Hi all - I am an owner (since new) of a 2019 SDX250. It has been plagued by problems from the start - many caused by the dealer, others just lingering build issues. I want to love my boat, but am challenged to feel that way given the continuous issues. The dealer is a large part of my problem - even ambivalent to the issues or their multiple attempts to resolve. The owner offered that that is just Searay and they sell other brands and will take care of me on my next boat. To be clear, this is not a post to rant - I want to love my boat and am honestly looking for help within Searay from someone that cares about the brand. I called the Owner line (or so I was told - 865-971-6250) but ran into an agent that basically told me the dealer is the only one that can take care of me and said he was sorry that I came to him for help but there is nothing he can do.
Has anyone found another channel to someone at Searay that cares about the ownership experience? I am desperate to find a solution to my boat's continuous issues (parts falling off under way, engine covers flying open, seats falling apart, head breaking (on my 3rd), the list goes on). I don't want to leave the brand, but if my only solution is through the dealer I fear that might be my next step - and if this is a normal owner experience than maybe it is time to change.
Sincerely appreciate any guidance.
Greg, very sorry to hear your troubles, this must be extremely frustrating. It sounds like the dealer is most of your problem and should be standing by your boat. I had to walk away from incompetent dealer on my last boat many years ago, fortunately for me, I moved locations, so that solved that issue. Few suggestions:
Is there another dealer in your area you could use? Did you try moving up the chain at your existing dealer, perhaps the owner or sales team? They might be willing to help if they want repeat business. Suggest calling back Searay and hopefully you can find a more sympathetic customer service representative, have found this to work on other occasions. Luck of the draw who you get when you call. Are there other reputable repair yards in your area who could fix these issues? It would be some out of pocket expense, but it appears you will need to find a competent shop to make repairs going forward. I would ask around other local boaters who they use and recommend. Last option, learn how to fix these problems yourself or a DIY friend with boating experience to help.
Best of luck.
Thanks for the reply - I appreciate your feedback and agree it has been frustrating. My boat is still under the factory warranty so doing DIY right now (aside for tightening loose screws) is problematic. I am a lifelong boater and am happy to turn the wrenches - just handcuffed right now by the warranty/dealer situation. I wish Searay had an owner advocate - to your point the dealer isn't resolving my issues effectively/standing by the boat - and now I have the problem that Searay isn't either. I talked to the dealer owner and she is more focused on Sales which I thought would be good to keep me happy for my next one. Instead, she said she sells other brands too and tried redirecting me. Frustrating...I am going to have another conversation with her this week, but was hoping to get some kind of direction from Searay as ultimately this ties to their reputation. I fear in this sales climate with demand higher than supply they are less concerned right now (both the dealer and Searay).
I really hope either Searay or the owner will help you out in the end. Please keep us posted, hopeful for a positive outcome.
Boat sales go on constant boom and bust cycles. I believe we are coming down from the Covid boom. Dealers are starting to drop prices around here (NorthEast) and with interest rates high, this is keeping allot of folks away. There were lots of new people jumping into boating and sold their boats for more that what they paid for them at the end of the season. Those days are over and the true cost of ownership is becoming more evident.
Worst case when you eventually replace the boat, I think it's time to move away from this dealer. Hopefully there are other options available to you where you boat.
My thoughts & suggestions: