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About the time it takes to fix engines
I need help to understand how to deal with the following situation. This relates to my experience as a client of a boatyard in the SF bay area.
I have a Chris Craft 36' built in 1962. I bought her 4 years ago and i have had problems with the two engines. From time to time they would not start or they would die unexpectedly.
So I asked a boatyard to fix it. The work order was signed in April 2012. We are in March 2013 and the boat is still not fixed, and obviously I cannot motor her.
Retrospectively it appears that the engines are good with no major problem. The exhaust manifold of one of them had to be cleaned and the exhaust tube replaced, and a few more minor repairs were done.
The problem, as I see it, is that every repair, minor or not, was separated by a two month delay. As an example the first work - replacing the 16 spark plugs - happened two months after the work order (it did not show anything, as I thought, because the previous spark plugs were new).
Another example: early December 2012, as one of the engine was still not starting, the diagnostic was that a part of the carburetor had to be replaced. Mid-December the boatyard received the part. Mid-February - 2 months later - it was still not installed (BTW: the various parts that needed to be replaced were pretty standard and did not require any complicated search).
I live less than two miles from this boatyard, so I have gone there more than 40 times during the 10 months to try to accelerate the repair. The answer is always the same: it is going to be done tomorrow. And obviously nothing happens.
The work order was pretty generic: "fix the engines". I agreed verbally to the different repairs done. Though it has been 10 months, I have not received yet any invoice (I suppose that since the carburetor part has not been installed, she is still considered under repair).
Since it is my first boat, I wonder whether it is normal practice for a boatyard and what I should do.
Thanks for helping.