This might sound something like the first item in this series, but it isnt because you are actually taking a trip to the yard and looking around for yourself. So, what should you be looking for? Heres a checklist of items that will help you out:
* Is the yard clean and tidy? This may sound somewhat silly, but it really isnt because a neat, tidy yard means the owner and workers care about not only making a living, but also about keeping things neat for themselves. They take pride in the appearance of their place of employment. Its important that you know this as you are entrusting a rather hefty investment to their care and if you had found the yard had had a number of beer cans thrown around and piles of rubbish all over, as well as ratty lines, then it youre first thought should be elsewhere as you exited through the gate.* Are the materials quality? Check with some marine dealers and find out the best materials available. What types of ropes should you see them using? What types of webbing should be on the hoist? What type of hoist should they be using? Do they have the latest and best tools to drain and set up your craft for the time it will be there? Is their computer system up date and do they use the latest computerized books and databases to keep track of your billing and boat. These are important considerations that a good yard wont mind sharing with you.* Do they take the time to do the job right? Ask for a reference list any reputable yard will provide it for you -- and then check with some other yard users to see what they think of the yard, materials and other aspects. It makes sense since your investment in this will be for several months and will likely cost you thousands. If they will let you, watch them bring a boat out of the water and see how they handle is as the they trailer or cradle it off to its position.* Do they handle the setup right? To store a craft over a long term, it does take time and effort and you must see them at work before you can know if they are the right yard for you. Of course, this is an imposition, it would be to any yard, but, again, if they are reputable, they will take the time to accommodate your wishes.* How good is their setup? This is a corollary to the point above and you have to know whethter they will actually empty out your fueling system and your oiling system. You must also see if they disconnect the battery or put it on a trickle charge. Disconnecting the battery is important, as is removing it and placing it either on a large cinderblock not an old wives tale believe it or not, theres something to it -- and you have to make sure that they clean and/or remove the propulstion system and bilging at the same time.
If all of this meets with your approval and if they have been accommodating theres nothing to prevent you from signing on the dotted line with this yard as they take the time to care and they do want your business.
They are also the types that care about your craft and are proud of their work so you should have no qualms about using them.