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Lautoka, Vuda Point Marina: Cruisers now have a choice of contractors for boat work

By Sue Richards last modified Oct 22, 2010 11:48 AM

Published: 2010-10-22 11:48:15
Countries: Fiji

Subject: Getting Boatwork in Fiji - Aug 2010

Message:
We arrived Fiji in mid July 2010 with the intention of getting an overdue bottom job and minor hull repairs suffered from TWO recent tsunamis while in Pago Pago.

We went to Vuda Point Marina and arranged to haul-out for what I thought would be a ten day period - max.

I'd heard and read about all sorts of problems with contracting Baobab Marine, but never-the-less asked their yard representative for a quote to repair several gauges above & below the waterline, apply a barrier coat where I'd raised the waterline, sand & prepare & paint the bottom, polish & wax the topsides and paint the cove stripe. I asked them to supply all materials.

The written quote was, in a word, ridiculous. It was far more expensive than any price I'd paid to have similar work performed anywhere during a 12 year tropical circumnavigation. And the quote only covered the job list from the waterline down!

The GOOD NEWS is that Vuda Point has recently changed their policy in regard to letting outside contractors work on their premises and they maintain a list of recomended specialists in the marina office who are allowed through their security gate.

I called "Peter Painter" of C-PROS the following morning and asked him to stop by and quote the job. Peter said he'd be there in twenty minutes. He arrived in 19. We chatted as we walked around the boat and got to know one another. After discussing several issues of concern Peter gave me a verbal quote on nearly HALF the price quoted by Baobab... and he would also paint the boot stripe!

I agreed. We shook hands. He said he'd like half in advance, which is fair enough. I called my wife in town and asked her to make an ATM withdrawal. Peter asked when I'd like them to start and I replied "how about immediately?" Within ten minutes his crew arrived and dust was flying!

We rented a bungalow at The First Landing Resort next door at a price of $75 Fiji dollars per night. My wife's dad decided to come join us a week later for ten days. He had no interest in sailing... so I asked Peter to up the quote to include painting the topsides while he was at it, since we had a bit of time to kill.

I accepted his price and we moved Gallivanter from the cradle as soon as the bottom paint was dry and lowered the boat into a pit berth, with the keel in a trench and the hull resting on old car tires...which gave Peter and his crew better access to the topsides.

C-PROS price for painting our boat from the toe rails down to the bottom of the keel came to just over $1100 USD more than Baobab quoted for only painting below the boot stripe!

Naturally - the job took longer than the 10 days we'd reckoned and Peter said he could be done within three weeks. The boatyard office said the difference in cost for hauling out for three weeks vs one month would be about $6 USD... which translated to ten more days on the hard at a cost of three beers at the resort! This gave Peter and his crew a time-line to do a better job.

Every Friday afternoon at knock-off time, I'd bring a cooler of cold beers for Peter and his crew to cool-off with under the shade of a nearby tree, which became a weekly ritual.

We were out of the water a total of 31 days during which time I became very impressed with the attention to detail Peter took in his work. He offered us the use of his car on weekends, gave us lifts to town on numerous occasions, steered us toward the best deals on all sorts of supplies & services. Peter topped it all off by inviting my family and several of our friends to his home one Sunday afternoon for a traditional Umu Feast cooked on the ground with hot rocks covered in banana, breadfruit & coconut leaves. Yum! It turned into a fine evening under the stars with fine wine and conversation.

We are totally satisfied with the painting work done on our boat at Vuda Point by Peter and his crew at C-PROS. For what it's worth, Peter is from the northern Fijian island of Rotuma and his crew are all relatives. They are of Polynesian descent and each person takes great pride in their work. I feel we got a great job at a great price and, best of all, a great friendship came with the deal. I give Peter Painter and his crew of C-PROS my Highest Personal Recommendation.

I also recommend renting a bungalow next door at The First landing Resort, who offer a discounted "Sailor's Special" and full time Happy Hour Prices while hauled out at Vuda Point Marina.

This was, by far, the most plesant haul-out experience I've ever had in the world.

Kirk, Catherine & Stuart McGeorge
s/v Gallivanter

Peter Painter, C-PROS - (679) 921 3361, E-mail: CPROS@connect.com.fj
First Landing Resort - (679) 666 6171, Web: www.firstlandingfiji.com

Vuda Point Entrance Marker - 17 deg 14.156 E x 177 deg 22.916 S

PS - We've now been poking around Western Fiji for three months, much of which has been in and out of Vuda Point. Berth rates are a fraction of mooring rates in the Caribbean! Please feel free to contace me personally at svGallivanter@yahoo.com should anyone wish to know more about our time in Fiji.

Message from Vuda Point Marina

We have a list of accredited contractors on our wall in the front office that yacht owners can call on. The reason we have accredited contractors is that it allows the yachtie the choice, however all bad and good workmanship should be reported to the front office.

Also, yachts coming into Lautoka from another port, say Savusavu or Suva should clear in at each port. Cutoms is very strict now and is penalising people who don't do this so to avoid that I would suggest they check in. No clearing in and out on Saturdays and Sundays, if so a fee is charged out $95.

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Chris Claydon
Chris Claydon says:
Aug 27, 2013 05:17 AM

IMPORTANT: The 'Peter' mentioned here does not appear to be working in the area any more, BUT there is a conman called Samson Peter trading as "Peter's Works" who has been working at Vuda marina, has tricked yacht owners into parting with cash and has then done very serious damage to their boats costing tens of thousands to put right. DO NOT EMPLOY THESE GUYS. They may be trying to trade off the name of the previous Peter described in the article above, who is clearly NOT the same guy.