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Fiji, Viti Levu, Lautoka: Completing an Overhaul at Vuda Point Marina

By Val Ellis last modified Jan 02, 2015 06:18 PM
High praise for the companies and workers who helped a couple with an extensive overhaul of their 47 foot catamaran.

Published: 2014-01-05 00:00:00
Countries: Fiji

Fiji, Viti Levu, Lautoka: Completing an Overhaul at Vuda Point Marina

Lautoka, Fiji ©www.mahina.com

In the Fall of 2013 we completed our boat projects in Fiji, started with a successful haul out in Suva (see report) in June with work done below the waterline, by engaging the services of Vuda Point Marina and Baobab Marine.  In total we accomplished 48 projects, some large, some small, in a 5 week period with the help of Baobab Marine, Ron's Painting, Marshall Sails and the staff of Vuda Point Marina.  

Baobab once again delivered good to excellent work, on time, at a competitive price and with a high level of expertise.  I have worked with Brian Smith on other occasions and find him fair and competent.  I appreciate bluntness and honesty so find his approach refreshing and have developed confidence in his capabilities over the last several years.  If you need welding or stainless steel work done in Fiji, Brian is the person to engage for the job.  

Baobab solved a gooseneck problem by arriving with 4 workers and a truck, removing the boom and taking it to their workshop,  returning it two days later with newly fabricated bushings and additional repairs.  Brian and his crew fabricated a removable stainless steel anchor roller for the spare anchor which is stored in a forward locker on my 47 foot Leopard catamaran.  A broken rigging piece was remanufactured for a fraction of the price of a new piece plus the shipping.  Work was done on both the Yanmar engines including a new coolant box on one and ejection pump work on another.  We had a few difficulties sorting out all the "bugs" that occur after significant systems have been affected in the course of all the engine work, but it was completely resolved with the continued assistance of the Baobab mechanics.  Baobab also repaired gel coat damage, assisted in repair of an alternator, and rebuilt our Lofrans Tigris windlass.  Numerous smaller jobs were accomplished with good results.  I found the charges for work done to be very competitive and in the case of the goose neck repair, inexpensive as compared to the costs another cruiser paid in New Zealand.  We kept a log of all the workers and the work done on the boat and found that we were charged for only those hours actually worked, and in some cases for less than the number of hours we had on our log!  I can highly recommend Baobab Marine as your primary source for marine repair in Fiji. 

Ron's Painting helped in the repair of a cockpit table which was scratched and chipped.  When the weather turned rainy in the midst of the project Ron hired a cab, took the table top home, and repaired it there, returning it the next day.  It was a beautiful job at a very competitive cost.  Ron also sent us an individual to help with our sanding and varnishing who took instructions well, worked to our specifications and did a very professional job.

Alan Marshall removed all of our sails and our sail cradle, repaired damage and sewed seams, made us a guitar cover of waterproof material, and sourced batten material and waterproofing solution.  All the work was to our specifications and completed at a fair price.  The sails were returned to the boat and the crew of Marshall Sails assisted us in replacing the sails.

Vuda Point Marina has a crew of day workers available if you need a helping hand.  They are untrained but willing to work and we found them invaluable for those jobs we wanted to do ourselves but didn't have the energy or strength to do without a bit of help.  Day workers helped us move chain and anchors, clean remote areas, bed a water maker shelf, place cable ties, sand and varnish, paint, clean and polish inside and out, and generally showed up willing to work at a variety of jobs.  Working in a boat yard is exhausting and the help of a cheerful youngster can make the difference between a day which is only bearable to one filled with satisfaction.  And all at an unbeatable price!

What is the bottom line?  If you want a good job at a competitive price and can keep emotion and personality out of the equation, then Baobab is the obvious choice for quality marine work in Fiji.  Keep open communication with the main office, work with the supervisor (in our case it was a fellow named Lorenzo), ask for and sign your estimates, keep track of hours worked and feel free to contact Brian Smith if there is a problem.   For those other little jobs you want to supervise yourself, hire one of the local workers at Vuda Point or check with Ron's Painting for a helping hand.

Rixzene Ayers
James McCarthy
Yacht Pogeyan

Leopard 47 Catamaran

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 02, 2015 06:17 PM

Posted on behalf of sailboatuser:
We were very happy with Baobab Marine in Vuda Point in Sep. 2014. Excellent work with hull sanding, antifouling, cutlass bearing replacement, shaft alignment. We were constantly in contact with the managers, and workers were cheerful and responsible.

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