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CigarGuy

Got a flyer in the mail the other day from these folks. Anybody check them out yet? Looks like a brand new start up business. Looks like they offer everything the others don't provide-customer service related. I heard a few months ago that possibly two new barge services were coming to Vermilion, this is one!

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SkunkedAgain

I've heard some banter about it, but have largely ignored since I don't use a dock service. Barge competition interests me though!

 

There certainly was a lot of frustration and angst this spring about docks. These folks are starting up a business at the right time.

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bassbouncer

TJ Kladivo owns that business and is a very honest reputable local person. I’d use him without even thinking about it if I needed him. There is another outfit opening on the east end that is from the twin cities. I know him as well and I’d trust him to do a good job also. 

 

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BrianF

Wonder how TJ would feel about a late season lift out date?  Would be nice to have a dock available on my trip scheduled for mid-October. 

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Raven77

I got the flier too.  anyone know what end of the lake they are on?

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Wakemup52

On a related topic, for those of you whose have a boat lift... where is the best place to purchase one near Vermilion? Looking at buying one in the next couple years so I don’t have to trailer to boat all the time! 

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Raven77

Manick and Timbuktu sell them.

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chucker1101

I went through the new lift question 9 years ago. Things could have changed since then.

 

First, I narrowed it down to three lift systems:  ShoreStation, ShoreMaster, and Floe. 

 

Then, figured out the dealer for each in the area: ShoreStation is Aronson's, ShoreMaster is/was Wright Custom Dock in Tower (are they still in business?), and Floe didn't have an on-lake dealer, but had a rep in Embarrass (i think).

 

Got a quote from all three. Ended up going with ShoreStation and Aronson's. It has worked fine, but it is difficult to impossible now to get Aronson's to do any maintenance (I wanted to replace the bunks and have someone look at it to see what other maintenance is required). Really, it has been difficult to get anyone (other than Anderson's) to respond to water-access maintenance requests.

 

I think if i had it back, i might choose Floe instead. My initial inclination was that Aronson's, because they are on the lake, would be able to handle regular maintenance. My new thought is that because Aronson's is on the lake, they are too busy to handle due to marina mgmt. Since Floe doesn't have to manage another business on the lake, maintenance might be easier to schedule.

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CigarGuy

Make sure to spend the extra$$ and get a vertical lift. I got a great deal on a used cantilever and it takes forever to raise and lower, even with a power winch.

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chucker1101
1 minute ago, CigarGuy said:

Make sure to spend the extra$$ and get a vertical lift. I got a great deal on a used cantilever and it takes forever to raise and lower, even with a power winch.

100% agree. Also, I'd say if you are going to do a power lift, to get a battery/solar system. You can always get your boat up/down during a power outage.

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CigarGuy
On 8/19/2020 at 10:55 AM, Raven77 said:

I got the flier too.  anyone know what end of the lake they are on?

Talked to the owner yesterday. They're on the Tower end, next year they plan on having another barge stationed in the west end. East end barge is a "fork style", west end will be a "crane style". They are about $25.00 higher per lift than our current company. He said they'll be going sun up till sundown, 7 days a week once the ice is off the lake. Was bsing and forgot to ask about fall timeframe.

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Raven77

Love my Floe lift.  Purchased and installed by Manick.

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chucker1101
1 hour ago, Raven77 said:

Love my Floe lift.  Purchased and installed by Manick.

 

I remember looking at the Boat Show, and i liked Floe the best as well. They had the fastest lift time when powered also. I thought it might be safer to have a lift from Aronson's as they were close and there wasn't a Floe rep on the lake at the time.

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PortageBay

Sounds like the new guy (TJ) may be offer different rates depending on when you want your docks/lifts done.  He's a real class act and was brought up on the business and really embraces customer service.  

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Raven77

"Also, I'd say if you are going to do a power lift, to get a battery/solar system. You can always get your boat up/down during a power outage."

 

Battery system, yes.  Solar system, not needed, IMO.  My FLOE lift with 2 batteries runs my lift all summer with no charge.  I just remove the batteries in the fall and put them on a trickle charger over the winter.  Never had an issue.

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Kettle
4 hours ago, PortageBay said:

Sounds like the new guy (TJ) may be offer different rates depending on when you want your docks/lifts done.  He's a real class act and was brought up on the business and really embraces customer service.  

He's good people, new to the business but grew up on the lake in the marine industry. I don't have a lake place but would hire him if I did. He does yard services and snow removal as well.

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Raven77

I'm sticking with Manick.  They have done great work for me over the years.

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delcecchi

I think they got a little frustrated with folks getting in their face this spring....  

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CigarGuy
On 8/30/2020 at 9:07 PM, Raven77 said:

I'm sticking with Manick.  They have done great work for me over the years.

My lift was put in May 27th. My neighbor-2 docks away, didn't get put in until end of June or first part of July. If things don't change next year, we'll be looking.

Edited by CigarGuy
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CigarGuy
48 minutes ago, BrianF said:

Anyone have TJ’s contact info?

218-203-9595

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Raven77
Quote

My lift was put in May 27th. My neighbor-2 docks away, didn't get put in until end of June or first part of July. If things don't change next year, we'll be looking.

Mine was in for opener.  Not saying you or your neighbor did not treat them right Bill but what I've found is the better you treat a service provider the better service you get.  I've heard many complaints about Timbuktu as well but they've always treated me great.  Sometimes a case of cold beer, or a written thank you note, or just a pat on the back goes a long ways.

Edited by Raven77
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SkunkedAgain

I don't have a dock issue, but this reminds me of when I met my wife. We both traveled for work and would have friendly "competitions" to see who could get the most free stuff on our trips. By that I mean who could get upgraded to the nicer hotel room, get bumped up to first class, etc. Being nice and genuinely friendly with the folks grinding it out all day at their jobs was the key. I like to chat so it was natural. Raven77 - I chatted with your wife for probably half an hour earlier this summer, and enjoyed the entire conversation.

 

Give the dock guys a beer. Bake them some cookies. The thank you note is a good idea.

 

I didn't follow the Manicks situation too closely but assume that they were a little over-extended and people were not happy that they couldn't get their docks into the water fast enough. It's the nature of the beast when relying on others to get things done. C'est la vie!

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Big V Bobcat
29 minutes ago, SkunkedAgain said:

I don't have a dock issue, but this reminds me of when I met my wife. We both traveled for work and would have friendly "competitions" to see who could get the most free stuff on our trips. By that I mean who could get upgraded to the nicer hotel room, get bumped up to first class, etc. Being nice and genuinely friendly with the folks grinding it out all day at their jobs was the key. I like to chat so it was natural. Raven77 - I chatted with your wife for probably half an hour earlier this summer, and enjoyed the entire conversation.

 

Give the dock guys a beer. Bake them some cookies. The thank you note is a good idea.

 

I didn't follow the Manicks situation too closely but assume that they were a little over-extended and people were not happy that they couldn't get their docks into the water fast enough. It's the nature of the beast when relying on others to get things done. C'est la vie!

 

I never had a real issue either. They do good work and are generally reliable, but severely lack in the customer relations department. They could never give me a price to do something, could never tell me when something was going to be done. Never would get a call back or a response to emails. Took 5 phone calls to actually talk to someone, and then felt like they weren't even paying attention. My boss on Pine Island ordered a new dock one fall a couple years ago and it didn't get delivered till like July the following year, and he didn't get billed for it until winter time. Then this spring it was excuse after excuse about "the wind" yadda yadda. Not sure on the truth, but rumor was that their crew quit, and that's why lifts took so long to install because they were down to one barge. 

 

Truth is, they had hardly any competition and most people 'needed' them, not vice versa so they could do what they pleased. Now there will be some much needed competition on the lake.

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Raven77

Competition is always good, and a big part of the story with Manick is that there's more work than they could keep up with to meet the time demands of everyone.  They work hard and work long hours.  Imagine having hundreds of docks to put in and everyone wanting their's in first, continuously calling, emailing and complaining.  If I was in their business the guy that pestered me the most would move to the back of the list.

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CigarGuy

In the 7+ years we've been here, I've giving them a decent amount of business. Bought a used lift from them that didn't end up working out. I found a used one one the lake they went and picked it up on a trailer, loaded on the barge and delivered and set it up. Also, new lift dock and cement slab. Had my neighbor switch over to them from another service on the lake. I've bs'd with Joe and his crew when I'm here and see them. They actually are supposed to be coming back any day now to correct a issue with my dock, so I can lift it myself. Like I've said before nice people, just need to improve the customer service end of things! I wish them the best, but I'm not going to bake them any cookies in the near future 🙂🙂🥂

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Raven77

Funny stuff Bill!  You can bring some cookies by my fish house this winter and I will trade with Fireball.

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CigarGuy

Fireball is hard on my gut😀. Funny thing is White Russians go down real good.... Sipping on one now 🥂🥂.  I'll bring you some cookies, if you let me reel in one of your walleye's!

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Raven77

Deal.  I might ever mix up some White Russians.  I'm ready for hard water right now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Curious friends on who has decided to switch from a prior dock service to one of the new one TJ at Shamrock or Sean at Vermilion Dock and Lift. Appears you can save considerable money using the new companies, especially the latter.

 

Thoughts? Worth the risk of them going out of business and losing the existing dock service? Save money?

 

Curious what everyone decided

 

 

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