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Old 10 April 2009, 21:04   #1
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Stay away from Thunderbird Marine in Canada

After almost a month of going back and forth I purchased a 1995 Zodiac Hurricane 640.

I had the boat looked at by 2 different people one being a marine surveyor. Although the surveyor did not do a full survey, he did go over the hull and tube attachements as well as some other major items for me.

Because I am 3500 miles from the company and in the US there were some logistics to work out. I ended up hiring a shipper to bring the boat over the boarder to WA state where I purchased a brand new trailer and hired a second shipper to bring the boat across the country to my location. I also hired a customs broker to get the boat over the boarder.

Heres where it gets interesting. The day the boat was to be picked up by the first shipper I get the final paperwork via fax and it say 1992 and not 1995. I called the salesman Cormac and he said he just found out it was a 92 and not a 95. With an attitude he says "you can cancel the deal if you want?" Obviously since I had $3300.00 out of pocket with the new trailer sitting in WA there was no way to cancel the deal.

I then emailed and spoke with the general manager of the marina. He blamed me and said they have fine print to protect them against such mistakes. I then tell him exactly what I was told and am expecting and he tells me everything is correct except the tubes were not replaced and are original. I was told they were replaced in 01. Again he tell me sorry but I should have inquired with Zodiac on the HID and any other questions if I did not know for sure what I was buying.

This company is a real scam. Every internet ad, their own web site, and all offers and deposits reflected a 1995 boat. I even have emails where I was told what was replaced and when, yet they state I should have done more homework.

I will have the boat this Monday and beleive its a good boat but I am extremely disappointed that any business would treat a customer this way. The kicker is I was buying this for our Volunteer Fire Department and they knew it. I have filed complaints with the canadian consumer protection but do not expect much.
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Old 10 April 2009, 21:09   #2
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Here is a pic of the boat.
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Old 10 April 2009, 23:37   #3
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I hate scum who treat people like that.

The boat looks great from the pic. Those tubes should scrub up really nice if they are hypalon which I assume they are.

Use Truck clean or similar and a softish brush like you would use on alloy wheels. Then use a tube protector like 303.
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Old 11 April 2009, 01:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strobeguy View Post
Obviously since I had $3300.00 out of pocket with the new trailer sitting in WA there was no way to cancel the deal.
Why not and keep the trailer while looking for another rib, was this rib a lot cheaper than other ribs of a similar reported age
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Old 11 April 2009, 09:16   #5
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At the point I found out about the year it really was too late. I would have screwed 2 shippers one that was on his way already from OH about 2000 miles away. I could have cancelled them but then I would have been stuck with a brand new trailer in WA state that I would have had to either sell paid to have shipped here. The bottom line is I would have been screwing someone else to save myself a few bucks. I did not find out about the tubes till after the boat was one its way here.
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Old 11 April 2009, 09:53   #6
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You hired a marine surveyor who couldn't be bothered to check the transom plate to confirm the year??? Not to mention get a boat serial number that you could check the registration history on???

Now don't get me wrong, it is inexcusable if the seller told you that the boat was manufactured in a different year than it actually was, but still, why wasn't a check done on the serial # and registration history of the boat prior to purchase? This is standard procedure with used cars that cost a tiny fraction of what a Hurricane RIB costs.

If you were told that it had been re-tubed - who did the retubing? Why wasn't the re-tuber contacted to confirm if & when the re-tubing was done, what the warranty on the new tubes were, was the warranty transferrable, etc...

This deal sounds incredibly sloppy on both ends.
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Old 11 April 2009, 10:40   #7
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Yes, shame on me for not spending more and doing a complete survey. Also shame on me for trusting that was the dealer stated was correct. But at the time they realized their mistake they never said a word. Only when I pushed the other issues was I told about the tubes.

I spoke to the surveyor this morning who assured me that the hull, tube connections, and other items of special interest are 100%.

Had the dealer immediately notified me of the mistake that would have been one thing but to try and hide it? thats call fraud.
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Old 11 April 2009, 11:39   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strobeguy View Post
I had the boat looked at by 2 different people one being a marine surveyor. Although the surveyor did not do a full survey, he did go over the hull and tube attachements as well as some other major items for me.
So the marine surveyor never picked up that the tubes hadn't been replaced either. I'd be taking the matter up with him as well.
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Old 20 April 2009, 16:43   #9
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Well 2 weeks later and still no paperwork to register the boat. I spoke to the President of the company 3 times now and everytime I get tons of promises yet nothing happens. They keep emailing me coppies and I need an original signed bill of sale or I can not register the boat. They

I only wish I put a big deposit on my credit card that I could have recouped. Lesson learned. For anyone buying a boat make sure you put some of the purchase on a credit card this way you have some leverage. Since I wired the funds I have no way of going after them.

This company is a joke.
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Old 20 April 2009, 19:57   #10
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Was the boat being sold "on brokerage" or did Thunderbird actually own it? In the UK this would make a significant difference to any claim.
Quote:
Originally Posted by strobeguy View Post
Since I wired the funds I have no way of going after them.
Quote:
thats call fraud.
Is that true? I would have thought in litigation culture USA you would already have filed (or at least threatened) law suits against both the surveyor and the vendor if either or both had been negligent?
Quote:
Well 2 weeks later and still no paperwork to register the boat. I spoke to the President of the company 3 times now and everytime I get tons of promises yet nothing happens. They keep emailing me coppies and I need an original signed bill of sale or I can not register the boat.
I assume in your contract you clearly stated you need prompt delivery of original documentation - since it is essential to you.

Generally internet forums are not the best place to air your issues when you are still trying to sort them out. If it were me - and I felt I had been "robbed" I would be suggesting some form of alternative dispute resolution (such as arbitration or adjudication) to compensate me for any amount I have paid over the value. If the seller or surveyor is part of a trade body/association you may find that they operate a low cost adjudication/arbitration service.
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