Outboard motor shop scam? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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I think you were kind of scammed, and that you kind of painted a target on your head.

Jones is right, I would have set a spending limit and definitely buy a book and a set of tools for whichever motor you end up going with.

Alacrity, 1981 Tartan 33 #168
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post #12 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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Just buy a new Merc, as you mentoned, and get over it.
That is what I did. I had an old Yacht Twin before and had the SAME issues.
could have used my old motor to lay down a smoke screen for the seneth fleet.
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post #13 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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Originally Posted by omaho5 View Post
Just buy a new Merc, as you mentoned, and get over it.
A new engine is a solution, but if OP goes this route, OP still has to pay the shop for it's repair work, or there may be some legal issues.....so for the moment, it looks to me as if OP should pay the bill and see if that work corrected the problems.

I had a Yamaha 115 that kept getting overheat alarms. Two different shops tried lots of similar things including changing water pump. Final solution was to pull the heads and clean sand out of the water passages in top part of motor. That solved the problem in my case. (The point being is you still may work to do)
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post #14 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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Originally Posted by sailguy40 View Post
I have a situation...

Then I decided to let them do it so I called back and told the lady to let him know to go ahead and do what he has to do and call me when it is ready.
Given the foregoing, I don't think you have much room to complain, even though its seems that you might have been taken advantage of.

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #15 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
Learning the HARD way...
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I have read your post, but not the replies.

Based on the information that you present, you brought a motor with an unknown history, to this shop, described a problem, and asked them to fix it. The person that you spoke with gave you a quick diagnosis based on your description, and an estimate based on that diagnosis. When the guy started working on it, he discovered that his initial diagnosis, again, based on your observation, was inaccurate, and he contacted you and told you that the problem was more severe. He also gave you the option of backing out AT THAT TIME. You told him to proceed.

When the final bill came due it was 20% more than you expected.

IMHO, 20% is within the range of a "good faith" estimate. You can tell him that you're not happy (and if you do, you better find another shop to bring your motor to), but you should definitely pay him. You also have the right to expect that the engine will work well for a month. If the engine fails within the month, bring it back to him, explain the problem, and he should fix it - gratis.

This is one of the reasons that I do all of my own work.
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post #16 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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You gave them the go ahead to do what needed to be done. You owe the bill and the motor will probably run fine for a long time. Learning experience, never give a shop a verbal OK to run the bill up, and always demand up front that you want to see ALL the old parts.

SV Laurie Anne

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post #17 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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Don't think you got scqammed as much as you made some hasty decisions and now regret them. They say that hidsight is 20/20 and I think that is the case here. The shop was 15-20% off target with thier estimate, seems reasonable to me unless you told them up front not to exceed a specific amount without authorization.

Pay the bill and next time weigh your options before giving the go ahead.
For what it's worth I did the same thing with a dinghy outboard not long ago. If I was doing the work myself (like I should have been) I would have saved a couple hundred and probably would have ended up buying a new engine instead of repairing the old, but I told the shop to fix it and they did. So I paid and learned to think twice before giving the "go ahead".

I hope your motor works well for a long time to come. Run it 'till it dies of old age.
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post #18 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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I agree with all aboard here. You authorized the work. Pay the man. Even before I ever bought a boat, I've always demanded from any mechanic I hire for my vehicles to show me the parts they replaced.

My hope, as well, is that your engine will serve you well for a long time.

Valuable lesson earned.

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Last edited by carl762; 03-16-2011 at 11:03 AM.
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post #19 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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I see a 6hp Merc 4 stroke at nearly $2K (and not a long shaft at that)... twice what you're looking at. If it's a reputable shop and they've done a good job your motor should be in good condition. At $75/hr that's only 10 hours plus a few parts - not so hard to imagine.

The lack of communication you experienced is frustrating to be sure, but not that unusual I'm afraid.

Will they give you some sort of warranty on the work done?


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post #20 of 49 Old 03-16-2011
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Can't tell whether you were deliberately scammed, but maybe they could have done a better job notifying you of their findings. I have an Atomic 4, and know that sometimes a simple project (especially on an older engine, or boat, or car, etc...) will reveal additional work that needs to be done that you otherwise wouldn't have seen (but could have left you stuck or with a mid-season repair depending on where you live). A new 9.8 is going to cost far more and hopefully these repairs will give you a trouble-free season. You can save yourself a lot of money by learning to do your own maintenance and even some basic repairs.

As someone suggested earlier in the thread, a better way to handle it might have been to say, "look, I know this is an older engine and I'm willing to put $xxx into it. If you discover it's going to take more than that, we'll need to talk and discuss whether it makes sense to spend add'l money on an older engine."

I have an older dodger that I brought into a canvas shop last fall -- we/they acknowledged its age and asked how far I wanted to go with it, dollar-wise. We arrived at a figure and a scope of work that they could do for that amount and that they felt was justified for an older dodger and everybody's happy.

s/v Grey Goose
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