Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-04-2015, 16:55   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: St. Louis
Boat: 1983 oday 22'
Posts: 661
Boat Motor Legal Problems

We took our boat motor into a small engine repair guy in October. It needed some servicing, etc. Long story short... We can't get ahold of the guy... we have called the business number.. his cell number... his home number. Left messages, showed up at the shop during normal business hours... No answer from the guy.

We know he hasn't left the area because we've reached someone at his home, who says they would give him the message that we called. But, alas.. no return phone calls. nothing.

So, obviously this doesn't look good for us.

We sent a certified letter today to both his business and home address, detailing the issue, advising that at this point, we just want our motor back. And if he complied we'd consider the matter closed. And if we didn't hear from him in 3 days, we would need to take things further.

Well.. that sounds good.. but what can we do?! small claims court? that is somewhat of a nightmare, and if we pursue that route, I doubt we will get our motor this year, and probably no time on our sailboat.

The motor is about 30 years old.. but it runs. We don't want to have to buy a new one.. which is why we took it in for service.

So.. my questions are:

1. any good suggestions as to what else we can do to try to get it back?
2. if we need to buy a replacement motor.. where is a good place to buy one

We live in St. louis.. and our motor was a 4.5...
__________________

__________________
scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 17:05   #2
Registered User
 
Action's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Phoenix, AZ 85008
Boat: Welcraft SE26 26'
Posts: 9
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

If at all possible avoid the legal route only because it will require effort and cost and may or may not get you what you seek. However do not delay if other methods do not produce results. If the party in question is in financial trouble it may be difficult to distinguish your property from his property unless there are identifications on a work order that clearing define your property. And hopefully your property is not in pieces.

If the avenues you are pursuing do not work out you could get a judgement. Small claims would work if the limits fit. The value can get tossed around and the value I would use would be the amount it cost to replace one that is smilar. If the dollar amount exceeds the small claims value then you have to go to regular court. Seek legal advise for that.

Once you have a judgement then you have to collect on it. You could turn it into a lien on Real Property which would give you a better result than a judgement on a credit report.

None of the above is EZ nor is it free.

Be dilligent and persisitant with anyone that you can reach in the matter. Failing that you can go the legal route.
__________________

__________________
>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
Action is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 18:00   #3
cruiser

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Charleston, SC
Boat: Camano Troll
Posts: 4,669
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

I'm assuming you have a receipt for the motor to prove that you left it with him. I also assume the shop is local to your home and you're not just passing through on a cruise.

Most cities and counties have some sort of consumer protection laws and a government agency overseeing these laws. If there's one in your area, contact them with your issue. Contacting the BBB is another option.

Small claims court is not difficult, I have taken people there and won judgments. In one case, the defendant still did not pay up and for an additional fee, the county sheriff showed up on his doorstep and threatened to take his cars and motorcycle unless he paid. He had to pay what he owed and all the legal fees.

Of course if your motor is 30 years old, it may be difficult to get a significant amount for it.
__________________
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 18:30   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: St. Louis
Boat: 1983 oday 22'
Posts: 661
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

We do not have a "claim check" or reciept. hindsight? yup. we were stupid. But in our defense, we have used this guy before and he was great. We had a business relationship for years with him. He used to repair my scooter. And he is a local guy. Has a small service shop where you basically do business with a handshake.

We do have papers on the motor. So, we have the serial numbers, etc.

The problem with the engine is that.. yes.. it may not be worth much.. but it worked, and we owned it. WE can't replace it without dropping over $1000. And that's a lot of money to invest in a boat we only spent $3000 for in the first place.
__________________
scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 18:35   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mackay,QLD, Australia
Boat: planning a approx 45ft cat
Posts: 3,651
Images: 3
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

Is he in hospital or on holidays?
__________________
downunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 18:37   #6
cruiser

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Charleston, SC
Boat: Camano Troll
Posts: 4,669
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

You said you went to his shop. Was it open? Was he or anyone there?
__________________
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 18:43   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: St. Louis
Boat: 1983 oday 22'
Posts: 661
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

We left messages at his home.. and the woman we talked to there didn't say he was away. And we've called often enough that she knows who we are. As far as being on holiday... we've been trying to reach him for 3 months now... that's an awful long holiday.

I really don't think we are getting our motor back..

anyone know of any online retailers that sell used motors at reasonable prices?
__________________
scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 18:44   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: St. Louis
Boat: 1983 oday 22'
Posts: 661
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
You said you went to his shop. Was it open? Was he or anyone there?
We thought there was noise coming from inside.. but the door was locked, and no one came to the door. We've been there several times during regular business hours...
__________________
scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 19:12   #9
Registered User
 
leftbrainstuff's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Francisco and Australia
Boat: Liberty 458
Posts: 1,979
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

Go to his home talk to anyone who is there and negotiate man to man to just retrieve your engine. Sweet talk don't threaten.

In reality he's either done nothing, pulled it apart or sold it on. He may have fallen on hard times, gone on a bender or just doesn't care.

You know what comes next. Retrieve it yourself or write it off.

If a foreclosure is put on him or his premises you'll never get it back.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
leftbrainstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 19:55   #10
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,973
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

I'm with LeftBrain but think you need to embarrass him into action. Passive aggression is called for.

Do you know the address of his house?

If so, go park in the driveway ideally blocking some cars in. Go knock on the door. If he isn't there or won't come to the door say that's OK and that you'll wait in your car.

Bring some snacks and a good book.

His wife will probably make him come out and talk to you in about 15 minutes.

If the unlikely case that the police show up, tell them the situation and that you are just trying to locate your property. Since you honestly don't know what happened, ask if you should file a stolen property report.
__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 20:16   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: St. Louis
Boat: 1983 oday 22'
Posts: 661
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

yeah... I'm not going to his home. I'm only 4' 13"... and a woman.. he's 6' 4", probably 280 pounds.. and raises pitbulls on his property... honestly? He's a skilled mechanic, but definitely from the rough side of town. I'm terrified, and I'm not going to put myself in that situation.

Nor would I allow my husband to be in that situation. If something would happen, it could ruin my husband's military career... even if he didn't engage.

I'd go there with the police.. I'm ok with that. But I'm not going to block his drive way. Or confront him at his home alone. no piece of machinery is worth that to me...

But, filing a police report is definitely an option.
__________________
scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2015, 21:33   #12
Registered User
 
S/V_Surya's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sasafra river,MD
Boat: gulfstar ketch 41 Surya
Posts: 658
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

I think I would start with the police. Explain the situation and they may help. Let them confront the guy. They may say it is a civil matter. But I recall a few years ago I think it was some papers someone was holding do not recall what it was but I called the police and they got them for me. I was shocked. If that does not work then start a small claims case not sure about your state but here we can claim up to $8000.00.
__________________
S/V_Surya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2015, 06:23   #13
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,954
Images: 6
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

First, remember that legal advice that you get in a forum like this is worth exactly what you pay for it... NOTHING!

That said, I would suggest talking to an attorney and seeing if, for a modest fee, they would send him a certified letter threatening legal action. In my experience, that is almost always all it takes to get someone to quit stonewalling you.

Good luck, whatever you do.
__________________
denverd0n is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2015, 06:55   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: St. Louis
Boat: 1983 oday 22'
Posts: 661
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
First, remember that legal advice that you get in a forum like this is worth exactly what you pay for it... NOTHING!
yup.. I knew that.

after not sleeping over it last night, I decided that I'm going to start with our EAP at work. they have free legal advice, and at least someone to talk to, to point me in the right direction. If I need to after that, I'll hire an attorney. But, I'd really rather handle it without an attorney if I can manage it.
__________________
scarlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2015, 10:27   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 209
Re: Boat Motor Legal Problems

It is hard to believe that anyone would become this disturbed by the loss of a 30-year-old 4.5 horse outboard. anything you do with a lawyer is going to cost more than the motor is worth. you can probably replace it for about 250 dollars or less on craigs list. when I was in need of one I just checked a couple of used stores and found a good running small Johnson for 100 bucks. they are all over the place and if it's runnable when you buy it, it may be better than the one you took to be serviced. mac
__________________

__________________
Hard Rock Candy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
legal, motor

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Legal paper reqd for son to take/cruise fathers boat? shanec Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 1 19-01-2015 19:58
Motor boat plus a sail boat equils a Motor sailer? niel12 Multihull Sailboats 11 02-07-2011 13:15
Buying a Boat - the Legal Part PyotrBee Dollars & Cents 16 16-08-2009 16:02
Boat as Legal Home in Connecticut/NE Jimske Liveaboard's Forum 15 15-08-2009 12:29



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:31.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.