Grenada Marine – Abandon Hope Now
This blog will be a long whinge as we have just been at Grenada Marine for a very long time. Their original advert and photographs made the yard seem like a good choice. They said a load of guff about good customer service, positive communication, emails about the condition of your boat and progress of jobs etc. Customer service is based on money. If you pay extra (an expediting fee) they will work on your boat and finish the job, otherwise its pretty well get lost – if you hang around and make a big fuss you might get the jobs finished. Our Coppercoat re-application was quoted to be done in May, but someone more important came along so they shoved us out of the covered shed without starting. The idea with antifoul is that you do most of the hull in one place, then move the boat and touch up the areas you couldn't get to because of supports. They moved us before starting, leaving the touch up areas undone and insufficient time to do them before launch six months later. Enter Caroline, “ Insufficient time, you've had 6 months!”. “OK, we'll do it...”. The activation process was explained to us several times, but they still didn't get round to it properly and we gave up on that.
The engine communication went – on arrival, 'the alternator's not working'. 'OK we'll test it'. We've tested it, its broken' 'OK, can you get me a new one, along with the other engine parts?' 'Yes'. We've fitted all the engine parts and it all works'. On our return - 'Where's the new alternator?'. Eventually we left without ever receiving the alternator we waited an additional 3 weeks for. Engine works OK also meant a water leak and a sensor not connected, which they tried to bill us for correcting. They did remove these charges when we complained, but they had intended to charge us for putting their own mistakes right (so wrong). They were asked to test our batteries which involved undoing 8 bolts, topping them up, leaving fo an hour and returning to run a 5 minute test. They charged the hour they were away from the boat, working on another. Again we complained and had this removed.
The yard itself is every expense spared for the cruisers living on their boats. There is one concrete outdoor washing up sink, so most cruisers end up contaminating the ground by chucking out their dishwashing water, making the yard problems even worse. The yard has some long grass, potholes and very little gravel, so while thr boat has technically been on the 'hard' it has really been in a bug infested swamp. Caroline has bites from at least four different insect species and scabby legs some of which were going to open sores (what a pretty thought).
view from the boat
This is what we walked through to get to the dirty toilets and showers. To have an almost always cold shower involves walking through wet gritty sand, partly because the yard is a tip, partly because the local kids are allowed to wash off after using the beach (cruisers pay a 'liveaboard fee' for the facilities). There was never any soap for the toilets (except for those in the restaurant, and even they didn't always have paper) – ugh to this.
One cruiser left their manky old razors in the shower in May and they were still there in December. Other boat yards have coded locks or keys for cruisers so that some facilities are just for them. Our favourite money saving idea was that 3 of the 5 shower rooms had wooden rails for your towel and 1 rusty nail in the door. The other 2 had no rail, so you got 2 rusty nails. (One rusty nail fell out, so it was upgraded to a shiny screw.)
A further indication of the yard conditions is that we had a South American cane toad living under our boat. These massive toads were introduced as a means to control beetle infestations damaging the crops.
Our beautiful new mast and boom were stored in a rusty graveyard for guardrails, in long grass, in the open air and both are now covered in marks. We would have photographed this particular tip, but rather surprisingly they tidied it up five days after our mast was replaced. Our boom had wet blue metallic paint on it.
At least three boats were damaged by a neglectful lack of respect shown to the boats in this yard. The boats have straps attached to ground tackle for the hurricane season. These are loosened in calm conditions, in some cases so much that the straps, with hooks attached, swung against the gel coat. Hitchcock, next to us, was such a lovely boat Caroline couldn't bear to see it damaged any more and got a member of staff (who was working at the other end) to put the strap back on.
The yard had a number of stray dogs, so the crappy open bins (full of staff takeaway wrappers) got tipped over which Murray picked up. Murray even mopped the shower floor one day because of the massive amount of grit in there. One dog stole one of Caroline's sandals overnight (spotted near to the guilty looking pooch) and one dog appeared to be about to attack Caroline at night. Much as we love dogs, having them pee on anything left on the ground around the boat is not nice. Twice Caroline cleared around our boat. By the following mornings someone else's old aerial, dirty white rags, even beer bottles were left outside our home.
One poor cruiser had them remove the mast from his boat, but the lifted it while still partly attached. They pulled and pulled and eventually the mast came free because they had made a hole in the deck. Another time he had his fuel cleaned, but didn't get it back – it was clearly stolen. This gentleman had so many sob stories that we just ended up laughing together til we cried. A number of other cruisers had similar tales.
Enough ranting, this boat yard is careless, dirty and treats cruisers with so little respect you end up getting depressed, so do not stay here. Please note though, that we do not included the woodworking centre or the independent sail loft in our rant, plus the lady at Island Water World is really helpful and charming.