Know Your Rights – Boat and Engine Warranties
Buying a new boat or outboard motor is a big expense, and being confident that nothing will go wrong with it is important. There are so many different manufacturers out there, some better than others, and the warranties they offer with their products can differ widely. Some will guarantee their products for life, while other will give you just a year of protection. You want to be sure that if anything does go wrong, that it will get sorted out quickly, so knowing what is covered in your boat engine warranty is important.
Understand What You Are Covered For
When considering what boat or engine to buy, most people are looking at all the specs of different models and comparing them against one another. Surprisingly few people bother to read through the warranty for all the different types of boast and engine they look at. If you are looking at two boats of the same spec and price, but one has a much more comprehensive warranty than the other, then it makes good sense to take the one that has greater. After any purchase make sure you fill in and send off any warranty registration cards that are handed over to you.
Warranties for Used Boats
Even when you buy a used boat, you can still take advantage of the warranty, as long as it is still valid. As the previous owner when it was bought and if it is still under warranty, then begin the process of transferring the warranty over to yourself. Not all boat manufacturers let you do this, so you will have to contact them first to find out. They often charge a small fee for carrying out the service, but this is definitely worth doing and could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Be Wary of Limitations
No boat engine warranty is perfect, and if you do not know the limitations that apply you could find yourself thinking you are covered when actually you are not. The cover that warranties provide can often decline with time, so watch out for this. Some warranties specify that you get less cover depending on how many hours you have used an engine for, or on the other hand they may say your level of cover depends on the age of the engine. Also, many warranties require you to return your boat or engine to the manufacturer after a specific time out on the water. They do this so that everything can be adjusted and checked, and failure to return you boat or engine for a service could void your warranty.
When You Need to Use Your Warranty
If you are unfortunate enough to have a fault with your boat or engine that requires you to use your warranty, then you need to know what the procedures are. It standard to fill in a claim form to send off, but it is worth calling the manufacturer too. A number of different things can happen once you have put forward your claim if successful. They may send someone directly to you to fix the fault, they may ask you to contact local boat maintenance yards and get a quote for the repair, or they may request you return it to an authorized service center. The first scenario is the best, but the other two may require you transporting your boat, and for this you might be responsible. Unless you have a trailer to do it yourself you may be left with a hefty bill for transport. If your boat manufacturer is based in a different country, this can cause all sorts of problems, so check your boat or engine manufacturer’s procedure to avoid being left in a difficult and costly situation.
Record All Your Repairs
To put yourself in the best possible position when it comes to claiming on your warranty for boat and engine repairs, make sure that you keep a record of all repairs carried out while under warranty. This included copies of all correspondence between you, the supplier, the manufacturer, and repair centers. If you have a recurring problem with your boat or engine then you will have the evidence you need to back up an argument for a replacement. If you find that your warranty is approaching its expiry date, you do have the option of getting an extended warranty for you boat, but you may not receive the same level of cover as with the initial boat engine warranty. If a warranty simply does not offer you the level of cover that you require, paying for extra boat damage protection is a certainly not a bad idea. Remember that your boat or engine warranty is a legally binding document that you can use to your benefit. However, if you do not know what you are legally entitled to, then you will miss out on the benefits it provides, and could even end up being left out of pocket.