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Old 07-05-2015, 10:38   #31
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

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Originally Posted by radar_x View Post
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.
Ask a reputable ship surveyor or diesel mechanic to write you a report.
Send the report to the company that did the job and ask for a remuneration for the cost of new block.
Do not accept proposal of repair - it will never succeed. You need a new block.
If the people who did the winterizing do not accept your claim and pay - go to court with said report or to your insurance company (if the surveyor you commissioned works with your insurance company they would have to accept his report)
My humble idea based on my experience as a yacht surveyor...
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:56   #32
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

I am a former owner of a marine engine service and repair business in Maryland where we see our fair share of cold and freezing weather. First of all, GM stopped molding freeze blocks inot their engines a number of years ago because these engine blocks were always intended for automobile/truck use and newer cooling systems alleviated the need for freeze protection in the block.

There are several possibilities here. First, it could be an error made by the person who winterized the engine. Second, since it is raw water cooled, internal corrosion could have trapped seawater in a cooling passage that was blocked with rust or corrosion scale. Either way, it will be hard to prove.

Do not attempt an external patch. Its a waste of time and money because you simply cannot get the surface clean enough to accept the patch and constant expansion and contraction will affect the integrity of the repair.

Most sea water cooled engines have a service life of 1200-1550 hours if properly cared for. If everything else seems to be OK, the engine could be rebuilt with a longblock that might give you years more of boating. Anyway you cut it, this will not be an inexpensive repair.
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Old 07-05-2015, 13:04   #33
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

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First, it could be an error made by the person who winterized the engine. Second, since it is raw water cooled, internal corrosion could have trapped seawater in a cooling passage that was blocked with rust or corrosion scale. Either way, it will be hard to prove.
It's a freshwater boat. Its whole life. So I don't think it was seawater.

I took the photos into a mechanic at the biggest boat dealer/service centre here - and he said it's a fresh crack, definitely freeze damage and quite often frost the plugs don't blow. He said if that happened at his shop, he'd be fixing it.

So, I'm just waiting to hear back from my marina before taking all my new found knowledge to them. Hoping they'll do the right thing as their choice first.
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Old 07-05-2015, 13:42   #34
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Learn to do as much work on your boat as you can. Even if you are pressed for time and/or have the money to pay for it. None of those yard workers are gonna be out there in the middle of the heavy storm with your now inert vessel drifting onto a lee shore.

My dad paid the yard to keep up our '62 Pearson Triton in working condition. He was a great dentist, my dad. As a mechanic - uh, no. We had no end of trouble after the yard boss waved at us, "take care, doc" at the beginning of the season.

When I took over the stewardship I pulled out scads of crappy work done by those jamokes. Steel bolts holding equipment and fittings. Wood screws holding the main sheet track to the after deck. Mind you, they were SCREWS, not bolts. Into 1/4" solid fiberglass with NO core, backing or reinforcement. The wiring was re-done by a reputable electrician who marveled that our boat hadn't caught fire and burned to the water line. Promises made and fees paid for the boat to be stored inside (NE Wisconsin gets a LOT of snow). The owners didn't know I had moved there and worked next door. I wandered thru the yard one day and came upon our beloved sloop - covered with snow OUTSIDE. I told me dad and the next day they were out there moving boats around to get the evidence of their fraud into the shed 10' away.

And these folks did all this with a smile and a wave - like they were my dad's friends.

Those people are NOT allowed to touch my boat.
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Old 07-05-2015, 15:41   #35
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Freshwater seawater is raw water. Its whatever water the boat is floating in that gets sucked into the motor to cool it is raw water.

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Old 07-05-2015, 15:43   #36
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

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Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
Freshwater seawater is raw water. Its whatever water the boat is floating in that gets sucked into the motor to cool it is raw water.
Yeah - it's raw water... I guess I just associate seawater with salt water. I'm guessing I shouldn't?

Anywho - We're in freshwater, not salt water... far away from the sea on an inland lake.
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:40   #37
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Hate to say this but, this happened to me many years ago. remove engine spray paint crack and sell it to an unsuspecting aussie as a new crate motor. Sucked in!!! no insurance etc.
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:50   #38
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Don't start the motor or turn it over until you have removed a sample of the winterizing AF inside the engine and had it checked for concentration/freeze point... What is currently in your engine is all the proof you need...
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:51   #39
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Re an old post about loss of forward thrust on my cat , sorry for not letting you know what happened. The rudders were totally out of whack , as in facing opposit directions so no steerage, can't understand how the hydraulic steering can do this? any clues out there./
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:57   #40
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

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Originally Posted by korrigan View Post
<snip>
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.
Truer words have never been spoken Korrigan! It's not just your area, and it's not just the boating community. Us little guys need to SPEAK UP! Contractors/Vendors/etc. need to realize that the 100 little jobs they do makes them more money than the 1 big one. 100 voices singing praises for good, honest, fairly priced work is WAY louder than that single voice! The opposite is also true! The little guys can make or break a business in a quick hurry if they just speak out.

By the way, just my opinion and I'm not a licensed mechanic, but I've been around and worked on motors my whole life. Even had a cracked block once myself. Again, just my opinion... If you can get them to admit fault, I'd insist on a new or rebuilt motor or at bare minimum they (or someone YOU trust) replace the block (prolly more cost effort than crate motor). I've never known a cracked block repair to actually work "good as new". That's BS. Cast does NOT weld well, patches don't last. You'll regret it come time to sell too. No one want's a used boat with a CRACKED ENGINE BLOCK! If you plan on selling it someday, and it's just been 'repaired', you may as well figure your asking price will be without engine. If you don't disclose, you may end up being sued.
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Old 09-05-2015, 02:20   #41
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Seems you read the post wrong It was me that bought the crate motor from canada and after a few months fitting etc, on the first run discovered weeping crack. I wouldnt do that to anyone ever.
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Old 14-07-2015, 15:09   #42
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Update time!

The marina agreed to cover the cost of everything. My insurance was also willing to cover the cost if the marina didn't do what was right. (My clause said that if I hired a pro to do winterizing, the insurance would cover a cracked block due to freeze damage.)

The boat is 20 years old. The engine guy (not from the marina) said my engine was on its last leg. He said be surprised if it lasted another year.

So - if there's a bright side to any of this, it's that I re-powered an engine for free that was likely to kill itself soon. The cost wasn't free - it did cost me 2 months of the boating season. But, that's a tradeoff I'll take any day.
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Old 14-07-2015, 17:49   #43
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Good for you, you deserve it! Thanks for letting everyone know how it turned out.
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:45   #44
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

A bit of a summary here in case anyone is interested: The Sun Almost Set on my Boat
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