leave their premises. Maritime law gives
providers of goods and services — for
example, marinas, boatyards, and mechanics — the right to take legal action to
“arrest” boats until repair and storage bills
are paid. The legal process even gives them
the right to recoup the value of their services by selling boats, or property on board, if
bills aren’t paid promptly. Good service or
bad, it’s up to the consumer to either pay
up or prove that the debt is unfair.
To improve your chances of avoiding
billing disputes and maritime liens:
Ask for references before having repairs
made. If you break down far from home,
contact your boat manufacturer for sugges-
tions about reliable shops in the area.
Meet with the mechanic to discuss
questions you have about the completed
repairs or your invoice.
Demonstrate good faith by agreeing to
pay for undisputed portions of your bill.
Get a second opinion from another
mechanic or a marine surveyor.
Don’t stop payment on your check
after you pay your repair bill. This can be
interpreted as intent to defraud the repair
shop and you might find yourself facing
How BoatU.S. Can Help
Before doing business with a new
repair facility, check for complaints online
in the Consumer Protection Database;
or contact the Bureau at 703-461-2856 or
Check out the free, online BoatU.S.
“Guide to Marine Service” at www.BoatUS.
Marine surveyor referrals are available
If you can’t resolve problems with
a repair facility, contact the Consumer
Protection Bureau. Our informal dispute-resolution program for members is an effective way to solve complaints.
CONSUMER ALERTS FOR FEBRUARY 2011
Federal laws require manufacturers to
issue defect-recall notices when boats or
related equipment contain “defects which
create a substantial risk of personal injury”
or when they don’t comply with manufacturing regulations. The U.S. Coast Guard
recently published the following notices:
Parker Hannifin, Trident Rubber,
Inc. (Recall 100019T) 1/4-inch LPG solenoid valves: These valves were manufactured in March 2010 and sold to Trident
Rubber, Inc., for use in marine liquefied
petroleum gas (LPG) systems to control
regulated low-pressure (0.40 psi) LPG flow
to LPG appliances. The plunger that moves
to open or close the valve-to-gas flow may
be defective. They are sold to consumers as a Trident LPG kit. Parts involved
in this recall are: Parker P/N 04F20C2-
Z05A1FOC75 (date code J1010T, J1110T,
or J1210T) and Parker P/N 04F20C2-
Z05A1FOC80 (date code J1010T).
Ranger Boats LLC, 870-453-2222
(Recall 100021T) 2011 model year vessels Z520, Z521, Z522, 621VS, 620VS:
A specific capacitor used in the power
distribution box may fail. The internal heat
generated may melt some of the potting
compound in the power distribution box.
There is the possibility that the hot compound may drip from the power distribution box, making contact with the boat’s
operator, potentially causing injury. Recall
repair involves installing a protective shield.
Tracker Marine Group, 417-873-
4540 (Recall 100017T) Ski tow bar (P/N
149320) may fail, releasing skier inadvertently. Three cases of failure out of 178
installations occurred before the manufacturer requested this voluntary recall. This
recall will replace P/N 149320 with P/N
BRP U.S., Inc., 618-439-8794
(Recall 100018T) 2010-11 model year
40-90 hp ETEC outboards: Clamps on
hoses to the vapor separator may not
be installed correctly. The outboards may
experience a fuel leak, with a potential for
fire or explosions, which could lead to serious injuries.
Pleasurecraft, 803-345-1337 ext.
107 (Recall 100014T) 2008-10 model
year 6.0L direct drive engines: PCM is conducting a voluntary recall. Their warranty
services department uncovered a defect:
The remote oil filter hose runs too close to
the exhaust manifold. There is a potential
for chafing and burning, causing an oil
leak and possible fire. Engines have serial
numbers 485186 through 495957 and are
installed on 2008-2010 model year boats.
For more information about these
campaigns, contact the manufacturers
directly or call the Coast Guard Boating
Product Assurance Division, 202-372-
1073. New recalls are listed monthly at the
BoatU.S. National Recall Alert Registry,
with Ring Cleaner