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Old 16-12-2005, 00:13   #1
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Bowspirit Repair

I unfortunately bumped into a motorboat in the marina a few months back, and the teak bowspirit on the motor yacht completely shattered into a few pieces.

The bowspirit was roughly 1.5' by 3' and and inch thick. The metal pulpit was not damaged, but the bolt holes through the fibreglass deck were damaged a bit.

The initial repair was quoted as $1000CDN, but now I'm being told that the cost of repair is $2600CDN, AND the work has already been completed.

Is this reasonable? (the $2600 bill) How should I deal with this?

Any opinions would be appreciated.
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Old 16-12-2005, 03:02   #2
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That's a difficult one. Yes it is quite possible it cost that much. It depends on how many man hrs. went into it. I imagine a bit would have gone intot he teak part for a start and teak is very expensive timber. Then the bolt holes in the fibreglass would needed to have been filled and re-drilled. and if any painting was required afterward, then that can really mount up as well.
It's reasons like this, that at the very least, a third party insurance is very very important to have. It can go from a small knock to a very large and expensive one real quick.
As for the intitial cost and the final being so far apart though, I would be asking for a detailed break down as to why. Was the first price an actual quote or estimate. A quote has to be held to here in NZ. Maybe your laws are different.
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Old 16-12-2005, 07:16   #3
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I think a quote is required in Canada first as well.

In this case, the quote of $1000 was increased to $2600 without warning... I'm not sure how I should deal with this situation. Any ideas?

I do have insurance, but I haven't spoken to them as I planned on paying the $1000 from my own pocket, but now that the bill has turned into $2600, I will definitely goto insurance.

I don't think insurance will be too happy, but I have photos of the damage from immediately afterwards, so it shouldn't be a problem. (I hope)

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That's a difficult one. Yes it is quite possible it cost that much. It depends on how many man hrs. went into it. I imagine a bit would have gone intot he teak part for a start and teak is very expensive timber. Then the bolt holes in the fibreglass would needed to have been filled and re-drilled. and if any painting was required afterward, then that can really mount up as well.
It's reasons like this, that at the very least, a third party insurance is very very important to have. It can go from a small knock to a very large and expensive one real quick.
As for the intitial cost and the final being so far apart though, I would be asking for a detailed break down as to why. Was the first price an actual quote or estimate. A quote has to be held to here in NZ. Maybe your laws are different.
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Old 16-12-2005, 07:31   #4
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If you have a written quotation, you have a contract, and owe the quoted amount only. A verbal quotation also forms a contract; but it's difficult to substatiate.

Id suggest a frank discussion with the yard. Get their side of the story, and a detailed explanation of the work performed, and why costs escalated.

...In this case, the quote of $1000 was increased to $2600 without warning ...
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Old 16-12-2005, 13:01   #5
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Do I have this right ? You hit the powerboat and it was the one damaged. It has been repaired. Who contracted for the repair ? (The owner of the boat should be the only one to authorize work) The owner should be the one billed and the one responsible for paying the bill. If you had an agreement with the owner for $1000.- , you should not care what it cost him. If you said you would pay for the repair, based on an estimate of $1,000.- and were not told the price had more than doubled, you are probably not obligated to pay the extra amount. If, for example, they found other issues unrelated to the accident, you would not expect to pay for those issues. Specifically what was in writing ?
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Old 16-12-2005, 19:31   #6
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Quote:
capt lar once whispered in the wind:
If, for example, they found other issues unrelated to the accident, you would not expect to pay for those issues.
You didn't mention what type or the age of the power boat, but knowing boats as they are, anytime you dig into a project one can open up a can-of-worms. A simple thing like a leaking deck fastener can turn into a recoring project.

So lets hope you got a written estimate that you can stick to. The next question, was the quote(r) from a reputable repair service. And if so, they should have to stick to the quote. They should know that when ever one dives into a boat that there WILL BE unexpected issues and should be calculated into the quote.

It sounds to me that the estimator didn't know his job or someone threw in an extra project.

Like Gord stated, "Id suggest a frank discussion with the yard. Get their side of the story, and a detailed explanation of the work performed, and why costs escalated".
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Old 16-12-2005, 19:36   #7
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Since Canadian laws are diferrent from US, I can only give you a US pespective, however... In the US, in almost all states, work performed without authorization from the customer, verbally, and documented, or in writing is can be denied by the owner. From an insurance standpoint, as this is what I do, a supplement for $1600.00 should not be an issue, if, the shop has invoices for any and all parts, and a detailed break down of labor operations. Old parts are helpful, but since this sounds like mostly additional labor, the photos should be sufficient. Have the shop submit the supplement to the insurance company, and hound your adjuster until you get results. Do not pay the bill! Although the law states that you are responsible for any additional repairs that you authorize, and the shop can hold the vessel until the bill is paid, AND, you can pay the bill, and try to recoup what you have paid, 99% of the time, the insurance company will deny the supplement, as they know you have less pull than the shop.
Keep in mind that your location may have different laws, but you can be assured that if you present your argument this way, the adjuster, and the shop will correct you if you are wrong. Also keep in mind that the adjuster is supposed to be your advocate in this claim. At that point, you will know where you stand, and be able to go from there. Bottom line is, most insurance companies are interested in retaining clients, so they will try to make things right. If the additional charges are legit, or can not be ruled out (this is very important), they will be covered. Also make the adjuster deal with the shop. They have allot more pull, as the shop often depends on insurance work. Remember, you have all the power, because both of these people are depending on your money.
If you do not get satisfaction from this course of action, PM me, and I can get you some more detailed help.
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Old 16-12-2005, 21:11   #8
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Wow, you guys are quick!

There was only a verbal quotation for $1000. I plan on letting the insurance company deal with it. In my mind right now, the increase of $1600 is extremely suspicious.

I'll have to visit the yard and see what their side of the story was.

Quote:
GordMay once whispered in the wind:
If you have a written quotation, you have a contract, and owe the quoted amount only. A verbal quotation also forms a contract; but it's difficult to substatiate.

Id suggest a frank discussion with the yard. Get their side of the story, and a detailed explanation of the work performed, and why costs escalated.

...In this case, the quote of $1000 was increased to $2600 without warning ...
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Old 16-12-2005, 21:28   #9
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The situation has some minor twists - boats up here were hauled a few months ago for the winter, so the owner was fine with having the repairs done anytime as long as it was before launch in the spring. He mentioned the quote of 'about $1000' (his words).

I then spoke to the guy he referred at the yard, and again, 'about a thousand dollars' was the informal quote, and he said he would call me back as he was quite busy those weeks.

Then about a month and a half later, I get this call from the owner saying the work was done, and the bill was $2600.

So, we hadn't exactly agreed that I would pay him $1000, but that seemed like a completely reasonable amount.

$2600 would mean 40 hours of work to drill, fill, redrill holes, and paint an area about 1-2 sq. ft., AND leave $600 for the teak bowspirit.

As far as the pictures show, there is one other paint scratch on the starboard hull, but no other physical damage.

At this point, I'm more worried about the owner getting upset at the bill.

I'm actually not too familiar with how much boat repair costs if done professionally. Can anyone help me out with a sample of how a quote may look like? (let's say specific to this situation)

Thanks!


Quote:
capt lar once whispered in the wind:
Do I have this right ? You hit the powerboat and it was the one damaged. It has been repaired. Who contracted for the repair ? (The owner of the boat should be the only one to authorize work) The owner should be the one billed and the one responsible for paying the bill. If you had an agreement with the owner for $1000.- , you should not care what it cost him. If you said you would pay for the repair, based on an estimate of $1,000.- and were not told the price had more than doubled, you are probably not obligated to pay the extra amount. If, for example, they found other issues unrelated to the accident, you would not expect to pay for those issues. Specifically what was in writing ?
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Old 16-12-2005, 23:45   #10
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First, if you turned it into your insurance company, they had the responsibility to inspect the damage in a timely manner. If they dropped the ball, that is their problem. I was under the impression you were communicating with the yard directly. Got it now. In view of the "good neighbor policy", direct the PB owner to your insurance, call your adjuster, maybe even conference call with the claimant and the adjuster. This is not you problem. It is the insurance company's problem. Make sure all involved partys understand that, and I can not imagine the PB owner getting upset with you.
As for the estimate, most boat yards hand write their estimates. THe estimate should contain a list of materials, with pricing per item, a list of labor operations, with labor units by each operation, and a standard labor rate. Your insurance company should know what is a fair rate for your area, but, again, that is their problem not yours. As for the cost of the repair, $2600 does not sound out of line. Labor alone could easily be 20+ hours including refinish time. If cabinetry had to be removed, and reinstalled to access the hardware, there is another labor intensive operation. By your description, I would say the price is fair, the insurance company dropped the ball, and you are stuck in the middle. A call to your insurance adjuster's manager should help light a fire. (By the way, I am not refering to your agent. The agent has very little power over how a claim is handled. If this is redundant info just disregard it, but that is a common misconception.)
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Old 17-12-2005, 04:51   #11
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Kai Nui, the insurance company hasn't dropped the ball because they haven't been involved in the situation yet!

ccmumbo wrote
Quote:
I do have insurance, but I haven't spoken to them as I planned on paying the $1000 from my own pocket
I don't have any experience with this, but IIRC all my insurance policies say something to the effect that you have to notify the company BEFORE any work is performed.

How do you think the company will react when contacted after the fact, as in this situation?

ccmumbo, you might read the fine print in your insurance policy.

Regards,

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Old 17-12-2005, 07:34   #12
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Tim - Exactly right. The insurance company may refuse to cover any claim they did not inspect and approve prior to repair. Failure to notify the company at the start probably sealed that deal.
What I do it "give it in writing". Too many others don't bother to give it to us in writing, so I write out what I am agreeing to and make sure all parties have it. (mail to owner and yard manager)
I then feel if they are going to exceed my original authorization, they do so at their peril. Since we are late to the dance, I would send that same letter now saying I would be willing to submit this substantially larger claim to my ins. co., but if the company will not pay, I will not agree to this amount due to my original agreed on price of $1000. Let them work on it for a while. I would end up paying more, but not all.

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Old 17-12-2005, 10:28   #13
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I think that's what I'll do.

Actually, this is where I'm worried that the other boat owner will get upset at.

Thanks for your help! Just wanted to make sure what I had in mind was not unreasonable.

Curtis

Quote:
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Tim - Exactly right. The insurance company may refuse to cover any claim they did not inspect and approve prior to repair. Failure to notify the company at the start probably sealed that deal.
What I do it "give it in writing". Too many others don't bother to give it to us in writing, so I write out what I am agreeing to and make sure all parties have it. (mail to owner and yard manager)
I then feel if they are going to exceed my original authorization, they do so at their peril. Since we are late to the dance, I would send that same letter now saying I would be willing to submit this substantially larger claim to my ins. co., but if the company will not pay, I will not agree to this amount due to my original agreed on price of $1000. Let them work on it for a while. I would end up paying more, but not all.

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Old 17-12-2005, 12:09   #14
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Sorry, I missed that point. As I mentioned, I deal with this for a living, and it is a sore point with me that allot of insurance companies do drop the ball. Still, your situation is not unique, so you should have no problem submitting the claim, as long as there are invoices, and photos to back it up.
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Old 17-12-2005, 13:13   #15
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Curtis - you should not feel bad. If they failed to tell you the number was going from $1000 to $2600 and give you the opportunity to have input, they blew it. You can't respond to what you do not know.
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