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Bad Acid Wash on my Pontoons

Discussion in 'Dock Talk' started by DD2075GL, Jun 11, 2017.

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  1. DD2075GL

    DD2075GL Active Member

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    Location:
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    I am so upset.


    We bought our 2075 GL last summer. We custom ordered it to avoid all the bells and whistles and get the colors we wanted. It was perfect. This is our 4th boat, first pontoon. We are meticulous owners. We usually store our boats ourselves or find storage (ie. fair ground barn, dealer, etc.). We have mostly done our own cleaning, etc.


    Since we needed some minor warranty work done (canvas, etc.), we sent the boat to the dealer for the winter. They made the repairs and stored it for us. When I contacted them to have it delivered to our lake (we didn't purchase a trailer yet, spent a little more on the boat than we expected to), they offered to test drive it locally to make sure all the electrical worked and to clean it for us. Since we only used it for 3 months last summer and we only have a speedometer and a radio, we denied the service. The head of the service department called me back and gave me such a hard time about not doing the service (what if the battery is dead on delivery? what if something is not working? everyone else does this service!!), I gave in and had them do it.


    When it was delivered, the pontoons were totally speckled with acid stain. The white acid splash is also on our ribbed rail, the ladder, and the motor area. The dealer's driver acted like it was no big deal but we were shocked. There were also 2 rubbed marks on one pontoon because they had left it at their low dock against bumpers...we have our dock at 'walk on' height and have vertical plastic bumpers (with no marks on our rail from last summer!!)


    The driver waited while my husband and I took pictures. I wanted to send the boat back with the driver, but we had planned such a nice time together on our Maine lake on a rare hot and sunny day. We took possession and said we would call the dealer.


    I sent a seething email with pictures. I told them I wanted a new boat! It looks horrible!! In addition to the appearance, I am concerned about the acid compromising the metal on the pontoons, rails, ladder and motor area. Is this acceptable, is this dangerous, am I overreacting??? Since it was on the trailer, we couldn't see underneath to see where else the acid went. And the water is still too cold to swim in for us!


    I truly want this sent back to Bennington to be put on a new deck with new pontoons. (I could only upload one picture...I have lots more!


    What would you do????


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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2017
  2. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna Well-Known Member

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    Unacceptable! That was a terrible job! Was the acid wash part of the service? can't believe they gave the boat back to you in that condition. If it were only on the pontoons they would be able to acid wash the pontoons evenly but you said it was on other parts of the boat. I don't know what they will be able to do to rectify the situation.
     
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  3. DD2075GL

    DD2075GL Active Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the reply BigKahuna. I was told they were going to 'clean up the boat and pontoons' in addition to the water test drive.


    I figured out how to add more pictures (I had to delete some from some old posts to give me more personal space on this forum). They are on my original post.


    As I said we do most of our own cleaning, I take care of the interiors. We had a Boston Whaler center console, and a Tahoe deck boat before this. My husband has done the different acid wash on the exterior of our fiberglass boats, and the regular acid wash on his 14 foot Lund fishing boat. He knows how careful you need to be. Once when we stored the Tahoe at the dealer, they did the exterior wash on the boat, it was perfect.


    I thought about having the dealer trying to even the pontoons out, I looked around the lake this weekend and most pontoons don't have the shiny appearance that ours did last year. Since we are new to pontoons, I don't know that I looked that closely at the 'shine vs. no shine' before. I don't know if theirs are duller from acid washing, time and/or they weren't shiny to begin with. I certainly have never seen ones that looked like diseased leopard spots before.


    Do all of you have the pontoons acid washed and do they just turn dull? If so, if the dealer offers to even it out, should I accept?


    But I am also concerned about the rail, the ladder and the motor area. Will the acid they left from the splash make those spots on the metal prone to pitting in the future?


    We got top dollar in the past for our resales since we are meticulous. I feel this has ruined the meticulous appearance we are used to in our other boats, and certainly has diminished any resale value.
     
  4. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna Well-Known Member

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    They will stay looking like factory new for a while if you had them apply Sharkhide when you ordered your boat. If you don't have Sharkhide it will eventually dull and look crappy depending on your water quality. Do you keep your boat in the water or on a lift?!?


    Cant believe they delivered the boat to you in its current shape. Looks like a little kid got ahold of the acid wash applicator and just randomly sprayed wherever. Call your dealer up and put in a formal complaint. Or better yet call him up and tell him to come get it. The boat wasn't in that shape when you put it away last year. Ask him what can be done to rectify the "damage". I know you don't want to waste valuable boat time in Maine. But that was really shoddy workmanship..........
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2017
  5. ILLINOIS AVE

    ILLINOIS AVE Well-Known Member

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    That's terrible !  I would fight that til the end. Keep us posted . Good Luck !
     
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  6. 1Blderbob

    1Blderbob Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused with the thread. When they said they would clean the boat for you. Did they say they would acid wash the pontoons?  Because the pictures look as if someone either splattered the acid or REALLY did not know what they were doing!


    I think you tell them to polish all the splattered aluminum. And then get someone to shark hide if you want it to stay shiny. Play hard ball. Good luck!
     
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  7. adkboater

    adkboater Well-Known Member

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    Completely unacceptable!!! I would be pissed!! There's no way I'd accept it that way. It's going to be almost impossible to get all the acid marks off the boat. If it was just the pontoon some polish and sharkhide would do the trick, but the with all the other overspray you're in for quite an issue. Fight hard and stand fast, it didn't come in that way and shouldn't be acceptable to leave it that way! Keep us posted!
     
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  8. Alicedream

    Alicedream Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the other posts. This s unconscionable what they did. You need the toons polished. I have acid washed toons in the past and they looked great. Nothing even remotely like what they did to yours. 
     
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  9. BulldogsCadillac

    BulldogsCadillac Just some guy

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    It is totally unacceptable the way it is!!  


    Quick question, and maybe it's a dumb one, did you try scrubbing at it? The reason I ask is , and I have no experience with this next part, I didn't think that the acid wash would "rub off" like your picture shows. I was under the impression that it was almost like an etching. Although now that I type it I remember people polishing after acid washing. 


    It just reminds me a little of how some vehicles look from wet gravel type roads. Maybe after they do the calcium spray to keep dust down. I guess I'm sure you tried to wash it though. 
     
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  10. 1Blderbob

    1Blderbob Well-Known Member

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    I keep going back and looking at the pictures. Bulldog makes sense, it really looks like splatter rather than a spray pattern. Have you tried a pressure washer on the toons? Just water! 


    I also was wondering if the splatter was caused when coming down a wet stone road. I say this because the pics almost look as if the boat ran down a wet road that had salt applied. See that all the time in the winter and pattern looks kinda the same.
     
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  11. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna Well-Known Member

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    Splatter or not........She shouldn't have to do anything! That was just a crappy job all around. Tell them to come get the boat and fix it. Period!
     
  12. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    OMG!  I cannot even believe this happened.  I would elevate this so quickly the dealers head would spin!  They damaged your property, looks like a 6 year old child did that!  I am still in disbelief, wow.
     
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  13. DD2075GL

    DD2075GL Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hi everyone, thanks for all your support! You totally made me feel validated.


    To answer a few questions...1. The boat was picked up in the fall, no chemicals on the road. If they took it on a road in the winter, I would have no idea. 2. I tried to rub it off with a wet towel, looks the same. 3. There is not a different feel to the spots on the pontoons, ladder and rub rail, there are bumps in the motor area, we think it must be steel in there.


    The only response I got from the dealer was a 'matter of fact' email saying the work that was done was all part of what we agreed to: a "Bottom Wash," warranty work and storage in the fall...and then the spring commissioning service (test drive and wipe down of upholstery, etc.) I felt forced into. They did not address the quality of the work (or lack thereof)! Since I now know the "bottom wash" (no chemical was mentioned) was done in the fall before storage. it makes me even more concerned about the metal exposure. I responded that I never complained about the warranty work nor the interior cleaning, only the quality of the "wash" they did to the pontoons which also got on the other areas.


    For professional opinions, I also sent pictures and talked to 2 marinas we used in the past for other boats. They also agreed it was a shoddy job. "You would never see that here. It looks like a teenager went crazy on it". The other suggested to contact Bennington, and the company that manufactured the chemical that they used on my boat.


    I contacted Bennington and they will try to put some pressure on the dealer to fix it. I also told the dealer THEY need to contact the chemical manufacturer and get a letter from them assuring me there will be no compromise to the metals. I can only imagine the manufacturer won't write the letter since they can't be held responsible for how it was applied.


    We did go to the lake to this weekend and I tried to rub the spots off as one of you suggested. I only used a wet towel and some elbow grease (didn't want to risk another chemical). It would not come off. And the metal around the motor area has bumps where the acid is...it must be steel. This just stinks.


    I was pretty upset in the email I sent to the dealer after their reply, and I reiterated if the fix cannot be guaranteed I wanted a new deck and pontoons. Even the Bennington rep I talked to said that the aluminum is very susceptible to damage. 


    I found this video looking to see if I might understand what happened. It looks like my boat at about 2:20. It would appear from this video, they never finished the job and the spray got elsewhere, too. Again, looks like the chemical has been sitting on it since the fall.


    Thanks for all your support and suggestions. The fight continues!

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2017
  14. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna Well-Known Member

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     I just hope they power washed or rinsed the acid that did get splattered on your toons. You saw how they methodically applied the acid product evenly let it sit and then power wash it off. No way in hell they did that to yours. I hope they take full responsibility of their crappy work and make it right! 
     
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  15. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    I would trailer this boat to the entrance of their establishment and place a sign on it detailing this is the type of work done here.  I still cannot believe they didn't agree this was shoddy work.  This place has to have insurance, also, contact your insurance company and make a claim, they will then go after the business.
     
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  16. lakeliving

    lakeliving Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that is probably not considered physical damage. Read your policies. Many don't even cover scratches and some dents from what I read. Same goes for your house. Hail destroys the westerly exterior wall of your home, don't expect new siding on the undamaged east side. Some insurers offer "matching" endorsements but they can be pricey and still a pain when it comes time to settle a claim. This is a tricky one.
     
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  17. DD2075GL

    DD2075GL Active Member

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    Location:
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    Yes, it is tricky for insurance...I wouldn't even want to make a claim and risk raising my premiums.


    Right now I have pontoons that look hideous but they are intact. I'm guessing the dealer might be able to even them out. But even in the video, the guys protect the rub rail and motor area with plastic and do the WHOLE pontoons evenly.


    I'm guessing the service people at my dealer sprayed the stuff heavily on the bottom half of the pontoon and got extra spray on the top of the pontoon, rub rail, ladder and motor area. Even if they power washed it off, wherever the acid landed still turned the spots white. For the dealer to now have to acid wash the whole rub rail, ladder, etc. to even them out as well, it will result in the rub rail a different color from the rest of the rail that surrounds my panels. As I said, it just ruins the aesthetics for us, as well as diminishes the resale value. I'd rather have it replaced. But if they remove the rub rail, will it then compromise my flooring by making small tears? Ugh!!! Such a domino effect!
     
  18. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure, insurance will do whatever they can not to insure.  I would still call and see what they say, especially if the aluminum could be compromised in the future in anyway.
     
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  19. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Your rates won't raise if you tell them you want them to go after their insurance. 
     
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  20. Michiman

    Michiman Well-Known Member

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    Yikes! I'm hoping my acid wash doesn't end up like yours but I guess I'll see this weekend when we pick her up. I too, am meticulous about my stuff so I was plenty disappointed to see what my toons looked like after sitting in our lake last season. Whereas our ten year old fiberglass boat looked like new when we sold it (and the sales price reflected that), I guess pontoons without sharkhide are just susceptible to extreme weathering. 
     

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