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Old 10-10-2019, 10:01 AM   #1
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Unhappy finally got to enjoy my sea ray!

Hey guys, not sure if you remember me posting about my stalling issue with my 74 sea ray this summer after being a first time boat owner. The boat has a 2003 driveline in it...305 mercruiser mpi. After going to a local marine and spending 2500$+ for diag, FULL tune up i.e. plugs, cap and rotor, and coil. Then new fuel pump, then messing with lines etc and more diag....after asking the mechanic if he checked my fuel tank where the boat had been sitting for 2yrs, and he said he did, and looked inside with a camera as well...no problems there he said.....then he had decided that the boat was vapor locking. He even lent me his 6gal fuel tank to switch over to if the boat stalled while out in the lake. After 7 or more times of stalling and using his tank 3-4 times and the boat running perfect with his tank. With the theory of vapor locking, he ordered and installed a 'boost pump' which was another 900$ bill I didnt pay when i took it the last time in...i asked if i could use the boat 3-4 times before i paid the bill to make sure it was finally fixed....they said I could so I took it out and yes....it still stalled....so before I just gave up, I decided to replace the fuel tank myself. Ive never done one before but it looked simple enough...so i removed the tank and looked inside just to find it FULL OF CRAP! I ordered another larger tank and installed it....guess what? boat ran mint for the last 6 or 7 times i took it out...a novice and def not a mechanic...i fixed the boat myself and have not gone back to that marina. mind you i did bring the old tank back there once i pulled it out and the guy said..'wow, that stuff must have gotton loose the last few weeks!' I said politely ...."well, your camera must not have been working the day you put it in my tank" ....the guy gives me no apologies, no admitting that he wasted my money and summer not looking at what he should have seen from the first inspection he had on the boat when i spent over 1000$ to have it gone thew after i bought it. So one of the last words I said to him the day i showed him the tank full of crap is "you should take out this boost pump because I dont wana owe the marina a dollar...clearly the new tank i put in fixed it" he said, thats fine, we'll take it out when you bring it back for the winterization in the fall. I said "ok, see you in the fall". I have no intentions of bringing that boat back to that marina...I mean, if he had admitted to not diagnosing it correctly or at least saying to me that they would winterize it for free due to all the money i gave them to fix it and it never being fixed by them, I would bring it back...finding a new marina to winterize it and wrap it. all done... anyone think im out of line by not bringing it back even tho I told him I would??
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:40 AM   #2
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nope, i wouldn't bring my boat back there either. there are plenty of good marinas and shops around to choose from. i brought mine to a local marina with an excellent reputation last year for winterization. this spring i could tell that they didn't change the gear oil in my kicker motor (extremely important). when i checked the fluid level this spring, a bunch of water came out. i'm lucky it didn't freeze and crack the lower unit. they also didn't change the gear oil or the fuel filter on the main engine either. not good.. so needless to say, they won't be doing it this year or ever again.

glad you got it running right though! that must be a big weight lifted off of your shoulders!
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:57 PM   #3
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My guess is that that marina never wants to see your boat again and are perfectly happy to eat the cost of the unnecessary fuel pump. They also have no desire to remove it since it is of no real value to them and they'd have to provide the labor.

My advice it to learn to Winterize it yourself, it's not hard. I ALWAYS drain all the water out of the engine, cool fuel module (if applicable), coolant hoses, and exhaust manifolds, THEN replace the water with RV/Marine anti-freeze. If you skip the drain step, you run the risk of diluting the anti-freeze too much. If you skip the anti-freeze step, you run the risk of sediment in the block holding water and freezing.

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Old 10-10-2019, 12:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LaFuga View Post
Hey guys, not sure if you remember me posting about my stalling issue with my 74 sea ray this summer after being a first time boat owner. The boat has a 2003 driveline in it...305 mercruiser mpi. After going to a local marine and spending 2500$+ for diag, FULL tune up i.e. plugs, cap and rotor, and coil. Then new fuel pump, then messing with lines etc and more diag....after asking the mechanic if he checked my fuel tank where the boat had been sitting for 2yrs, and he said he did, and looked inside with a camera as well...no problems there he said.....then he had decided that the boat was vapor locking. He even lent me his 6gal fuel tank to switch over to if the boat stalled while out in the lake. After 7 or more times of stalling and using his tank 3-4 times and the boat running perfect with his tank. With the theory of vapor locking, he ordered and installed a 'boost pump' which was another 900$ bill I didnt pay when i took it the last time in...i asked if i could use the boat 3-4 times before i paid the bill to make sure it was finally fixed....they said I could so I took it out and yes....it still stalled....so before I just gave up, I decided to replace the fuel tank myself. Ive never done one before but it looked simple enough...so i removed the tank and looked inside just to find it FULL OF CRAP! I ordered another larger tank and installed it....guess what? boat ran mint for the last 6 or 7 times i took it out...a novice and def not a mechanic...i fixed the boat myself and have not gone back to that marina. mind you i did bring the old tank back there once i pulled it out and the guy said..'wow, that stuff must have gotton loose the last few weeks!' I said politely ...."well, your camera must not have been working the day you put it in my tank" ....the guy gives me no apologies, no admitting that he wasted my money and summer not looking at what he should have seen from the first inspection he had on the boat when i spent over 1000$ to have it gone thew after i bought it. So one of the last words I said to him the day i showed him the tank full of crap is "you should take out this boost pump because I dont wana owe the marina a dollar...clearly the new tank i put in fixed it" he said, thats fine, we'll take it out when you bring it back for the winterization in the fall. I said "ok, see you in the fall". I have no intentions of bringing that boat back to that marina...I mean, if he had admitted to not diagnosing it correctly or at least saying to me that they would winterize it for free due to all the money i gave them to fix it and it never being fixed by them, I would bring it back...finding a new marina to winterize it and wrap it. all done... anyone think im out of line by not bringing it back even tho I told him I would??
You would be doing a service to all of us who use marinas if you would clue us in as to the not so great marina you used. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:24 PM   #5
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Welcome to boat ownership, particularly with an older boat.

Nothing about your story is really all that amazing

Learn your boat, learn its systems, learn to do basic maintenance on your own and you will be a lot happier, and richer, in the end.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:44 PM   #6
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Welcome to boat ownership, particularly with an older boat.

Nothing about your story is really all that amazing

Learn your boat, learn its systems, learn to do basic maintenance on your own and you will be a lot happier, and richer, in the end.
You have a strange way of boosting one's confidence... If I was LaFuga, I'd tell you what to do with that smiley face!!! What difference does it make that it's an older boat? I disagree with it not being an amazing story. It's amazing to me that a marina would do this to someone and not have the courtesy to at least admit they made a mistake, let alone give the guy back a partial refund. I think this marina should be identified. That's the risk a business takes with social media around these days. Take care of your customers properly, and admit mistakes when they are made. In other words, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, or get trashed on social media. It works the other way too. If someone is happy with their service somewhere, broadcast that too. It happens all the time on this forum. Although I agree you should know basic maintenance, I don't consider replacing a fuel tank "basic maintenance". How many fuel tanks does the typical boat owner change out in a lifetime...??? I haven't done one yet since I bought my first boat in 1987, and I have had quite a few over the years. Some people are better than others at working on "stuff". That's what makes the world go round...

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Old 10-11-2019, 09:43 AM   #7
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You have a strange way of boosting one's confidence... If I was LaFuga, I'd tell you what to do with that smiley face!!!
Here, I'll try to phrase it more directly for you:

Old boats tend to be a lot of work and can have a lot of hidden costs and problems.

Marine/marina mechanics don't have all the answers, and may try troubleshooting things via seemingly random approaches, lie to you, skip steps, or otherwise do things that end up costing you more than they should.

You would be well served to know the basic systems on your vessel, and be able to do diagnostics and repairs on your own. At the very least, be able to approximately diagnose some things at least to the point you can tell if the mechanic seems competent or not.

There is "nothing amazing" about this story in that thousands of boat owners across the state, country, or world, could probably tell you similar stories.

Sure, you can call out the marina if you like, though diagnosing problems like this can be less than straightforward, plus we would probably still only have 1 side of the story.

In hindsight, it certainly could have been handled better on both sides.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by brk-lnt View Post
Here, I'll try to phrase it more directly for you:

Old boats tend to be a lot of work and can have a lot of hidden costs and problems.

Marine/marina mechanics don't have all the answers, and may try troubleshooting things via seemingly random approaches, lie to you, skip steps, or otherwise do things that end up costing you more than they should.

You would be well served to know the basic systems on your vessel, and be able to do diagnostics and repairs on your own. At the very least, be able to approximately diagnose some things at least to the point you can tell if the mechanic seems competent or not.

There is "nothing amazing" about this story in that thousands of boat owners across the state, country, or world, could probably tell you similar stories.

Sure, you can call out the marina if you like, though diagnosing problems like this can be less than straightforward, plus we would probably still only have 1 side of the story.

In hindsight, it certainly could have been handled better on both sides.
Just curious, how could it have been handled better by the boat owner? Doesn't sound like he's a marine mechanic. He relied on one, put a lot of time relying on one, paid for it, etc. At the end of the day, he invested a lot of time and money for a problem that wasn't fixed by someone claiming to be certified in the field. He did what he needed to on his own and didn't even get an apology. He didn't slander the mechanic or marina by even calling them out, just sounds like a vent of frustration and you can't rationalize with that? If something like this hasn't happened to you then I have some ocean front property in Nebraska I can sell you.

I'm in a service field. I claim to be an expert in the field and I should be held to a high standard. My time is worth money just like everyone else's. However, I can't get comfortable charging clients/customers for work where I didn't provide a service to the customer, or worse, provide them a disservice. I don't claim to be perfect and I make sure my team knows that they're not expected to be perfect. When you make mistakes you try to make sure they're not material mistakes and further learn from them so they don't happen again. When providing a service though in exchange for money, you bet there should be some frustration if I was the customer and didn't receive the benefit of what I was being charged for.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:05 AM   #9
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Just curious, how could it have been handled better by the boat owner?
I don't know him well enough to give specific examples. From his post, he potentially could have handled it better by being more educated about the basics of his boat, and seemingly doing a sea trial, which may have uncovered the basic issue before the purchase.

Yes, in an ideal world, all "professionals" are experts in their field and held to the highest standards. In the real world, I think we have all likely experienced situations where a "professional" did not deliver on the expectations.

Boats break down, usually in expensive ways. Even when they don't break down, they tend to be costly to maintain, and those costs will often go up as the boat ages. You have two basic options here, learn/understand enough of the boat to do the work yourself, or to be able to select and work with a competent mechanic, OR rely on someone else to do the work and hope you are not getting overcharged along the way.

Again, nothing about this story of "I bought an old bought and then a marina overcharged me for repairs" really seems that out of the ordinary for someone who does not appear to be well versed in boat engines. Not enough info here to say if the mechanic was totally unqualified to work on the boat, or if he was going more off a method of "I've seen something like this a couple of times before and it was X".
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:32 AM   #10
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I'll just share this for what it's worth.

Back years ago I used to be a technician for Toyota. There were times where somebody would bring in a car\truck that was displaying a particular symptom. OK fine, the trouble is I'd take a look and find that the vehicle had undergone significant modifications, some not always well executed and some how I'm expected to be a miracle worker and figure out what clearly whoever was in there before was unable to. Sometimes you can some times you cannot. Heck I've had stuff towed in accompanied with a box of parts, most times missing stuff to reassemble and get working again. Ironically I'd say the majority of owners of these vehicles had little or no money and griped if they were charged to much - keep in mind part of that charge is to figure out what you're dealing with. Many customers do not want to pay for this and it is crucial in order to understand sometimes what is going on.

Experience is also key. I can't tell you how many times due to inexperience I had to pull in somebody usually a master tech to help me out cause I couldn't figure things out. Sure there were a few times I thought I had something fixed and sure enough it came back with an owner who doesn't necessarily appreciate that you're doing your best effort to help them out and fix their problem. Sometimes problems are a phantom, sometimes they come back days, weeks or months later. There is only so much you can do to check to ensure a fix is really a fix. Of course some don't get that and think you're useless as a result, in fact some customers were downright condescending to which I would just think sure everything YOU do is 100% all the time.

Bottom line is - nobody is perfect. If something does end up coming back because it's not fixed, how that is handled is really what gives a customer a good experience or not. I can tell you I hung new parts thinking it would solve a problem when it didn't. It happens. Best I could do in those situations is give the customer some sort of service of equivalent value for their inconvenience. Some appreciated it some didn't. Is what it is.

Not to say there are not guys who don't know what they are doing out there, or upsell work and parts that are not needed. This is a typical assumption which is not fair to those who are otherwise good guys that simply sometimes don't get it right the first time.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:16 PM   #11
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I don't know him well enough to give specific examples. From his post, he potentially could have handled it better by being more educated about the basics of his boat, and seemingly doing a sea trial, which may have uncovered the basic issue before the purchase.

Yes, in an ideal world, all "professionals" are experts in their field and held to the highest standards. In the real world, I think we have all likely experienced situations where a "professional" did not deliver on the expectations.

Boats break down, usually in expensive ways. Even when they don't break down, they tend to be costly to maintain, and those costs will often go up as the boat ages. You have two basic options here, learn/understand enough of the boat to do the work yourself, or to be able to select and work with a competent mechanic, OR rely on someone else to do the work and hope you are not getting overcharged along the way.

Again, nothing about this story of "I bought an old bought and then a marina overcharged me for repairs" really seems that out of the ordinary for someone who does not appear to be well versed in boat engines. Not enough info here to say if the mechanic was totally unqualified to work on the boat, or if he was going more off a method of "I've seen something like this a couple of times before and it was X".
Ok - next time I go to a doctor, I'll make sure I'm more educated on the way they should be diagnosing me so I can tell them when they're wrong.

We're getting aside from the point. This guy is frustrated and he came here to vent. Re-read his last sentence and he feels bad about not going back when he said he would. I don't blame him for not going back and applaud him for figuring it out on his own. You, on the other hand, completely dismiss it and said nothing you did was amazing and that you should learn your boat and all it's problems. I love boating, think I have time to learn every mechanical aspect of my boat? Nope...so I rely on others. My whole point here is just be a better person rather than put the guy down. Agree or disagree, that's your opinion but next time you do something impressive that you didn't know you can do and then seek some advice I really hope someone doesn't ***** all over you for it and call it not amazing.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:28 PM   #12
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old boats are tough if you're not mechanically inclined. If i had all the money i wasted on old boats as a youngster I'd be one happy guy. BUT i learned a hell of a lot at the same time. Education is expensive regardless how you get it.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:16 PM   #13
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old boats are tough if you're not mechanically inclined. If i had all the money i wasted on old boats as a youngster I'd be one happy guy. BUT i learned a hell of a lot at the same time. Education is expensive regardless how you get it.

Exactly. If you don't know boats and aren't mechanical, steer well clear of old ones.

It that is all you can afford, you can't afford it.



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Old 10-11-2019, 05:37 PM   #14
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old boats are tough if you're not mechanically inclined. If i had all the money i wasted on old boats as a youngster I'd be one happy guy. BUT i learned a hell of a lot at the same time. Education is expensive regardless how you get it.
My first boat (a poorly made and poorly maintained "bargain") taught me to buy nothing but well-maintained older cream puffs. My fourth boat is my third cream puff and it's been great.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by brk-lnt View Post
Here, I'll try to phrase it more directly for you:

Old boats tend to be a lot of work and can have a lot of hidden costs and problems.

Marine/marina mechanics don't have all the answers, and may try troubleshooting things via seemingly random approaches, lie to you, skip steps, or otherwise do things that end up costing you more than they should.

You would be well served to know the basic systems on your vessel, and be able to do diagnostics and repairs on your own. At the very least, be able to approximately diagnose some things at least to the point you can tell if the mechanic seems competent or not.

There is "nothing amazing" about this story in that thousands of boat owners across the state, country, or world, could probably tell you similar stories.

Sure, you can call out the marina if you like, though diagnosing problems like this can be less than straightforward, plus we would probably still only have 1 side of the story.

In hindsight, it certainly could have been handled better on both sides.
When you catch them blatantly lying to you, they should be called out. Let's not forget the the op said the marina told him they put a camera inside his tank and found nothing, yet he found a lot of crud in it himself that ended up being the problem. That's an "amazing" blatant lie, and I would have been pissed. Not just the money either, op said he pretty much lost the whole summer!! And as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter how old a boat is. In fact, an older boat should be easier to diagnose cause they are not any where near as sophisticated as new ones, not to mention when boats, (or anything for that matter) start getting old, patterns develop with common problems and diagnosing becomes easier in some cases. This problem SHOULD have been diagnosed by any competent marina IMHO.

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Old 10-11-2019, 06:02 PM   #16
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Exactly. If you don't know boats and aren't mechanical, steer well clear of old ones.

It that is all you can afford, you can't afford it.



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There are many reasons why people have "old" boats. Not always because they can't afford better. Some are classics, some may only go boating once or twice a year, some may have sentimental value, some may just like them better, who knows, there are many reasons. Also, just because you have a new(er) boat doesn't mean you won't have problems. ALL boats have problems, I don't care what year it is. Didn't your mother ever tell you not to judge a book by it's cover??? You can have someone in an old boat with a huge bank account, and you can have someone in a 150k boat that can't afford to put gas in it!! Goes both ways... (sometimes). I know, perception is reality, right?

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Old 10-12-2019, 06:11 AM   #17
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First, I applaud those defending, not critiquing, the OP.

Second, I don't know anything naturally when it comes to mechanics, but I research like crazy and often fix my own things. In that process, I've discovered many "experts" who aren't really experts, so I totally understand the OP.

Third, bravo! You got it running! Though you put wayyyy more than I would've into that project (we can discuss sunk cost bias on another thread!), it must be satisfying to have it working well.

Fourth, and I have no idea why I'm numbering (other than to keep track in my head), I would not feel one iota of regret for not going back. I would, however--and this is a personal thing--have an issue with not having closure. Like, if I ever did need to go back there, or if he ended up working somewhere else in the future, etc.

So, fifth, were it me: I would think hard about how I could end things on a positive note. A sort-of, "alright, man, we're good to go, but let's figure out the best way to move on."

Good luck!

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Old 10-12-2019, 05:29 PM   #18
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OP got "screwed" by the marina/mechanic whether by laziness, incompetence, or even bad intention.
Being made "whole" physically should have included a full refund of expenditures minus the cost of the initial inspection that should have uncovered the real issue.
Being made "whole" should also have included a forthright acknowledgement that they screwed up.
OP got neither. One wonders at the ethics & conscience, or lack thereof, of the marina/mechanic.
BUT...not living up to your own agreements is just getting down in the mud with them. This is a question of the OPs ethics & conscience. I would encourage OP to take the boat just for the part removal. Not for the benefit of the marina but for their personal benefit of a clear conscience and a forthright statement of their ethics.
IOW, you will sleep better if you follow through.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:51 PM   #19
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OP got "screwed" by the marina/mechanic whether by laziness, incompetence, or even bad intention.
Being made "whole" physically should have included a full refund of expenditures minus the cost of the initial inspection that should have uncovered the real issue.
Being made "whole" should also have included a forthright acknowledgement that they screwed up.
OP got neither. One wonders at the ethics & conscience, or lack thereof, of the marina/mechanic.
BUT...not living up to your own agreements is just getting down in the mud with them. This is a question of the OPs ethics & conscience. I would encourage OP to take the boat just for the part removal. Not for the benefit of the marina but for their personal benefit of a clear conscience and a forthright statement of their ethics.
IOW, you will sleep better if you follow through.
If I was the OP, I would sleep like a baby leaving things just the way he did. That Marina doesn't deserve the courtesy of an "ethical" customer doing the right thing by them. They obviously could care less about the OP's business, so I would just return the favor by screwing them right back in any way possible after they treated the OP the way they did. I realize two wrongs don't make a right, however, I would have COMPLETE peace of mind knowing that I had no intention of screwing the marina in any way until after the way they treated / screwed me after all was said and done. I say NAME THE MARINA OP, and sleep well!!! You did the right thing IMHO.

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Old 10-13-2019, 04:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cal Coon View Post
If I was the OP, I would sleep like a baby leaving things just the way he did. That Marina doesn't deserve the courtesy of an "ethical" customer doing the right thing by them. They obviously could care less about the OP's business, so I would just return the favor by screwing them right back in any way possible after they treated the OP the way they did. I realize two wrongs don't make a right, however, I would have COMPLETE peace of mind knowing that I had no intention of screwing the marina in any way until after the way they treated / screwed me after all was said and done. I say NAME THE MARINA OP, and sleep well!!! You did the right thing IMHO.
It's hard for me to see malice in what the guy did. Incompetence? Yes. But installing something he knew wouldn't fix the problem doesn't make sense to me, as it would just create an unhappy customer.

OP: do you get the sense that this guy just wasn't right/incompetent or do you feel that he intentionally took advantage of you?

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Old 10-13-2019, 10:59 AM   #21
Cal Coon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
It's hard for me to see malice in what the guy did. Incompetence? Yes. But installing something he knew wouldn't fix the problem doesn't make sense to me, as it would just create an unhappy customer.

OP: do you get the sense that this guy just wasn't right/incompetent or do you feel that he intentionally took advantage of you?

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I would be willing to bet that if this marina is a new boat dealer, they probably didn't even want to take this boat in because of it's age. A lot of "Dealer's" are like that. They just want to work on new(er) stuff. It's the same with cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles, etc,etc, they can't be bothered with "old stuff". So they probably approached this boat with an "I don't give a s###" attitude" and got lazy in diagnosing it, and just started throwing parts at it. The OP paid dearly for a "tune up" that did nothing to help the problem. The problem started when the marina told the OP that they checked his gas tank with a camera and found nothing. Whatever the marina did to that boat AFTER missing the crap in the gas tank is the marina's problem. We will never know if the mechanic didn't even bother to check the gas tank and just told the OP that he did, or if he really did check the gas tank and found nothing because of "attitude", (or just an honest mistake), is something we will never know. However, either way, it's the marina's fault for missing the proper diagnosis, and, at the very least, should have apologized, and refunded any monies paid for whatever was done after the camera in the gas tank found nothing. So since the marina refused to own their mistake, make no apologies, refund no money, after the OP has already paid dearly for parts the marina just threw at the boat in the first place, that the boat didn't even need, I say to the marina go pound sand!! And my advice to the OP would be to bring the boat to a "independent" boat repair facility that works on any model and year boat, and that would appreciate his business. The hell with the dealer(s), unless it's under warranty... If this marina isn't a new boat dealer, then obviously, they are incompetent, and you need to find a better independent shop. Either way, I still say: NAME THE PLACE!! Also, FWIW, one of the biggest myth's out there is that the "Dealer" has the "best" mechanics, so you will get the "best" service from a "dealer". I know first hand that is a bunch of BS!! The only guarantee you get from a dealer, is that you are going to pay the highest labor rate possible. Most independent shops are mechanics that worked for a dealer at one time or another and have just as much knowledge as any mechanic at a dealer, (if not more), but have lower labor rates.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:28 PM   #22
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I believe it's in Dover.

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