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Old 04-09-2014, 03:45   #61
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

You can't go by bid all the time. Like the engine block example above.

What you should have the yard do is charge you for an estimate, and describe the work that needs to be done just like an auto mechanic does (though many wont charge you to tell you what work needs to be done).

Anyway, any deviation (addition to) from the described work is a work stop and phone call to the owner if it's going to cost more than 110% of the original estimate. Nearly every garage i have ever worked with operates this way. Perhaps boat yards should as well.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:48   #62
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

Hey! What about consumer laws?

Every state has them and they're all pretty similar.

They must give you an estimate,if requested ... sometimes the estimate is MANDATORY.

They must do the work for the quote or to a certain degree of error(about 25%).

If an issue arises where the quote is not valid(hidden issues/problems), they MUST inform the customer of the new issues and charges that might arise from it.

THEY DON'T HAVE TO EAT THE COST OF A CRACKED BLOCK ... but they do have to inform about the cracked block and re-negociate(sp) to move forward.

It's really not even about laws ... it's about "common sense".

If a crane costs $100 an hour, but the marina "requires", a minimum hours' charge, the labor of an operator and viewer ... well then, it's plain and simple ...it costs much more than $100 per hour and the first 2-4 hours must be paid ... regardless.

Does anyone REALLY think the marina forgot(if this is even true), to mention those rather MAJOR conditions to the customer?

COMMON SENSE, people ... common sense ... and the law ...
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:55   #63
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

340usd to pull engine--did youhave same folks fix it??my removal of engine was gratis and work on it was damcheep.. i win. if you are using east coast marinas to do this and paying thru nose, is your choice.
marinas go by supply and demand., good luck.
mebbe diy.......
oh, btw--i paid nothing in usa to remove an old engine from my formosa, also--just have to pick your poison.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:47   #64
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

I have a Trailerable boat. For two years I kept it in a marina, and had other people work on it. I once spent $300 to fix my out board.

I lost my job. so I took the boat and put it in my back yard. Last week I fixed my outboard my self, same repair, I pulled the carb myself, had it cleaned which cost $40. Works like a champ.

When I was in Antigua, I had my motor pulled, all the seals replaced, and put back in the Ericson 32 for $300 EC in 2000.
The fellow who did it also worked on diesel trucks, diggers, generators etc.

If only you guys with the 45 foot Cruising boats could do the same.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:32   #65
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot McPherson View Post
You can't go by bid all the time. Like the engine block example above.

What you should have the yard do is charge you for an estimate, and describe the work that needs to be done just like an auto mechanic does (though many wont charge you to tell you what work needs to be done).

Anyway, any deviation (addition to) from the described work is a work stop and phone call to the owner if it's going to cost more than 110% of the original estimate. Nearly every garage i have ever worked with operates this way. Perhaps boat yards should as well.
The good boat yards do operate that way. Any who don't, I'd avoid. The boatyard we use has a form that is very much like the auto form.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:40   #66
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

An example of a good local ordinance:

Miami Dade FL.

False Charges for Motorboat Repairs and Parts
It is unlawful for any person to knowingly charge for any services which are not actually performed, charge for any parts which are not actually furnished, provide misinformation to a customer concerning what is wrong with a motorboat, or to fraudulently substitute parts when the parts are not required to repair or service the motorboat.

Estimate of Repairs Required
Any person engaged in the business of motorboat repairs must provide the customer with a written estimate of repairs, including all parts, labor, incidental service, charges for release of the motorboat in case it is not repaired, and charges for making the estimate. If no charge is recorded for making the estimate, a charge cannot be assessed.

Prior to making an estimate, an inspection of the motorboat to be repaired must be done. A written estimate is not required for repairs under $50. If the repairs will be over $50, a written estimate is required unless waived in writing by the customer.

Notification of Customer
If it is determined that the actual charges for the motorboat repair will exceed the written estimate by $10 or 10%, whichever is less, the customer must be notified by fax, telephone, telegram, mail or written notice of the new estimate charges. The customer may authorize the work or cancel the work. If the work is cancelled, the motorboat must be released immediately, in reasonable condition as when received for the repair and after payment of whatever amount was included in the estimate for release of an unrepaired motorboat.

Failure to notify of additional charges
If a customer is not notified of any additional charges for repair, the repaired motorboat must be released upon payment by the customer of not more than an amount equal to the written estimate plus $10 or 10% of the estimate, whichever is less.

Notice to Customers
All businesses which engage in motorboat repairs must conspicuously post a sign no less than two feet wide and three feet high which states the following in English, Spanish and Creole:

Under the provisions of the Miami-Dade County Code, all customers are entitled to an estimate before repair work is begun and this business must comply with those provisions of the Miami-Dade County Code. If you have a complaint about the way services were provided, you may call the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources at 305-375-3677.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:56   #67
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

Dan, and here I thought you were an attorney. (No insult intended.)

"I think I agree with this theory except. I am the vendor. I have to quote you a fixed price. If the block is cracked I gotta go buy a $3,000 block somewhere and eat the "fixed" price quote cost?"

Well, DUH? Yes, that's part of the law in many if not most US states, where state and municipal laws require licensed repair shops to conform to any written estimates they make, and not to charge the customers more than 10% over the estimated cost.

This is done to protect "consumers" who presumably know little or nothing of specialized systems. The burden is on the shop, and like any other cost of business it is spreadout among all the customers and figured into the cost of business just like heating and rent.

You examine the engine (whatever) as a professional. You make the estimate as a professional. And if you're wrong? Yes, that's your loss, as professional and businessman. After you get bit once you'll be real careful about estimates in the future, won't you? And that's the intended goal. If you can't be sure of what you are diagnosing, you DON'T give an estimate of what it will cost to repair. You tell the customer "We'll have to tear it down some before we know what's wrong."

I've had that happen. I lost reverse gear on my car, a manual transmission. Just wouldn't go into reverse one day. The dealers wanted ten hours of labor just to drop it and put it back in place, some $1200, with no promises or repair costs. A highly recommended tranny shop said 1/4 of that, there was no way it was a ten-hour job.

And when I brought it in, expecting $300 plus whatever they found? The man called me back and said give me an hour's labor, a plastic bushing broke and jammed it. The pieces fell out as they were putting the car on the lift, their mechanic slammed it into reverse to see what was wrong, and heard the plastic shatter.

Go figure, some places are honest and reputable. AND they know when to give you an estimate that says "We won't know." Which might be why I had one of the few cars there that didn't have a custom paint job.

All too many places would have just replaced the bushing AND charged for full freight in one way or another.
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Old 04-09-2014, 16:39   #68
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"I think I agree with this theory except. I am the vendor. I have to quote you a fixed price. If the block is cracked I gotta go buy a $3,000 block somewhere and eat the "fixed" price quote cost?"

Well, DUH? Yes, that's part of the law in many if not most US states, where state and municipal laws require licensed repair shops to conform to any written estimates they make, and not to charge the customers more than 10% over the estimated cost.

This is done to protect "consumers" who presumably know little or nothing of specialized systems. The burden is on the shop, and like any other cost of business it is spreadout among all the customers and figured into the cost of business just like heating and rent.

You examine the engine (whatever) as a professional. You make the estimate as a professional. And if you're wrong? Yes, that's your loss, as professional and businessman.
I'm neither American nor a lawyer, but I don't think the above is strictly correct. I believe the shop's obligation in most jurisdictions is to be reasonably diligent and professional in providing an estimate. (and the auto trade use Chilton's or similar for published hour guidelines). But if a greater fault like a cracked block is discovered (ie something that could not be determined definitively without disassembly), the shop is not automatically obligated to eat the cost of a new block, but should provide the customer with an updated estimate. If the shop just goes ahead with the repair without customer authorization, then it's possible that the customer might be able to force the shop to eat the unauthorized additional cost... if they wanna pursue it far enough (lawyer, courts, time).

It is great that there are laws to prevent gouging and similar ripoffs, but nothing beats finding and sticking with an honest and trustworthy supplier.
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Old 04-09-2014, 17:12   #69
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

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You examine the engine (whatever) as a professional. You make the estimate as a professional. And if you're wrong? Yes, that's your loss, as professional and businessman. After you get bit once you'll be real careful about estimates in the future, won't you? And that's the intended goal. If you can't be sure of what you are diagnosing, you DON'T give an estimate of what it will cost to repair. You tell the customer "We'll have to tear it down some before we know what's wrong."
And my point and question above was - If I diagnose cracked block and you accept the quote and it turns out to NOT be a cracked block do I keep the extra money?

Of course not.

And just for the record - I subscribe to written estimate with revision based on findings if >10% increase.

If diagnosis requires disassembly and purchaser subsequently does not accept a higher fee then there needs to be some protection for the vendor. i.e. I've got 30 hours in disassembly and find the main bearing journals are oversize/scored and the block not useable. Customer says, never mind put it back together and oh, BTW, I'm not paying...

We are not plowing any new ground here. This has all been worked out (in the USA) by many consumer advocate groups.

As someone said - Use common sense. Outside the USA in less developed places use common sense from the 1950's because a lot happens by word and handshake still and they don't need a lawyer for every transaction..
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Old 04-09-2014, 18:00   #70
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

Dan-
"If I diagnose cracked block and you accept the quote and it turns out to NOT be a cracked block do I keep the extra money?...Of course not."

You see? That's why you're not a wealthy shop owner.(VBG)

Lake-
I tried to keep it general and not "specific" or global. As others have posted, it isn't just that bleeding heart Big Apple that mandates caps on estimated work. I'm not looking at an estimate form so I can't quote it to you, only to say that if the was asked to estimate "Cost to make this damned car run right" or, as we say "Takee Fixee" and they gave a written estimate, that would be their problem to meet. If they sent back a box of parts and said "Yeah, well that wouldn't have fixed it" they'd also wind up in a small claims court, where they get the benefit of having a paid attorney represent them, at an hourly rate that makes "Just fix it" sound much more reasonable to everyone. Except the attorney, of course.

I just got off the phone with another bunch of thieves, a major cell phone carrier. "Oh, the price on your plan dropped $xx per month back in February." Yeah? Same plan name, same terms, but the price DROPPED and I'm still being billed at the old price? "Well you have to ask for the new price."

I'll be filing the consumer fraud complaint with the FCC and the local Consumer Affairs next week. Same plan, same name, lower price....That's like saying I should pay $3.89 at the gas station this week, even though the pump price is $3.49, just because I paid $3.89 in May? Ah, "Homey don't think so."

I've been on the other end of the stick, and when I blew an estimate? Yeah, I ate it. I learned real fast to be real careful about estimates. Someone who can't figure that out? Eventually will be called an employee instead of an employer.
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Old 04-09-2014, 18:16   #71
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

Well I am at Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina and don't feel I'm getting plucked..

First I ran into a busy Goldstar Marine to see if they could fix a corroded stuffing box that was leaking too hard...they fixed it within a few hours then said no charge??? as it didn't take long enough.

Then on to Anchor Canvas to get the snaps on my bimini repaired...done right away and again no charge???.

I'll be back to get them to do the haul out, bottom job etc in Spring.
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Old 04-09-2014, 19:29   #72
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

We have gotten off on estimates and quotes too and who eats what, but remember the OP and the repair shop did nothing in writing. You do that, you have no complaints about anything as both sides were equally wrong. Who said what to whom and what did they mean, we don't know. We do know the marina's story would likely be opposite from the OP's.

And also a broad characterization was then made about marinas which I strongly disagree with as I've had excellent service all my life. But then perhaps I do a better job of selecting and I do it in writing.

And not unlike Eder, I've had circumstances where they said to let them look at it and then they'd give me an estimate and instead called to tell me it was nothing so they fixed it and they'll get me next time. I said, "Well let me pay anyway." They said, "It only took ten minutes. This one's on us."

But then I've also built long term relationships with marinas and not shopped around and gone to someone different or less qualified every time.
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Old 04-09-2014, 19:59   #73
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
340usd to pull engine--did youhave same folks fix it??my removal of engine was gratis and work on it was damcheep.. i win. if you are using east coast marinas to do this and paying thru nose, is your choice.
marinas go by supply and demand., good luck.
mebbe diy.......
oh, btw--i paid nothing in usa to remove an old engine from my formosa, also--just have to pick your poison.

So Zee...are you saying your engine is running now?
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Old 04-09-2014, 20:53   #74
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

How does a "good"(or even adequate), mechanic diagnose a cracked block that's not actually cracked?

I would say the diagnostic would almost have to be fraudulent or at the least very negligent.

I never liked rewarding fraud, negligence or malfeasance.
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Old 04-09-2014, 22:01   #75
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Re: Marinas Think We Are Chickens For Plucking

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So Zee...are you saying your engine is running now?
Yes but apparently it is not leaking oil so she can't trust it - LOL...
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