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Why does marine service suck so bad?

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Why does marine service suck so bad?

Old 03-17-2019, 07:09 PM
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Default Why does marine service suck so bad?

Buddy dropped boat off three weeks ago for boat to be serviced, motor wouldn’t start. Dealer diagnosed water in fuel, drained vst, new plugs, separator and told him he needed to address tm batteries(????). Two weeks ago we met at launch by accident with me fishing and him to water test results of the $$$ he spent. 400 yards from launch motor dies and wouldn’t restart, tm is also dead. Back to dealer same day but this time they’re going to really give it the best they have Fast forward to yesterday and our three boat charter trip, we leave and head south with two sports in each of our boats. An hour and a half he calls me to pick up his guys because tm is dead, two hours later i call him and his motor is running but barely. My mechanic looks at it today, vst full of water and one bank on charger is dead.
Should we just expect incompetence with marine service centers???
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:20 PM
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This is why I do all my repairs/maintenance.....I know it get's done and is done correctly.......
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:34 PM
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I think that Florida has more issues than most states when it comes to marine services. I think it is due, at least in part, to a lack of qualified competition and the average mechanic thinking old people are stupid.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:59 PM
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Our area has three merc service centers and they all suck!
#1 kept my boat from 11/15/16-2/1/17 and couldn’t find the fuel issue after a couple grand.
#2 told me mercs were the easiest motors to diagnose and work on, got a new alternator but called in for a tow an hour after picking boat up.
#3 found the $30 problem after telling me I probably needed $2k in fuel pumps.
11/15/16-5/1/17 and three dealers for a $30 fix
#3 is working on the boat in OP but they lost my mechanic. Really love the guy when he trouble shoots my problem and shows up at my house to fix it.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:59 PM
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The ineptitude in all trades in Florida never ceases to amaze me. I do all of my own work now after having some basic work botched beyond belief by a provider recommended by the marina I was in.

Here in Breeeeeevard County the mechanics believe that if they just show up they deserve recognition. So far I've only found one that understands the concepts of Time, Cost, Quality, and Service.
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:01 PM
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Learn to do your own work.

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Old 03-17-2019, 08:15 PM
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Unfortunately, after moving to Florida, Myself and my son are the only people I trust to turn a wench on my boats. I have yet to find someone that actually diagnoses the issue, Not just throw parts at it that worked before for him. Expensive lesson.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:23 AM
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You just need to drive a little further over to Baton Rouge. That’s not how we operate.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:29 AM
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Find a mechanic that you trust and specify that only that person is to work on your boat. In every occupation there are some really good people, you just have to find them and that is often a painful process.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:46 AM
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For those of you in Florida. What’s the labor rate? Would you pay more for perfection?
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:55 AM
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You do realize that most people in Florida are from some other state or country, say NJ, right?
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:55 AM
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It's not just Florida. Good and bad up here too.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:02 AM
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I get a lot of references from other boaters before I hire someone. As a result have found many great trades people over the years and had to deal with very, very few marginal ones. NC, FL and GA. The good ones will show you how you can do it yourself if you want to in the future.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:11 AM
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Part of the problem is the cost associated with working on boats. A lot of customers don't want to pay what it would cost to do a job right and so corners are cut in the hopes of reducing the total bill. Sometimes you get away with it and sometimes it backfires and you do the job twice.

In this particular case, in order to do a water-in-fuel repair completely and correctly you'd need to have the entire fuel system evacuated, from the fuel tank to the injectors, and then replace all filters/gaskets, ect. After that, the boat should be refueled from a known, uncontaminated source and taken to the water by a technician for a long sea trial prior to being returned to the customer. Just the sea trial portion can add up to hundreds of dollars depending on the dealerships access to water and the size of the boat. There should be two people on the sea trial, a boat operator and a technician. At a shop rate of about $110/hr., this entire operation could run north of $1,000 pretty quickly.

Another problem is that boats are all one off, "hand crafted" one at a time by the least expensive workers available. They're complex with multiple systems and multiple points of possible failure. There is a lot that can go wrong and it often does. This isn't to say that there aren't crappy service departments in Florida, there are crappy service departments everywhere. But a lot of these problems stem from the cost of truly repairing and maintaining a boat.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by CMEBoston View Post
For those of you in Florida. What’s the labor rate? Would you pay more for perfection?
Don't know what actual wages are, but typical billing rates here for skilled mechanics, engine techs, painters, and electronics folks range between $120 and $135/hour. Cleaners and detailers are at about $25/hour. People doing things like bottom prep, power washing, anode replacement, and similar stuff are typically billed by marinas at $80/hour.

I'm happy to pay the folks I now use; they are worth every penny. But the problem is that the inept companies and bad techs bill just as much. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by davidwademarine View Post
You just need to drive a little further over to Baton Rouge. That’s not how we operate.
Casey, dragging a boat 2.5 hours and fighting BR traffic would be as much of a nightmare as using our local guys. I have said before that I could become a millionaire working on boats with three Amish techs; they don’t smoke, drink or watch tv
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:42 AM
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op your friend needs to drain his tank

is it phase separated ethanol in there?

or non ethanol and somehow got a good slug of water?

he will have to watch the racor vigilantly for a while or will be right back in the same situation
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:49 AM
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We don’t burn e-10 here, use a station that turns thousands of gallons per week. This was his backup boat last year and only used sporadically. Agree the tank needs to be drained and swabbed out since we have no idea how much h2o is in the bottom. I’m sure he’s $1,500 into this shit show and it’s only intermission.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenner 23 View Post
We don’t burn e-10 here, use a station that turns thousands of gallons per week. This was his backup boat last year and only used sporadically. Agree the tank needs to be drained and swabbed out since we have no idea how much h2o is in the bottom. I’m sure he’s $1,500 into this shit show and it’s only intermission.
if your positive it's non ethanol do this:

drive one side of trailer up on a 4x4 or whatever, so that boat leans to one side

jack trailer tongue WAY up

now all the water will be in the lowest rear corner

remove fuel sender

use soft copper line to feed into lowest corner of tank thru sender hole

you can attach vinyl hose to the copper line (so you can tell before you get a mouthful of gas)

siphon out the water

when you get pure gas stop

if its not a LOT of gas, just siphon it all out and start over, but you don't have to if the gas on top of the water is good
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rbhankins001 View Post
if your positive it's non ethanol do this:

drive one side of trailer up on a 4x4 or whatever, so that boat leans to one side

jack trailer tongue WAY up

now all the water will be in the lowest rear corner

remove fuel sender

use soft copper line to feed into lowest corner of tank thru sender hole

you can attach vinyl hose to the copper line (so you can tell before you get a mouthful of gas)

siphon out the water

when you get pure gas stop

if its not a LOT of gas, just siphon it all out and start over, but you don't have to if the gas on top of the water is good
Ha! It's FULL right now and my last foray using that siphon method included swallowing a few ounces of premium hytest.
He is picking up a clear bowl seperator today and i will work on getting the water out if it continues to give him problems.
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