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Winter/Spring Service on New Boat - from dealer or local marina?


OscawanaSkier
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I’ve been using the same on-lake marina for my boat service for years. Great service and easy because it’s right on our lake.

 

Last year we purchased new TXi from dealer 45min away. We negotiated first year’s pick-up/drop-off/towing into price of boat - so used dealer all service last year. This year we’re picking up the dime, so wondered how important it is to keep using dealer for “regular” service. Is dealer service required for full PCM or Malibu warrantee coverage?

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I don’t think a $75K+ boat is where I want to teach myself proper winterization technique, especially up here in NY.

 

I’m positive my local marina (or me, with research/training) could do a lot of the required work. My question was more about risk of invalidating the new boat’s factory warrantee (either Malibu or PCM).

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  • Baller

only advantage I can think of for the dealer vs. local marina, is if they seriously screw your boat up you probably have more recourse if it was the dealer. With the dealer if they screw up or it’s a recall problem with the boat, they own the problem either way.

 

That said, I am with @oldjeep on doing it yourself, but if that’s not your bag take it to the tech that will treat your boat as if it was his own.

 

Many shops (cars or boats) have time quotas on how long specific jobs should take, so if you get “norm the newbie” assigned to winterize your boat - mistakes can happen in the rush to meet the time quota.

 

For example, when I bought a Toyota Tundra in 2016 I had them install a remote starter before I took delivery. The tech that did was a newbie and completely screwed it up and I had to take it back and have it redone after dealing with months of weird locking and alarms going off when I tried to use the remote start.

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I learned the hard way with cars and with boats that if you are within your warranty period it's often worth the trouble to deal with the dealer. If your local marina is truly reputable and it's not an issue but if something strange blows up on your boat and you show up back at the manufacturer with incomplete or suspect records it could cost you.

 

I blow up an engine in a Subaru 10 years ago that cost me about $10,000. I will never own a F***ing Subaru again ( no matter how happy and convincing they're fantastic marketing is ). Part of their defense in not giving me a new engine was that I did not have 100% complete service records.*

 

So if this were a boat and I had changed my own oil. They can say they don't have proof that I changed the oil or what oil I put in or other details.

 

Once you're out of warranty I think you should probably do most of it yourself.

 

* for the record both my wife and I had an engine in a Subaru grenade within 7 days. Neither of us are rally drivers. Subaru did nothing for us.

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About Horton

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Up until 2015 model year Subaru had a head gasket issue that I am aware of. They fixed it in 2016, I own a 2016 Outback which has proven to be one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. Sorry about your experience @Horton but I believe Subaru has turned the corner on reliability although you are unlikely to be convinced.

I have many friends in CO and UT that have been hardcore Subaru owners for decades and the only downside that they experienced was the head gasket issue @ 100k miles. Mine has been cross country every winter since 2016 and is a great vehicle. I've seen several other Subarus at AWSA tournaments as they are easily handled in the tight confines of tournament lake sites plus they can carry all your gear with ease. Not for everyone to be sure but unless you need to tow your boat (I don't) it's a fantastic automobile. My Tahoe was totalled when a guy pulled out from a side street in CO and that was it. Bought the Outback as a CPO model with 12k miles and received a 100k power train warranty. Get all service done at the dealer sand the cost is reasonable.

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