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    Boat Held Hostage?-gctid807440

    Anybody have experience getting a service provider to make good on their promises to complete the work on your boat in a timely manner? Should I hire an attorney maybe?

    Our boat is unavailable to us as boating season approaches. The reason? It's at the service center, awaiting the work that was promised on Mar 2nd. In fact, the boat went in to the yard for work on Dec 2 2016 and has been there ever since!

    Now, in fairness, the scope did change since then. Originally the work was just to winterize, change oil, fog, and inspect fluids. The outdrive oil was dark, so I agreed to have them pull it and see why (the reservoir was clean). An elbow was clogged in the oil line, and replacing the elbow was recommended. I agreed to that. It was caught in time. That was in early January.

    But according to the manager, higher-priority jobs prevented their mech from getting going on it. That, and as the mech explained, the elbow through the transom plate was extremely hard to reach. He was in the process of designing a rope system to allow him to hang over the motor and reach the part!

    Having knowledge that my 2000 Bravo 3 would eventually need the steering pin and seal replacement, (small leak in bilge), I told him what I thought would solve both our problems: pull the engine, and let's kill two birds. That was on Mar 4 (I posted the thread "While the engine is Pulled").

    It's now a week from opening day, and the only work that has been done is the prep work prior to pulling the motor out- harnesses/hoses, etc. I was promised three weeks ago that they were starting on the pull that week. But it seems when I go in to check status (and replace moisture packs), no new progress is apparent.

    My question for the group: in your experience, is there any way of prodding (legal I mean, such as a letter from an attorney, or even a law suit for breach of promise), that might wake up this manager and get him to fulfill his promises? I actually haven't been the 'high-maintenance' customer. On the contrary, I feel I've been pretty patient. In the meantime, we are paying $300 per month for our slip, and $50 for a storage yard slot (a place to clean up the boat prior to putting in).

    I'm actually losing sleep about this, and the senior partner (my wife) isn't too happy either. I'm normally not a sue-happy kind of guy, but maybe grounds like emotional distress, loss of asset availability, that sort of thing?
    Jeff Prime
    "Optimystic Prime"
    2000 Bayliner 2855 Ciera Sunbridge
    Anacortes, WA

    #2
    BTW opening day is tomorrow.

    Nope not much you can do, but taking your boat back...
    Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
    Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
    93 3058 sold
    92 2855 (day boat)
    91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
    Longbranch WA
    Life is Good

    Comment


      #3
      Seems like you NEED to become that high maintenance customer now. A call a day to see how you are coming onto the work list might just get it done. If you are in town, drop by every day to check how they are coming. Your money spends as well as anyone's will with these guys.

      Or as has already been said, go pick it up and move it elsewhere to get it fixed by someone who wants your business.
      1992 3288, twin Hino 150's sold
      S. Puget Sound

      Comment


        #4
        Always get a work order in writing time a time frame, if not you will take a back seat while they gouge you or just put you off and charge you something extra.

        Work on a car is that way in most places.
        Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

        Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
        Twin 350 GM power
        Located in Seward, AK
        Retired marine surveyor

        Comment


          #5
          That would be my advice too. Start being the squeaky wheel. Set a reminder on your phone to call him at the same time each day. Ask how it's going and be direct. Ask when you can pick the boat up. Don't ask when he's gonna start... ask when he's gonna finish.

          Never leave anything with a mechanic without a written quote. I know it's tough, but you can't be at all vague.
          Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

          iBoatNW

          1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

          Comment


            #6
            "SomeSailor" post=807492 wrote:
            That would be my advice too. Start being the squeaky wheel. Set a reminder on your phone to call him at the same time each day. Ask how it's going and be direct. Ask when you can pick the boat up. Don't ask when he's gonna start... ask when he's gonna finish.

            Never leave anything with a mechanic without a written quote. I know it's tough, but you can't be at all vague.
            +1

            Also, don't just call, show up periodically.
            1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
            2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
            Anacortes, WA

            Comment


              #7
              So, I get being the squeaky wheel has merits... But one must weigh up whether it will A) motivate the manager to get it done and get my boat the hell out of his life; or B) piss him off, so he says "screw him, get it done after all else..."

              A tough choice, and what would work?

              The reality is: these boat yards put their BIG (fleeted) commercial customers to the head of the pack, whenever they come in with a problem. They are the BIG bucks. They will do this based on an economic decision.

              I had a spirited discussion with him today; he said he's doing his best to get the job complete. I didn't yell. I just stated the facts of him having my boat for going on SIX months, and that should put me at the head of the line!

              I really wanted to hear if anyone had experience with taking LEGAL actions on a situation like this. I guess not.
              Jeff Prime
              "Optimystic Prime"
              2000 Bayliner 2855 Ciera Sunbridge
              Anacortes, WA

              Comment


                #8
                Sounds like another yard might be a good idea if they have too much work to take care of for their commercial clients.

                It would be nice to know who it is so others in the area don't get the same problem with our smaller boats.
                1992 3288, twin Hino 150's sold
                S. Puget Sound

                Comment


                  #9
                  1 weekend job taking almost 6 months :angry:
                  Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                  Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                  93 3058 sold
                  92 2855 (day boat)
                  91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                  Longbranch WA
                  Life is Good

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Unfortunately you're trying to hustle up a job at the exact time when everyone is hitting boat mechanics with work that absolutely HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW! Boating season, that is. You probably have a fixed-price bid and your job is sitting next to either a VIP client that the shop can't afford to lose, or a last-minute client who will pay them double the usual rate.

                    The job changed from a standard winterization to a multi-day operation. Your original promised date no longer applies. You probably have absolutely no legal case against the owner at this point because nothing is in writing in terms of delivered date. It's a bummer. Even worse, from the shop's persepctive, is what happens if they find even more issues to deal with when they dig into your boat? Ugh.

                    I think the only thing that would motivate them would be offering a bonus for finishing the job on your timeline. For example, "I'll pay you an extra $1,000 cash if the boat is ready by next Monday." There's a thousand reasons you won't want to do that, but there it is...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yup cash talks.

                      Everything will go up & longer when that thing comes out...
                      Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                      Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                      93 3058 sold
                      92 2855 (day boat)
                      91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                      Longbranch WA
                      Life is Good

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The shop violated your verbal agreement, go get your boat and tell the shop that is they refuse to release the boat, you will take them to small claims court for the storage charges for violating your verbal agreement.

                        After they release it go to small claims court and get back your storage charges. Small claims court works most of the time.

                        If they refuse to release it tell them you will take them to small claims court.
                        Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                        Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                        Twin 350 GM power
                        Located in Seward, AK
                        Retired marine surveyor

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If you REALLY want to get your boat fixed use bribery.

                          I'm serious. I have bribed mechanics to do work on my boat ahead of others several times.

                          On my 3488 I needed a tranny replaced. I had the new tranny but was not equipped to pull the engine and Replace this vee drive transmission

                          It was this time of year and boating season is short.

                          I asked the local mechanic what his time frame was and he said it would be a couple of months.

                          Pulled out a handful of hundreds and handed him five of them, and asked what this does to his time frame.

                          He told me that I had just moved to the front of the line. I was in the water shrimping that weekend.

                          Just two weeks ago I was replacing an exhaust can on my 4788. It was more than one guy could do easily and I stripped off two of the bolts trying to get the rusted in place buggers out.

                          So I called a local guy that was refered to me. He was on the dock doing another job and agreed to stop by on his way back from lunch and look over the can, and "quote me" and then "put me on the schedule".

                          Well, a ben franklin tip (aka bribe) later and he was helping out that very afternoon. The bill was $250 for his time, plus the extra hundred to get him working on the boat today. The value of that hundred cannot be measured, as mechanics are all booked up for months right now.

                          KEVIN SANDERS
                          4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                          www.transferswitch4less.com

                          where are we right now?

                          https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

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