This topic is really all about objectivity. Its naturally hard for most folks to keep their objectivity about anything. When you throw money into the mix, its especially hard. IMO people are very critical of the work of others as the $ goes up. Its all relative.
I do believe good tradesmen exist everywhere. Given any project and any locale, you'll find a person to do a good job for a fair price. Just about anywhere you go this is true. We're major DIY types, but when ever we've needed professionals, we've found them. One's expectations may be too high or too low depending upon WHERE the boat is located and what the cruising budget is! Just because I can't fit the work proposed (to be done by someone else) into the budget does NOT mean the proposal is a bad deal--just that I don't have the money for it. If all I have money for is a fellow who doesn't have a clue about the project he needs to do--well, that's not lack of a tradesman, its a lack of money.
Being objective about the going rate in a geographic area for any given work is really important. One can overpay for low quality work in a Third World country quite easily and walk away with a smile thinking "well, its Third World and, gee, at least it was cheap" instead of thinking "These locals can't do anything I want at the level of quality I want or using the materials I want...etc." Its my opinion that boaters are a forgiving bunch when it comes to "inexperienced but cheap"; conversely we're a critical bunch when it comes to high prices whether or not the quality is there and whether or not the high prices are justified by the local cost of living or competition for high quality tradesmen.
On the negative side, here, in Southern California, there are many, many, many (MANY!) people who DO NOT have the experience to do the job they're trying to do. These same folks want too much money to do their trade because they frequently don't even understand that their work is not up to the standard of the next tradesman's work. A steady demand for people in marine trades allows this to happen.
Putting that aside, here in So. Cal we've readily found quality tradesmen to do things we've needed done and when we've had the money for the project we've paid the price for tradesmen to do it.
We presently have a true craftsman working full time for us on the rebuilding and refitting of our cruising boat. He's been with us working for over a year and we find his work to consistently meet or exceed our expectations. The keys to the success of this relationship: He is professional, he set a fair price for his work, he had numerous clients who were very happy as references, and finally, he has an open mind about working side-by-side with the boat's owner (very important to us).
Being objective is difficult but makes finding people to do the job and negotiating the terms much easier--and finally, allows one to be happier about the work that was done.
Good luck! deciding on what has to be done by a tradesman and what you can do yourself and good luck in finding tradesmen to do what's needed. https://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/pub...IR#>/smile.gif