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Old 12-02-2019, 11:41 PM   #1
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Dreadful service from Beneteau

Anyone else had bad service from Beneteau for warranty work?

We went through horrendous dealings with the dealer and Beneteau on a brand new ST44 due to issues with the engine/drive train install. We had to fight and were going to court until they backed down at the very last moment!

Issue - Engine vibration at 1800 - 2000 revs. Both engines.


Work Done:
1. New engine mounts - D6 versions rather than the D4's - D4's were designed for transom hung outdrive legs and not shaft systems.

2. New cutlass bearings

3. Props re pitched - They came stamped 24/25, when measured one was 24/24 and the other was 24/24.5. Quality was poor. This also explained the difference in turbo boost pressure between the engines.

4. Bend in 1 shaft.

5. Shaft tapers not matched to the props.

6. Shaft threads were still dog threads, neither metric or imperial.

Marine propulsion engineer recommended the struts to be aligned properly but Beneteau refused to do this.
The engineer made centres for the struts and ran a wire up to the engine. The wire did not run through the stern tube correctly indicating that the struts were not aligned properly.
I am expecting the cutlass bearings to wear out prematurely so we'll see.

Great boat, we love it but really let down by the appalling after care from the Dealer/Beneteau with all sorts dreadful squirming and wriggling to get out of fixing the issues.

Boats have problems, that's not the issue. It's how the problems are taken care of that matters. Beneteau let us down badly in this respect.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:59 AM   #2
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Here's a video mirroring your frustration with warranty work.

https://youtu.be/EAEaeM4uH2g
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:16 AM   #3
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Kiwi,


Wow, really sorry you had to go thru this! It's a real shame when manufacturers can't take care of their responsibilities.



This is one reason, I could make an argument for buying used. First, the price is significantly lower, and second, the boat, hopefully, is "broken in", so the boat is in a known condition that can be pretty much proven with the survey.



But, it's nice to have new, also. I backed down on a Beneteau 44 because of my experience with Volvo issues. Might still get the 42, but pretty happy with my old used Mainship. And Mainship had it's issues, too. A great design but a poor execution in the build. Lot's of stupid install mistakes, but fortunately easy repairs.



In another business, I did buy a new (rebuilt) very expensive piece of equipment that was defective. After a long court battle, I had proven the machine was not rebuilt and the salesman was fradulent. The salesman was fired and they dismissed the case, got my money back and they abandon the machine in my possession so I sold it. And this was a fortune 300 company, so bigger is not necessarily better.



Hope things are better for you!
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:27 AM   #4
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This is a scary story.

I bought a Back Cove 32 from Coastal Carolina Yacht Sales in Charleston in February.

There were some real problems. The biggest was redoing some fiberglass work in the engine room and replacing the shaft seal.

There was no quibbling about any of the warranty issues and I never saw the yard bill for replacing the shaft seal.

So my experience has been a really good one.
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Old 12-03-2019, 03:53 PM   #5
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Their sailboats seem to do better on QC issues, power, not so much. I also know this from personal experience. I admire your moxy for going after them to make things right.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:47 PM   #6
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The engines are good, I like the Volvo D4's.
Whoever Beneteau got to manufacture the props and shafts should be had up for quality control.
We where told that no one else has these problems. Yea right! The other ST44 in NZ also had the same issue and I believe 2 other boats from this forum had/have the same issue.
You can feel the shake up on the flybridge when at the 1800 - 2000 rev range.

It's not just Beneteau that have these issues, again it's a boat and things go wrong or were not done correctly. It's how the company looks after it's customers that is key when faults are found. Beneteau used underhand and deceitful tactics to wriggle out of their responsibilities. Fortunately we have good consumer law here in New Zealand
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by oguidry View Post
This is a scary story.



I bought a Back Cove 32 from Coastal Carolina Yacht Sales in Charleston in February.



There were some real problems. The biggest was redoing some fiberglass work in the engine room and replacing the shaft seal.



There was no quibbling about any of the warranty issues and I never saw the yard bill for replacing the shaft seal.



So my experience has been a really good one.


I have heard some others discussing Back Cove warranty work. None have problems with getting things covered, but there do seem to be an awful lot of quality issues even in later hull builds. One would think that by hull 25 or 30 of a build, things like equipment mounted in the wrong place wouldn’t still happen.

I saw one warranty report for a 2019 new build that was crazy. Yes it was a picky buyer, but still.

Sorry, I know this is the Beneteau board...
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:37 PM   #8
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I have heard some others discussing Back Cove warranty work. None have problems with getting things covered, but there do seem to be an awful lot of quality issues even in later hull builds. One would think that by hull 25 or 30 of a build, things like equipment mounted in the wrong place wouldn’t still happen.

I saw one warranty report for a 2019 new build that was crazy. Yes it was a picky buyer, but still.

Sorry, I know this is the Beneteau board...
there are issues carried over from the beginning with beneteau builds that the factory never fixed in the production line. its crazy.
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by KiwiClive View Post

Boats have problems, that's not the issue. It's how the problems are taken care of that matters. Beneteau let us down badly in this respect.
Agreed
Bought new boats, houses, trailers etc. in my experience it’s always how we are treated when something comes up! We are not perfect so the things we build will not be. Having someone tell you,
We or I will make it right is the only way to handle business.
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:50 PM   #10
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These sagas are one reason to have a full meticulous survey done before accepting a new boat. Something most folks never think of doing.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:03 PM   #11
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These sagas are one reason to have a full meticulous survey done before accepting a new boat. Something most folks never think of doing.
you dont need a survey if you are capable of checking everything yourself but for most people they probably can't do that. definitely should sea trial a boat before taking delivery. and mechanical inspection too if you are not confident in that.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:21 PM   #12
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These sagas are one reason to have a full meticulous survey done before accepting a new boat. Something most folks never think of doing.
Yep, we did that and found a few very minor issues. What we didn't do was a mechanical and driveline survey.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:57 PM   #13
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I just rejected a 13yo different brand boat. Rot, ? due to sealing issues from build. Would survey by the initial buyer have found them? Can`t say, but it has to worth doing a pre purchase all over check if you can.
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:08 PM   #14
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you dont need a survey if you are capable of checking everything yourself but for most people they probably can't do that. definitely should sea trial a boat before taking delivery. and mechanical inspection too if you are not confident in that.
In other words, if you are an experienced and certified surveyor. A very small percentage of boat buyer indeed.
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Old 12-18-2019, 11:04 PM   #15
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We have had our new ST44 for 1 year. Dealer here in Florida has been very responsive to any issues and has taken prompt action to correct. So far we have had no major issues with the ST44, dealer or Beneteau.
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Old 12-18-2019, 11:45 PM   #16
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KiwiClive:

I feel for you. Very informative post, and I hope it helps others considering a Beneteau.

When Great Harbour, the builder of our boat, flatly refused to repair the major problems with our brand new GH TT35, we were advised by our attorney (here in the States) that a lawsuit would be prohibitively expensive and take 3-5 years to resolve.

So, we had all the repair work done by local craftspeople, and it only took us one year to have all the repairs completed. It was very expensive to bring the boat up to ABYC standards and make the boat safe and seaworthy, but still far less expensive than a lawsuit. I wrote about some of the repairs in this thread:
http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s...1-a-43015.html

We wish to this day that we had the financial wherewithal back then to sue Great Harbour, but unfortunately, it was not in the cards for us to spend half a million U.S. dollars on a lawsuit.

The most unethical thing GH did, however, is that they built 3 more TT35 boats and sold them to customers with at least two of the same major design flaws that we made them aware of. It wasn't until hull #6 that they corrected the awash cockpit problem, and we can only hope that they raised the aluminum gas tanks off the bilge floor then.

I know it looks like my math doesn't add up, but hull #2 was finished and delivered before our boat, hull #1. And yes, don't get me started on our idiocy in ordering hull #1.

Absolutely, it's a boat, and most new boats have minor problems. But the issues with your Beneteau were pretty darn serious, similar to ours. And also in a similar vein, Beneteau had a pretty decent reputation, much like GH, so there was an element of faith when you signed the contract.

If you can answer this, I am wondering if you wish you had simply had the engine vibration problems repaired yourself, and not expended time & money on legal fees? Or is the legal system less expensive in New Zealand?

Were you able to get the struts properly aligned?

Good for you for holding their feet to the fire. I love hearing about people who succeed at this.

On a good note, I can tell you that it is possible to enjoy your boat after being put through such a dreadful experience by appalling people. The compliments from other boaters, in particular, make it all worthwhile. The only drawback is that you have to keep your boat very tidy all the time because other boaters always want to come aboard and see the shiny new boat. We are constantly sweeping the dog hair.

Merry Holidays,
Mrs. Trombley
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:11 AM   #17
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In other words, if you are an experienced and certified surveyor. A very small percentage of boat buyer indeed.
i disagree.

i have a check list that covers what a surveyor does and more. not all surveyors work off the same list so its worth while asking surveyors for sample reports before hiring them. firm up the scope, make additions to their list for things missing (some times its simple stuff but above their capabilities), do homework on the make/model, etc.

i can check everything a surveyor checks without issue. its all basic stuff. its just some folks dont want to crawl around and do it or they can't handle basic stuff (which in my opinion is concerning if you are operating a boat out in open water, you should know every inch of your boat). very very very few surveyors actually deep dive into anything and they cost 2-3x+ what a normal surveyor costs and typically have marine engineering experience, degrees, certifications, etc.

on my last two boat purchases, i did my own survey along-side the surveyor starting on different ends of the boat. my check list was longer than their's because i actually looked up the make and model and added about a dozen things to look at that were possible known issues. they didnt spend any time doing that. i caught more things than the surveyor did. i only used a surveyor because of financing (lender required).

if a buyer is not able to do everything a surveyor does, they should at least follow the surveyor around and learn the ins and outs of the boats, see every system operate, etc. to me a run of the mill surveyor adds very little value. its like a run of the mill home inspector. i typically do a more thorough inspection when buying a house than a home inspector does.

any ways, i dont want to get more off topic from the OP's post (sorry Kiwi!) so i will not debate this further in this thread.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:20 AM   #18
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Having followed many Beneteau sagas, I've seen repeated problems with Beneteau dealers but in the vast majority of cases when one got directly to Beneteau things smoothed out considerably. Don't put up with the dealer. Often Beneteau has even sent one to a different dealer and occasionally even cancelled dealer agreements. Beneteau's dealers have often represented them poorly.

I can name several other brands that the level of service on new boats varies widely depending on the dealer. Carver was often this way. Princess has been this way since Viking lost the exclusive. Sunseeker has a major issue from their former South Florida dealer. Azimut suffers in the US due to Marine Max.

Go around and beyond the dealer and do so forcibly.
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Old 12-21-2019, 02:34 PM   #19
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Construction law requires that the client hold back 10% of the final price for a period of time until the house is complete to your satisfaction. For a purchase that is frequently more than a house, why no hold-back? Obviously the warranty is only as good as the builder and the courts.
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:14 PM   #20
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Construction law requires that the client hold back 10% of the final price for a period of time until the house is complete to your satisfaction. For a purchase that is frequently more than a house, why no hold-back? Obviously the warranty is only as good as the builder and the courts.
Some have hold back and at the minimum final payment not done until after survey and the repair of any items referenced on it.
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