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Need advice here, please see the...

Guest Contributor

Need advice here, please see the letter below I sent to Sea Ray.  The answer back was another attempt to repair the boat and ZERO compensation or effort to make up for any of the major inconvenience for three years.  I am asking them for help to exchange the boat since it appears to be a lemon.  Is this unreasonable after 3 years of troubles?




It is with great sadness that I have to write you this letter today.  This has been a rather long journey for me with Sea Ray and I ask that you be patient and read through this entire letter.  I am extremely frustrated and I think you will understand why in a moment.


Back in 2014 I purchased my first Sea Ray from MarineMax in Ocean City, NJ.  It was a new 2013 Sea Ray 230 SLX.  I had an unfortunate event where the battery cables were crossed at the beginning of the season in 2014 and the blower motor immediately caught fire in the front of my house and burned the boat and almost my residence to the ground.  I would have thought that a circuit breaker would have tripped rather than the boat catch fire.  Thankfully no one was injured.


Fortunately, thanks to insurance I was able to purchase my second Sea Ray.  I had the option of purchasing any other model of boat I wished.  I looked hard at Cobalt,  but I went with Sea Ray again.  This was one of the first 2015 models made.  I purchased a new 2015 Sea Ray 230 SLX from Saba Marine in Vermont.


This boat from the beginning had major issues.  The fit and finish looked like it was rushed to put together.  I had to get the trim around the helm replaced for several sharp edges that would cut you.  The captain's chair was installed improperly and had to be replaced.  The stereo cover was also broken.  The 2 batteries were not wired properly and there were electrical problems that constantly put me in guardian mode.


I am getting the records from Irwin Marine in Alton, NH.  They service my boat.  I have forgotten how many WEEKS I have lost over the years trying to get this boat to run properly.  The boating season is very short in New Hampshire and I have not been able to enjoy the lake.  In addition, my young kids are frightened of the boat as it has left us in guardian mode in the middle of Lake Winnipesaukee too many times to mention.


Yet again, I have friends scheduled to come up to the lake with us Sunday and I have to cancel.  Labor Day weekend will also be a bust.  The problem has been that for years now, no one has been able to diagnose what is wrong with the boat.  Finally, after I sent a letter to Mercruiser, because I thought the trouble was the Mercruiser Engine, they sent a top notch tech to go over the boat from top to bottom.  I am waiting on the formal report, but I am being told that the boat engine was not aligned properly at installation and that the wiring at the helm is a mess as well.  They informed me that it is a Sea Ray problem.


So here is where I am at.  Another season is lost, I was told the boat is unsafe to operate, which means I have been putting my friends and family at risk for years.  Unless you resolve this immediately, I will lose the last few weeks of the boating season.  I am not hopeful in this regard.  As a result, I have contacted an attorney, we are searching for an expert witness on marine litigation for boats.  I have turned over the Sea Ray warranty to him.


The reason for this approach is that I will absolutely not accept the motor being taken out and an attempt made to re-align the engine.  There is no telling what damage has been done since this condition has been going on for years.  As I told you, it was evident that this was a rush job from the start and this just proves it.  I purchased a Sea Ray TWO times because you are supposed to be one of the best for quality.  I have spent somewhere around $150,000 on boats.  I own my boat free and clear.  I have refrained from social media at this point but I am really frustrated and upset.


In addition, Sea Ray sent me a survey about my boat and I mentioned all the problems I have been having.  No one ever got back to me. 



Guest Contributor
I feel your pain. I too bought a brand new sea ray bc of all the hype of how good they are. I think they have lowered standards to bayliner quality since they own them too .. ive had issue after issue with my 19spx. For a while there the dealer has had more possession of my boat than did I .. very frustrating. Sea ray acts like they will do something but it all gets swept under the rug and nothing gets done. Try as you may you might be fighting a lost cause. And even if you lawyer up you will lose that money even if you win. So you my friend are between a rock and hard place

Guest Contributor
Sorry to hear that you're having problems. When you get the service records from the dealer and the formal report from the tech, can you post more details about your problems? How many hours on the boat? I doubt lemon laws apply to a three year old boat, but you do have that 5 year warranty. Please keep us updated on what Sea Ray and Mercruiser say,
BTW I have a early build (June 2014) 2015 230 SLX and I haven't had any problems with it other than a leaking power steering line.

Guest Contributor
Best of luck to you, and curious to hear if your problems ever come to resolution.

I purchased a new SPX 190 OB this past July — and wow, what a lemon it's turned out to be. I think a drunk person assembled it — which is exactly what I told the Sea Ray telemarketer who called me this week for my survey answers.

Lots of stripped screws. Plus, a bunch of dropped screws (or perhaps screws that worked loose) in the bilge.

Gelcoat that is starting to crack inside and out.

A trim gauge that's never worked (even after replacement), and a speedometer that fills with water.

Loose helm structure. (The dealer had to cut an access panel in the side of the boat underneath the helm to reattach the structure.)

Loose switches, ignition keyswitch, and accessory ports.

Cracked and poorly repatched transom (that I only just noticed while working underneath the boat).

Bent and poorly routed throttle cables that were binding.

Electrical wires that were hastily wrapped with electrical tape instead of being covered in plastic conduit.

Latches mounted incorrectly so that they aren't properly grabbing the edges of the holds.

Trim and cushions that have popped off.

Etc. etc. etc.

If it wasn't a drunk person that assembled this boat, then it surely was a meth addict.

Guest Contributor
My attorney is taking over for me. I tried to work with them but apparently no other way.

Guest Contributor
why didn't the warranty cover the issues?

Guest Contributor
sorry can't comment further this is headed to litigation.