2017 Year in review and what’s on the horizon.

Like many of us, when I reflect over the year it seems like time flew by in a shot. This year at KKMI, we were so busy, the start to finish was a veritable blur!

Suffice it to say, without your support and confidence in allowing us to be part of your nautical world, we wouldn’t have been so busy and have so much to be thankful for. So, from the entire family at KKMI, from the bottom of our bilges to the tops of our mastheads we can’t thank you enough. Wishing you and yours a wonderful and safe holiday season.

What do we see on the horizon for 2018? With an improved economy and so many ways to get out on the water and enjoy the Bay, we see the recreational boating market continuing to grow. Berthing on the Bay is starting to become more difficult to find as demand has increased. The number of old, neglected boats from the recession has become fewer and new boats are slowly taking their place.

We’re also seeing many, very exciting features being offered aboard these new boats. Barriers that historically have served to prevent some people from buying a “big” boat have been dramatically changed with an incredible spectrum of innovations aboard these new boats. From joy stick controls and electric winches to hybrid propulsion systems, I see more compelling reasons to buy a new boat than ever before.

The biggest challenges we see in the New Year? There are a few, not the least of which are the issues facing most employers: the shortage of skilled craftspeople. While the demand for sought-after technicians and tradespeople has been an on-going challenge for the marine industry, it’s clear this issue is not going to be easily remedied. As a result, boat owners would be well advised to plan ahead when considering scheduling service. We have been experiencing schedule times of two weeks out or more, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Another challenge in our changing industry is the decline in availability of materials and parts. Over the past few years there’s been quite a number of companies that are either no longer in business or have gone to “just-in-time” manufacturing. Given that we live in today’s world of Amazon and next day delivery, we have been surprised by how long it takes for parts to arrive. That ends up putting a hitch in our giddy up when it comes to completing projects on time. As a heads up for you, if you’re planning to do maintenance projects, whenever possible, help us to plan ahead for these needs.

I guess in hind sight I could have named this edition of From the Bilge “Plan Ahead in 2018”. As a society we have come to expect instant gratification. Like it or not, that seeps into our expectations for most things we do. For our part, as a company, we’ll resolve in 2018 to do our best to help you plan ahead and make your trips to the yard as quick and painless as possible.

To leave you on a very positive note, in 2017 the health of the Bay itself seems to have improved dramatically. Growing up sailing on the Bay it was rare to see a pelican; today they’re thriving. The reappearance of the harbor porpoise on the Bay, after an absence of many decades has become almost a routine sight, and is always thrilling to see. These are just a couple of the important environmental rebounds that the Bay is experiencing.

We have much to celebrate. We live surrounded by the “Most beautiful natural bay in North America” – Stewart Udall, U.S. Secretary of the Interior (1961-1969)

Let’s make 2018 a year where we not only continue to make the Bay better, but share it with our friends, family and others who may not know what a great gift we have – right at our water’s edge. Keep an eye on our Bob-2016-Revolution-Flex stroller raffle that will be taking place after the holidays, we definitely want to give back to the families!!

Cheers everyone!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & a very Happy New Year!

KKMI is your one stop full service Northern California and San Francisco Bay Area boatyard providing unbeatable service, competitive prices, and outstanding workmanship. Specializing in boat bottom paint, boat hauling and storage, boat carpentry, fiberglass gelcoat and repair, rigging and much more, KKMI’s North Bay Boatyard location in Sausalito and East Bay location in Point Richmond are here to serve all of your Bay Area boating needs. For great prices and service you can trust, make KKMI your SF Bay Area and Northern California boatyard specialist and give us a call today.