Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-10-2012, 08:37   #1
Registered User
 
alba's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 11
Bad Service

I own a Benateau 40 Oceanis and had it in Valencia Spain for last winter. I bought it back to Uk in April/May and had a bit of a rough time from poor servicing by Spanish Technicians.
A large Service/Supply company in Spain serviced my engine. I watched him and he did a good job, however when he tried to start the engine it would not operate and the starter motor would not engage. An electrical engineer came and took the starter motor away to check it out in the workshop. Three days later he returned saying he had dismantled the motor and it was ok. He said the boat batteries were shot. Going with the safety aspect I replaced all the batteries at great expense and they also charged me a hefty bill for the engine service and extra for the electrical work.
Fair enough you can't put your safety at risk. We left Valencia and used the sails most of that day. We started the engine twice since the service. Approaching Cartegenia the wind dropped and we had to go back to the engine. Turned the starter switch and there was a loud screeching noise from the engine followed by smoke billowing out of the cabin. I rushed down below and turned the electric supply off. I took the fire extinguisher but luckily the smoke had subsided and I could see no fire.
Eventually we were towed in to port by the Spanish lifeboat. On inspecting the starter motor it was obvious that the motor had suffered catastrophic fire. The cable insulation was burnt out and the motor was in effect dead.
Obviously the problem now is getting some compensation for five days in harbour and the insurance excess.
My question is that by using a fully qualified expensive company surely I should expect them to cover the costs and how do I actually know that their advice on the motor and batteries was correct. A thousand Euros for three batteries and eight hundred for a service that should cost under four hundred seems excessive for a repair that went wrong and could have ended in death or serious injury. What do you think ?
__________________

__________________
alba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 10:22   #2
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Re: Bad Service

I think you should learn how to work on your own boat. Chances are the bendix mechanism was seized and after removing it, they took it apart and freed it up. Being an old starter, it probably had internal damage from trying repeatedly to start it with a frozen bendix. Figure 2 hours to remove it and instal it, a few hours bench time and transportation time. That would be around 6 hours total. In the US, labor is $100@hr. Therefore $600. It would have been better buying a new starter and rebuilding the old one as a spare.
Should they cover the cost? Not really. I think I would ask for a new starter at their cost and hope for the best.
There are many systems on a boat. It would be best to familiar yourself with them all to avoid costs like this.
__________________

__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 10:32   #3
Registered User
 
alba's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 11
Re: Bad Service

The motor is only 3 years old same as the boat. You are correct if I had known there was something wrong I would have bought a new one at 380 Euros, a lot cheaper than having it serviced. However I was on a tight schedule and unlike the USA or the UK, Spain has a thing called Manyana, basically it will take x days multiplied by an unknown multiplier and they only speak english when they feel like it. If I could physically service my engine I would but as I am disabled I have to rely on professionals to repair and service my boat, just like my car. It only had been used twice since being serviced so a 'frozen bendix' is not what I call properly serviced. I not bleating about the costs but about the fact that some of us rely on so called 'professionals' who get paid very good rates but then don't perform to a good standard. It was lucky we were only 40 miles from land. We could have been in the Bay of Biscay around 150 miles from land. Not pleasant. So I agree with some of your points but still think service professionals should remember that there work if not up to scratch can put our lives at risk.
__________________
alba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 10:52   #4
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Re: Bad Service

Having a disability definitely puts you at a disadvantage. In the past I have tried to re-claim lost moneys on shoty work to no avail. Hope it all works out for you.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 11:07   #5
Registered User
 
S/V_Surya's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sasafra river,MD
Boat: gulfstar ketch 41 Surya
Posts: 658
Re: Bad Service

If they are a good reputable company they should replace your starter including installation. Compensating you for batteries and time in Harbor possible but not likely. Have always been skeptical of mechanical diagnosis unless all tests to rule out other possibilities have been performed. I had a starting problem a few years back (starter did get hot) I found it to be a bad cable. But was found after process of elimination.
Good Luck
__________________
S/V_Surya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 11:17   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Montegut LA.
Boat: Now we need to get her to Louisiana !! she's ours
Posts: 3,421
Re: Bad Service

If ya can't service a starter, how the heck are ya able to sail it ? Im not trying to be an ******* ! but if your that disabled, How Do you sail your boat ?? it's a lot harder to raise and trim sails at sea, then it is to service a starter! At least it is for me ! and Im disabled at least the Goverment says I am ! Just wondering?
__________________
Bob and Connie
bobconnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 14:49   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Bad Service

What I think is that this scenario is pretty typical in Spain: lack of skill, unjustified prices and complete lack of attention in all guarantee matters (unless you hire a not less expensive and only hopefully more skilled local lawyer).

Next time DIY or else fly in a technitian you trust.

b.
Canary Islands
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 16:51   #8
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Re: Bad Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
If ya can't service a starter, how the heck are ya able to sail it ? Im not trying to be an ******* ! but if your that disabled,
He didn't say what his disability is. It could be anything. He was only asking for advise. Good thing your not trying to be an @$$hole
...oh I forgot again............
__________________

__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:19.


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.