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Mako Project Nightmare - Need opinions

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  • Mako Project Nightmare - Need opinions

    Hey All, This will be a long read, but i'm at a loss and need some suggestions of how to handle this. Questions are at the bottom.

    TLDR: Fiberglass guy took over a year, didn't do job correctly causing me to go to another shop to fix his work and possibly ruined powder coat from covering entire boat in overspray and not cleaning it off.

    Long Story:
    So labor day 2018 I bought an 1988 261 that looked to be in pretty good shape. Needed some cosmetic work, but nothing bad. As I started blasting the bottom paint off I noticed some big spots that needed fiberglass/ gelcoat repair. I talked to a local shop that said he would do it, we agreed on a price around November and he said he was booked till January 2019, I said no worries. So December rolls around and I decide to change the thru hull fittings and fuel filters, general maint. stuff. About a shot glass of water poured out of the transom and my fuel filters were completed filled with gunk. So pulled the console, all the wiring t-top etc. Got the tank out which was pretty wrecked. Also cut the coffin box out and found the typical wet foam and broken drains.

    January comes and goes and the shop still isn't ready for the boat. I told him about the inside issues and he said quit messing with it so he can take a look. FINALLY in March he said bring the boat in so he can get started. So I bring it in, show him what i've done on the inside and we worked a deal for him to put it back together. So now I have a contract to do the whole boat. He said it'll probably take 6 - 8 months as he's a 1 man shop. I said no big deal, at the time I was out of town 4 days a week for work and wasn't in a rush.

    Fast forward to September 12th and he FINALLY has the outside sprayed and hasn't touched the inside yet. He fixed the dents and dings in the fiberglass, sprayed the sides and rolled the gelcoat on the bottom. He said he can't spray upside down for whatever BS reason, but I didn't question it. 30 years experience vs my 0 years experience. I've seen roll and tip jobs that look damn near as good as a spray job. We also decided to do a Transom as mine had a little life left, but at this point the motors are off, might as well do it now.

    Its now November 2019 and he hasn't done ANY work to it claiming he has other jobs he needs to do. No big deal he did have a contract to build some other stuff before my boat came in. But i'm still irritated that I keep seeing small transom jobs come in or small gelcoat repairs but nothing ever gets done on mine. We've also decided to raise my console 3 inches because i'm 6'2 and the driving position sucked for me. I've now been promised that everything will be done by Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving comes and again no work as been done. I'm not promised by Christmas 2019.

    December comes around and again not much has been done. I've been collecting a bigger and bigger parts list of things to install. I also had my T-top modified to be 3 inches taller, had a new leaning post built, all new hardware bought etc. I've thought hard about taking the boat elsewhere, but he's storing my motors and the boat is completely ripped apart and parts are all over the shop. To get the boat back on the trailer, pick up the motors and get all the other pieces to a different shop is out of the question at this point. Also bought my 1st house so thats taking my mind off the boat fiasco.

    It's now January 2020 and the console is mostly raised and the open face closed in. I pulled my new gas tank out of my parents garage and epoxied it.

    February the coffin box is finally back in, drains fixed and tank dropped in. By the end of the month I had the t-top, leaning post and windshield powder coated a nice matt black. And new parts are still piling up .

    March comes and he finally has the gunwales sprayed and non-skidded, but didn't do the deck because he didn't want everybody walking all over the new non-skid. I question this but again, 30 years vs 0 years experience. We also get the motors on, yes i've been helping with the mechanical crap since he doesn't do that. My wiring guy has also started to lay in some of the new wiring harness. We also get the boat back on the trailer after a year and the t-top installed. I'm then told that he'll spray the non-skid in a couple days and he asks if I can give him a little more money, I said sure and just paid him in full since I didn't owe that much more because i'm dumb. Well then Corona Virus hits and i'm told by the fiberglass guy that he can't get the gelcoat needed for the non-skid. So much for spraying it within 2 days of me paying him. He said he wouldn't be able to get any supplies for maybe 2 weeks, so asked the wiring guy how long it would take to get everything wired. He said 2 weeks. Perfect. Took the boat to his shop to let him knock that out.

    7 weeks later, this dude still has the boat and isn't done. He did run into a lot of problems while rigging due to old broken pieces, and shipping times, but after 7 weeks I showed up and took the boat from him to go back to fiberglass to have the non-skid finished. Oh its May 2020 now. I told the fiberglass guy I needed the boat completed by the 19th (my birthday). So the 20th I go to pick it up and its done, he's installed the leaning post, sealed the coffin lid, screwed it down etc. Except he didn't gelcoat the deck inside the console. Said to bring it back when wiring is done and he'll finish it.... So i'm walking around on the deck looking at it and feel the t-top and its COVERED in overspray. Fiberglass guy denies it saying he covered the legs and that he wasn't spraying up in the air. I said then why is it all over the top, console, windshield, GPS, switches etc. Keep in mind this is all BRAND NEW stuff. He said its no big deal and he'll wipe it up. So uses Acetone on it which I found out is a HUGE no-no according to the powder coat company that I talked to today (6/1/2020). The more I walked around the boat the more I realized the entire thing is covered in overspray. The entire hull, the motors, the trailer, etc. I said WTF is this and he goes "what now you want me to detail your boat?" I said no, but I want this overspray off. He said to bring it back and he'll take care of it..

    So the wiring guy also couldn't get the trim tabs on because the trailer wasn't setup correctly for the boat when I bought it and at some point between shops the boat slid down sideways in the trailer. So can't get the trim tabs on due to how the bunk is sitting against the hull. Took it to the place I bought it from and they said they'd adjust it for free because it wasn't done right when I bought it. So get a call the next morning saying they won't touch it because the gelcoat is still tacky and needs to cure. I said it was done back in September thats impossible. Show up and the shop foreman shows me and sure enough, you can dig your nail into spots. Took to another shop and they confirmed it wasn't catalyzed right. Took it back to the guy that did the work and he denied it and said these people don't know what they're talking about. You can look under the boat and see big spots where the gelcoat is too thin, missing or too thick. It looks like crap. Again i'm told, its no big deal, use the boat its not going to come off. And i'm still left with the problem of nobody will lift the boat to fix the trailer which keeps me from getting the trim tabs on....

    So today June 1st 2020 i've taken the boat to another shop to completely redo the bottom. I don't want this guy touching my boat again. He's screwed up the bottom, my t-top and covered everything in overspray, missed spots inside for non-skid where you can see bare fiberglass etc. I also found out my wiring guy threaded the wrong fittings into my steering cylinder and jacked that up, so to me he owes me a cylinder. If you all are on FB, you saw me post about that.

    Questions:
    What are my options? Am I within my right to ask for my money back to cover having the bottom of the hull done correctly? He said he's willing to fix it, but it took him 9 months do it wrong the 1st time. It sounds like he's just going to roll more gelcoat on top of that and call it good. I'm not a mean person so I didn't say anything about the other shop doing it. And now i've found out he's probably screwed up my powder coat job pretty bad since he used acetone to wipe it down and that won't last... Do I pull the t-top and have it blasted again and redone and send him the bill that he probably won't pay? Again he says its a fishing boat and isn't going to be perfect, yet with how much money I dumped into this thing I expected better. Only thing I have is timestamped pictures from almost every time I went up there.

    And for the steering cylinder I think thats pretty clear cut that he installed wrong fittings and ruined it.
    Last edited by TheDohnutShop; 06-01-2020, 08:51 PM.
    1988 Mako 261

  • #2
    Wow! All i can offer is my sympathy..i know that gut wrenching feeling of getting jacked around by boat guts..it sucks..i got ripped off on my paint job from a con man and took a year to get it straight..i dreamed of revenge! Similar stuff..he ended up leaving my boat on the side of the road because he wouldnt meet me..good luck..by the way ...JASON HALTON of palm beach boat works..i hope you loose your business and get ripped off as well.

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    • #3
      2 questions: 1) Do you like the Boat? 2) are you willing to throw the money at it to get it done right? If you are chalk it up to a bad experience and move on your instincts are spot on in my book. you probably aren't going to get any money back and I would not let him touch my stuff again. I did a total refit on My 254 last year and worked out a deal to "pay as we go" so i had time to inspect and make changes to the plan as we discovered new issues along the way

      1983 Mako 254/1999 Sport Nautique GT-40/1997 Sea Doo GSi/ 1984 Surf Jet

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Z-man View Post
        2 questions: 1) Do you like the Boat? 2) are you willing to throw the money at it to get it done right? If you are chalk it up to a bad experience and move on your instincts are spot on in my book. you probably aren't going to get any money back and I would not let him touch my stuff again. I did a total refit on My 254 last year and worked out a deal to "pay as we go" so i had time to inspect and make changes to the plan as we discovered new issues along the way
        1st question is hard to say as I only got to put the boat in the river twice before finding problems with the tank. I do love the looks of it, but have maybe 45 min of seat time and have not been in the ocean with it yet. And 2nd question I'm already throwing another chunk of change to have this other shop fix the very bottom. Once they're done I plan on using it and will probably do the minor fixes myself. The major stuff has been completed to make the boat safe, (tank and transom). Thankfully this other shop has been very professional and do a great job. They redid the gelcoat on my bass boat bottom after my bunk covers tore it up. Looks like a mirror.

        I keep weighing my options of do I express my disappointment to the fiberglass guy and get in an argument where he points out that I don't know what i'm talking about because i'm 30 years younger than him which will end in nothing getting done or just get my hatch that he's been working on for over a month now and not speak to him again. I really hope this one fits, the 1st one he made didn't even come close and he tried to play it off as "nobody will notice it".... It was so unnoticeable that he made another.

        And don't get me wrong, it does look a lot better than it did, but the closer you look... Here's a pic from last week as well as before and almost done with wiring.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by TheDohnutShop; 06-02-2020, 02:51 PM.
        1988 Mako 261

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        • #5
          Very nice on the rewire I cant speak for the 261 but my 254 is a tank I have fished the snot out of it in flat calm seas and up to 8' never been scared Been uncomfortable and wet but never scared. hopefully you can get you hatch cover, walk away and enjoy!!!

          1983 Mako 254/1999 Sport Nautique GT-40/1997 Sea Doo GSi/ 1984 Surf Jet

          Comment


          • #6
            This should be a lesson for people that want to get into a project, whether its mako or any boat, there are so many hiccups that can come along. I hate this for you and hope it gets resolved, best of luck and god bless

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Z-man View Post
              Very nice on the rewire I cant speak for the 261 but my 254 is a tank I have fished the snot out of it in flat calm seas and up to 8' never been scared Been uncomfortable and wet but never scared. hopefully you can get you hatch cover, walk away and enjoy!!!
              I hear nothing but good things from the older Makos. My cousin has a 79 22' and its like being on a pillow out in the ocean. After seeing RingLeaders build I fell in love with the 261 and picked one up.

              I did just get back from picking up my hatch that was owed to me and as expected it hasn't been touched. Found out that this was not the rebuilt hatch, but the old one that wasn't even close to fitting with some body filler added. He said to test fit it in the boat, scribe the edges, bring it back and he'll make a mold and a new hatch.... He's been working on this hatch since January or February if I remember correctly.. But that was the last time i'll be in that shop, pay good money and get COMPLETELY screwed over..

              Originally posted by ddd241
              This should be a lesson for people that want to get into a project, whether its mako or any boat, there are so many hiccups that can come along. I hate this for you and hope it gets resolved, best of luck and god bless
              It can absolutely turn into a nightmare really quick. My friend and I should have checked the boat over more, but after an 8 hour drive and we were looking at the boat in the rain while it was starting to get dark out, we missed a lot. It ran fantastic so didn't think much of anything else. But there are good ones out there. I also have a 96 Skeeter bass boat that i've had for 6 years now and i've only ever had to replace a shift cable that broke last year. And thank you, it's getting resolved, just taking more money out of my pocket unfortunately. Its only money, right?


              Also here's the hatch, the blue is the filler he put on to try and make it fit, its off about a half inch on both sides... To quote him "nobody will notice"
              Attached Files
              1988 Mako 261

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              • #8
                good glad there is some progress!! I still have my hand in another leg of the business, and hear people all the time say "I want a project mako, or project xxxx", more mako's then anything else really. And most people have their minds made up, ok I'm gonna fix A, B AND C this year, and in 2 years i'll do J, K and L, and don't realize when then open up the hull, oh by the way D-I need to be replaced while everything is open anyway, and might as well do M, N, O and P while we're at it. Is really a labor of love and I admire the guys with the time and $ to get it done, but time frames and budgets can almost bet will be blown out of the water, and some unreputable shops take advantage

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