your boat, have lunch, etc...
- Support of boat in a rack (At Meredith, I kept her on her bunk trailer, and they launched and retrieved on the trailer, so really, that seems no worse to me than what you're doing now by trailering all the time, you just cut out the wear and tear of driving the trailer around)

Slip Pros:
- No hourly limitations, it's your own little hole in the water for the season
- Place to hang out, place to sleep on the boat, no rush to get unloaded/out of your boat.

Slip Cons:
- More expensive
- Boat gets much dirtier
- Somewhat more worry about the boat (bilge pump fails during a rainstorm, or something similar)

Personally, I prefer this years slip over last years valet.
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:13 PM   #16
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Default ?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose
Depends on what the hull is resting on. The rack that we rented had vertical 2x10's with no padding. The boat was placed on its lowest chine in such a way that the fiberglass was chipped off in several places, to the tune of $2000+ in repairs. So point contact definitely IS an issue. Luckily, insurance covered everything but the deductable. The deductable wasn't covered because when you sign up for a rack, the rental agreement clears them of any liability if the boat is damaged in the racking process. I know many people have had luck with racks...we did not.
That is disturbing Rose. Are you telling me that you had a rack with beams that ran across the hull as opposed to bunks that cradled the hull? Where was this? Are they all like that at this marina? Did you know this before you rented? I guess this is a case of buyer/renter beware. I would not allow my boat to be placed in a rack with this set up period! We own our rack and we have carpeted bunks and we have no problems. I can see why you were disatisfied, I would be too!
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelnut
That is disturbing Rose. Are you telling me that you had a rack with beams that ran across the hull as opposed to bunks that cradled the hull? Where was this? Are they all like that at this marina? Did you know this before you rented? I guess this is a case of buyer/renter beware. I would not allow my boat to be placed in a rack with this set up period! We own our rack and we have carpeted bunks and we have no problems. I can see why you were disatisfied, I would be too!

i think she meant they were parrallell to the hull but not spaced peoperly and not covered with either the plastic or carpeting a trailer bunk would have. because they were not spaced properly they dug into the chine.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:03 PM   #18
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelnut
As for Nightwing's comment "and is supported 100% by the water rather than sitting in a rack with point contact." A rack is the exact same "contact" with your boat as a trailer. Also we all pull our boats for the winter don't we? They usually end up in a rack or a trailer right? So as far as point contact goes it is a non-issue.
Yes, point contact is an issue. In the water, every square inch of the hull below the waterline is 100% supported with equal pressure..............ideal conditions.

In a rack, or on a trailer, you have point contact. True, several points or even many points of contact. The trailer has bunks or rollers or a combination. Each roller is a point of contact, each bunk is a point of contact, even if the point is as long as the bunk. Unlikely, since hulls are formed with a series of curves and are seldom flat enough to completely touch a bunk with equal pressure its whole length. A bunk is but a long point.

Racks are usually even less support than a trailer with many rollers. Yes, they do a good job of keeping a boat stable and trailers will allow transportation of the boat over land, and even a place of storage off season. However, the best racks and the best trailers do not support the hull as well as water. Since we can't leave our boats in the water all year, we must use a rack or a trailer during the off season, and likewise must employ those methods during boating season if a slip is not available.

Picture yourself completely relaxed floating on your back in a pool. Your body is 100% supported by the water. You feel no pressure points anywhere on your person. Now, get out of the pool and dry off. Then stretch out an a couple of boards with a few blocks of wood under your heavy parts. Maybe a few rolling pins here and there. Want more? how about we add a steel beam with a piece of worn out carpet in the mix. Spend 15 minutes like that and then come back and say that point contact isn't an issue.

I guess if boat hulls could get bedsores, they would show on the points of contact. LOL!!
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:44 PM   #19
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Default Harilla's

The beams ran the length of the hull and the spacing was just right (or perhaps wrong would be the better word) so that the chines were caught. There were 4 good sized chips in the fiberglass. I can't remember which building we were in, but it was a fourth level rack at Harilla's. When we had them place the boat on our trailer at the end of the season, I noticed the damage. We were told, in a very nice but matter of fact way, that it's difficult to see exactly how you're setting the boat when it's on the fourth level, and that's why the waiver on their responsibility is included in the rental agreement. He told us if we wanted to rent it again the following year, we might want to ask the owner to carpet the wood. Since it was our first season with a boat, we had no idea this could happen.

Other than that, we were happy with Harilla's. We were also happy the following year in our slip at Quayside, until the end of the season when we washed the bottom and discovered the blisters. Since then, we bought a house, all the money goes to that, and the boat is a nice driveway ornament.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:48 PM   #20
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Default Below

Quote:
Originally Posted by NightWing
Rose, where was the blistering........above or below the waterline?
Below the waterline.
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose
Below the waterline.
Blistering below the waterline is a sign of a manufacturing problem when the hull was laid up. I would contact the dealer and the manufacturer to see what they are going to do. I have read of some companies taking a boat back and repairing or replacing the hull. Blisters are not normal, although some years and some makes are/were more prone to blisters. Once blisters break open, they may allow water to leach into the laminates of the hull and cause serious structural damage, or at least, allow the boat to gain a little weight as the hull soaks up water. Don't let anyone tell you that the blisters are from being in water. That is what a boat is for.
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:12 PM   #22
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I agree with Nightwing. I had a boat blister (won't mention the manufacturer) and they redid the whole bottom, plus extended the warranty. If I recall, there were issues with certain types of resin used in the lay-up process.

Definitely worth checking.
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:22 PM   #23
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Default to slip or valet

are there no lakes In CT?
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paugus Bay Resident
I agree with Nightwing. I had a boat blister (won't mention the manufacturer) and they redid the whole bottom, plus extended the warranty. If I recall, there were issues with certain types of resin used in the lay-up process.

Definitely worth checking.
I can't remember if my husband contacted the dealer at the time we noticed it. As I said, we haven't used the boat since then because we're now married to our house. And the boat is his toy.

I didn't mean to imply that it is normal for a hull to blister if left in the water...sorry if I did. But the fact that the boat is sitting in the water for an extended period of time allows osmosis to occur through the faulty resin.
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:38 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ossipeeboater
i think she meant they were parrallell to the hull but not spaced peoperly and not covered with either the plastic or carpeting a trailer bunk would have. because they were not spaced properly they dug into the chine.
What he said!!!
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose
I can't remember if my husband contacted the dealer at the time we noticed it. As I said, we haven't used the boat since then because we're now married to our house. And the boat is his toy.

I didn't mean to imply that it is normal for a hull to blister if left in the water...sorry if I did. But the fact that the boat is sitting in the water for an extended period of time allows osmosis to occur through the faulty resin.
Agreed........the operative word is faulty. A correctly built hull should not blister.
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:55 PM   #27
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpartri497
are there no lakes In CT?
Thanks for all the replies, Def. alot of different thoughts here. We will be talking to several places for the 2007 season and priceing things out when we come up in a week.

There is a decent lake here in CT, fpartri497, but it is 3/4 the size of Winnisquam with as many boats on it as Winnipesaukee My wife doesn't mind if we tow the boat back and forth, because I tend to drive more cautiously with it then whithout! (less of a whiteknuckle ride I guess?). Simply this, I am kinda disappointed with the lake here and would rather drive 3 hrs and enjoy myself. Now if only I could get my wife to warm up to the idea of moving up there...Hmmm
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:30 PM   #28
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Default Still a non issue

I guess for me personally "point contact" is a non issue. Trailering, racking, "point contact" is inevitable (winter storage/travel). To raise it as an issue when considering racking vs wet slip just seemed bizzare to me. I understand the science of it (didn't need it broken down thanks anyway). If damage is going to be done in the summer by racking, do you store your boat in the water in the winter? Won't that same damage occur in the winter?
So the non-issue comment on my part should have been clarified as IMO. I never thought twice about it due in large part that boats eventually end up dry docked at some point.
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Old 07-13-2006, 01:25 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelnut
I guess for me personally "point contact" is a non issue. Trailering, racking, "point contact" is inevitable (winter storage/travel). To raise it as an issue when considering racking vs wet slip just seemed bizzare to me. I understand the science of it (didn't need it broken down thanks anyway). If damage is going to be done in the summer by racking, do you store your boat in the water in the winter? Won't that same damage occur in the winter?
So the non-issue comment on my part should have been clarified as IMO. I never thought twice about it due in large part that boats eventually end up dry docked at some point.
Yes, you are right as far as we can't slip year around, so some time is spent on a trailer or in a rack. I Did mention that. We can't get away from it.

The original question was which was better, racking or a slip. If your boat can be cradled naturally by water, 5 months out of the year, so much the better, INMHO.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:19 PM   #30
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There are obviously pro and cons to this but I enjoy the valet/rack as it is significantly cheaper on my budget. I rack a 22.5' cuddy and it works great for me.

Never had a problem having it ready when I wanted it. Sometimes it goes in as I am arriving but the guy's are always ready to get her in for me when I have not called ahead. I rack at Fay's
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:12 PM   #31
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Default valet rack service - tips?

Just curious, is it customary to tip the personnel performing the valet service when one racks their boat?
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:33 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfm
Just curious, is it customary to tip the personnel performing the valet service when one racks their boat?
This has been asked before a few years ago. Many people at that time said they did tip.

My opinion is if you get good service and attention to your needs then yes you should. How much and in what form is up to each individual and dependent upon the service you receive.

Remember if you want to be treated well then treat the people at your rack/ valet as you would want to be treated.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:44 PM   #33
LIforrelaxin
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Default Tipping

Now I don't use a valet service, but my opinion on Tip would be based not only on the service but also on what I had to pay upfront for the service. If the service was ralatively cheap up front compared to ramp fees and gas for the rig to pull the boat, I would be inclined to Tip especially for good service. However if the cost was high, I would be less inclined to tip. Now the cost is also dependant on how much you use the boat.......If you are pulling the boat out of the rack.... more than once a week you probably want to think about a tip............

But that is just the way I look at it......and personaly I think to many people go around looking for tips these days..........a tip cup at McDonalds or Burger King is always a bit much.....(and yes I have seen this)
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:10 PM   #34
Ken B
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Good thread. What about cost? No one has mentioned actual costs and availability of a slip vs valet. I'm too thinking about both but it may come down to cost. Also, one last point, if you're trailering the gas will be cheaper then what you pay on the water but perhaps that savings is negated by hauling the boat with the truck????

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Old 07-14-2006, 03:22 PM   #35
jbess
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Default Cost

Hey Ken, a quick look @ the classified ads here will show anywhere from 1800 to 3000 for seasonal slip space. I have not looked at Valet services yet but was told it is about 1600-1800 when we bought the boat and asked what it was "roughly", so there seems to be quite a diff. in prices.
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