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The large, year round boating community in South Florida has an economy that supports countless boat repair shops and boat mechanics. Whether you’re looking for boat motor repair, fiberglass boat repair, boat upholstery repair, boat electronics, boat canvas, or any other type of boat repair, if you can’t find it in South Florida then you can’t find it anywhere. Given the ocean of boat repair shops to choose from, you’ll need a way to narrow your search and decide who you want to work with. Here are some tips for finding the best boat mechanics and boat maintenance services in South Florida:

  • Locations with the best boat repair shops. The best boat repair shops are located in Ft. Lauderdale. Lauderdale is the yachting capital of the world so you may be a little out of your league if you have a smaller boat. Every boat repair shop conceivable exists there so boat maintenance is very easy to come by. Miami is another hub for finding great boat mechanics although it’s more urban than Ft. Lauderdale. Outside of these two large metropolitan areas, you can find boat mechanics and repair shops all up and down the southeastern coast. Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Dania Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Stuart and many others all have tons of boat repair shops.

  • Focus on finding specialists. The tendency for boat maintenance seekers is to find a boat repair shop that can do everything. While this may be very convenient, you may also be missing out on some of the best craftsmanship in South Florida. Given the size of the boating economy, it can support numerous specialized boat repair shops since they have enough work to sustain themselves. When looking for the best boat motor repair, look for a boat mechanic that caters specifically to your engine type and manufacturer. If you are looking for boat canvas or upholstery repair, there should be plenty of shops that specialize in it and only offer that service. This is especially true for fiberglass boat repair - it’s very important to find specialists since fiberglass repair is a very fickle process.

  • Ask for referrals and research online. Your friends are great sources of leads for finding the best boat repair shops. Make sure to ask friends with similar boats who they use for boat maintenance and for major repairs. Also, it would be good to ask the marina manager who they recommend. Marina managers want you to keep your boat there, so they are motivated to recommend the best boat repair shops. You need to be careful though because they are also incentivized to recommend boat repair shops that rent space in their marina or the marina’s own service department. It’s a tricky balance, which is why you need more than one point of reference. You also should get details on whether or not your marina lets outside boat mechanics come in to do work. Some do not. Of course, if the boat is at your dock or on a trailer, then you won’t have to worry. Regardless, it’s good to do research online as well on websites like Mariner Exchange and make sure the shop has a professional online presence. This three pronged approach: online research, referrals, and marina managers, should get you the boat repair you need.

  • Certifications and association memberships. Manufacturers like Yamaha outboards or Dometic air conditioning, have their own certification programs for boat mechanics. Know your boat and the manufacturers of your equipment so that you can easily recognize if a boat repair shop has the expertise to handle your boat. Certifications from the American Boat and Yacht Council and the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association are good signs that the boat mechanic has had training and can handle the repairs for which they’re certified. Be careful though, you can also just join these groups without taking certification courses so watch out for the “member” versus the “certified” status. More important, specifically in South Florida, is a membership to the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. This association is the biggest player in the biggest boating economy and a membership suggests a high level of professionalism and quality.


What does boat repair cost in South Florida? This is an impossible question to answer without knowing the scale of the repair, what specifically needs to be repaired, and the size of your boat. The larger the boat, the more it’s like a house; and the smaller the boat, the more it’s like a car. Those are two very different things to fix and obviously larger boats require more effort to maintain. Smaller boats may not have the boat air conditioning or galley that larger boats do, which can introduce all kinds of complexity. The average range for boat repair cost in South Florida across all types of repairs is $120 to $1800. Obviously this differs by the type of repair needed and this excludes major projects like refits that could cost tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars depending on the size of the boat.

Mariner Exchange has cost estimate data for boat repairs based on what type of repair you need. You can find these estimates for South Florida at the bottom of the following pages: