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Old 06-05-2015, 15:27   #16
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

If you outsource the job of winterizing your engine and they cover it then the answer is simple. They fix it and make the relevant claims off their insurance or they wear the cost.

Of course they could argue that its your fault. Do you keep detailed records or log your engine maintenance. If not then you're unlikely to hold the winning hand.

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Old 06-05-2015, 15:33   #17
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Garfield View Post
korrigan-i agree 110 %

That said,I think venders of any and all sorts need to be CALLED OUT at any instance of incompetancy ! If not you or me will be the next to get burned !


All the Best
Well that is a good point. And years back I would have done that. But I'm pretty much beat down on fighting with people and these days just pay my bill and move on.

And as far as I've been able to tell in the Puget Sound area no matter where you go you are going to get burned. I don't know if this is just specific to this area or more wide spread but the lack of expertise and the lack of concern for the customer is shocking. There's a tangible resentment you can feel when you come to someone with a job and then dare to raise any complaints or concerns.

I really believe it has to do with money and the fact that in this area a lot of people have a lot of it. You can bet a shop does a quick subconscious calculation about your ability to hire a lawyer when they choose what their disposition will be towards a particular job. Us little folk we just get in the way of some potential whale of a customer. They won't turn your business away but they won't put any effort into it either.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:36   #18
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Lots of good responses here.

A couple quick things:

- It's 100% freshwater boat. Inland lake. Never touched salt.

- This marine repair shop is like the GM dealer. It's a big sales and service shop. They are the Sea Ray dealer in town, among others. It's not a rinky dink mechanic. It's a big operation. Very reputable.

- I have all the paperwork and documentation and everything saying there were no problems last spring or fall.

- If it's their fault, they will be paying. They've said that. I don't think there will be any fighting here once we get to that point. I guess from a cruiser forum standpoint - I'm just looking for affirmation that if this cracked the winter before, is it possible that they missed it that spring, the following winter, and then just found it this spring? Is that something a boat mechanic could miss?

- It seems like a lot of you agree that it's likely a fresh crack based on the amount of rust, which helps.

- And the freeze plug thing... that's a mystery too. But - is that something they could just pop back in and pretend didn't happen? Not sure how they work...

- I have all the service records.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:40   #19
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

If there were no signs of a crack head before now? I'd say it is there fault, something was not done properly resulting in the freeze damage. If there was any reasonable chance that it *might* just be older?


I'd give them a polite one-time offer and say "I'm sure this can only be from whoever did the job screwing something up, and that makes it your fault. But instead of arguing about it, I'll go halves on the bill with you, providing you get it fixed, fixed fast, and fixed at a VERY reasonable price by a reputable shop."


Don't argue, just say thank you and then go to small claims court if they're not interested. One-time offer, 24 hours to call you back while they think it over, no pressure to make a spot decision.


Sh.t like this is why I prefer to DIY myself. At least when I screw things up, I know who to chew out afterwards.
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Old 06-05-2015, 16:24   #20
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

That is a fresh crack. If they cant tell that then they shouldn't be in the business of winterizing engines. If they refuse to accept responsibility it's time to involve the parent organization and beyond that hire a lawyer.
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Old 06-05-2015, 16:37   #21
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

The problem with Small Claims Court is the they only deal with small claims. Typically $2500 depending on what state. As no repair will last long, you are looking at anew engine.

This may be an expensive lesson unfortunately. Although it certainly appears whoever winterized it was negligent, proving it can be difficult

That's a good lesson in not trusting yard monkeys even for simple tasks which you could easily do yourself in less than 2 hours. We've all seen or had idiots do stupid stuff with often disastrous results and this appears just another example.
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Old 06-05-2015, 17:02   #22
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

They're the "professionals" .... that's why you hired them and the ones before to do this work. If they cannot ascertain that an engine block has a problem, and they take on the job of "protecting" that engine ... FOR A FEE ... let them eat it ... make them eat it.

I say the marina is already acting in bad faith, considering that a "professional", has done the winterizing and spring launch for years and they(the new group of "professionals") appear to have no substantial proof that the earlier company screwed anything up.

So ... do like the other person said & just "swallow it", give them a few thousand dollars and join the club of the financially abused customers of the marina industry.

Screw us? ... thank you ... oh, and let me pay you and give you a tip to boot, so you don't screw me too bad in the future ... what a bend-over and give it to me attitude... REGARDLESS of the facts of this situation ...
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Old 06-05-2015, 17:28   #23
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Let's press 'pause' here for a moment. "Freeze Plugs" have nothing to do with protecting the engine from freeze damage. They are actually 'core plugs'. When the block was made molten iron was poured into a sand mold. The core of the casting is the sand mold that provides the empty spaces in the block that will be used for cooling system passages. After the block is poured and cooled the sand core is broken up and removed through the core plug openings. When the block is machined those core removal holes are machined and fitted with thin steel plugs. Even though they are commonly referred to as 'freeze plugs' they do not protect the engine from freeze damage. In the olde days the blocks were sometimes sturdy enough to withstand more freeze expansion pressure. The core plugs might have actually been forced out. Modern castings are not so robust, as a result freeze expansion damage seldom forces the plugs out before the casting is damaged. There are actually methods to repair cracked blocks, but thin-walled castings tend to fail after a few years. Unless this is an extremely rare casting the cost to properly repair it would likely be more than the price for a new casting.
Also remember that there is just as much area and volume inside the engine that might have been damaged. GM engines have had a congenital defect inside the 'vee' on both sides of the camshaft area. So even if the engine were repaired where we see the leak, there is a pretty good chance that there is another failure to be discovered.
Source: Mechanic for over 40 years, me.
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Old 06-05-2015, 18:58   #24
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

I have seen many freeze cracked blocks and never once has the casting plug been pushed out, and that is perfect example of freeze cracking. My preference is to run anti freeze through the engine and the drain also might ad that there have been cases where the drain was opened and little to no water came out requiring the entire drain to be removed and something like a wire to ream out the rust and dirt to completely drain
Also wanted to add what others have said that is a fresh crack
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:35   #25
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

This is really simple - if you paid them to winterize and your block is cracked, it's their fault. I owned a yacht service in Boston. That is part of our job. You turn your boat over to me to store it safely through the winter, and expect to get it back in serviceable condition in the spring. You pay, we do it. It's simple. It's not rocket science. There are no possible 'extenuating' circumstances. A cracked block is not a mouse nest in the radar. It is a foreseeable situation you are paying me to avoid.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:42   #26
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Check with your insurance co. Most insurers will cover a freeze If the winterization was done by a professional. Let them sort out who is at fault.

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Old 07-05-2015, 08:58   #27
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

The color of the "stuff" coming out of the crack is questionable. I wonder WHAT was put in as anti-freeze? Sometimes containers can be mixed OR the container had something else put in it before it went into the engine?

Someone said TEST the liquid left in the engine - good idea and I would do that before starting the engine.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:14   #28
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

One year I hauled out at the local yacht club. When I inspected my boat on the hard, I found that the prop shaft was slightly bent, and would not rotate. When I went to the yard foreman, who was in charge of haulout, he said they did nothing wrong, and it must have been like that before. To which I replied...the prop does not turn, so how did I get the boat here? I winter elsewhere now.

Another time, I took my outboard in to be winterized. They charged me a bundle to "get it running" and the winterizing. I had used the engine one day before taking it to them...it was running fine. I think they had a paperwork mixup...but how to prove that my engine was fine after they already said they fixed it (blowout the carb, etc). Needless to say, I won't be going back there again.

If they can convince you they aren't responsible, they will, what do they have to lose? Stand firm.

And my final word...I've found the only real way to know something is done right is to do it yourself. Winterizing an engine is not that hard, and I sleep better knowing for sure just how much antifreeze I used, etc. For many older sailboats, the "value" of the boat is the diesel engine...without that, I'm sorry to say, my old boat is pretty much worthless.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:46   #29
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Wow - thanks for all the insight guys. I really appreciate you all taking the time to weigh in with your experiences. I'm a young boater, so the solid members on this forum help me quite a bit with educating myself.

It's good to know the crack is fresh, that helps a lot.

I also didn't know that insurance could cover this. I'll look into that for sure.

Small claims in BC is 25k, more than enough to cover this. (I can't imagine it would get to that point based on the info you're all giving me about how obvious this is.)

For those that are saying "lesson learned" or suggesting I should just pay for some or all of the repair - I'm not sure what lesson should be learned here. We all hire people to look after various things in our lives - and when we do, we expect the job done right. I can't imagine letting this go out of pocket if they're at fault.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:54   #30
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by radar_x View Post

----It's not a rinky dink mechanic. It's a big operation. Very reputable.

- I have all the paperwork and documentation and everything saying there were no problems last spring or fall.

- If it's their fault, they will be paying. They've said that. I don't think there will be any fighting here once we get to that point. I guess from a cruiser forum standpoint - I'm just looking for affirmation that if this cracked the winter before, is it possible that they missed it that spring, the following winter, and then just found it this spring? Is that something a boat mechanic could miss?
Reputable as a service organization or as a dealer?

Kelowna is beautiful, we were there a few years ago, great place to cruise.

I'm confused, though. You said you regularly check the engine. So, if the crack wasn't there before...???? I don't get it.

It's new or else the boat wouldn't have worked the past few seasons, right?

So, what's the question again?

Good luck.

The two times I've ever had anyone work on my boat (besides bottom paint) I've had to FIX their mistakes!!!

I do all my work. None of us were born electricians, plumbers or mechanics, but, shoot, this stuff is pretty easy. And many of us learned how to do it before the internet, we used (gasp!) BOOKS!!!! Can you imagine the hardships we had to endure?
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