Repair to Damaged Pontoon? Aluminum weld?

Ortley Guy

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Help!!
Sorry this is a long post.
Somehow my pontoon was damaged when the boat was lifted for bottom paint. The damage is a gouge along the inner side if the right pontoon about 2" above the water line. The gouuge is from back to front and at the end of it there is a small puncture hole, right near the pontoon seam weld.
Someone, probably the dealer who did the damage but won't admit it, filled the hole with some sort of epoxy weld (black). He says that he would recommend that the epoxy be removed and the hole be repaired this spring by an aluminum welder. While there will still be cosmetic damage, he claims the boat and pontoon will be 100% ok otherwise.
Can I trust him to be right?
Pictures are attached.
 

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Lay Lake

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It can be repaired and be 100% functional, but I would not settle for anything but a new log. The dealer needs to step up and do the right thing, not the cheapest thing!
 

Ortley Guy

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The dealer is in total denial despite the fact that he is the only one who has ever lifted the boat since purchased in 2018. He said this could have happened while underway or anchored, I said No way!
My only recourse for pontoon replacement is to contact my insurance company and let them decide if they want to go after the dealer.
 

sjhorner9475

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Ouch! Sorry to hear this. It is sad and frustrating at the same time when you find yourself in a he said, he said situation. Good luck getting is fixed or replaced.
 

lakeliving

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Insurance will subrogate the loss through the dealer and recover their costs and your deductible. You can always ask for their general liability policy as you need to file a property damage claim. I'd lay that out as their only two options.
 

AZHEAT

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As long as you get assurance from a trusted third party that proper repair will make the toon structurally sound without risk of water intrusion, I would NOT get your insurance company involved. There really is no way to prove who was responsible for the damage and I can’t imagine the cost of structural/functional repair would be more than any deductible you carry on your policy. Making a claim on your policy could be very costly as far as increased premiums for years to come. I understand we carry insurance for a reason and it is costly, but small claims kill you in the long run from the premium cost perspective. Your insurer will be very pleasant and cooperative and pay for all repairs, but it will cost you in the end. I view insurance as more a catastrophic safety net and carry high deductibles, planning on taking care of small repairs (scraped auto corner panel in the parking lot and responsible party left without leaving a note since they didn’t have a pen or paper, etc) myself. Sorry you have to deal with it, however even though you know it’s there, it really isn’t going to be that visible due to its location.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Are you worried about resale value with a repaired log? I personally would push for replacement.
Worst case, I’d have the damage cut out and a patch welded in. I’m positive a good tig welder could make it look good. Take a little finesse to get the right curve in the patch, but should be sound when done. Probably cost less than deductible, but look better than a big old weld glob.
 

Alicedream

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That looks bad. You get that log replaced. No way I would let them get away with that.
 

ILLINOIS AVE

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So the Dealer fills the hole with some stupid $hit ,but doesn't admit to the damage? I think that's admitting they did it! Hellooo!
 

Baja 252

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I don't think that damage was caused by something you hit in the water unless you ran over something very large, and you would have heard it.
I would be talking to the employees that worked on the boat to see if you can find out what happend. I would also look at their equipment to see how they lifted the boat and see if it looks like that equipment could have damaged the boat when it was lifted. Then I assume they set it down on something, look at that too. As stated above, the fact they tried to fix it speaks volumes to me.
 

Ortley Guy

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I am guessing they lifted it off my trailer with their forklift. I think that's what did this damage. When I asked the shop owner about it he said "We only lift with straps so we could not have done this". But I think a worker lifted the boat with the forklift to get the straps on. The dealer manager that I deal with insists it was not them. I don't believe it.
 

JandKE

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Then I would suggest that you find another dealer! (Or at least make yours think that you are going to leave.) I understand that Bennington dealers are not always close, but if this one is not doing anything to earn your business, maybe another dealer will, and make it worth any hassle of changing dealers. Or contact Bennington directly and see if they can apply some pressure to the dealership. I would think it would be worth the phone call at least.
Good Luck in getting this resolved to your satisfaction!
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Then I would suggest that you find another dealer! (Or at least make yours think that you are going to leave.) I understand that Bennington dealers are not always close, but if this one is not doing anything to earn your business, maybe another dealer will, and make it worth any hassle of changing dealers. Or contact Bennington directly and see if they can apply some pressure to the dealership. I would think it would be worth the phone call at least.
Good Luck in getting this resolved to your satisfaction!
This is not a Bennington issue and they should not be involved. This is a dealer/owner issue. Bennington has no responsibility of any involvement in this situation.
 

Vikingstaff

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This is not a Bennington issue and they should not be involved. This is a dealer/owner issue. Bennington has no responsibility of any involvement in this situation.
This comes up a lot, and I get your point when you make it. i don’t think anyone is implying Bennington should step up on the repair/warranty end.

However, Bennington is a dealer network only manufacturer, and all service, parts, etc... flow ONLY through their dealer network. If they are going to force owners to be beholden to Bennington dealers for everything, then they need to also work to insure their dealers are above board, and providing fair and ethical service to the Bennington owners. I think that is a legit expectations.
 

Jack M

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From the looks of the pontoon in the picture that it appears to be an older model .
Is the OP the original owner ? Water in the toon ? When did this happen ? Many variables. I try to get under mine to wipe it down once a week ( in season ) .
 
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