I took my 2001 Bayliner 212 cuddy to TJ Keeney's horrible shop at the insistent recommendation of Ray, a friend who is his uncle, 75 miles from my home in MD. TJ was supposed to be a motivated, sharp young boat mechanic fresh out of MME school in Orlando. TJ was at first nice enough to help me find his place over the phone as it was way in the boonies near Warrenton. TJ would never answer the phone again until after I took the boat back last week. The boat had a new engine installed and all it needed was the rubber around the outdrive replaced and the shaft alignment trued, something a good boat shop could do in an afternoon. He also borrowed my alignment tool which I never saw again.
It was NOV 2011 when the boat was taken to TJ's. I just got it back on 3 AUG in deplorable condition. I was working and didn't worry much about the boat until around Christmas and I mentioned to my friend that I had not heard from TJ. [continued below]....
..... I had been calling TJ for a week by this time with no answer. One time he picked up but then hung up on me. My friend would reassure me that TJ was busy with his now job at caterpillar but would finish it in time for spring. Feb, mar, April rolled by and no TJ. I didn't have the address and when I asked for it, my friend would say that he knew where it was but didn't know the address. I started getting suspicious.
That April, TJ put up his cousin Will to work on it, Will called me and finally, it will get done and I can pick it up. I credit carded him the parts he said he needed and he would answer the phone and promise a prompt completion. He disappeared in June. TJ still would not answer the phone. I call my friend and he says that TJ claimed that the battery was bad (It was new when I took it there) and that the trim motor was bad (not true, it works fine). I am working in FL by this time and wondering what is up?? My friend seemed to be covering for TJ and when I asked him to take his truck and get it, he said he couldn't get off work to get it. He lives in Martinsburg, WV, 70 miles away. When I pushed him more about the whereabouts of the boat, he texted me the address and phone number of TJ's mom (his sister Carolyn) but told me that the boat was untowable since the trim motor was broken (not true). Carolyn affirmed that it was where I left it and to come and get it. I flew up on 3 Aug, got my truck, and went to Midland to pick it up. I still have never heard from TJ and he dodged phone calls and texts from me. !GOD! what a mess he left!! The boat was in the weeds with a collection of junk trucks and was in the open weather with the engine cover off and lying in the weeds next to the boat. My new 4 bolt 350 that I bought from Denny's Machine in Hagerstown was sitting with water and leaves on it. It would not turn over. The alternator was seized, too. Rust was everywhere, the battery was in its plastic holder submerged in rainwater. These losers just left the cover in abject carelessness and disrespect. The boat was filthy with green slime and brown tree sap all over it. Leaves and twigs littered the deck. parts were scattered throughout. The bilge was full of brown water, leaves, and mosquitoes. Leaves had clogged the drain hole and the water was over the oil pan in the engine compartment. The cabin was full of rot and mold on the cushions. Water was sitting in there, also. The engine and battery were being rained on for months.
Ray had assured me that it was under a cover with the stern backed into the garage. This was grossly untrue. The outdrive had been removed and was sitting next to the garage. No sign of my alignment tool, my plug wires, Mallory distributor cap that I left with TJ. His step dad was there and was apologetic and helped me get the outdrive and what we could find lying around into my truck. The tires still had air. I cleared the drain hole with a screwdriver and brown water began rushing out. I hooked up the trailer and left 9324 Rogues Rd never to return. I got the boat home and confirmed that the engine was stuck; it has to come out and get rebuilt all over again, a motor with 0 hours on it!!! Starter is likely bad since it was underwater from the clogged drain hole. Alternator was frozen from corrosion. It took two days of intense scrubbing with boat detergent and Clorox to clean up the poor boat and put it up.
It cleaned up surprisingly well and the marine radio and depth-finder still worked but the dash would not power up anymore. The shaft tunnel had a new gimbal bearing installed but it had epoxy gooped all around it, a shoddy repair attempt and I doubt the old one was really bad. I had finally gotten the boat back as I felt I was being lied to and was worried that it had been cut up for parts and destroyed; TJ's late dad, Tom Sr, had cut up Ray's '75 Corvette and parted it out after he left it with Tom for repairs after they got in some disagreement some years ago and I was thinking of this happening with my boat. TJ had just grossly neglected it and left it apart in the weeds. I talked to my lawyer Eric M. Brooks about suing for a judgement against TJ and he said he could do it but that TJ is a young mechanic running an unlicensed shop out of his mom's garage and has no worthwhile assets to go after. I am putting his name here instead.
TJ finally contacted me on 5 Aug via Facebook and accused me of being cheap and not buying a new battery and trim motor and not paying him anything. He also said he could not ruin his good name by working on my "piece of junk" and that it had an incorrect automotive engine that was poorly built (tell this to Denny's, it was a truck 350 4 bolt main which works well in marine applications). He could have refused it instead of sitting on it for 8 months, p***k!! He never called me to tell me this or give me an estimate although I did hear this from his uncle Ray. It did not make sense since the battery was new at the time and the trim motor worked fine when I took it there. He had been inventing extra problems for whatever reasons. Incredibly, the battery took a charge after sitting in water for months and was able to crank a car I tried it in with no problem. I put it in the boat and the starter went "clunk" and could not turn the engine, plus I could smell it getting hot. The trim motor worked when tried, another lie of TJ's. Anyway, TJ KEENEY IS A LIAR AND A TURD OF A BOAT MECHANIC AND IS FLORIDLY INCOMPETENT AND IRRESPONSIBLE!! AVOID HIM!! don't even let him fix a tricycle, let alone a boat or car. This is my experience with TJ and I AM PISSED OFF!!! Thanks for reading this.