Crestliner Transom Woes

SDMF

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I have a 2006 1850 FishHawk with a 150HP Suzuki 4-stroke. Last fall I noticed 2 cracks in the transom welds. I called Crestliner customer service (which is a misnomer, it should be labeled Brunswick company protection) they wanted nothing to do with dealing with the end consumer directly so I was forced into using a dealership. The dealership I purchased from is no longer in business. The local Crestliner dealer is Ray's Marine in Moorhead and they were fantastic throughout the entire process, I couldn't have asked for more from a business that didn't sell me the product. They pulled the motor per Crestliner's instructions and actually hauled it down to the repair facility free of charge, transportation is NOT covered under warrantee.

So, boat goes down to New York Mills in Dec. The welds are fixed under warrantee, no questions asked. I went down to NYM and picked up the boat to save the delivery charge and dropped it off at Ray's to have the motor re-installed. That's when/where the real problem was discovered. The wood in my transom was rotten and they couldn't safely re-install the motor. No problem right? Just get Crestliner on the horn and let them know the work's not finished. WRONG!! Wood isn't covered in their warrantee. The estimate for the repair, $3,500.

Well, this just can't be, so I call customer service. My boat has been used by me exclusively for all 8 seasons. Other than the 30-40 days/yr that I fish, it's stored inside. The motor has ~300hrs in 8 seasons. 1st I'm told that "the motor isn't a factory pre-rig and the dealer must've not installed/sealed it correctly". That's wrong, my boat is "Pre-Brunswick" Little Falls manufactured and I know it was a factory pre-rig because I filled out the order form (the dealer I purchased from is a good friend). Then they tell me, "Well, the motor's been moved, when the dealer moved the motor for you it must not have been sealed correctly." The dealer didn't move the motor. The boat came to me with too much "hook" in the hull and I took it to Little Falls in '07 or '08 and the factory fixed the problem no questions asked. Crestliner is the only entity that's ever moved that motor so if it's not sealed, that's on them. Then they tried to blame it on the transducer board and EZ-Pump I installed basically stating, "You altered the transom, that voids the warrantee". Like an Aluminum fishing boat isn't supposed to have a transducer mounted to the transom.

Over the next 2mo, I work with 2 customer service people. A Brunswick Employee who's been brought in to be the interim head of customer service, and have a conference call with the President of Crestliner. Out of the MANY phone calls and promises for updates, they almost never keep me informed or return promised phone calls. The president was on time for his conf call with me and the last 2 weeks or so of the issue things were better but for 6 wks I had to HOUND the customer service staff for updates.

At the 7 week mark, my boat finally makes it back down to the repair facility. I'd made arrangements to be there on week 6 when the engineers looked at my boat to determine root cause of the rot as obviously the "The dealer screwed up" story didn't wash. Very poor planning and communication on Crestliner's part with the dealership meant another week delay and I was unable to be there wk 7 when my boat was finally inspected and root cause of the rot determined.

They never did tell me the root cause, just that the engineers looked at it and determined that for the age/condition of my boat this was a "Normal Wear and Tear" issue and they were not obligated to offer any sort of warrantee. However, due to my persistence, my portion of the repair would only be $2,000. That was the decision right from the President of Crestliner and there was no negotiation after that.

I don't know what I could've done differently. I bought a factory travel cover when I bought it, and I used it almost every time I trailered the boat as well as anytime the boat was out overnight. I had a TRS cover made when the original wore out. I stored the boat inside year 'round with the cover off when not in use.

Anyway, the manner in which the whole thing was handled from the astonishingly POOR communication up through them telling me they're doing me a huge favor by "only" making me pay $2,000 is a complete and total failure on Crestliner's part IMO.

Just thought any of you guys researching a boat purchase might like to know.

Here is how I really dealt with the problem (of special note, no Brunswick products on the new one):

IMG_0646.jpg

IMG_0648.jpg
 
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KDM

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The ultimate results of that whole unfortunate escapade appear to be very not bad from my armchair quarterback position. NICE BOAT!!!!
 


Rowdie

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Wouldn't be obvious that cracks in the transom would cause the wood to rot????
 

MuskyManiac

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Wouldn't be obvious that cracks in the transom would cause the wood to rot????

Or the slow leak from the engine mount bolts rotted the wood which then put more stress on the transom causing it to crack.

I check my transom wood and check for leaks often just to be safe.
 

ndlongshot

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How do you guys check your transoms/wood? I have an old boat and do my best to dry it out but have always been concerned and wondered if there was a sure fire way to check the transom/wood?
 

Enslow

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I had a similar scenario with mercury which as i also owned by brunswick. I bought a new 8 hp 4 stroke for my row boat last summer. The motor wouldnt start at all and left me stranded several times on the water. Took it too dealer and they said it started fine in their tank. I called mercury and was given the run around and basically blamed for not following the starting procedure properly. I then tried the motor again and it wouldnt start at the lake where i wanted to fish. This is all this spring after i bought the motor last summer. I took videos of the motor not starting and sent them to mercury. They didnt even respond back to me. I finally asked the owner of the dealership to take the motor to his resort and try it. He couldnt get it started either. He gave me a brand new motor and it runs flawlessly. Thankfully he is dealing with mercury now.
 

SDMF

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I check my transom wood and check for leaks often just to be safe.

How do you check that?

- - - Updated - - -

Wouldn't be obvious that cracks in the transom would cause the wood to rot????

Given the level of rot found post-weld fix, it's likely that the rot caused the crack by allowing more flex in the transom than it's designed for.
 


MuskyManiac

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How do you check that?

Between my back compartments and an access cover, it lets me view much of the inside of the transom as well as the wood backing. I also feel the wood underneath where I have my transducers installed to check for moisture.

I run a Crestliner as well.
 

MSA

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This is the 5th or 6th crestliner fishhawk I have heard of & seen with a rotten transom. A friend of mine has one and had to replace it all.
 

Enslow

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This is the 5th or 6th crestliner fishhawk I have heard of & seen with a rotten transom. A friend of mine has one and had to replace it all.

I bet they have many warranty claims coming in due to this and that is why sdmf was treated so poorly. They dont want to pay.

- - - Updated - - -

Also if anyone is interested i bought my 8hp merc at bayshore cityside in valley city. They took great care of me by doing the right thing and replacing the motor after many failed attempts to correct the factory issue.
 

SupressYourself

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Call me ignorant, but in this day and age, why use wood in a transom at all? Seems like there are plenty of other materials out there that would never rot. Also, are all boats still made this way? How about glass boats?
 


westwolfone

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Having read about all these boats with rotten transoms, my question is
why are they still using wood at all?

Are their boats at there that don't use wood in the transom?
 

SDMF

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Call me ignorant, but in this day and age, why use wood in a transom at all? Seems like there are plenty of other materials out there that would never rot. Also, are all boats still made this way? How about glass boats?

I believe Skeeter is having the same problems w/wood transoms rotting in their glass boats.

My Yar Craft pictured above doesn't have any wood in it.

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Lund is the king of rotton transoms

They don't cover that repair either. My boat was fixed @ the Lund factory in New York Mills and the lady there told me that the Lund policy is the same.
 

Bed Wetter

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Call me ignorant, but in this day and age, why use wood in a transom at all? Seems like there are plenty of other materials out there that would never rot. Also, are all boats still made this way? How about glass boats?

This^

It's not like using wood to make gun stocks. Hell, use polymer.
 

SDMF

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This^

It's not like using wood to make gun stocks. Hell, use polymer.

Triumph boats are polymer. They feel like a rubbermaid garbage can.
 


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