Boats, boats, boats

Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#1
This marine industry makes boating so hard....

Last year trying to use my boat on the first outing had a scary experience. Was coming to dock but when I tried to pull the throttle back, it would not. Here we were zooming for the dock and I could not slow down the boat. Worse yet, had my brother and his family on the boat for the first time. Tried to dock at that speed anyway and the line ripped out the cleat from the dock that my builder had incorrectly installed :(.

So I shut off the engine and realized I could pull it out of that mode. This is a trailer boat but I was afraid of trying to get it to the boat ramp in that condition. While I procrastinated for a couple of months leaving it in salt water that way, 4+ inches of marine growth stuck itself to the bottom of the boat. You could serve mussels to 100 people with the amount that was stuck to its bottom! I finally get it on the trailer but by then the boating season was over so I leave it in our yard.

Go to check the systems and realize the fish finder has failed. This was a $600 unit I had put in 5 years ago (fish finder only with no display). The whole system was dated so I decide to upgrade it all to the tune of $12K. Yes, I went all out :). Hate to have stuff but obsolete on the boat. Back to the boat, I now had to have the bottom scraped and bottom paint put on. That was nearly $3K. Then I take it to the repair yard to fix the problem with transmission/throttle. I tell them to do whatever they had to do to make the boat safe. I emphasized this multiple times that they need to go over every inch of the boat and engine and make sure all is well.

Instead of a week, the above repairs take 4 weeks. First their mechanic is out for a week on vacation . Then he comes back and they keep having to order parts that take a week to get. I finally get the boat back and take it on water. In 10 minutes it gets stuck in gear again just like before!!! I had spent $1,500 on a bunch of repairs and here I was. While they had it, I had them install a new Yamaha "kicker' engine for trolling. The old one was stolen :(. That was another $3,000. I try to use the kicker engine but when we get to the dock, I see that oil is leaking out of the engine as soon as I tilted it up. I immediately soak that up and open the engine and to my horror, I find that they forgot to put the engine oil filler cap on after they filled the engine! The cap was just floating in the engine compartment.

I call and complain about both things. And I tell them that I don't want to chance getting the boat out to the trailer again with the faulty transmission. They listen to me about the symptoms and say there is a $50 switch that is faulty. And that their guy was supposed to have tested it but apparently had not. I get the switch ordered and put it in myself. Test the old switch and is fine. I worry that the new switch will not fix anything. And sure enough, it did not. :(

Call again and they say I have to bring it to them. So yesterday I had my son take time off work to help me do that. But worried that I would take it to them and them not find the problem (it only happens on the water), I decided to try to find the exact way it fails. Sure enough, I managed to nail the scenario which was if I idled at about 1,200 RPM for any length of time while in gear, it would not come out of gear and continue to go at that pace. When it failed, I shut the engine off, took the cover off, and immediately saw the problem. The throttle linkage was getting stuck and not returning even though it has a spring to force it to do that. The reason? Old lubrication that had gummed up and gotten stick. Wiped off the old lubricant, put fresh one on it and problem was solved!

Can you imagine this? You tell a repair yard that the throttle/transmission are getting stuck and they don't lubricate the mechanisms involved in them? It was so obvious this problem was there as when I would push the throttle linkage by hand, I could tell it was sticking at times. Throttle response as a result was not smooth. It would take it a while to return to idle and it would jump as opposed to smoothly reducing RPM.

This is a new outfit that I had not worked with before. But they sell a ton of the engines that is on my boat and I thought for sure they would be able to do this work.

Why is boat work so shoddy? I have lost 3 months of this season already. These guys are one of the reasons boating is such an expensive and unsatisfying experience at times.
 
May 5, 2010
52
0
6
#2
Reminds me of the old saying, "the second happiest day of my
my life was when I bought my boat; the happiest day was when
I sold my boat"
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#3
Those were the feelings when I bought and sold my last boat :). Thought down sizing substantially would help resolve the issues. And it has to big extent.
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,749
17
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#4
There's another old saying about boats that seems to apply here..."a boat is just a GIANT hole in the water that you throw money at."
Too bad those chumps that worked on your boat were so inept.
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#5
You want to know something ironic? The reason I managed to figure out and fix this so quickly was due to repairing turntables in 1970s! I was in Florida and snowbirds (folks moving up and down to NY), would come after being gone for months and find their turntables not operational. It made no difference what they said was broken. We would open, clean out the gummed up and dried lubricant, put fresh one in there and it would work immediately! Without that knowledge, all the parts appeared fine with tons of grease on them. But knowing grease can turn into its opposite and stop things from working enabled me to know what was broken.

So there is an audio connection here :).
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,749
17
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#6
You want to know something ironic? The reason I managed to figure out and fix this so quickly was due to repairing turntables in 1970s! I was in Florida and snowbirds (folks moving up and down to NY), would come after being gone for months and find their turntables not operational. It made no difference what they said was broken. We would open, clean out the gummed up and dried lubricant, put fresh one in there and it would work immediately! Without that knowledge, all the parts appeared fine with tons of grease on them. But knowing grease can turn into its opposite and stop things from working enabled me to know what was broken.

So there is an audio connection here :).
Amir, perhaps in more ways than one:)...as our dear audio hobby isn't exactly a cheap one either:(.
 
May 30, 2010
14,139
83
48
Portugal
#7
You want to know something ironic? The reason I managed to figure out and fix this so quickly was due to repairing turntables in 1970s! I was in Florida and snowbirds (folks moving up and down to NY), would come after being gone for months and find their turntables not operational. It made no difference what they said was broken. We would open, clean out the gummed up and dried lubricant, put fresh one in there and it would work immediately! Without that knowledge, all the parts appeared fine with tons of grease on them. But knowing grease can turn into its opposite and stop things from working enabled me to know what was broken.

So there is an audio connection here :).
Why do you consider it ironic? Were you expecting to learn how to lubricate transmissions building music servers? :)

I had similar experiences with the CDM 12.1 laser mechanism used in many CD players - Philips used an improper grease that needed to be cleaned and replaced with a special grease adequate to a metal/plastic bearing. Then it would not skip anymore.
 

Matt193

New Member
Mar 21, 2011
193
0
0
Wisconsin
#8
Unfortunately, this is all too common in this industry. I've found that big volume dealers seem to be worse than the small ones most of the time. IMHO, the best way to find out which shops are good is by word of mouth.

Have you been able to go fishing at all? :)
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#9
Unfortunately, this is all too common in this industry. I've found that big volume dealers seem to be worse than the small ones most of the time. IMHO, the best way to find out which shops are good is by word of mouth.
Indeed. My boat is in a new area not close to our main house and hardly anyone who services smaller boats/outboards.

Have you been able to go fishing at all? :)
Unfortunately not. I am a step behind in calibrating my fish finder (transducers). Not knowing what the cause was and how to recover, it was dicey relying on the engine. Will probably go down to the boat this coming weekend and do the first serious sea trial. If the equipment works well, then we get to fishing!
 

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