I have no idea what this job entailed. I am not a boating contractor and have never owned a boat with an inboard engine.
I am also not a lawyer, and don't know that an estimate/bid is a legal contract.
But I am a housing/renovation contractor. You should be happy that the work was done correctly to your satisfaction, but a final bill 4x the original estimate is unacceptable. The contractor should have had some idea what the job entailed and should have given a realistic estimate. Yes, sometimes a job or client turns out to be a nightmare, but other times it's a dream.
A contractor makes his money on his dreams, and slogs through the nightmares.
But you are an obviously unhappy client. I would call the contractor and negotiate a lower bill. Of course, I would not recommend him to others. Maybe this sort of work is his MO.
As a client, I might even send him a check for say 2x the original estimate. He may cash it and accept it as payment for work done (write in the memo area Complete Payment for xxxx). I doubt it would be worth his or your time to take it to court.
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
Last edited by NautiG; 09-21-2009 at 04:07 PM.