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The Value of a Local Dealer

Old 01-12-2020, 03:44 PM
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Default The Value of a Local Dealer

New member, long time reader. My previous 2 boats were bought used from private sellers, so Im not experienced with dealers or warranty work. Currently shopping for boat #3 and the search is down to 2 makes, one of which is a Stumpnocker 166 Coastal. All the following examples are old dealer inventory (2017 and 2018). There are 3 examples within 100 miles of me and they are all between $23K-$24K. The wild card is 450 miles away, is borderline underpowered and is $17K. To avoid a long story from getting out of control I wont get into the reasons for the low price, but I think it is legit. Id have to test to be sure I can live with the performance, but I suspect itll be ok. The question is: is it worth 7 grand to have a dealer I can get back to? I have read a lot about the importance of a good local dealer when buying new and I accept it as common wisdom, but is it THT? I know all new boats can have issues, but I think the risk is less in this case due to the quality and the simplicity of this boat (one piece rolled gunnel vs 2 piece w/liner, external fuel tank, no hydraulic steering). As for warranty work with the motor, I dont know if manufacturers require work be performed by the original dealer (as boat manufacturers generally do), or would any certified dealer of that motor honor the warranty? If I went for the distant option Id plan a few days in the area so that after sea trial and purchase I could run it for at least a day and have any immediate/simple issues addressed before I tow it home.
Old 01-12-2020, 03:54 PM
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Neither is an issue, any dealer will warranty. Yes you’ll probably, maybe, should get better service where you bought it but probably not. Personally I’d never drive 450 miles to save a couple grand, promise you when you get there they’ll slip something in to make it not worth the trouble. Then figure in time, gas, hotels etc and you’ll be better off local.
Old 01-12-2020, 04:15 PM
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Spend $150 gas to save 7k? Sure.

I had boss once that searched country for car he wanted.
Found it in Chicago...for $2k less than any other quotes he got. He and wife flew to chicago, drove it back. Net saved 1k + and got a little mini vacation out of it too, in his eyes.

Same boss, went to hawaii without room reservations in low season, because read you could get better deals walk in. And did. $70 /night vs $200, But....the dumbass spent 2 days of his 7 days there driving around with his family and shopping for hotel rooms in the 2 places they stayed. Not worth it...fortunately his wife was just like him and all for it.


Had a coworker also find toyota prerunner truck he wanted in Oklahoma (10 hrs away) once. He told me his price. I was shopping at local dealer a week later for vehicle for my sn, i knew the sales manager well, i bought 4 vehicles from him, and my wife bought her first car from him too when she was 18. He deals straight up with me directly. I told him about my coworkers trip to oklahoma, he said " we could have beat that for him right here".

Last edited by mbb; 01-12-2020 at 04:23 PM.
Old 01-12-2020, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaInMyVeins View Post
New member, long time reader. My previous 2 boats were bought used from private sellers, so I’m not experienced with dealers or warranty work. Currently shopping for boat #3 and the search is down to 2 makes, one of which is a Stumpnocker 166 Coastal. All the following examples are old dealer inventory (2017 and 2018). There are 3 examples within 100 miles of me and they are all between $23K-$24K. The wild card is 450 miles away, is borderline underpowered and is $17K. To avoid a long story from getting out of control I won’t get into the reasons for the low price, but I think it is legit. I’d have to test to be sure I can live with the performance, but I suspect it’ll be ok. The question is: is it worth 7 grand to have a dealer I can get back to? I have read a lot about the importance of a good local dealer when buying new and I accept it as common wisdom, but is it THT? I know all new boats can have issues, but I think the risk is less in this case due to the quality and the simplicity of this boat (one piece rolled gunnel vs 2 piece w/liner, external fuel tank, no hydraulic steering). As for warranty work with the motor, I don’t know if manufacturers require work be performed by the original dealer (as boat manufacturers generally do), or would any certified dealer of that motor honor the warranty? If I went for the distant option I’d plan a few days in the area so that after sea trial and purchase I could run it for at least a day and have any immediate/simple issues addressed before I tow it home.
who says the local dealer is good? have you done due diligence on either dealer on both sales and after sales support/service?

you can bring your boat anywhere for engine warranty work so long as the yard participates in the engine manufacturer's service program and is willing to service you

it could be a crap shoot during peak times

typically what folks do is make a punch list of warranty issues at the end of the first seasons and have warranty work done during off-season

don't get an underpowered boat
Old 01-12-2020, 05:08 PM
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I can't think of what would be more important than having a local dealer for your new boat purchase. Considering how many (few) times a typical boater uses their boat in the summer having a local dealer readily available to make last second repairs or offer assistance to get you out on the water in a pinch would be worth thousands to me.
Old 01-12-2020, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by yachtjim View Post
I can't think of what would be more important than having a local dealer for your new boat purchase. Considering how many (few) times a typical boater uses their boat in the summer having a local dealer readily available to make last second repairs or offer assistance to get you out on the water in a pinch would be worth thousands to me.
there is no guarantee even if you buy a boat from a dealer that they are going to be readily available or help you in a pinch. plenty of dealers have separate entities for their sales side and post sales / service side run by different people with different goals and priorities. some dealers are just not good and once they have your sale you are on your own. hence why its important to do your due diligence.
Old 01-12-2020, 05:32 PM
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By and large, my dealers have treated me as a favored client because we bought boats from them. Apparently we’ve been lucky.
Old 01-12-2020, 08:38 PM
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I would rather buy local if I can and if we were talking 7k on a 100k boat I would lean towards local but 7k on 24k boat, well thats almost 30%, I would travel for that. You might want to check with the local guys and see what the price would be with the smaller motor but I suspect its only the difference between a 70 or 90 hp and the 70 will still fly.
Old 01-12-2020, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by samven View Post
I would rather buy local if I can and if we were talking 7k on a 100k boat I would lean towards local but 7k on 24k boat, well thats almost 30%, I would travel for that. You might want to check with the local guys and see what the price would be with the smaller motor but I suspect its only the difference between a 70 or 90 hp and the 70 will still fly.
Hmmm. My calculator is saying $7k is $7k. Could be low batteries.

I drove 600 miles one way for a repower and saved $10k. I did mix it with other business in the area.
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:45 PM
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I never bought a boat from a dealer. Unlikely that I will in the future. On the occasions I have bought cars from dealers, I usually tell them once the sale is complete (usually when they offer free car washes or something) that "It's very unlikely that you'll ever see me again. It's not worth my time to drive over here again."

The only time I'll take something I own to a dealer is if there is a warranty issue, I'll take the vehicle to whatever dealer is closest. Done the same with boats and engines. Never had any problems getting the work done.
Old 01-13-2020, 06:19 AM
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Brought a boat down to the Keys. Couldn't get it repaired because I didn't buy it from them. Bought a new boat from them, needed service under warranty. Might as well brought one down! Repaired it myself.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:37 AM
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Yes.

Dealers from the same brand will not necessarily honor warranty work. If they do, they will put you in the back of the line and prioritize people who bought the boat from them.
Old 01-13-2020, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Shewillbemine View Post
Yes.

Dealers from the same brand will not necessarily honor warranty work. If they do, they will put you in the back of the line and prioritize people who bought the boat from them.
I would never bend to the threat of no warranty service from an authorized dealer. The manufacturer will not put up with it either. I know Suzuki won't. If they want to play games on service I would play games online if needed. Never have but would. That train has left the station on that crap.
Old 01-13-2020, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Shewillbemine View Post
Yes.

Dealers from the same brand will not necessarily honor warranty work. If they do, they will put you in the back of the line and prioritize people who bought the boat from them.
they could be violating their agreements with the manufacturer
Old 01-13-2020, 03:36 PM
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a good dealer is priceless its true that any dealer for a specific brand will have to honor the warranty but you will not be a priority
Old 01-13-2020, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by vonshep View Post
a good dealer is priceless its true that any dealer for a specific brand will have to honor the warranty but you will not be a priority
the dealer does not have to honor a warranty

the warranty is between you and the manufacturer
Old 01-13-2020, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
the dealer does not have to honor a warranty

the warranty is between you and the manufacturer
Doesn't the Dealer represent the product and Manufacturer?
Old 01-13-2020, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BSL View Post
Doesn't the Dealer represent the product and Manufacturer?
warranty is between the boat owner and the manufacturer not the boat owner and the dealer

the relationship between the boat owner and dealer is as stated in the P&S agreement
Old 01-13-2020, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
the dealer does not have to honor a warranty

the warranty is between you and the manufacturer
The dealer must honor the warranty its part of the agreement between the dealer and the manufacturer If you buy a new ford any ford dealer must perform warranty work . Boats are no different if a dealer refuses to service the manufacturers product the risk losing their ability to sell the product . That said they dont have to break any speed records getting to you .
Old 01-13-2020, 04:30 PM
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Dealers not honoring warranty is not unusual. In the RV industry it is almost SOP. Any Ford or Chevy dealer will work on the chassis but if there is a problem with the box or accessories you better be handy or close to the selling dealer.
As far as price of boat goes if its a simple base model without a bunch of options and high end fittings go for the lowest price. You can probably get the manufacturer to authorize a gel coat repair or small hull fix at a third party shop. If you are looking at a high end boat with many options and dealer or factory installed electronics you might want to find a GOOD local dealer even if it costs a few percent more so you dont have to worry about getting past around with every body blaming the other guy.

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