Complaint Review: Progressive Marine in St. Petersburg, Fl. - St. Petersburg Florida
Progressive Marine in St. Petersburg, Fl. Bait and switch, high--pressure tactics for unneeded services, inflated labor charges St. Petersburg Florida
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Thinking about doing business with Progressive Marine in St. Petersburg? Read this first so you can see how a questionable boatyard transformed a $2,100 estimate into a $5,434.18 bill for a bottom job and a new cutless bearing on a 32-foot sailboat.
Even more outrageous, the boatyard did it with a last-minute surprise. It wouldn't update its written estimates, despite my repeated requests by email, and hit me with thousands of dollars in inflated labor charges at the last minute. Want your boat? Pay the bill.
Here's the story:
I decided on Progressive Marine because it gave me the low bid on a bottom job for my new-to-me Catalina 320. A haulout, a little sanding, a couple of coats of Pettit Trinidad bttom paint, a cutless bearing and I would be on my way in five days or so. what could go wrong? Boy, that was a tough lesson to learn.
Progressive's $1,344 "bottom job special" plus a $250 upgrade to Trinidad Pro immediately swelled. The yard wanted to charge $2,500 and $100 an hour for fairing to sandblast the bottom and apply an epoxy barrier coat. It was needed, yard owner Dan Jiminez said, because some bottom paint was flaking off at the waterline.
Now, some boatyards maintain sandblasting is an okay way to deal with osmotic blisters on already-damaged boat bottoms. But authorities such as Practical Sailor and sailboat repair guru Don Casey say sandblasting is a terrible idea, period, because it's so destrctive. No expert thinks it's smart to sandblast a perfectly good hull bottom because some paint is flaking off.
Jiminez argued angrily for several days, also claiming the Trinidad epoxy-based paint would not stick to the bottom without a barrier coat. Based on many years of painting my own boat bottoms, I knew better. Only poor preparation on the part of the boatyard would cause that.
I strongly suggested Jiminez put some 60-grit sandpaper in an orbital sander, remove the flakes and prepare the bottom in the usual way. It should have been two or three hours of sanding. Well, he did the sanding finally after five days in the yard -- and later charged me $1,400 for the sanding!
But the Trinidad appeared to go on fine. At the time, I thought I was out of the woods. Little did I know Jiminez had more costly surprises for me. Next up was the $500 to $700 cutless bearing replacement. Pricey, but I thought I could live with it.
Well, I got an email from Progressive. They couldn't remove the rusted coupler from the prop shaft. I drove there to discover I was paying $110 an hour for Mike the bottom painter, not a certified mechanic, to work on my drive train. He was doing it in between coats of bottom paint.
So it was no surprise that the yard's bottom painter didn't know how to remove a rusted coupler. That ended up costing me about $700 in extra parts for a new prop shaft and coupler (retail cost, under $400) plus $1,100 in labor for a cutless bearing job that usually costs $300 to $500 in a good boatyard.
Although the yard had not been giving me updated estimates, I knew I was going to get stung with padded charges, maybe $3,50000 at worst. My eyes bulged when I got the email saying the total bill was $5,434.18. All in all, it took 16 days in the boatyard.
Apparently, because I didn't want sandblasting, Jiminezhad to get his money other ways. If I had agreed to sandblasting, the bill would have been more than $7,000. As a boat owner, you have to ask yourself: Are these the people I want fixing my boat? Do I trust their recommendations and work?
Read the complaints on Google, Yelp, here, activecaptain.com the Better Business Bureau amnd other web sites before you haul out. I wish I had. Surly owner. Inflated charges. Questionable work. That's what I found, too. But too late. And remember that some (or many) disgruntled customers choose not to air their grievances in public.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/10/2018 06:31 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/progressive-marine-in-st-petersburg-fl/st-petersburg-florida-33701/progressive-marine-in-st-petersburg-fl-bait-and-switch-high-pressure-tactics-for-unn-1460207. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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